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Bea Thorndike was a wealthy friend of Chief Brandon and the aunt of Debby Thorndike. She was an older woman with short, light-colored hair.

She visited the police station shortly after Christmas 1941 and presented Dick Tracy with a scrapbook of some of his most notorious criminals (in a precursor to the eventual Rogues' Gallery feature in the strip).

Protecting Her Niece[]

Bea later asked Tracy to escort her niece Debby on a social outing. Debby often drank too much and had an unpredictable temper. Tracy found her frustrating, but went along as a favor to Bea. This got Tracy involved with Debby’s (fraudulent) husband, Jacques. After Jacques was arrested, Tracy and the Thorndikes went to Jacques business The Bird Club. Debby intended to purchase the club and renovate it. When Jacques (who had escaped police custody) arrived and menaced Debby with his gun, Tracy shot him.

Later, when Tracy went to Bea’s home to sever ties with the family, he slipped on an icy walkway and broke his leg. The doctor who arrived on the scene insisted that Tracy shouldn’t be moved for five weeks, and Bea and Debby promised that they would see to his recovery. This left Tracy vulnerable when Jacques' brother B-B Eyes came seeking revenge.

Tracy and Debby were kidnapped by B-B Eyes and left to die in an abandoned house with an overloading boiler. Bea had managed to track the pair down and saved their lives. She remembered that her late husband had been a heating contractor and that one way to stop a runaway boiler was to break the glass heating gauge. She broke it and freed them before the boiler exploded. She also managed to imprison B-B Eyes in his car in the doorway of the house. Tracy went on to have an extended adventure with B-B Eyes, but Bea was not involved.

The Thorndike Robbery[]


Bea Thorndike, as drawn by Joe Staton

Years later, Mrs. Thorndike was the victim of a robbery wherein thieves took valuables from her home's safe. Dick Tracy was assigned to investigate, and was relieved that Debby was traveling abroad at the time.

Later, Ms. Thorndike was contacted by the criminal Public Domain. He was seeking Ms. Thorndike's assistance in her capacity as an expert about deceased U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. This was part of his plan to con her into buying a recording that he falsely claimed was of Lincoln's voice.

Bea was on friendly terms with Honeymoon Tracy.


  • During the Public Domain storyline, Tracy misremembered Bea as being the mother of Debby, rather than her aunt. Bea also referred to having become a grandmother, but her grandchild's name, gender, and parentage were not specified.