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Debby Thorndike was the niece of Bea Thorndike, a friend of Chief Brandon. Debby was an attractive young socialite with long dark hair who tended to drink too much and had a fiery temper.

Dangerous Association[]

Debby had been tricked by the nightclub owner Jacques into believing that they had secretly been married. Jacques used this as a way to get Debby to give him money to keep his failing nightclub “The Bird Club” in business. At her aunt's request, Debby was escorted to an evening at Jacques’ club by Dick Tracy. After causing a scene, Debby and Tracy returned to her home.

Jacques was preparing to leave town because his club was going to be seized by creditors, and now that he knew the police were involved with the Thorndikes, he felt that he had little to lose. He abducted Tracy from the Thorndike home at gunpoint and sealed him in the caisson death-trap. Debby called the police station and told them that Tracy had been taken and where she thought Jacques had gone with him. Tracy was rescued, and discovered proof that Debby's marriage to Jacques had been faked.

Showdown with Jacques[]


Jacques had been arrested, but he escaped police custody and followed the Thorndikes and Tracy to his club, which Debby intended to purchase and renovate. When Jacques arrived, he menaced Debby with a gun and was killed by Tracy. Debby then proceeded with her renovation plans.

Tracy came to the Thorndike home to sever his ties with the family, whom he found frustrating. As he was leaving, he slipped on an icy walkway and broke his leg. The doctor who arrived on the scene insisted that he not be moved, saying that Tracy must be confined to bed rest in the Thorndike home for five weeks. Debby promised Tracy the best possible care, but Tracy was consistently bothered by Debby and her socialite friends. (In a comic relief scene, Tracy was just getting into sleep at 2:00 in the morning when Debby and her friends decided to have a party for Tracy; the upshot was that when it was over Tracy lost his temper and threw a bottle which bonked Debbie!

Target of Revenge[]


Tracy was still at the Thorndike home when Jacques’ brother B-B Eyes came seeking revenge. He sent in some members of his gang (disguised as ambulance workers) to remove Tracy on a stretcher. At the same time, B-B Eyes also arranged for Debby to be abducted-she and her boyfriend "Sailor" Mann tried to hitch a ride on a horse drawn milk wagon; B.B. Eyes hijacked the wagon and rendered Debby unconscious with chloroform after dumping the milkman and the Boyfriend in the street. He sealed Debby and Tracy in an abandoned building with an overloading boiler, intending that they should both die in retribution for the death of Jacques.

The pair was rescued by Bea, who had managed to track them down and freed them before the boiler exploded. Tracy then went on to have an extended adventure with B-B Eyes, but Debby was not involved.


  • Years later, Tracy was called to investigate a robbery at Bea Thorndike's home, and he was relieved to learn that Debby was traveling abroad.
  • The injured Tracy's situation with Debby was the reverse of the situation in the classic film The Man Who Came to Dinner where the unmanageable party was the guest with the broken leg.
  • During the Public Domain storyline, Tracy mis-remembered Debby as being Bea's daughter rather than her niece.