Carl Climer was a successful law enforcement official and administrator who had built his reputation in a city on the West Coast. He moved to Dick Tracy's city and began to work his way up in the police department. He became an ally of both the District Attorney and head of the Police Commission and used that to his advantage, rising to the rank of Deputy Chief.
Climer Builds His Career[edit | edit source]
Shortly after Pat Patton announced his retirement, he also stated his intention to co-author a tell-all book in which he would reveal the corruption that had infiltrated the city, especially the influence of organized crime in the police department. Climer knew that he and his allies would be implicated in the book, and he attempted to silence Chief Patton. Following a heated exchange at Patton's home (between the Chief and his ghost writer Kasper Hackett), Climer shot Patton and left him lying under a bridge, believing that he was dead or dying.
Who Shot Pat Patton?[edit | edit source]
When Patton's disappearance was discovered, Climer was made interim Chief. He attempted to stifle Tracy's investigation of the crime, and brought in a well-known British "psychic" named Astral Turf to complicate matters. Climer and Turf had worked together in the past, and Climer told Turf what he had done, intending that her "discovery" of Patton's body would lend credence to her claim of having supernatural abilities. Turf eventually did lead Tracy and the Major Crimes Squad to Patton, and they were all surprised to find him alive.
Patton was taken to a hospital where he was treated, but he remained comatose. Tracy believed that Patton's assailant would strike again, so he made arrangements with Diet Smith to have Patton transported to a state-of-the-art medical facility in another part of the country. At this point, Climer stated his intention to disband the Major Crimes Squad and re-assign the personnel to other (and in most cases lesser) positions. Tracy resigned in protest.
Tracy began his own Private Detective agency, The Tracy Agency, along with fellow former-officer Johnny Adonis. Their first client was Toby Patton, Pat's new wife, who hired them to find the person who shot her husband. Climer attempted to throw Tracy and Adonis off his trail, and he used Astral Turf in an attempt to frame and subsequently kill Kasper Hackett.
Discovery and Death[edit | edit source]
The plan failed and Turf's involvement was discovered. She revealed the truth about Climer to Tracy, who tracked Climer to the police shooting range where Climer was preparing to run a team of cadets through a training exercise. Tracy and Climer fought, and Climer was able to knock Tracy unconscious. Climer tied Tracy to the back of a dummy (in the shape of Tracy's old enemy Flattop Jones Sr.) on the shooting range, believing that Tracy would be shot and killed during the upcoming training exercise.
Tracy was able to free himself. He was nearly shot by Climer (who had been waiting nearby), when Climer was himself shot and killed by a cadet who mistook him for one of the dummies (February 20th, 1983).
Pat Patton recovered, and he and Tracy eventually returned to the force, determined to eliminate the culture of corruption that Climer had used and promoted.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Climer's first name was given as "Carl" in a Rogues' Gallery panel that appeared shortly after the conclusion of the story. There was no reference to his first name anywhere in the actual story, and this is the only such reference made anywhere in official canon.
- Precisely where on the West Coast Climer began his law enforcement career is not specified. However, mention is made of a case involving the "East Bay Strangler," in which Climer played a major role. It may be inferred, therefore, that Climer worked in the San Francisco Bay Area prior to coming to Tracy's City, most likely in either Alameda County or Contra Costa County. In Jim Doherty's prose Tracy story, "Murder Is My Hobby," which appeared in the PLAINCLOTHES website, it is stated that Climer's prior service was with the Oakland Police Department, but this has not been confirmed in official canon.
- Though there were clues pointing to Climer's culpability throughout the story, Climer's villainy was not revealed until the end. This makes the "Who Shot Pat Patton?" story arc one of the very few "whodunits," arguably the first genuine whodunit, ever presented in Dick Tracy.