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Dr. Knothaus was the head of a mental health institution that had housed Putty Puss. Knothaus was a bald man who wore eyeglasses. He had light hair on the side of his head and a dark beard.

When Dr. Will Carver's experimental procedure to repair the features of the disfigured Harley Niav was unsuccessful, Carver arranged for Niav to be committed to Knothaus' facility under an assumed name. The amoral Knothaus agreed to the scheme.

Niav - who now went by the name "Putty Puss" - eventually escaped, killing one of the other doctors in the process. He went on a bank robbery spree and sought revenge against those who had wronged him. Dick Tracy began to investigate and he questioned Knothaus, who bristled at Tracy's accusations of corruption.


  • The name "Knothaus" is apparently a play on the term "nuthouse", a colloquial name for a mental hospital.