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Hawker Davis (possibly an alias) was a street vendor who worked in Dick Tracy's city.

Encountering Flattop[]

In 1944, Davis' latest scheme was selling bottles of "Magic Dry Cleaner" to passers-by (whom he referred to as "dopes"). The cleaner was actually gasoline with no additional properties. When the fugitive Flattop (who was covered with soot and honey from hiding in a chimney that also contained a beehive) encountered Davis on the street, he forced Davis at gunpoint into a deserted alley to clean his clothes. When the "cleaner" didn't work, Flattop made Davis change clothes with him. 

Davis then recognized Flattop from newspaper reports and threatened to call the police. Flattop knocked out Davis and set him on fire, leaving his own wallet nearby in order to make the police think he had burned to death. However, Dick Tracy was not fooled and the murder became a major news story, adding to Flattop's notoriety.

Later, while staying in a cheap hotel, Flattop discovered that Davis had bought some war bonds. One of them accidentally blew out an open window and onto a newspaper stand, where it was found and traced back to the murdered vendor. This provided a clue that led Tracy back to Flattop's trail.

Notes[]

  • Davis was identified by a police officer as having been selling on the avenue for years, which seems illogical, as it would make him very easy for dissatisfied customers to find. It's possible that the "Dry Cleaner" was his first fraudulent product.
  • Many years later, police chief Pat Patton indicated that Flattop had denied responsibility for the death of Hawker Davis while in custody. It is unclear if Davis' death remains an unresolved issue for the police department.
  • "Hawker" (sometimes "Street Hawker") is an archaic term for a person who sells products on the street.
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