Janice Trohs, also known as "The Doll", was the daughter of the criminals Jerome Trohs and Mamma. She was raised by an aunt and uncle who were carnival workers, and eventually turned to a life of crime herself. As an adult, Janice was under 4 feet tall, and could pass herself off as an 8 year-old child.
Kidnapping Sparkle Plenty Jr.[edit | edit source]
Shortly after the birth of Junior and Sparkle Tracy's daughter (Sparkle Jr), a group of kidnappers abducted a dozen babies from the hospital's maternity ward. This group was led by Janice Trohs, a small woman who was able to impersonate a child and gain access to the hospital's restricted areas. The gang also included Janice's husband "Daddy" and her unnamed attorney.
Dick Tracy was determined to recover his kidnapped granddaughter. Using his contacts at the FBI, along with Junior's eyewitness sketch of the mysterious "young" kidnapper, Tracy was able to connect the kidnappings to Trohs. It was at this point that Tracy discovered that she was the daughter of his old enemies and that she had served time for various fraud and confidence schemes. Tracy's former partner Johnny Adonis informed him that Janice had also been used by private investigators to help abduct children involved in acrimonious divorce custody cases.
Janice and her lawyer arranged to have the babies adopted by wealthy couples who wanted to side-step the normal adoption process. When Janice learned that Dick Tracy's granddaughter was among the kidnapped babies, she arranged to have Sparkle Jr be the first adoptee.
Targeting Older Children[edit | edit source]
Janice's attorney then informed her that there was a demand for older children as well. Janice again disguised herself as a child, and lured 3 children into her van, which then took them to her farmhouse hideout. Unbeknownst to Janice, who had been observed by Joe Tracy, who rode along the back of the van on his skateboard. Janice discovered Joe looking in the windows of her house. She confronted him and knocked him unconscious.
Janice kept Joe tied up in her barn, away from the other children, instructing Daddy to keep him fed. Joe was able to contact his father, using an old 2-Way Wrist Radio that he had been given. Tracy was able to track down Joe's location using clues that Joe had provided. Joe freed himself just as Tracy arrived, and Tracy went to free to kidnapped children.
Meeting Dick Tracy[edit | edit source]
Janice found Tracy in her house and used the children as a distraction. She fled into the barn, where she was able to ambush Tracy. She then set the barn on fire and fled in her car, abandoning Daddy. However, the thick smoke from the burning barn impaired Janice's vision while driving and she suffered a head-on collision with another car.
The occupants of the other car (Lizz and Sam Catchem) managed to flee to a safe distance, but Janice's car was crushed in such a away that she could not free herself. The vehicles' fuel tanks ignited and Janice was killed in the explosion.
Tracy was able to escape the barn fire. Sparkle Tracy Jr was eventually recovered and Janice's attorney was arrested as well.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Janice Trohs was said to be 30 years old at the time of her encounter with Dick Tracy in 1988. That would have placed her birth date circa 1958. Jerome Trohs died in 1940, so Janice would logically have had to have been born before then. This is another example of the strip's sliding timeline.
- During this storyline, Tracy and Sam have a discussion about the difference between a "dwarf" and a "midget". Tracy uses the term "midget" as if it is a scientific term for a small person with typical body proportions. However, many people consider the term "midget" to be harmful and pejorative, similar to an ethnic slur. Tracy does not seem to use the term with any malice intended.
- Janice and Daddy's relationship has many parallels to Jerome and Mamma's, including Janice's overbearing nature, Daddy's devotion to her, and her eventual abandonment of her spouse.
- Janice was shown wearing a T-shirt of the E Street Band, which is the backing group of the popular musician Bruce Springsteen.
- Janice was aware of Dick Tracy and his involvement with her parents, but she did not seek him out or specifically target his family. As a result, she does not meet the criteria of a Revenge-Seeking Relative.
- There is no connection between Janice Trohs and Doll (an associate of Diamonds) or Dolly (the wife of Haf-and-Haf).