Krome (full name unrevealed) was a killer for hire who operated the criminal organization known as Crime Inc. He was a polite, handsome fellow with dark hair that he typically wore slicked back, and a short handlebar moustache.
Crime Inc.[edit | edit source]
Kitty had a pang of conscience and she tracked Krome and Lowse to the site of their most recent murder attempt, determined not to allow them to kill again.
Krome had rigged a toy train to set off a nitro glycerin bomb when it ran out of steam, killing his target who was tied up in the same basement room. The victim had managed to kick open an electrical box, causing a loss of power in the building which attracted police attention.
Dick Tracy, who had been investigating Krome's murders, arrived on the scene and discovered the nitro glycerin. Tracy and Pat Patton were ambushed by Krome and Lowse, who had stayed in the area to observe their own handiwork. All four men were surprised by the arrival of Kitty, who shot Krome and Lowse. The gunshots caused Tracy to throw the nitro bomb, which collapsed part of the building onto Lowse. Krome and Kitty escaped in the confusion, fleeing in a taxicab.
Kitty's gunshot had wounded Krome's arm, and she told him that she intended to kill him. Krome wept and begged for mercy, which Kitty found to be ironic. Kitty took Krome to her apartment, where he was able to overpower her. Krome electrocuted Kitty in her electric hair dryer (January 19th, 1941), leaving the scene to look like an accident.
Krome on the Run[edit | edit source]
Krome fled into the city and kidnapped a radio operator named Jim, forcing him to drive Krome to the country where he could seek medical attention for his wounded arm.
Jim had secretly recorded his conversation with Krome, which his partner found and played for Dick Tracy, who pursued with Pat Patton. Krome and his hostage were caught in a blizzard, and Jim used his equipment to call for help. When he radioed the State Police and told them that Krome was with him, the criminal knocked the man unconscious and fled into the snow.
Krome found the house of Doc Codd, the doctor he was seeking. At the same time, Tracy and Pat found the abandoned car with the unconscious radio operator still alive inside. Krome was told that his arm was gangrenous and would have to amputated. With the hulking, deformed nurse Mina administering anesthetic, the doctor removed Krome's arm. After his patient revived, Doc Codd arranged to have Krome taken back into the city by a passing snowplow driver.
Shortly thereafter, Tracy and Pat happened upon the doctor's home with the half-frozen radio operator. Codd treated Jim, but Tracy found evidence that Krome had been there and placed Doc Codd under arrest. Tracy called the local sheriff to watch Codd while he and Pat pursued Krome.
The snowplow driver who was transporting Krome came across Tracy's snowed-in car and found the "wanted" picture of Krome. He took it with him and Krome discovered it in the driver's pocket. Holding the driver at gunpoint, Krome demanded they make better time to the city.
Krome ordered the snowplow driver to lift the plow and drive over a frozen river, believing that it would speed the journey. The truck crashed though the ice. Krome managed to crawl out quickly and took shelter under a snowdrift while Tracy, Pat and some others rescued the driver of the snowplow. Krome, weak from the drastic operation and exposure to the frigid river water, froze to death with his gun just out of reach (February 19th, 1941).
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Krome's scheme of using toys to commit murders is similar to the modus operandi of the DC Comics supervillain Toyman (a frequent foe of Superman), through Krome pre-dates him by several years.
- "Crime, Inc." was modeled on the real-life "Murder, Inc.", the "enforcement" branch of the Mob, operating under Lepke Buchalter, and later under Albert Anastasia, and the dates during which the story appeared roughly coincide with the highly-publicized 1940 trial of Murder, Inc. hit men Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss and Martin "Buggsy" Goldstein. Since Murder, Inc. was a subsidiary of the real-life Mafia, it's reasonable to infer that Crime, Inc. was either a subsidiary of - or another way of referring to - the Mafia's Dick Tracy counterpart, The Apparatus.
- "Crime, Inc." was also the name of the organization Tracy contended with in the 1941 Republic movie serial Dick Tracy vs. Crime, Inc., starring Ralph Byrd, but nothing else of the original story was used in that film.