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The woman known as the "Mistress of Death" was a "lecturer" who advocated a hedonistic, pseudo-religious worldview. She acquired money in the form of donations from her followers. She was thin, with dark hair, pointed features, and a heavily-lined face.

The Mistress of Death espoused a philosophy that "Life is short..do what you want". This appealed to many people in Dick Tracy's city (including a large number of youths) and she gained a sizable following. This caused concern among the local religious community, as well as an increase in petty crimes including theft and vandalism. Dick Tracy decided to investigate her.

The Mistress of Death hid the money she had obtained from her followers in an abandoned church, to avoid paying taxes on it. When three of her underlings attempted to rob her, she killed them and burned their bodies in the church. The victims were briefly mistaken for the Mistress and her two adult children, allowing the Mistress and her children to go into hiding.

After wrongfully suspecting a local Reverend of killing the Mistress of Death, Dick Tracy entered a church where he encountered the Mistress' daughter (who had embraced traditional religion). The Mistress fled to Morona Beach, Florida where she reinvented herself as a "Mistress of Faith". She and her son held a tent revival meeting as a new money-making scheme. Tracy and Sam Catchem pursued her, but before they could arrest her, she was electrocuted by a bolt of lightning that struck a metal tent pole that she was holding.

The Mistress' son fled, but Tracy was confident that he would be caught.

Notes[]

  • This Mistress of Death addressed her subordinates by insulting nicknames (i.e. "Crudhead"). These nicknames would not seem to be official aliases. Tracy was later provided with their real names, but in print too small for readers to discern.
  • MODdeath

    The Mistress' death

    While the Mistress of Death may be considered a Con Artist, readers may note that she did not obtain any of her donations under false pretenses. Whether she personally believed any of the philosophies that she espoused is subject to interpretation. 
  • The conclusion of the Mistress of Death storyline coincided with the terrorist attacks on the United States of September 11th, 2001. In a later strip, Tracy would say that he was working on the case of Snails at the time of the attacks.
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