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Mr. Herdins (first name unrevealed) was a research scientist/engineer at the Argonne National Laboratory. He had light hair that he wore in a crew cut. He had light eyes and typically wore eyeglasses.

Mr. Herdins had been involved with the development of an experimental laser weapon. Unbeknownst to him, his secretary Marrg Plainsman was engaged in a number of criminal activities. At the behest of Piggy Butcher, Plainsman stole the laser weapon from the Laboratory's vault.

After the weapon discharged accidentally on a city street (killing four people), Dick Tracy contacted the National Laboratory and was put in touch with Mr. Herdins. Herdins believed that the only working prototypes of the weapon had been safely locked in the laboratory's vault for the past six months. Upon investigation, Herdins was surprised to discover that one of the weapons had been replaced with a wooden replica.

Around this time, Marrg Plainsman's murdered body was discovered, along with an audio recording she had made of her final confrontation with Piggy Butcher. Hearing the recording, Herdins was shocked and dismayed to learn that Plainsman had a low opinion of him, considering him to be dim-witted and easily fooled. Herdins asked Dick Tracy not to release the transcripts of the conversation to the newspapers, but Tracy refused.

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