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Nifty Wreath was a professional gambler who lived in Dick Tracy's city. He had light hair, dark eyebrows, and pointed features.

Nifty was married to Myrtle, and they had a son named Johnny. Nifty's gambling bothered Myrtle and she separated from him, taking Johnny with her. This annoyed Nifty, who believed that he was unfairly kept from seeing his son.

Kidnapping Johnny[]

When Myrtle placed Johnny into the free day-care center offered by Mrs. Potter (while Myrtle worked as a truck driver), Nifty saw his opportunity. He assaulted the maid working at Mrs. Potter's establishment and abducted Johnny.

Nifty fled with Johnny, but was startled by a passing police car. He placed Johnny on the back of a parked truck, which then drove away. A police search for Johnny then began.

After a series of misadventures, Nifty was captured by police and Johnny was rescued from the snowstorm in which he'd gotten lost. Johnny was seriously ill with fever, but he recovered. The near-loss of his his son prompted Nifty to resolve to change his ways. He reconciled with Myrtle. Tracy and Chief Brandon made arrangements with the State's Attorney to have Nifty placed on probation rather than face more serious charges for his crimes.

Notes[]

  • It was implied that many of the women who left their children at Mrs. Potter's home were working jobs that had been vacated by men serving in the military, or were working to support themselves while their husbands were in the service. It was not explicitly stated why Nifty was not in the service at the time.
  • Tracy's arrangement with the State's Attorney to have Nifty placed on probation seems excessively light considering the nature of Nifty's crimes. In addition to kidnapping Johnny, he also assaulted Mrs. Potter's maid, menaced several people at gunpoint, and assaulted a US mail carrier (which would seem to have been a federal offense).
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