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Retsen Nester was the head of a drug smuggling ring in Dick Tracy's city. He was slender and bald, and wore prescription eyeglasses.

Sometime prior to 1971, Nester had killed the narcotics agent Jay Waljo and dumped the body (and Waljo's car) in a flooded rock quarry. Waljo's remains were later discovered, along with evidence that linked Nester to the murder. Tracy confronted Nester at Nester's home and arrested him.

While Nester was in custody, the police found a large quantity of evidence of Nester's criminal activities hidden at his home. In jail, Nester swallowed a poison capsule that he kept hidden in his wristwatch and died.


  • The name "Retsen Nester" is a palindrome, spelling the same thing backwards and forwards. Any other significance to the name is unclear. Dick Tracy and the police expressed the belief that it was an alias, but this was not confirmed.
  • Tracy speculated that Nester was "one of the giggly apparatus". Earlier in the year, Tracy had encountered the Giggly Triplets, who some readers believe were coded as homosexual. Additionally, no explicit connection between Nester and the criminal organization known as The Apparatus was established, but it is not unlikely.