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Selbert DePool ("Looped" spelled backwards) was a brute with dark circles around his eyes and a history of mental instability.

Family Business[]

He was first seen murdering his uncle Angus DePool, who was a wealthy financier. Selbert killed Angus while Angus was sealed in a steam bath cabinet. Using his remarkable strength, Selbert bashed Angus in the head and pushed over the cabinet, knocking Angus' head on a water pipe and killing him. Selbert then fled to the home his Aunt, Angus' wife, who welcomed him.

Dick Tracy had recently made Angus DePool's acquaintance while Tracy was at the health spa recovering from a cold he'd caught during the Krome case. He was called in to investigate DePool's murder, and discovered a sweater that Selbert had left at the health spa with his initials "S.D." monogrammed on it.

It was soon revealed that Selbert had recently escaped from a mental hospital where his uncle had had him committed. Selbert claimed that he was sane, and the whole affair was simply Angus attempting to seize control of his brother's (Selbert's father's) fortune. The situation at Mrs. DePool's home was further complicated by the presence of Myrna, Mrs. DePool's granddaughter. Myrna's parents (Selbert's cousins) had died some time before in a car accident, leaving the Widow DePool, Selbert, and Myrna the only claimants to the DePool fortune.

Hiding Out[]

Mrs. DePool was helping protect Selbert because she was grateful that he had killed her husband, who she claimed had been cruel and manipulative. She hid Selbert in her home, lied to the police, and destroyed the sweater that Tracy had found. She kept Selbert's presence a secret even from Myrna. She had her nephew hide under a false bottom in a cistern in the basement which she filled with water using an automatic pump and drain.

Myrna began to suspect that something was suspicious in the house, and Selbert became determined to eliminate her. When Selbert revealed himself to Myna and she threatened to call the police, he sealed her under the cistern. When Mrs. DePool discovered this, she shot Selbert and freed Myrna.

The wound was not serious, and Mrs. DePool enlisted Myrna's help in treating Selbert. Myrna's nerves were shattered, and she called her boyfriend Revol ("Lover" spelled backwards), not knowing that Mrs. DePool had rigged the doorbell to prick anyone who pressed it with a poison needle. Tracy had been monitoring the DePool house and took Revol to a hospital when he collapsed after ringing the bell. When Tracy returned to the house, he was ambushed by Selbert, who knocked him unconscious and sealed him in the cistern.

Myrna, unable to stand any more, fled the house. Selbert poisoned his aunt, stole the money she had stashed away and set the house on fire. Ironically, Tracy was protected from the blaze by being in the cistern, and was freed when some men working on an underground telephone line heard him banging on the walls. Mrs. DePool died in the fire.

On the Run[]

Taking his stolen fortune, Selbert fled to the edge of town. On an impulse, he purchased a tavern and took over as manager. He dyed his hair black and grew a thin moustache. One of his servers, Clara, became suspicious, and when Selbert asked her to dispose of his old clothes in the incinerator, she discovered his asylum-issued shoes. She planned to take them to the police, but Selbert hid in her car and forced her at gunpoint to drive it into a reservoir as he watched. Clara drowned.


While Selbert returned to his business, Tracy and Pat were called in to investigate the car's sinking. They identified Clara and went to her place of employment. They arrived just as Selbert was making his getaway. They gave chase, but were blocked by a community Mardi Gras parade. Selbert hid inside a float with a tall top and fired a shot which hit Tracy in the hip. Tracy was rushed to the hospital.

Selbert turned his gun on the two drivers of the float, telling them to drive to the parade's end, where he could lose himself in the crowd. The drivers surprised Selbert by turning the float suddenly into an viaduct, bashing the upper portion into the overpass. The float crumpled in the collision and crashed to the street. The impact killed Selbert.

Tracy recovered from being shot by Selbert, aided by a blood donation from the diminutive Constable Ferret.


  • Creator Chester Gould had the habit of abruptly writing characters out of stories, and this was the case with Selbert. After Selbert's death, he was not mentioned again and the storyline changed to focus on Tracy's interaction with Ferret and his family.