Dick Tracy Wiki

V.H. Hess was one of two subordinates of Splitscreen who assisted him in his video piracy scheme. Hess was thin, with dark hair, and he wore eyeglasses.

Video Pirate[]

Hess, along with Maxie Beta, would acquire prints of popular newly-released films, either by bribing or threatening projectionists, delivery men and film lab technicians. These prints would be used to create unauthorized video copies which would then be sold on the black market.

Hess and Beta met with Frankie Sprocket, a young projectionist at a local movie theater and obtained a copy of the film Pirate Girl starring B.U. Tiffil. When the two men returned the film, Sprocket stated his desire to sever connections with Splitscreen's operation. When Splitscreen learned of this, he sent Hess and Beta to assault Sprocket, intending to scare the young man into cooperating.

When Sprocket was released from the hospital, he agreed to supply Hess and Beta with a print of Grease 2. When the two men had the film in their possession, they were tracked back to Splitscreen's storefront by Dick Tracy and FBI Agent Jim Trailer, whom Frankie had been working with to dismantle Splitscreen's operation.

Capture and Arrest[]

During the commotion between Splitscreen and Auntie Freedom, Hess and Beta attempted to escape. They argued about whether to take the illegally obtained film print with them, Hess saying that it should be left behind. The matter proved to be moot, though, as the two men were arrested by Sam Catchem before they could leave the building.


  • The name V.H. Hess is a play on VHS, which was a highly popular home video format.