skjam: (gasgun)
[personal profile] skjam posting in [community profile] scans_daily
While the advent of the Comics Code neutered the crime comics sub-genre, it didn't completely kill it. Here's a bit from Gang Busters #60, published in 1957.

In contrast to "Crime Does Not Pay" (see my post a couple of months ago), the stories are entirely fictional, concentrate on crimes other than murder, and focus on the law enforcement officers outwitting clever criminals, rather than on successful criminals who make a fatal mistake.

Two pages of a six-page story, plus a public service announcement.

The story opens on March 20th, "a year ago" with three men breaking into the office of an insurance company and robbing the safe without the use of tools or explosives.

The next morning, in Epperton State Prison, convict Vernon Mayberry gloats in a thought balloon. He works in an area where the prisoners make clothing for charity organizations, and a fellow worker gossips with him about the safe job. Mayberry quotes the newspaper article's exact figure of the money stolen. But of course, he couldn't have done it, because he's behind bars.

However, it turns out that the gossiper is in fact Detective Sergeant Allen Hayes, planted in the prison to check up on Mayberry.

Backstory: Three months before, a safecracker went on a looting spree, and the press labeled him "The Safe-Man". The Safe-Man didn't match the modus operandi of any known safecracker, and never used explosives or tools on the safes, apparently being an uncanny expert with super-sensitive fingers.

Then an alert patrolman spotted someone leaving a ticket broker's office in the wee hours of the morning. This person, Vernon Mayberry, happened to be carrying a satchel stuffed with money, and the broker's safe was empty, with no sign of tools or explosives being used. The police were sure they'd caught the Safe-Man. But Mayberry refused to talk, and was convicted only of the one robbery the prosecutor could prove he did.

But a month after Mayberry was sent to prison, suddenly new Safe-Man jobs were being pulled. Detective Hayes was planted, but hasn't been able to prove a connection between Mayberry and the new crimes. But the warden gets a new visitor while talking to Hayes.

Detective Hayes follows the truck in a car that had been concealed nearby, and once the gang brings out their list of safe locations, confronts them. Just as the stunned criminals recover enough to start fighting back, the rest of the police come in, having followed Hayes' trail. Hayes then shows how the stiching of the coat's sleeve has "forward" and "back" stiches that give the combination. Another case closed!

And now, as we're coming up to the time many people start planning their summer vacation, a word from the family pet.

Happy Easter to those that celebrate, and a pleasant weekend to everyone else!

Your thoughts and comments?

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