Leonard “Little Face” Finney (often spelled “Littleface”) was a gangster with a trademark small face compared to the size of his head. Littleface was first introduced in 1941 reprimanding (harshly) some underlings for botching a robbery. This dressing down was witnessed by a pair of window cleaners who called police and Dick Tracy joined the window cleaning clue to spy on the gang.
Littleface and his gang discovered what was going on and while a member of his gang delayed Tracy, Finney hijacked a taxi but the cab driver managed to knock him out by braking suddenly. The driver tormented Littleface by hanging his head out of the door and driving close to tree branches, scratching the gangsters face. Littleface fought free and knocked the taxi driver senseless and the vehicle crashed into a lake.
The two were rescued fromt he water by some passing boys and this is where Dick Tracy caught up to the escaping crook. Littleface grabbed a nearby police officer’s gun and took a hostage named Loma, shot a policeman and tried to car jack another vehicle.
When the driver of the car Little Face had hijacked resisted him, Little Face shot him, apparently killing the man and causing the vehicle to crash. He tied up Loma and tried to flee on a stolen bicycle. His ankle had been hurt during his escape and he couldn’t pedal, so he hopped on the back of a passing refrigerated meat truck.
Little Face hid inside the truck, not knowing that it would soon be locked from the outside. Finding himself trapped in a sub-zero freezer, Little Face covered himself in frozen cow hides to keep warm. The next morning, Little Face was discovered barely alive by two employees of the meat company. The truck driver, Charley Yonem, recognized Littleface and decided to aid him, either for a reward or potential blackmail. Charley took Littleface to his home and called a doctor, who amputated Littleface’s ears due to frostbite but was able to save the gangster’s hands. Charley’s co-worker reported the incident to the police, and Tracy investigated.
Tracy and Pat Patton found Charley’s home and monitored the comings and goings. Littleface revived and agreed to pay Charley the $10,000 he demanded for saving his life. Littleface called some of his henchmen who came disguised as rug cleaners. They paid Charley and rolled Littleface into a rug, planning to remove him from the house despite the presence of the police. Tracy became suspicious when he observed how the “cleaner” struggled under the weight of the rug.
Tracy had a police officer delay the “rug cleaner” while he obtained a box of live bees from a nearby honey farm. Tracy released the bees into one end of the rug where they began stinging Littleface, who cried out and revealed himself. Little Face was arrested (Sept. 15, 1941), as was Charley Yonem. Tracy mocked Little Face for the loss of his ears, but Littleface took responsibility for his crimes and the two men shared a handshake before Littleface was taken to jail.
Years later, Little Face was released from prison and was recruited to join the criminal cabal organized by the new Mr. Crime. This group also included Panda, B-B Eyes, Blaze Rize, Mumbles, Doubleup, Abner Kadaver and others. Little Face revealed that he had received plastic surgery while in prison that replaced his ears. However, due to the humane treatment he received from Tracy, Little Face was not inclined not to return to a life of crime. He became an informant to both Dick Tracy and the Tracy Agency, and has requested to be called by his given first name “Leonard”.
He agreed to take part in Mr. Crime’s confidence scheme against Cassie Ette (in which he would pose as a producer), but eventually he tried to warn her that she was in danger. Leonard aided the police during their raid on the Panda Talent Agency, confronting Mumbles and protecting the injured Lizz. He emerged from the raid unharmed.