Emil Trueheart was the owner of a delicatessen and the father of Tess Trueheart. He, Tess and his wife lived in an apartment above the delicatessen and when Dick Tracy came calling he greeted the young man warmly. The year was 1931 and Emil kept his money in a safe on the premises which was being watched by mobsters, one by the name of Crutch who worked for the boss, Big Boy.
Crutch and his partner burst in on the Truehearts and Dick, demanding the safe combination. Emil tried to fight back and Crutch shot him. As he lay dying, Emil revealed the combination and the murderers escaped with the bank cash and Tess Trueheart. Dick tried to stop them at the door but they knocked him out with a blow to the head.
When Tracy awoke, detectives, including Chief Brandon were on the scene and murder of Emil and the kidnapping of Tess was the catalyst for Dick Tracy to join Brandon’s Plainclothes squad, vowing, “Over the body of your father Tess, I swear I will find you and avenge this thing, I swear it”.