Charlie Pilfa

First Appearance:

November 17th, 1951

Known Relatives:

Mrs. Pilfa, Wife
Ginny Pilfa, Daughter

Known Associates:

Spinner ReCord

Appearance of Death:

December 2nd, 1951

Created By:

Chester Gould

Can Be Found:

The Complete Dick Tracy Vol. 14

Charlie Pilfa was the custodian of the police evidence system in Dick Tracy's city. He and his associate Spinner ReCord committed multiple acts of fraud and theft against the evidence system. He was a dark-haired man, who often had bags under his eyes.

The Record ConnectionEdit

In his capacity as police custodian, Charlie became aware of several thousand dollars worth of unclaimed evidence from a major criminal case. He recruited local record store owner Spinner ReCord to pose as the money's rightful owner, and the two men split the ill-gotten funds. After this successful ruse, the two men engaged in several other petty frauds, using the cover story that Charlie was an avid record collector to explain their relationship.

In actuality, Charlie did not own a record player or any records, and he would not allow his daughter Ginny to keep records in their home. This inconsistency would later prove to be a key piece of evidence against him.

After several years of minor schemes, Charlie conceived of a large-scale plot to remove $400,000 worth of money and jewels from the police evidence vault and frame the theft on Dick Tracy. Record agreed to keep the stolen goods in his store, surreptitiously recording their conversation to use as blackmail against Charlie.

Framing TracyEdit

When Tracy was given the chance to clear his name before being charged in the evidence vault theft, Charlie initially cooperated with the investigation. However, when Tracy began to uncover the scheme, Charlie became nervous. He went to ReCord's store to make sure that their stories were straight, but he showed signs of weakness and guilt. ReCord, unwilling to be implicated along with Charlie, shot and killed him. ReCord then engaged in an elaborate ruse to dispose of Charlie's body.

Charlie's body was eventually found, as was the recording that Spinner had made of their conversation. Tracy was exonerated and ReCord was arrested for several crimes, including murder.


  • PilfaRG
    It was not established if Charlie was a police officer, or a civilian working for the department.
  • Though his name was stated early in the storyline, for most of his appearances, Charlie was addressed and referred to only as "Police Custodian". His wife was addressed as "Mrs. Custodian".
  • Charlie's last name of Pilfa (a play on the word "pilfer") was not established until a Rogues' Gallery entry about him that appeared many years after the original storyline.

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