First Appearance:

March 2nd, 1933

Appearance of Death:

April 30th, 1933

Created By:

Chester Gould

Can Be Found:

The Complete Dick Tracy Vol. 1

Della (full name unrevealed) was an African-American cook and housekeeper for Hank Steele.

Character BiographyEdit

Della was intimidated into aiding Steve the Tramp in an ambush he set for Dick Tracy. Not trusting Steve, Della fired the rifle he had given her at him, but missed. Tracy thought she was firing at him and shot back, mortally wounding her. Della was found by Steele and Tracy and taken to her bed, where she was able to explain her actions before she died.


  • Della fits the conventional stereotype of an African-American female domestic servant that was commonplace in popular culture at the time.
  • Della is the first of Tracy's "confirmed kills" where there's no doubt that Tracy was the one who killed her (his previous "confirmed kills" were fired at by more than one person besides Tracy). Ironically, this first fully confirmed kill is of an honest, law-abiding citizen, though even by today's standards, Tracy's killing of Della would be ruled a justifiable homicide. Della (aiming at Steve) fired a shot at Tracy's general direction, and Tracy, not knowing who the shooter was and thinking she was firing at him, shot back in self-defense.
  • This is the second time within the same storyline where Tracy was directly involved in the death of a law-abiding citizen. Earlier, Steve the Tramp had hijacked a truck driven by a local farmer, forcing the farmer at gunpoint to drive him and Junior to Steele's estate. Tracy and a local sheriff approached the truck, ordering the driver to halt. Steve forced the driver to speed past them. Tracy and the sheriff opened fire, at least one of their shots hitting the driver, who slumped forward onto his steering wheel. Steve exclaimed the driver was dead and the trunk crashed and burst into flames. Della and this unnamed farmer are the only people killed by Tracy who weren't criminals.

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