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Kasper Hackett
Hackett
Kasper Hackett (left)
with Tess Tracy (right)

First Appearance:

September 5th, 1982

Created By:

Max Allan Collins &
Rick Fletcher

Kasper Hackett was a successful author, primarily of celebrity biographies. He was notorious for writing tell-all books that revealed secret and potentially libelous information about deceased public figures.

Hackett was a slender man with thin, light-colored hair. He typically wore eyeglasses.

The Dick Tracy Story

Hackett approached Dick Tracy about writing the story of Tracy’s life and career. Tracy resisted the idea, but Tess convinced him to meet with Hackett. When Hackett came to the Tracy home and stated his intention to focus of the grisly, violent elements of Tracy’s life story, Dick and Tess soured on the idea and told Hackett that they weren’t interested.

Later, Hackett approached Tracy's former partner Police Chief Pat Patton with a similar offer, after Patton announced his intention to retire. Tracy tried to warn Patton about Hackett’s unscrupulous nature, but Patton saw a book as an opportunity to expose corruption in the city's police force and government.

Hackett conducted several interviews with Patton, in which described the influence of organized crime in the police department and District Attorney’s office. Hackett was much more interested in getting Patton to talk about his experiences with Dick Tracy. Eventually, Patton learned that the book was to be titled “The Dick Tracy Story” and he realized that Hackett had misled him. The two men had a violent argument at Patton’s home and both men left angrily.

Who Shot Pat Patton

That night, Chief Patton disappeared. He was later found shot but alive, and Tracy became determined to find Patton’s assailant. Hackett, believed to be the last person who had seen Patton, became a prime suspect.

Tracy’s efforts were thwarted by Deputy Chief Climer, who was named Interim Chief while Patton was recovering. Climer (who was the guilty party on Patton’s shooting) had brought in his associate, the British so-called psychic Astral Turf, to “aid” in the investigation. Climer and Turf conspired to frame and murder Hackett.

Hackett02
Astral Turf surprised Hackett in the hotel at which he was staying. She subdued him, forged a suicide note/confession, and burned the notes and recordings Hackett had made of his interviews with Patton. She then turned on the gas stove and left, believing that Hackett would suffocate in the gas-filled room (January 21st, 1983).

Turf then led Tracy to the hotel where her “psychic” abilities told her they would find Hackett’s body. However, Hackett had not yet died, and Tracy was able to revive him. Hackett declared that he could not identify who had assaulted him, but he was certain that he had not typed the suicide note that was in his typewriter. Tracy found a clue in the note that led him to suspect Astral Turf, and she confessed. Climer was later killed himself while attempting to murder Dick Tracy.

Hackett was apparently unable to complete his book. It is not established if he was involved with the feature film also called The Dick Tracy Story.

Notes

  • The name "Kasper Hackett" draws its inspiration from the cartoon character Casper the Friendly Ghost (as Hackett was referred to as a "ghost writer") and the term "hack", which is a derogatory term often applied to unscrupulous or lazy writers and other people in creative fields who steal material, employ tired or worn-out techniques, or generally display a lack of respect for their craft or audience.

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