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Maxie Beta

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Maxie Beta
MaxieVH
Maxie Beta (foreground), with V.H. Hess (behind).

First Appearance:

May 15th, 1982

Known Associates:

Splitscreen
V.H. Hess

Created By:

Max Allan Collins &
Rick Fletcher

Maxie Beta was one of two subordinates of Splitscreen who assisted him in his video piracy scheme. Beta was heavyset and balding, with a bushy moustache.

The Face of Video Piracy

Beta, along with V.H. Hess, would acquire prints of popular newly-released films, either by bribing or threatening projectionists, delivery men, and film lab technicians. These prints would be used to create unauthorized video copies which would then be sold on the black market.

Beta and Hess met with Frankie Sprocket, a young projectionist at a local movie theater and obtained a copy of the film Pirate Girl starring B.U. Tiffil. When the 2 men returned the film, Sprocket stated his desire to sever commections with Splitscreen's operation. When Splitscreen learned of this, he sent Beta and Hess to assault Sprocket, intending to scare the young man into cooperating.

When Sprocket was released from the hospital, he agreed to supply Beta and Hess with a print of Grease 2. When the two men had the film in their possession, they were tracked back to Splitscreen's storefront by Dick Tracy and FBI Agent Jim Trailer, with whom Frankie had been working in order to dismantle Splitscreen's operation.

Capture and Arrest

During the commotion between Splitscreen and Auntie Freedom, Beta and Hess attempted to escape. They argued about whether to take the illegally obtained film print with them, Beta claiming that it should be sold or otherwise disposed of, as its presence would result in more serious criminal charges if they were caught with it in their possession. The matter proved to be moot, though, as the two men were arrested by Sam Catchem before they could leave the building.

Notes

  • The name Maxie Beta is a play on Betamax, an obsolete home video format.

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