First Appearance: 1936-09-21
The Purple Cross Gang was a group of bank robbers who had purple crosses tattooed on their tongues. Led by the man known as the Purple Cross Gang Boss, they simultaneously robbed banks in several towns before police had time to react.
Dick Tracy had been on the gang's trail ever since he had unwittingly arrested one of their members. He suspected a man by the name of Maylie to be one of them, and went to an ex-politician and associate of Maylie's named Shirtsleeve Kelton to find him. Shirtsleeve agreed to tell Tracy anything he found out and as the case progressed, he continued to give Tracy whereabouts of the gang which always proved to be faulty.
Meanwhile, the gang was disputing over how to share the money ever since Baldy Stark had left the gang to go straight without taking his share. The gang forced the boss to agree to an even split, but fearing that the gang was about to be taken over by the traitorous Maylie, the boss later caught his own gang off guard and mowed them down with a machine gun.
The boss then went after Baldy at Baldy's home. When the boss arrived Baldy turned out the lights and managed to shoot and kill the boss when he accidentally knocked the refrigerator open in the darkness. The leader of the Purple Corss Gang was then exposed to be Shirtsleeve Kelton himself.
Baldy was arrested and was about to be sentenced to death when Tracy testified on his behalf, reducing Baldy's sentence to twenty years in prison.