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Gray Seal

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The Gray Seal
GraySeal1

Real Name

Jimmie Dale

First Appearance

People's Magazine (May 1914)

Created by

Frank Lucius Packard

Origin

Jimmie Dale was a master safe cracker who was wealthy, but committed crimes for the thrill. Jimmie's father owned a company which produced safes and other locks, giving Jimmie a great familiarity with safecracking at a young age. He never actually stole anything, but broke into homes, stores, and public buildings at night, leaving behind a gray diamond paper seal. Unfortunately, he was discovered one night, while breaking into Marx’s jewelry store, and he accidentally stole a pearl necklace in his hurried escape. The unidentified witness. known as the Woman in Black, black mailed Dale into working for her, and set him against the Underworld of New York City. The woman, calling herself the Tocsin in letters sent to Dale to inform him of what actions he ought to take to stop different crimes.

Dale discovered that an organization called the Crime Club was controlling New York, and he dealt with the members, one by one, simultaneously looking for the Woman in Black. Eventually he discovered that his mysterious black mailer was a beautiful young woman named Marie LaSalle, who had infiltrated the underworld herself as "Silver Mag." After finishing off the Crime Club, Jimmie and Marie developed a relationship.

Dale wore a gray suit and hat, a black silk mask and a "wide leather belt filled with small pockets,” and each pocket filled with the tools he needed. He frequently carried a gun, but rarely shot anyone and never killed anyone. He disliked violence and preferred to lead his opponents to their doom through more cunning and sophisticated manipulations.

Dale was about six feet tall, muscular and clean shaven, with dark eyes. He was a skilled cracksman, mechanic and painter. He was also a master of disguise and a good actor. His altenate identities included, Larry the Bat, and Smarlinghue, a junkie artist. His hideout was called the Sanctuary, and he was attended by his butler Jason, and his tough and devoted chauffeur, Benson. The Sanctuary was later burned down by the Crime Club.

Public Domain Literary Appearances

  • The Adventures of Jimmie Dale
  • The Further Adventures of Jimmie Dale
  • Jimmie Dale and the Phantom Clue

Public Domain Film Appearances

  • Jimmy Dale Alias the Grey Seal

Notes

  • The Gray Seal was possibly the first character to leave signature trinkets at the scene of a crime.
  • The Gray Seal, a masked man who posed as a criminal to learn about his enemies, may have been an inspiration for The Green Hornet.

See Also

Wikipedia

IMDB

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