War on Crime was conceived, at least in part, by none other than FBI director Edgar J. Hoover, who intended it as a public relations exercise. It was designed to counteract the current portrayals of G-men as lone mavericks. Instead, the strip showed the FBI as a formidable and well-oiled organization that was under the direct control of the director.
The strip launched on May 18, 1936 appearing in 45 newspapers. It was written by crime reporter Rex Collier, who was a personal friend of Hoover. The illustrations were initially provided by Kemp Sterrett who after a year was replaced by Jimmy Thompson.
All the stories featured in the War on Crime were real-life cases, and personally vetted by Hoover. The strip chronicled the demise of such infamous characters as: Ma Barker, Baby Face Nelson and John Dillinger. They all met their ends due to the expertise and scientific methodology used throughout the FBI. Well, that is the way War on Crime told the stories!
The strip finished its run on January 22, 1938. This was partly due to the fact that real-life material was running thin. The other reason cited is that the general public much preferred their crime-busters to be daredevil heroes who cut through red-tape. This fact still holds good!
A1 36 Urshel Kidnapping Case
B1 30 Pretty Boy Floyd
C1 78 Dillinger
D1 108 Barker Brothers
E1 60 Weyerhauser Kidnapping
F1 42 Million Dollar Robbery
G1 42 Harry Brunette
H1 48 Glen Applegate Robert Suhay
J1 66 Tri State Gang