Rod Case

Created by John K. Butler

Hoo-boy! They sure had some peculiar occupations, those hard-boiled dicks of the pulps.

ROD CASE was–I kid you not!–a hard-nosed “special agent” for the Los Angeles-based General Pacific Telephone Company in a handful of short stories that ran in Black Mask in the early 40’s.

He was somewhat of a slacker, and cast a rather cynical eye upon the world, but he was also a stand-up guy, frequently getting into scuffles above and beyond the call of duty, often at the urging of former switchboard operator turned private secretary (and sometime-girlfriend) Blondie Malloy, a “slim blue-eyed damsel with a sensational head of hair.”


Butler is best-known, at least in our little neck of the woods, for another quasi-PI, cabbie/gumshoe Steve Midnight. But Butler also pounded out numerous stories for such pulps as Black Mask, Detective Fiction Weekly, Double Detective and especially, Dime Detective.

He was also one of the most prolific writers of B-pictures, eventually cranking out scripts for over 50 B-flicks, more than half of them westerns, many of them featuring Roy Rogers. Among his screen credits are such classics–and occasionally, alternative classics–as Drums Along the RiverMy Pal Trigger and–get this–Post Office Investigator.

In the fifties, Butler moved on to television, again favouring westerns, although he also wrote for shows like The New Adventures of Charlie Chan, The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu and 77 Sunset Strip.


  • “Death Has My Number” (August 1941, Black Mask)
  • “Murder for Nickels” (December 1941, Black Mask)
  • “Never Work at Night” (March 1942, Black Mask)
  • “Dead Letter” (September 1942, Black Mask)
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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