Howard the Duck

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Eyewitness illustration of Howard (right) and Beverly Switzler (left).

Howard Mayerik Peck (January 10, 1876 – August 1, 1936), better known as Howard the Duck, was an American duck ganglord and leader of the Dark Overlord Mob in 1920s Cleveland, Ohio. Many rival gangmembers likened him to "a feathered, ill-tempered, unflappable Al Capone".

Early life[edit]

Howard grew up on the Animal Farm in St. Canard, Calisota, secretly bribing the Farmer (who was in fact a puppet-ruler) and keeping a large percent of the profit. When Thog the Nether-Spawn led a revolution against the Farmer, Howard secretly left Calisota and travelled around America for protection.

Starting a Power Base[edit]

Howard began life outside Calisota as a bartender in Cleveland, Ohio, accepting tips and bribes from drunks. The barflies wanted their drinks spiced up, and Howard did so with arsenic and cherry syrup, nicknaming his drinks "Cherry Bombs". Once the drunks had collapsed dead in the street, Howard would steal all valuables from their bodies and dump the remains in a nearby river or sparse woodland.

Howard openly boasted about his early murders to other gangmembers, and claimed that he could make a total $5,000 in one week of murdering drunks instead of earning it with one year's work in the bar.

Entering the Mafia[edit]

The only known photo of Phil Blumburtt, from c. 1925.

With so much talent, Howard was later spotted by Phil Blumburtt, leader of the Dark Overlord Mob. Eventually, Howard joined the gang in 1923, and shared Phil's liking for cigars.

The Dark Overlords later formed a plan to pose as "protectors" to Southern Belle blues singer Beverly Switzler, in the hope that she would later leave her vast wealth to them in her will. In his greedy mind, Howard plotted to kill Phil and the rest of the Mob so all profits would go to him alone. Using his Cherry Bomb cocktails, Howard disposed of gangmates Donny "Zippy" Adams and Christopher "Softie" Westley. The gang immediately suspected one another and went their separate ways.

The St. Valentine's Day Massacre[edit]

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Still eager to get his money, Howard continued to woo Switzler and even proposed to her. However, on Valentine's Day of 1936, Howard killed Beverly by having her consume a Cherry Bomb, and left with all of her valuables. The sum of value for the stolen artifacts totalled to $36,000,000.

Charlie "Chuckles" Parson, a former member of the Dark Overlord Mob, saw Howard attempting to escape, and was killed by Howard with the help of a Cherry Bomb, which quite literally blew Chuckles's brains out. The body was later found by passing cops investigating the disturbance at Switzler's home. The feathers left around the corpse led to the police concluding that Howard was responsible.

En route to Michigan, Howard killed two police officers, three protestors, and one traffic warden. His reckless slaughter would be known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and such actions would later inspire other gangmembers to commit mass slaughters on public holidays.

Capture[edit]

Howard hid low for a while, going by the alias of Dougal Duck and claiming to be an obscure relative of Donald Duck. With his newfound wealth, Howard set up stock shares for himself in an effort to compete with Scrooge McDuck. However, upon meeting Scrooge at the Detroit Stock Exchange, Howard was immediately recognized and imprisoned, with the $38,000,000 reward for his capture going entirely to Scrooge.

Howard was taken to court over twenty counts of murder, nine counts of rape (all charged by the estate of Beverly Switzler), three counts of reckless driving, two counts of publicly consuming alcohol, and one count of jaywalking. All but the rape charges were held against Howard, when the coroner found biological evidence that suggested Beverly had given consent to sex with Howard. With Judge Hiram "Don't Gimme No" Balogna presiding over the trial, Howard was sentenced to death by electrocution. Howard's last words in court were: "You like yer duck extra crispy, Judge?"

Death[edit]

Howard as he is depicted in the 1986 movie by Donald Duck.

Howard was executed by electric chair on August 1, 1936. His remains were eaten as a duck-dinner by the relatives of those murdered by him, and the leftovers were fed to the Judge. As for the bones, they were buried in a cardboard box in Death Valley, thus ending the reign of Howard the Duck.

Howard's life story would later be told in Howard the Duck, a 1986 crime-thriller by George Lucas, starring Donald Duck as Howard. The movie is only loosely based on the true events, because all scriptwriters are compulsive liars.

See also[edit]