The title of prog 60's Dredd story was, appropriately enough, Firebug. Again by Wagner and McMahon it opened with a stratoscraper going up in flames, the tenth to be destroyed by a serial arsonist. By contemporary Dredd story standards the deathtoll was light, 713 dead. Of course as always for Dredd that was 713 too many. With no clues to the arsonist's identity or any idea where he would strike next Dredd was in a bad mood. So Walter picking the same frustrating day Dredd had just spent sifting through the rubble of the firebug's latest target was a definite great moment in bad timing. Though it did give Dredd an inspiration.
Sure enough checking records Dredd discovered all the building were owned by a citizen Chuck McCracken. Some digging by the Accountancy division turned up that McCracken's company was in trouble. Or at least had been before he received the insurance on his burned buildings. Figuring that McCracken didn't dare hire anyone to do this job for fear of them talking and must be setting the fires himself Dredd brought him in for questioning. Mega City One style. Citizen McCracken was more than a little surprised when, on answering a judical summons to the Grand Hall of Justice, Dredd invoked the Reasonable Grounds of Suspicion Act of 2086 to have all Chuck's skin peeled off to be tested for fire accelerant chemicals. Sure enough traces were found and McCracken was sent away. Dredd returned home on the Chief Judge's advice to get some much needed rest. Where he found a definite surprise waiting for him.
Sadly Walter's happiness was shortlived. The following issue was the prologue to the Cursed Earth. Next week, in Prog 62, Dredd set off on his epic adventure. Left behind to languish in Mega City One the Nerve Center for Prog 62 included this note from Walter.
After Dredd's return to Mega City One the dynamic duo only got a short reunion. First Dredd was framed for murder and sentanced to Titan. After escaping from the shuttle and proving his innocence Walter was parted from his beloved master by a near fatal assassination attempt. An attempt made by one of Deputy Chief Judge Cal's SJS Judges. Though parted at the start of Judge Cal's coup Walter found himself crucial to Dredd's rebellion against the insane Chief Judge. But that's another story which you'll find on the Walter the Hewo page.