Real Name: Ricky Stone

Identity/Class: Human (1950s era)

Occupation: Hobo (i.e. unemployed)

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Doc Carter, Lucy Stone, unidentified drunken man, vampire bulls

Known Relatives: Lucy Stone (wife)

Aliases: "The Man Who Cried Vampire" (in story title)

Base of Operations: Lucy's ranch, somewhere in the western United States;
   originally from Chicago, Illinois

First Appearance: Strange Tales I#21/1 (August, 1953)

Powers/Abilities: Armed with a knife, Ricky Stone was a greedy and amoral man who was willing to commit murder.

Stone only married the wealthy Lucy so he would inherit her money and ranch after he arranged for her death, but his scheme didn't work out as planned...

Height: 5' 10" (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black

(Strange Tales I#21/1 (fb)) - The past of Ricky Stone is largely unrevealed, but he was a penniless vagrant in Chicago. Reduced to searching garbage cans in an alleyway for his next meal, Stone was determined to change his lot in life--all he needed was some money, and he didn't care how he got it. When a drunken man came staggering down the alley, Stone grabbed him and pulled out his knife--he only intended to scare the drunk, but when the man began to yell for help, the panicking Stone stabbed him in the back and killed him. After frisking the dead body, Stone found a wallet and ran--although he didn't mean to kill the drunk, he figured the police would never believe him, so he decided to leave Chicago.

   Stone hopped a freight train headed west, riding under one of the boxcars. When the train reached its destination, some railroad workers discovered Stone and beat him with clubs to "collect the fare" for his ride; the dazed Stone was left laying in the hot sun on the side of the tracks.

   But Stone was eventually found by Lucy as she was driving by--she felt pity for him, so she helped him into her station wagon and drove him to her ranch to recuperate. As he reclined in a chair and rested, Stone found Lucy's large ranch house to be "real classy"...  although when he glanced at a bookcase and noticed her choice of reading material (books concerning vampires and occultism (see comments)), he figured the "old dame" was "batty".

   A few days later, after he got better, Stone learned how rich Lucy was when she showed him her expansive ranch and the fine herd of cattle she owned; he also learned that Lucy was a lonely woman, so Stone proposed to her because he was deeply in love... with her money!

   And so Ricky and Lucy were married--but even during the wedding ceremony, he was already plotting to arrange her death so he could inherit her wealth.

(Strange Tales I#21/1 (fb) - BTS) - Over an unspecified period of months, Stone apparently made some attempts to kill Lucy, but he was unsuccessful.

   Eventually, Stone came up with a scheme he thought would work--he learned that Lucy had a bad heart, and since she seemed to believe in vampires, he fabricated a phoney story he was sure would scare her to death.

(Strange Tales I#21/1) - One night, Stone told Lucy that he saw a vampire pouncing on one of the the neighbor's calves (see comments); Lucy reacted in shock and collapsed to the floor. After telephoning Doc Carter and alerting him about Lucy's "bum ticker," Stone stepped over his unconscious wife and settled in a chair--while he relaxed with a drink and a cigarette, he thought about how he'd soon be the richest man in the west.

   Stone was pouring himself a second drink when Doc Carter arrived--the doctor angrily scolded him for not putting Lucy in her bed.

   After Doc Carter examined Lucy, he gave Stone his diagnosis--Lucy was a very sick woman who seemed to be worried about something that she refused to talk about, but he figured it must have been quite frightening because it almost killed her. Doc Carter advised Stone to take good care of Lucy--with an evil smirk upon his face, Stone assured the doctor that he'd take very good care of her.

   The following night, Stone rode a horse out on the range--to add credence to his vampire story, he planned to kill one of the neighbor's calves, then take it to Lucy and tell her the vampires did it, figuring the shock would kill her for sure. Using his knife, Stone slaughtered a calf and waited until the blood drained from its body.

   But when Stone picked up the dead calf, he felt somebody watching him--he turned and was startled to find Lucy standing behind him! Trying to distract Lucy's attention, Stone warned her to leave--he claimed there were hundreds of vampires all over the range, and that he was going to tell the sheriff to organize a posse. But Lucy told Stone that since he found out about the vampires, he had to die--even though she loved him, she wouldn't let him stand in the way of her making money!

   Then Lucy summoned her herd of cattle and commanded them to attack--with the sound of thundering hoofs came a stampede of Lucy's vampire bulls! Lucy explained that her cattle had been feeding on the neighbor's herds for years--that's why they were the finest and fattest, and why she was the richest rancher in the west.

   As she watched her bat-winged bulls sink their fangs into Ricky Stone and feast upon him, Lucy thought aloud that it was a shame he found out her secret, because they could have been so happy together...

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Joe Maneely (artist).

Ricky and Lucy?! Hmm... it's too bad this 5-page story ended like it did, because--much like another similarly-named fictional married couple--they could have had their own wacky 1950s TV sit-com: I Loathe Lucy.

When Stone told Lucy his phoney story about the supposed vampire attack, he envisioned the vampire as a giant bat.

Lucy was once depicted as having fangs (see fourth image in her sub-profile), which implied that she was also a vampire, but otherwise there was no indication that she was an undead "creature of the night" like typical vampires (i.e. she didn't shun daylight, didn't sleep in a coffin);  My guess is that one of the books in Lucy's collection had excerpts from the Darkhold, and she chanted a hellish incantation from it to temporarily give her bulls certain vampiric attributes at nightfall so they could feed upon her neighbor's cattle--consequently, she also temporarily assumed some vampiric characteristics (i.e. her fangs) from employing the dark sorcery.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

Ricky Stone has no known connections to:

Lucy has no known connections to:

Doc Carter have no known connections to:

The vampire bulls have no known connections to:

Lucy Stone

The wealthy Lucy (maiden name unrevealed) was an older, single woman who owned the biggest cattle ranch in the western United States; she suffered from an unspecified heart condition which caused her to faint when she was emotionally distressed.

In her large ranch house, Lucy had a shelf filled with books about vampires and occultism (see comments), which she studied.

Lucy was the richest rancher in the area because her herd of bulls were the finest and fattest in the west--her secret was that her bulls were actually vampiric, and they had been feeding on the neighbor's herd for years.

While driving in her station wagon one day, Lucy chanced upon hobo Ricky Stone, who had been left beaten after he hopped aboard a freight train. Feeling sorry for Stone, Lucy took the injured hobo back to her ranch to recuperate. Lucy later gave Stone a tour of her ranch--when he learned how rich Lucy was, Stone proposed marriage to the lonely woman, with the intent to kill her so he could inherit her wealth.

From seeing Lucy's book collection, Stone assumed that Lucy believed in vampires, so one night he told Lucy a phoney story and claimed he saw a vampire attack one of the neighbor's calves--Stone hoped that the shock would kill her, but Lucy wrongly presumed that Stone had discovered her secret.

Even though she loved Ricky Stone, Lucy wouldn't let him stand in the way when it came to her making money, so the following night, she commanded her vampire bulls to attack him--she regretted having to do it, because she thought she and Stone could have been so happy together...

--Strange Tales I#21/1

Doc Carter

He was the local physician somewhere in the western United States.

When Ricky Stone tried to scare his rich wife Lucy to death so he could inherit her wealth, she collapsed to the floor in shock. To avoid suspicion, Stone immediately telephoned Doc Carter to alert him about his wife's "bum ticker," then he settled in a chair and enjoyed a drink and a cigarette.

Stone was pouring himself a second drink when Doc Carter arrived--the doctor angrily scolded Stone for not putting Lucy in her bed.

After he finished his examination, Doc Carter's diagnosis was that Lucy was a very sick woman who must have gotten quite a fright. The doctor told Stone that another shock might kill her, and he advised Stone to take good care of Lucy--the evil Stone assured the doctor that he'd take very good care of her...

--Strange Tales I#21/1

unidentified drunken man

When hobo Ricky Stone was searching for food in the trash cans of a Chicago alleyway, an intoxicated man happened to come staggering by--Stone thought the man would be the perfect victim for a mugging.

Only intending to scare the drunken man, Stone pulled out his knife when he grabbed him; but when the drunk cried for help, the panicking Stone stabbed him in the back.

Stone frisked the dead body and found the drunken man's wallet, then fled from Chicago.

--Strange Tales I#21/1

vampire bulls

Owned by rancher Lucy, these fanged cattle had large bat-like wings (...although it was unrevealed if they could actually fly). Lucy's bulls were the finest and fattest in the western United States because they fed upon the cattle herds of a neighboring ranch.

Hobo Ricky Stone married Lucy so he could inherit her wealth, and he tried to scare her to death by claiming that he'd seen a vampire stalking the range--Lucy wrongly assumed that he had discovered the truth about her bulls.

Concerned that Stone would get in the way of her making money, Lucy commanded her herd of vampire bulls to attack him.

--Strange Tales I#21/1

images: (without ads)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p4, pan4 (Main Image - Ricky Stone, about to slaughter calf)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p5, pan3 (Headshot - Ricky Stone)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p3, pan5 (recuperating Ricky Stone notices Lucy's collection of books )
Strange Tales I#21/1, p2, pan2 (after Lucy has collapsed, relaxing Ricky Stone thinks about inheriting her ranch)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p1, pan1 (Ricky Stone describing phoney vampire attack to Lucy)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p3, pan4 (Lucy discovers beaten Ricky Stone by railroad tracks)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p1, pan2 (Lucy reacts when Ricky Stone claims he's seen a vampire)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p1, pan3 (Lucy collapses in shock, as Ricky Stone (left) watches)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p4, pan7 (Lucy (with fangs) finds Ricky Stone slaughtering calf)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p4, pan1 (Doc Carter (right) arrives as Ricky Stone pours himself a drink)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p4, pan2 (after examining Lucy, Doc Carter (left) tells Ricky Stone to take care of her)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p2, pan5 (Ricky Stone (holding knife) sees drunken man staggering through alley)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p2, pan6 (drunken man grabbed by Ricky Stone)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p2, pan7 (drunken man gets stabbed by Ricky Stone)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p5, pan5 (Lucy commands vampire bulls to attack Ricky Stone)
Strange Tales I#21/1, p5, pan6 (vampire bulls stampede toward Ricky Stone; Lucy (left) )
Strange Tales I#21/1, p5, pan7 (vampire bulls feast upon Ricky Stone as Lucy watches)

Strange Tales I#21/1 (August, 1953) - unidentified writer, Joe Maneely (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 06/04/2020
Last updated: 06/04/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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