John K. Butler
BiographySan Francisco, California, USA
One of the most prolific writers of B-pictures, California native John K. Butler also pulled double duty as a pulp fiction writer. He created one of the most memorable characters ever to grace the pages of the Depression-era nickel and dime weeklies, namely, Steven Middleton Knight (AKA Steve Midnight--- Butler's trademark cab driving hero of seedy, crime-swept Los Angeles) and later, hard nosed snoop Rod Case (introduced in 1941). His stories appeared in all the popular pulps of the 1930s and 40s, including Black Mask, Detective Fiction Weekly, Double Detective and especially, Dime Detective. Read more... worked various jobs until he concentrated on a writing career in Hollywood in the late 1920s, where he gained a toehold position at Universal as a lowly reader during the heady days of the sound transition period. Twice married, Butler eventually garnered over 50 B-movie credits, half of which were westerns. He moved over to the autocratic Herbert J. Yates' Republic Pictures in 1942, which was fertile ground for a contract screen writer with a talent for westerns. Butler hammered out several screenplays for Roy Rogers and Yates' lesser oater stars. He harbored an enthusiastic California '49'er spirit. Butler would often don cowboy regalia and ride through Griffith Park on his horse Prince, astonishing anyone he encountered on a trail--- and it didn't take much prodding to get him to tell a whopper while wearing his ten-gallon hat. Sadly, he suffered a broken back during a ride in 1964 and died far too young at age 56 later that same year.