Chief Francis Redhorn was first introduced in Nightwing #1, where Dick Grayson aka Nightwing is in pursuit of the masked villains, but ends up being thrown into the bay attached to a refrigerator. Dick manages to escape and swim back ashore. Then he goes to the police where he ends up being cuffed by Francis Redhorn when Redhorn makes it look like he wants to shake Nightwing's hand. Redhorn then assigns Inspector Dudley Soames to dispose of Nightwing, but instead Soames decides to release the vigilante and tip him off about a huge drug shipment. Redhorn was enraged that Nightwing escaped and later informed Blockbuster of it. Later on, when Dick is investigating the murder of Bludhaven gangster Angel Marin, Barbara Gordon dsicovers that Marin was murdered by Redhorn's employer Roland Desmond aka Blockbuster. In the meantime, Redhorn was pressuring Soames to apprehend Nightwing right after Nightwing brings in the Scarecrow to the Bludhaven Police Department. When Redhorn realized that Soames was conspiring to takeover Desmond's operation himself and that Soames released Nightwing, Redhorn fired him.
Much to Redhorn's dismay later on, someone was inspired to take up vigilantism and be Nightwing. The fake Nightwing was shot down by Desmond and sent to a hospital. When Dick realized what was happening, he sent corrupt officers to the hospital to ambush the incorrect Nightwing believing him to be the real one. Redhorn was unaware of this, but the fake Nightwing was Tad Ryerstad, a self proclaimed vigilante of Bludhaven. He'd prowl the streets every day and deal 'justice' to those who do wrong. In reality, Tad was a thug who never listens to reason and merely beats often innocent people. He spent his spare time reading comics that "The Tarantula" had sold to him, thus causing him to take upon the title of "Nite-Wing".
Later after Nightwing survived, Redhorn and the Bludhaven BP began pondering a message found on a body: "Tattarattat." After Nightwing questioned some bar patrons, they were shot up and another note was left - "Reb Milton's not limber." Huntress, still in Bludhaven, was captured. Soames, calling himself Torque, busted in on Cisco Blaine and his captive, the Huntress.
Finally deciding to make a difference by being a cop, Dick Grayson started his first week at the Police academy, a new acrobatic team began looting the looters. Redhorn watched cautiously as Dick performed exceedingly for a rookie. Later on when Batman tasked Nightwing with reforming the Blackgate prison. Dick's plan backfired and he was captured by Lock-Up. Redhorn was wondering where Grayson is and why he didn't show up for practice. Later when Dick returns, he tells everyone that he was absent due to a sudden illness. Although Redhorn decides to let Dick graduate, he still remains suspicious of him. Diick is able to join the BPD with aid from Mac Arnot, whom Redhorn decided to promote to inspector in Soames' place. Using Arnot as inspector, Redhorn was able to sabotage Detective Addad's investigation and make it look like a rookie mistake. Nevertheless, Addad was still suspicious of Redhorn and Arnot.
Redhorn was unaware of this, but Blockbuster's right hand man Cisco Blaine was actually Ronald Houston, an FBI agent who infiltrated Bludhaven based mob of Blockbuster under an alias. Houston had been undercover for months where he finally gathered enough evidence to bring Blockbuster down,so he made his move freeing Bludhaven's own vigilante Nightwing for aid who then ask Cisco to free Nite-Wing which he did. However when he entered the room he was ambushed and killed by Nite-Wing who believed him coming to kill him,but later when questioned by Nightwing didn't care a he believed himself "good guy." Nightwing then defeated Nite-Wing and he was imprisoned for Cisco Blaine's murder. Unfortunately though, without the FBI's knowledge, Redhorn decided to take Nite-Wing under his wing to "clean" Bludhaven by handing him the police files on Blockbuster. Redhorn tries to betray Nite-Wing only to fail and is forced to make a getaway from Bludhaven before his betrayal of the information is discovered.
After spending some time in hiding, Redhorn returned to Bludhaven after his replacement, Wallace Ebersol, was dead. Redhorn held a press conference vowing to be on the side of the law which upset Blockbuster. When Redhorn realized that Blockbuster was loosing power, he realized that the Bludhaven Police Department was more powerful than any of the town's gangs, and begins to think he perhaps doesn't need Mac Arnot to liase with them any longer. However, Blockbuster found a way to bring Redhorn back into his side by ordering him to pursue his wife Mary (Redhorn had a loving relationship with his wife Mary until Mary discovered that her husband was dirty and fled Bludhaven with a journal that could be used as evidence against the corruption in Bludhaven). With help from Dick Grayson and Alfred Pennyworth, the journal was recovered and Dick handed it over to Sergeant Amy Rohrbach. Before Redhorn could be arrested for his crimes, he was discovered dead, with the message 'truth is not an option' written in his blood.
Redhorn was murdered by former FBI agent Catalina Flores. Dressed in the costume of her saviro John Law, she became the Tarantula. Nightwing did not approve of her more extreme crime-fighting methods. Later, Catalina acquired a "Get Out of Hell Free" card forged by Neron. The card is sought after by Junior, Ragdoll's insane sister, who sends an army of supervillains after her. She eventually sacrifices herself by pulling Junior and herself in front of the combined attacks from the assembled villains, killing them both. Redhorn's death was finally avenged.
As for the Bludhaven Police Department, it was still corrupt even though Redhorn died. Inspector Arnot still continued running the BPD and hired Deathstroke, through the money taken from the police evidence room, to asassinate Rohrbach and her family for being clean. Arnot was held hostage by Soames (now the deformed villain Torque) and escaped an exploding building with Nightwing's help (though he put it all down to his own courage and ingenuity). As for Rohrbach, she deduced Dick was Nightwing and was conflicted about aiding a vigilante before finally deciding to trust him. The BPD isn't as corrupt as it used to be and they developed a working relatiosnhip with Nightwing similar to the GCPD with Batman much to Redhorn's dismay.
Redhorn is very arrogant to the point of being delusional, as he believes that he runs Bludhaven. Despite being a selfish and manipulative man, Redhorn was truly remorseful about sending Blockbuster's agents to Europe to murder his wife. Despite claiming to want to be on the side of the law, Redhorn still continued to work with Blockbuster and was even willing to betray him. Redhorn is delusional power hungry individual. Chief Redhorn was also interested in Dick Grayson. Chief Redhorn's keen instinct could pinpoint trouble and find if something was odd about people, such as Dick during Redhorn's time as Dick's instructor in the police academy. Although Redhorn had ruined his own life and reputation when he chose to align himself with Blockbuster, he did not deserve the death he received from Catalina Flores.
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