Detective Finnegan "Finch" Kowalski, son of an Irish immigrant mother and a Polish immigrant father, was a bum. He wasn't always a bum. He lost his job, like so many others, after the market crashed. In late '32, the NYPD sent him packing.
In early '33 Finch started drinking. The family savings forced to the bottom of a bottle left little to support his wife and only son. On a particularly cold winter night in early '34, Finch arrived home after a night of drinking to find his family dead. He discovered his wife in their modest bed, her eyes gouged out. His son was found in the home's crawlspace, frozen solid. A police investigation proved fruitless. Finch had no other choice than to track the killer himself.