Detective Comics #88
March 24, 1944
"The Merchants of Misery"
Oh joy, a money lending scheme story. I'm saying that sarcastically. I can't see doing much with the concept, but let's go. The story opens with "Big Hearted" John, a money lender who is more than willing to offer his money to help, as long as you pay a "small" interest fee.
And those that can't make those payments find themselves killed to avoid talking to the police. A candy store owner is the latest victim as George, a night watchman with a sick daughter in need of an operation, approaches John for a loan. Quickly, he finds himself being squeezed to make payments on the loan. John's goons come to the apartment and smash up their furniture and warn George not to go to the police. George tries to appeal to John to no avail and then he is set upon by the gang who rough him up.
Fortunately, Batman and Robin are in the area, investigating the deaths of the shop owners. They break up the gang's attack and let them go when George begs them not to arrest the gang. Batman agrees, but he plans on taking John down.