Harry Dent was often strict with his son, Harvey, and was prone to delivering mental abuse on him, using his lucky silver dollar coin to determine if the junior Dent should spend a night of beating. Probably unknown to them both, the coin was double-headed, meaning whichever side it landed on, it would always result in Dent beating his son with his nightstick. Dent's status as a retired cop also prevented the proper authorities from stopping his child abuse. Harvey didn't believe that he had only a father who often beat him to a pulp, but came to realize that as long as others believed it, he may be able to find a better life with his mother Lucy.
That wish came true when Dent moved out of his apartment without divorcing his wife, saying that he couldn't stand the sight of either her or their son, and took up residence in a rented room near the precinct where he worked. Harvey only saw him once on the street with a middle aged woman who looked a lot like his mother, but never visited nor sent cards. The last time Dent was seen with his wife was when Harvey came home one day from his after-school job at a local pharmacy and found both his parents dead in the same room; his father lying on the floor with a gun against his head (which bore a bloody hole) and his mother hanging Dent from a knotted sheet attached to the ceiling around her neck.