Dinah Cooper (1976-2014) was a suspect in the murder investigations of jazz musician Elmer Buttons in After the Storm (Case #18 of Pacific Bay) and her ex-boyfriend, thief Theo Mercier, in Under the Thunderdome (Case #21 of Pacific Bay). She was then the victim in Hanging by a Thread (Case #24 of Pacific Bay).
Dinah was a 38-year-old cabaret dancer of African-American heritage. She had short black hair curled onto her chin. She donned a red feathered headband, a red cabaret dress with frills on it, red gloves, and a gold beaded necklace. She carried around a feather boa.
In her first appearance, it is made known that Dinah knew music and owned a storm survival kit.
In her second appearance, she sported a mud stain on the left side of her dress. It is discovered that she drank chicory and used insect repellent.
Events of Criminal Case
Dinah found herself in trouble for the first time after Amy and the player found a bottle of champagne with a flirty message (dusted by the player) directed towards Dinah. Dinah was happy about Elmer's death as she had to put up with being Elmer's favorite dancer not to mention being ogled by the saxophonist. Dinah wanted Elmer to be excluded from the dance club but her boss had her hands tied as she was required to dance to Elmer's tune, which did not agree with Dinah's person somehow.
Dinah was in serious trouble when Amy and the player found a taser in the costume box during the team's second investigation in The Jazz Joint in which Dinah admitted it was hers. Dinah carried a taser with her because even with a storm survival kit, Dinah felt that a taser would give her added protection, but in spite of Amy's beef with Dinah having a taser, Dinah carried a taser to fend herself from Elmer and because Elmer was a high profile saxophonist, her boss would fire her if she failed to keep Elmer happy, so she had to carry a taser just in case of Elmer's ogling.
Although Dinah was found innocent after Linda Buttons was jailed for grand homicide, Dinah phoned Amy requesting help from her and the player. Since Amy had to file a wanton amount of reports, Yann told Amy he would help the player instead, giving Amy time to finish up filing those reports.
Dinah asked the player to help her find a cabaret outfit hidden by her son Louie in a place where no one could access it, putting Dinah at risk for termination if she did not get her outfit in time. Although Yann and the player found Dinah's cabaret dress, the player had to go through the trouble of piecing it back together. The player's actions infuriated Louie because of his beliefs of Dinah being at work more than at home night after night, prompting Yann to admit to a fatherless Louie that he had to live his life as an orphan since he was 14 years of age.
In spite of Louie's stubbornness, the player saved Dinah's job which she depended on to survive, although Yann told her that parenthood is no easy task and advised Louie to go easy on Dinah since the player took Dinah's job requirement to support Louie for granted.
Dinah found herself in trouble moments after Amy and the player found a box of chocolates issued as a gift from Theo inside Town Square Pharmacy. Amy made no delays in interrogating the cabaret dancer about her relationship with the victim, in which Dinah feared Theo had it coming. Dinah took some time to describe Theo as a thief and a conman but informed Amy and the player that the box of chocolates were stolen instead of obtained earnestly. Dinah loved Theo but could not trust the victim due to his kleptomaniac nature.
Dinah had to cooperate with the police once again after Amy and the player found a money bundle Dinah intended to issue to Theo in their second visit to the Town Square Pharmacy. Dinah admitted that she gave Theo the money but needed her life's savings to alleviate Louie's asthma knowing prescriptions were out-of-reach. Dinah wanted Theo to give her the asthma medicine he stole from Town Square Pharmacy but she was mad that she had to pay Theo up-front. In spite of Dinah having to work extra shifts in the Jazz Joint, prescriptions were still out-of-reach for her. Dinah's conversation broke Amy's heart as Theo apparently required payment from Dinah in exchange for quality asthma medication for Louie.
Dinah was found innocent a second time after Claude Lamothe was impounded for grand homicide.
Dinah was transformed into a lifeless human marionette by the notorious serial killer known only as "The Puppeteer", who returned to killing after over a decade, shortly before the annual Jazz Town Carnival.
In the morgue, Roxie determined Dinah was injected with sedatives before having her body cut up with a kind of saw and chained in the warehouse. Given the way the chains were placed, Roxie deduced the Puppeteer knew the measures of the chains and weight distribution—concluding that the killer knew mechanics.
After a second visit to Yann Toussaint's house, Russell and the player found a bloody saw near the boiler which, after a match with Roxie's reports, turned out to be the murder weapon. The saw contained paper pieces amongst the blood, which were sent to a reluctant Roxie for analysis. After careful analysis of the paper pieces, Roxie confirmed the killer wore a carnival necklace.
Killer and motives
The killer, as well as the Puppeteer, turned out to be Carnival organizer Freddie Alonzo.
Freddie told Russell and the player that he had no time to waste putting up with the team's wanton accusations during the Carnival preparations, but Russell made it clear that the Puppeteer was selfish and cold-blooded, believing himself to be liberator of children when in reality he had destroyed lives of now-orphaned children. Freddie told the team he was alright without his parents alongside Louie (Dinah's son), but Russell informed Freddie that his parents were the first to die, and inquired about Freddie killing his parents due to them being too restrictive on him, thus exposing Freddie as the Puppeteer. Russell continued by stating that the Puppeteer was an emotionally weak middle-aged man who still behaved like a child, and as such, Freddie admitted he murdered Dinah.
Freddie's parents would not let him do anything he wanted, but Freddie believes kids are free people, and hates how they have to live in the prison of their parents' care, so he started his killing spree through an act of matricide and patricide. Besides that, Freddie killed Yann's parents when Yann was 14 due to Yann's argument with his parents three decades before the events of this case. Freddie also killed the parents of a young girl named Audrey years back (mentioned during the events of Under the Thunderdome), alas unearthing himself as the Puppeteer. Freddie felt free after he killed his parents, and by killing other controlling parents, he wanted those children to feel the joy of being free as well, which flagged him as a loose cannon. Russell had had enough with the chit-chat, so the player handcuffed Freddie for trial.
Judge Dante hated Freddie's idea of setting 14-year old children free from parents, but Freddie countered that parents live boring, restrictive lives, and the only thrill parents have is controlling their children. Yann took a stand and told Freddie no human being who's the parent of their children deserves a fate worse than death, but Freddie told Yann he had seen him verbally fight with his parents during the Carnival, making Yann unhappy after the verbal fight—which prompted Freddie to murder Yann's parents. Yann told Freddie that every teenager quarrels with their parents, but that makes no excuse for murder, and felt Freddie's actions scarred him for the rest of his life. Freddie told Yann he freed him from his parents, but Judge Dante had had enough—he made it clear that Russell was right about Freddie being a destroyer, and for the murder of Dinah Cooper (among numerous other murders that took place in Jazz Town over the past three decades) with the alias of the Puppeteer, Freddie was sentenced to life in jail.
- Dinah is one of the many suspects who appeared in two cases.
- After the Storm (Case #18 of Pacific Bay)
- Under the Thunderdome (Case #21 of Pacific Bay)
- Hanging by a Thread (Case #24 of Pacific Bay)
- No Honor Among Thieves (Case #55 of Pacific Bay; mentioned on a clue)