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) before being murdered 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 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 in 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.
Relationship with suspects
Dinah thought that Blake Cooper was a bad father to her and so she had run away from home to pursue life on stage. When she had Louie, she did not allow Blake to see him, even though he wanted to be a good grandfather to Louie to compensate for him being a bad father. Dinah was hired to dance by carnival organizer Freddie Alonzo. She claimed he was too controlling after he kept trying to teach her the necessary dance moves. He thought that she was too controlling of Louie, meanwhile. Dinah also often invited her neighbor, Stanley Bullock, to her house, with Stanley eventually falling for her. When he expressed those feelings to Dinah, she filed a restraining order against him. Dinah had Madeleine Deville as a therapist.
Killer and motives
The killer, as well as the Puppeteer, turned out to be Freddie.
Freddie initially denied being the Puppeteer, but Russell was able to anger him enough to letting him slip that he did kill his parents, Dinah, and even more in the past. Freddie said that his parents were too controlling over him so he had decided to show them how it felt to be controlled. After feeling liberated, Freddie decided to impart the "joyous feeling of freedom" on other kids (such as Yann, Louie, and a girl named Audrey) too, thus starting his modus operandi.
Judge Dante and Yann were appalled at Freddie's motive and lack of remorse over killing parents and scarring their children for life. Freddie did not seem to know the difference between the occasional quarrel and a child's hatred for their parents. Reasoning that Freddie was not the liberator he believed he was, Judge Dante sentenced Freddie 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)