Vinnie Costa was a suspect in the murder investigations of three individuals before turning out to be the killer of farmer Benjamin Galls in Little Murder on the Prairie (Case #27 of Mysteries of the Past). He then appeared as a quasi-suspect in 3:10 to Death (Case #28 of Mysteries of the Past). In Blood Bath (Case #29 of Mysteries of the Past), he was slain.
Vinnie was a 27-year-old street thug. He had curly black hair and a light stubble, a scar on his left cheek, and donned a stained grapefruit red shirt with a cream neckerchief.
As discovered in his first appearance, Vinnie played the lottery and whist, and snuffed tobacco.
In his second appearance, he was revealed to be a marksman.
As per his third appearance, he drank coffee and Pink Paradise.
In his fourth appearance, he wore a tan cowboy hat with a brown stripe and a dark green neckerchief. Furthermore, he was discovered to chew wheat, have a collie named Maximinus and drink milk.
In his quasi-suspect appearance, Vinnie wore a black-and-white striped prison uniform.
Events of Criminal Case
Vinnie became a suspect after the player and Isaac found his knuckle duster at the crime scene. Though he did not want to see the police, he was shocked to hear of Rick's death saying he was like a little brother to him. However, he was teaching Rick to defend himself, as life on the streets was not easy. He directed the team to the victim's home, where they investigated the area for more clues.
Vinnie was spoken to again about a dead rat given to the victim as a present. He said he happened to see Rick talk to the police, and though he did not know what it was about, he felt he needed to teach Rick not to rat to the cops. However, he claimed he did not go so far as to murder Rick as he still felt the victim was like family to him.
Vinnie was found to be innocent after the team incarcerated Trickster Tim for Rick's murder. But he was spoken to again about a possible associate of Rick who wanted some evidence burned, who went as far as to coerce an officer to do it. Though he was somewhat reluctant, he said the person would likely be from the Irish community, who would gain a lot from covering up their past wrongdoings.
Vinnie became a suspect again after the player and Maddie found his blood-stained pocket knife found at the crime scene. He immediately told them he had nothing to do with Donovan's death, saying he does not kill priests. But, he was aware that Donovan was not as clean as he looked, he heard of his past regarding him killing someone. Though they knew that already, Vinnie told them people said Donovan was vicious, that he could crush skulls with his bare hands; and that if he ended up dead, it was because his sins caught up to him.
Vinnie was spoken to again about the case that sent Donovan to jail for murder, and the victim happened to be related to Vinnie. He said the victim was responsible for his father's death, and explained that it happened in a fight between the Italians and the Irish. Although Vinnie wanted to get revenge on him for many years, he would prefer not to waste any bullets on him now.
In the end, Vinnie was found innocent again after the team incarcerated Edward Whimple for Donovan's murder, the illegal trafficking of immigrants, and arson.
Vinnie became a suspect again after the player and Isaac found a label addressed to him at the cabaret. He was not happy they suspected him of murder once again, and even with the recent killings he said Italians are not even interested in killing. But given people's claims in the past, Isaac had trouble believing what he said at face value.
Vinnie was spoken to again about a note that he wrote to the victim, saying he had an eye on her. He explained he saw Gladys back when she worked at the barber shop in New Haven and felt protective of her. But given the recent murders and her decision to return to prostitution, he thought to look out for her just in case. But despite his attempts, he was not able to prevent her murder from happening.
Vinnie was found to be innocent after the team arrested Fiona Flanagan for Gladys' murder on top of several others under the guise of the Scarlet Slayer.
Vinnie became a suspect yet again after Isaac and the player found his brass knuckle at the convenience store near the victim's home. He explained that Coyote Gorge was his home, and he was none too pleased to see the Flying Squad again. When it came to Benjamin's murder, Vinnie claimed he knew nothing about it or the victim.
Vinnie was spoken to again after they found a mirror belonging to the victim with traces of Pink Paradise on it, the same drink Vinnie had back at the Moulin Rose in Sinner's End. All Vinnie said was that the victim gave that mirror to him as a gift, for being a good neighbor. But Isaac had doubts, especially considering Vinnie even denied knowing the victim at all, and continued to suspect that he stole it from him, despite Vinnie denying it and the murder.
In the end, the evidence had ended up pointing towards Vinnie as Benjamin's murderer. Vinnie initially denied the accusations but then admitted to the crime. The Italian gang had sent him to forcefully evict Benjamin from his farm after he refused. Benjamin put up a fight and Vinnie threatened him with a pitchfork, but accidentally impaled Benjamin when he charged towards him. Judge Lawson sentenced him to 10 years in jail.
After the trial, Isaac and the player decided to speak with him about why the Italians were seizing land all of a sudden. Although Vinnie wanted to help, he would not due to the fact that he would not survive in prison if he ratted on the Italians. However, he pointed them towards the victim's house for more clues, which Isaac picked up on, so they decided to search the Galls' residence once more.
After failing to get Italian mob boss Vittorio Capecchi to confess he is forcing people off their lands, Isaac decided to see if they can make a proposition with Vinnie to lighten his sentence and get information on Vittorio. But Vinnie was very reluctant and was worried for his life, but he said he would if they did something for him. He hid some money in Gibby Hayes' shack, money that was for his family back in Italy, and he wanted to make sure Vittorio did not get his hands on it.
Isaac and the player ended up finding it and informed Vinnie about it. He had taken some time to think about it, and decided it would be worth risking his life to ensure that Vittorio would not ruin anyone else's lives, in order for him to atone for what he did. With that said, Vinnie agreed to testify against everything illegal Vittorio has done to get the lands he sold to the railroad company, and thanked them for finding the money for his family.
Vinnie was found with his throat slashed in his room's bathtub. Per Dick, his throat was sliced with a jagged object. He also found traces of whiskey and orange pulp in his hair, where the killer grabbed him to slash his throat. As whiskey and orange pulp are the main ingredients in whiskey punch, Dick was able to deduce that the killer drank whiskey pulp.
In the main street, the team found a broken bottle which (per Viola) was the murder weapon since it had Vinnie's blood and the edge matched his wounds. The bottle's neck had skin cells which belonged to a man, which meant that the killer was a man.
Relationship with suspects
Vinnie was hiding out at Fat Chance Saloon in Providence Town in preparation for his witness testimony against Vittorio Capecchi. The Squad's Weapons Expert, Rose Zhao, was meant to be guarding Vinnie, but she often slipped on her duties by playing poker with him. The saloon's owner, Alberto "Al" Salucci, was unhappy about Vinnie staying at the saloon and swiped his wallet to get back at him. Vittorio's wife, Franca Capecchi, took Vinnie under her wing, but was disappointed about his betrayal. After killing Benjamin Galls, Vinnie tried to flee the farm on Bullseye, cowboy Clay Westwood's horse, breaking one of Bullseye's legs in the process. Vinnie's father, the late Giovanni Costa, was responsible for killing a celebrated sheriff, something which bounty hunter Catastrophe Joan swore to avenge. Joan was also staying in Vinnie's room at the saloon before she was kicked out to accommodate him.
Killer and motives
The killer turned out to be Clay.
Clay initially denied the accusations but then admitted to the crime. He believed that Vittorio would bring progress to Coyote Gorge with the railway. When he found out that Vinnie would testify against him, he caused an explosion to lure Rose off his room, then snuck inside with a stolen master key and sliced his throat with a broken bottle. Judge Lawson sentenced him to 25 years in jail.
- Vinnie is one of the characters to appear as a suspect in four cases.
- Vinnie is one of the characters to physically appear in three districts in Mysteries of the Past.
- Vinnie is one of the characters to become a suspect, killer, and victim.
- He is also one of the only characters to appear as a suspect, quasi-suspect, killer, and victim.
- Vinnie is one of the killers who are interrogated once more during the Additional Investigation.
- A Murder Carol (Case #4 of Mysteries of the Past)
- In the Name of the Father (Case #6 of Mysteries of the Past)
- Death is a Cabaret (Case #23 of Mysteries of the Past)
- Little Murder on the Prairie (Case #27 of Mysteries of the Past)
- 3:10 to Death (Case #28 of Mysteries of the Past)
- Blood Bath (Case #29 of Mysteries of the Past)