- "It wasn't personal, okay? She was just another job."
- —Sucker Punch
|Cause of death||Shot by Kate Beckett|
|Portrayed by||Jay R. Ferguson|
Richard "Dick" Coonan was a drug-running professional hit man masquerading as a philanthropist.
Dick Coonan is implied to have been in the U.S. military, possibly as a special operations soldier, around the time of the First Gulf War, and became a contract killer some time afterward.
His favorite method of killing was a precise thrust to the kidneys, but he also stabbed his victim in other locations across the abdomen and torso in order to camouflage the skill of his initial strike, the killing stroke.
Dick Coonan also had the tendency to stab his victims with such force that the resulting injury actually penetrated the flesh with more distance than the actual length of the blade itself, and the hilt guard would compress and bruise the skin beneath it.
His favored weapon was a knife with a fixed blade, of a type used by operatives in Special Operations groups of that time period. The blade of this knife was sharpened to the point where the edge was actually brittle. Whenever he stabbed someone, tiny slivers of the blade would break off and embed themselves in his victim's body as the blade was pulled out. This residue, combined with his distinctive M.O., eventually led to his identification.
Dick Coonan appeared as the grieving younger brother of murder victim Jack Coonan, who had died of stab wounds. He professed his admiration for his older brother Jack, who worked for the Irish-American organized crime group known as the Westies, while mentioning that he himself had been building schools in Afghanistan.
However, the philanthropic work was merely a cover. Coonan was smuggling drugs from Afghanistan into the United States via Hong Kong. He used Johnny Vong, a New York City hustler pushing a get-rich-quick scheme on TV, to get the drugs into the United States, by smuggling them into the United States packaged with the instructional DVDs his infomercials pushed. Once the packaged shipments cleared customs, Coonan would then have the Latin Kings distribute the heroin onto New York City's streets.
But one Latin King named Mario "Trucho" Mendoza started dealing on Westie territory. Finn Rourke didn't permit drug dealing even from his own gang, let alone by sworn enemies, so he sent Jack Coonan to find and kill whoever was behind the incursion. Jack discovered how the drugs were entering the United States, and even who was responsible, but the hardened gangster couldn't bring himself to kill his own brother. He tried to blackmail Dick into giving up drugs by threatening to go to the FBI. Dick Coonan had no such qualms, however, and murdered Jack to protect himself. Finn Rourke was aware of what happened, but considered Dick too dangerous and so placed the blame on the Latin Kings instead.
Richard Castle and Kate Beckett's case started with Jack Coonan's body. They quickly uncovered the Latin Kings connection, but realized that the real killer wasn't a Latin King. Jack's girlfriend gave them a key piece of evidence that lead to the DVDs and Johnny Vong. They broke Vong, and that lead to Dick Coonan. Along the way, they also discovered that whoever murdered Jack had also killed Johanna Beckett. Coonan claimed that the killer was a hit man he'd hired, a man he knew from the military code-named Rathborne.
Dick Coonan realized that Beckett's priority was catching Rathborne, so he made her a deal. In exchange for setting up Rathborne, he would get immunity for his crimes. Captain Roy Montgomery managed to persuade the District Attorney to agree to Coonan's terms. Beckett had Coonan to put a contract out on Johnny Vong, planning to ambush him. But there was a catch: Rathborne wanted $100,000 wired to his off-shore account up front. The NYPD would never pay that kind of money on a case like this, but Castle does, out of his own pocket. A fake "Johnny Vong" (actually an undercover cop) is given a prison transfer, affording Rathborne a perfect chance to make his move.
But Rathborne doesn't show up. Beckett and Castle are devastated; by the terms of Coonan's immunity, he only had to set up the contract. Castle's out the money, Beckett's no closer to her mother's killer, and a drug kingpin and murderer is getting away scot-free. Coonan is about to be released when a slip of his tongue betrays him. Castle and Beckett realize that they had never told Coonan that Rathborne's victim had been Beckett's mother, something he'd hinted at knowing. There was no Rathborne; Dick Coonan was his own hit man.
When they confront him, he compliments her on her intelligence, and then suddenly disables a policeman and grabs his weapon. With Castle held hostage at gunpoint, he hoped to slip out of the precinct before the rest of the officers realize what's happening. As they walk to the elevator, Coonan revealed that killing Johanna Beckett had been a contract job, and that his employer was far too powerful for them. Montgomery noticed the situation and blocked the elevator, initiating a standoff. Suddenly, Castle head-butted Coonan in the nose and broke free. Coonan tried to shoot Castle, but Beckett shot Coonan first. Coonan died without saying anything more. ("Sucker Punch")