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- "Better get Pinker down here."
- ―Rusty Galloway
Unlike L.A. Noire's other characters, apart from Mickey Cohen, Ray Pinker was a real person: successively the LAPD's forensic chemist, technical director of the SID, and Chief Forensic Scientist between 1929 and 1965.
Events of L.A. Noire
Pinker was first introduced to Detective Cole Phelps during his time in Traffic. While investigating a stolen auto racket, Pinker examined all of the recovered pink slips from the suspects. Confirming their authenticity, Ray introduced himself to Phelps and gave him an address and lead on the Marquee Printing Company.
With Phelps' promotion to the Homicide Department, Pinker and Coroner Malcolm Carruthers assisted Phelps during his investigation of a series of brutal murders. Both Pinker and Carruthers examined the murdered victims, in order to profile the common modus operandis. Ultimately, they deduced that all the murders were being committed by a single and highly intelligent serial killer.
Pinker later assisted Phelps in the reefer distribution ring, by examining the silver dollar coins thus providing a lead to the Masangkay Metal Foundry. After the occurrence of the Nicholson Electroplating Plant explosion, Pinker arrived at the site, reasoning that the explosion wasn't an nuclear attack due to absence of radiation exposure. Pinker developed and examined the photographs from Tomoko Okamoto's spy camera, and discovered that the explosion was cause by an experiment gone wrong involving an aluminum chemical polishing patent. Pinker later demonstrated the experiment on Phelps, Biggs and Carruthers, playing a practical joke on them in process. Pinker later attended Phelps' funeral to pay his respects. He sits behind Biggs and Elsa.
- "Leave me to do my job, Detective."
- ―Ray Pinker
Like Carruthers, Pinker is a forensics expert, his specialty lying in technical and physical sciences. Pinker can analyze, hypothesize and observe a range of characteristics, hence is a valued member of the department for his ability to provide insightful and comprehensive observations and conclusions on advanced levels.
Pinker is generally an easy going and easy person to work with. Like Carruthers, Pinker has a strong and sharp professional demeanor. He is focused on his work, deals with facts and evidence and doesn't let his emotions get in the way. Pinker demonstrated some sense of humor when he tricked Phelps, Biggs and Carruthers with the aluminum polish experiment, though only to his amusement. Like Carruthers, Pinker had a slight disdain for Phelps due to his affair and disgrace. However, their ongoing working relationship allowed Pinker to overlook this, respecting Phelps as a good case man.
- "The Red Lipstick Murder"
- "The Golden Butterfly"
- "The Silk Stocking Murder"
- "The White Shoe Slaying"
- "The Studio Secretary Murder"
- "The Quarter Moon Murders"
- The character is based off real life Ray H. Pinker, who was a civilian forensic chemist who worked with the Scientific Investigation Division of the LAPD, beginning in 1929. The character was first brought to fiction in the 1990 neo-noir book by James Ellroy, LA Confidential, where he is stated to be a forensic analyst in the LAPD.
- The real-life Ray H. Pinker earned a baccalaureate degree in pharmacy from USC.
- Ray Pinker is a character appearing in The Black Dahlia, a novel by James Ellroy. In the novel, Ray Pinker works for the Scientific Investigations Division of the LAPD in 1947.
- JD Cullum, the actor who played Ray Pinker, was also in "Mad Men" along with Aaron Staton, the actor of Cole Phelps .
- His car of choice is a Buick Super.
- Ray's character features in NBC's original radio play Dragnet. Not coincidentally, Dragnet creator and star Jack Webb had played a character based on Pinker in the 1948 noir procedural He Walked By Night.
- His badge is labeled "DETECTIVE" and the number is 1432.