|Plot details follow, read at your own risk.|
- "I only want for those who fought for a better future to have a share of it."
- ―Courtney Sheldon
Courtney Sheldon is a central character in L.A. Noire. He is a former Navy Corpsman serving with the United States Navy and Marine Corps, having fought at Okinawa alongside Lieutenant Cole Phelps and Sergeant Jack Kelso as a field medic. Sheldon acts as a one of the main antagonists (though unaware) during the Vice desk.
At Okinawa, Sheldon served as field medic, often diving into the thick of battle to rescue wounded Marines while armed with only an army .45 handgun and carrying a medical kit. However, on some occasions he was unable save some the critically wounded Marines, hence euthanizing them painlessly by overdosing them with morphine. On one occasion he was caught doing so by Lieutenant Cole Phelps, who was outraged by these killings.
Sheldon served in Phelps' unit along with Jack Kelso and was present at the accidental atrocity caused by Phelps, as he ordered flamethrower carrier Ira Hogeboom to burn an enemy hideout. However, the cave turned out to be an improvised hospital for Japanese civilians. Tormented and guilt-ridden by the anguished cries of the dying men, women and children, Phelps ordered his men to shoot them. After humanely killing the civilians, Sheldon, in disgust and frustration, shot Phelps in the back of the abdomen for his hypocrisy. Before leaving the cave behind, Kelso warned Sheldon and the others to never speak of the incident ever again.
While Phelps was shipped home early for his wound, Sheldon and the rest of his unit remained in Okinawa until the war was over. As they were shipped aboard the SS Coolridge back to the U.S., they read in the newspaper about Phelps' promotion in the LAPD, causing everyone to reflect on their mediocre job prospects to return home to. Sheldon, however, suggested that they steal the ship's cargo of surplus morphine and sell it back in the states on the streets. Although an act of treason, Sheldon's intention was to help his fellow Marines gain a good share of money for their unsung efforts in the war. However, Kelso argued against the idea, praising everyone as heroes already and warned Sheldon and his soon to be co-conspirators that they would lose his respect for them if they went through with it. Despite this, they committed the theft and returned home to distribute the stolen morphine.
Events of L.A. Noire
Sheldon enrolled into medical school to become a doctor. He was skipped ahead into the second year of his studies because of his experiences in the war. Sheldon met and sought help from psychiatrist Dr. Harlan Fontaine, seeking therapy on behalf of his war buddies suffering from battle fatigue, particularly for Ira who had developed severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Fontaine offered Sheldon a part-time job to work at one of his clinics and after some time, Sheldon and Fontaine developed a mentor-student relationship and later friendship, with Sheldon loyally following and trusting Fontaine.
Sheldon established a business relationship with Lenny Finkelstein for the morphine distribution. Sheldon gave one third of the shipment of morphine and wanted to distribute it legally to clinics and hospitals, although the morphine eventually ended up being peddled to drugs addicts. The trafficking went sour as addicts such as Cornell Tyree and Tyrone Lamont, began dying and Sheldon attempted to stop supplying the stolen morphine for distribution, incurring the wrath of gangster Mickey Cohen and his organization.
After rejecting a buy-out offer from Cohen, Sheldon went to Kelso to ask for his help. Despite their previous disagreement, after some convincing, Kelso agreed to help negotiate with Cohen to prevent more deaths and to protect his fellow Marines. Kelso and Sheldon told Cohen of their intent to stop supplying and selling morphine and warned him that they were prepared to retaliate.
With the rest of the morphine to deal with before the mob could steal it, Sheldon turned to Fontaine to confide in, telling him of the robbery and his involvement with the gangsters. Fontaine offered a solution for both their benefits. Fontaine offered to take the morphine off Sheldon's hands and promised to distribute it legally to medical facilities, in return he would be able to reinvest money into the Suburban Redevelopment Fund, a plan to build houses for returning GIs. Sheldon confidently accepted Fontaine's offer, as it not only solved his problem but would provide benefits for his war buddies.
However, over six months later, Sheldon learned that nearly all of his former unit members were being killed off by hit-men. Sheldon realized that Cohen was responsible and was trying to force him to give back the morphine. A meeting was arranged between him and Cohen. However, Sheldon didn't go, knowing it would be an ambush, hence turned himself to the LAPD and specifically requested for Detective Phelps to negotiate protection.
With Fontaine at his side for defense, Sheldon tried to deny being part of Coolridge robbery and the distribution, however Phelps had enough evidence to disprove his lies and warned Sheldon that either he or Kelso will have to go to prison for it. As Sheldon was about to confess to protect Kelso, William Worrell and James Donnelly's unanticipated and abrupt arrival interrupted the interview, and meant no charges would stick to either Fontaine or Sheldon.
Sheldon returned to his studies at medical school but was eventually confronted by Kelso. Sheldon learned that his name was placed on the board directors for the Suburban Redevelopment Fund and that the houses for the G.I.s were made from inferior materials with the intent to burn them for insurance money. Kelso warned Sheldon not to trust Fontaine, who was clearly part of the conspiracy and using Sheldon.
- "I don't know what to believe any more, Doctor. I hope that you weren't involved."
- ―Courtney's last words, before being murdered by Harlan Fontaine.
Sheldon confronted Fontaine to inform him of the conspiracy and to voice out his complete shock. Fontaine however easily played on Sheldon's naivety, tricking him into thinking he's innocent. Playing on Sheldon's trust, Fontaine used the opportunity to inject him with an overdose of morphine in the neck, killing him.
His body was later found in an alleyway on the corner of Vermont and Beverly by Cole, Roy Earle, Herschel Biggs and a patrolman. Earle slandered Sheldon by calling him "a victim of his own product", causing Phelps to pull his gun out at Earle in anger. Saddened by his former comrade's death, Phelps defended the deceased Sheldon, praising him as an honorable and brave marine who served his country.
- "You may be the bravest person I have ever met, but I swear to God, trouble follows you around like a pet fucking dog."
- ― Kelso to Sheldon
Sheldon's decision to steal the surplus morphine was a grave decision. Despite his intent to help reward the unsung efforts of his fellow Marines, Sheldon's actions proved ruinous and acted as the catalyst for the game's main events (such the Morphine distribution and Fontaine's partaking in the SRF). Returning to L.A., Sheldon's greatest setback was that he was very naive. Sheldon presumed that the distribution would go well, and did not realize the extent of the consequences. As a result, he was exploited by Cohen and Fontaine, ultimately inadvertently helping the interests of criminals, and costing several lives, including his own.
- "Upon Reflection" (Newspaper)
- "The White Shoe Slaying" (Newspaper)
- On the stolen manifest in Manifest Destiny it says his address is 1716 N Cauhenga Ave.
- The shooter's notebook from Manifest Destiny states Sheldon is 5'10".
- In Manifest Destiny, an intermittent bug may occur wherein Sheldon is found standing up in the interview room; you will be unable to interview him. If you talk to Sheldon, he may say, "I don't know what else to tell you, Detective. That's it." or "You can ask all day long but I have nothing more to say." This could imply that the events after the interview were supposed to be different, and Sheldon could have been spoken to, and the dialogue wasn't scrapped. Quitting and reloading will resolve the issue.