Colonel Richard 'Dick' Finley was in the Marine Corps as a test pilot and an astronaut. Dick went to the same high school as Elliot and his picture was displayed in the trophy case when he flew the X-15. During Elliot's senior year, Dick was coming to give a speech to the school; the class President was to pick up Dick at the airport but Elliot paid him to take a sick day so he could do the honor! Elliot butted heads with his father, so Dick took Elliot under his wing. Dick got Elliot into the Marines, applied for OCS, and pulled strings to get him into flight training. But then, Elliot saw what he already had to turn down his 'dream' of being a fighter pilot: Kathy with Maureen on the way.
While Elliot became a cop, Dick moved on- he got divorced 4 times and was a womanizer. Elliot named his first born son, Richard, after Dick, his hero. Many years went by until Elliot and Olivia were investigating Dick's colleague astronaut Marga Janssen, who was murdered. Dick tried to help but it ended up as a cover-up on his part. He tried to derail Elliot, Olivia, and everyone at Special Victims off his trail until Elliot realized the truth. He used a miniture toy rocket that Dick gave to Dickie that had his fingerprints to match the fingerprint found on one of the evidence objects. Elliot confronted Dick about his involvement- it ended up in a physical fight when Elliot arrested Dick. Dick's reason to murder Marga was of jealousy; she took away his dream to have his first ride to the moon. Dick lost his first chance as the youngest and lost again as the oldest. Elliot was disgusted that Dick used the same hand that killed Marga to shake his son's hand.