The second in our series exploring LA Noire’s complex cases; here we’re on our second Homicide case, wherein another damsel has been downed and we must find out who did the deed…

Let us know how you got on with the case and how your experience differed in the comments section. Oh and a spot of house-keeping: key clues from our experience are underlined while we state doubt and lie interview choices in brackets.

************************************SPOILER WARNING************************************

Case file #1: The Golden Butterfly (Homicide Desk)
Crime: Murder
Victim: Deirdre Moller


Location: Crime Scene (11:02 am)

My partner Rusty Galloway takes the call, and warns me to put on my newspaper face, as the press are buzzing all over the crime scene. I begin by investigating the crime scene, where after beating off the attention of the press, and speaking to the reporting officer, I spy a trail of footprints leading towards the naked body of a Jane Doe, lying prone under a pepper tree. The footprints even continue onto the body of the corpse itself.

Flies buzz around the wounds, much like the photographers at the edge of the crime scene barriers. Carruthers, the coroner, opines that it is a similar modus operandi to that of our previous case, but Galloway boorishly shouts him down as I inspect the corpse closely.

Her wedding ring has been violently torn off, and a watch removed from the opposite arm. Her neck is purple with rope burns. I check over her purse, picking it up to see it contains both money and a name tag, which recasts our anonymous victim as one Deirdre Moller. ‘If the motive was robbery, why not get the money?’ A quick phonecall to dispatch and I have her address, the next port of call for Galloway and I.

Location: Moller Residence (11:20 am)

The sight of a typically well-kept suburban detached house greets us at our destination, and the door is answered by a fraught looking Michelle Moller, young daughter of the deceased. We look around the house quickly for evidence, before settling down to ask her some questions.Keen to find more about the missing jewellery, we ask Michelle what her mother usually wore.
She lists the watch and the ring, and we believe her (truth) before asking her about her last contact with her mother. She looks a little worried, so we doubt her, which leads to her revealing her father’s absence. Last night she was at a dance at Belmont High School, and when she rang for a lift home, her father did not answer the telephone.
Pushing further, we ask about the state of her parent’s marriage, we she grudgingly admits wasn’t perfect (doubt). Before we’re able to do anything else, her father, the victim’s wife (and as such, Galloway’s chief suspect) bursts in and sends her to her room, leaving us facing him for our next line of enquiry.
Having found a pair of his workboots in the bedroom marked size 8, I am confused when he professes to be a nine in answer to our first question, leaving no choice but to call him a liar and confront him with the evidence. He makes a lame excuse about penis envy and begins to look extremely uncomfortable. We ask him about his alibi, and again he lies, saying he was at home all night, despite what Michelle told us.
I call him up on it due to his daughter’s previous statement. The missing persons report is a strange question, as we have no evidence, but he looks uncomfortable so I doubt, and this is correct. Cracking up under the pressure, we hit him with a new, fourth question – enquiring about an alleged history of violence. Again, from the daughter’s testimony we know that her special brooch (the eponymous Golden Butterfly) was a present to apologise for his domestic abuse, and so again he is caught lying – this alone is enough to have him carted off to Central.
However, I display a soft spot and allow him the time to make arrangements for the care of his young daughter, while we head off to quiz the nosy neighbours. One woman across the street we find tells us about his shifty behaviour and points us to the incinerator in his back garden. As we look back across to the Moller residence, we can see him in the yard as smoke pours up from the burning barrel drum.
I spot him, and he makes a run for it. Why do they always run?
A furious chase through backyards, sewage rivers and sun-bleached streets ensues, until I get close enough to heroically tackle him, and confront with the scene of his evidence burning. Indeed, upon examination, we see a pair of size 8 shoes, bloody as can be, smouldering in the heat. Hugo Moller is cuffed and sent to Central to await questioning. ‘This doesn’t look good, Hugo…’

A quick call to dispatch for information and we have the address of Belmont High School. It’s the only possible lead so we head off, although over the police radio we soon hear the coroner has some information regarding the corpse for us. Figuring the dead can wait, I head to school, hoping to learn something.

Location: Belmont High School (3:58 pm)

Immediately I spy a shadowy figure lurking in the bushes, spying on school children. Again I head into a foot chase, this time through bleachers, over a sports field and into some alleyways, where eventually I manage to corner the runner, resulting in a brief fist fight in which my headbutting technique proves too much for the mook.

The suspect, whose name is Eli, is suitably roughed up, and upon turning out his pockets, I discover Deirdre Moller’s Golden Butterfly. Things don’t look good for this ugly bum, although he claims Moller would have been too old for him – he likes them young, hence his attendance at a High School way past graduation age. He is carted off to Central as the janitor of the school explains how this Eli has been preying on young girls in the area, and is in his opinion a violent person. Then he shows us the green 1946 Chevrolet coupe, which had belonged to Deirdre Moller.

We investigate the Moller’s abandoned car further, and looking in the boot reveals three key clues: a bloodstained tire iron, some equally red-splattered overalls, with the initials ‘H.M’, and a length of bloody rope. If only the janitor could confirm who parked the car there, we would have a strong case. However he is an honest man and admits that under cover of darkness he couldn’t swear for sure, even if he would love to see the ‘child-molester’ Eli Rooney put away for good.. We call it in to the station and ask them to prepare our suspects for their imminent grilling.

Location: Central Morgue

On my way back to the station, I force a reluctant Galloway to drive to the Coroner’s Office. Carruthers is pleased to have company as ever; it must be lonely working with all those stiffs. He has some rope samples prepared for us to look at under a micropscope, hoping to find a match to the wounds around Deirdre Moller’s neck. As it goes, I spot the v-shaped lines left by three ply rope, which Galloway informs me is beloved of both sailors and bell-ringers. Which is a pity as none of the suspects we have in custody are either. There is also a cast of the footprints from the crime scene, clearly showing a size 8 shoe, which still points the finger at Hugo Moller. From here it’s back to the station for the interviews.

Location: Central Police Station (8:15 pm)

All the way to Central, Galloway has been flip-flopping over who is guilty. As I head to interview Eli Rooney, our captain makes it clear who his preferred bird is – the child molester needs to be taken off the streets.
This in mind, I decide to interview Hugo Moller first, hoping to eliminate him from my enquiries. Having lied to us in the first interview, Hugo is resigned when I accuse him over the disposal of evidence, claiming we’d never believe him if he said it was rabbit’s blood (truth). Next up we ask him about the rope – we doubt his response and suddenly he cracks, even claiming that he would use 3-ply rope (like that matching the ligature marks on the victim’s neck) if he had to strangle someone.
When confronted next about the tire iron, mechanic Hugo claims to know nothing about them. For someone protesting his innocence, he sure lies a lot. We call him up on it and point out his Chrysler would have a tire iron exactly like that of the murder weapon. Again, a lie from Hugo the Husband. Next up we quiz him about his overalls and he denies the possibility that they put him at the scene. We confront him with the evidence for a third time, his overalls with his initials stencilled on them having been in the car, and he looks increasingly uncomfortable.
I decide against charging him until I’ve spoken to Eli Rooney, the lurking child molester we caught at the school. I ask this parolee about his employment, and he claims he worked at Hennessey Marine, where he wore green coveralls. The initials match once more. He denies knowing anything about the rope, and claims to have seen the person parking the car. Instead of getting him to elaborate on this, or tying it to Hugo Moller even, we ask about his shoe size, and call him out when he claims to be sporting size elevens – he’s a short man, and eight would be a much more realistic size for him.

The evidence isn’t compelling, but I charge him anyway – this sicko needs to be removed from the streets, and I’m happy to do as the captain asks me to do. Immediately after seeing him to his cell, the captain is commending us and offering us drinks. A successful 5 star case, with only one unanswered question. It’s off to the police bar for a few rounds. According to the case notes, Eli Rooney can expect a warm welcome from Captain Donnelly and the District Attorney…

Notes of interest:

Neither of the cases against our suspects seemed particularly strong evidence wise – I decided to charge Rooney as my Captain told me to, and I’m a good case man who wants to keep in with top brass. He rewarded me with 5 stars, but I still felt it could just as equally been the husband, or even neither of the above…