My first murder investigation. It’s actually just a “possible” homicide for now, but seriously, I don’t think he did this to himself. If you read my self-guided tour of the museum, you probably remember the unfortunate dude in the glass display. I feel very sorry for him, and my condolences to his family and all that. But that aside, this is going to be exciting!
This will be an opportunity to use a methodical approach, document all evidence, construct a timeline and follow every lead to find the murderer (sorry.. “Possible” murderer).
It’s also a great chance to use the form from the Homicide Detective’s handbook. It’s filled out in semi-real time.
Case number: V88-0001
Arrival at the scene:
Time of arrival 01:43pm/13:43.
The first rule in the homicide investigation handbook is not to disturb anything. Wish I had started reading the damn thing before entering the crime scene.
Step 1: Establish if the victim is still alive.
Tried shouting “Are you alive?”. No response.
Step 2: Check for any vital signs, like a pulse or breathing.
Is the victim breathing? No, he is not. His head is not attached to the top of his shoulders, making breathing difficult.
Step 3: Take photos of the victim and its position before removal.
- The head is not where it should be.
- Legs bending backwards.
- Sign of forced entry into a confined space.
- Feet is the right way.
Step 4: Obtain physical evidence from victim.
Searched through his pockets etc. and found:
- Hair & blood sample
- Left pocket, A bullet casing.
- Left pocket, A wedding ring, no inscription.
- In his left shoe, a note with “Viva la revolting” in writing.
Now we’re talking.
Step 5: Remove the body and secure the scene to avoid tampering
Can cross off Police tape from my bucket list! Yes!
The photos were a bust… Epic fail.
Important note: Prevent anyone from touching the body or disturbing anything pending the arrival of the medical examiner, identification personnel,and investigative officers. Set up adequate lighting so not to miss any important clues/evidence.
Aw shit… Guess that’s off the table. Well, one out of two isn’t all bad. If it’s that important not to tamper with the body, why not put it on the top of the form?
Step 6: Gather footprints and eyewitness memory
No eyewitnesses. Check!
Saw some footprints somewhere. Aw, there we have some:
Step 7: Take careful note of surroundings and other relevant details (See page 54)
(From page 54)
Make especialy detailed notes of:
Position of body
Position, condition of clothing
Location of substances on deceased and his clothing
Any alteration of deceased’s position before
your arrival as determined from witnesses or officers.
Well, no surprise they provide that info AFTER I moved the body. Freakin’ handbook..
I’ll just jot down some other useless information.
- Weather: Not relevant in an underground vault.
- Suspected murder weapon: Museum display.
- Other relevant information: Most people like ice cream.
Postmortem (Part 1):
Transport the body to the morgue for autopsy
Accompanied by a guard, I carried the body to the “morgue”. He helped me a great deal by reminding me to straighten my back now and then (yeah, thanks, you arrogant bastard).
The doctor placed the body on a table and readied his tools.
Photograph the deceased from all angles
I’ll have a creative thinking break, while the doctor does his thing. The photos can wait. At least until my stomach get’s turned the right way..
Not sure I want to do this full time.
With my business done, on the way out of the toilets, I noticed some blood splatter on the ground. A new clue?
What could this be? Are we dealing with a serial killer, or even better/worse, a conspiracy?
You would think that vault doors with sturdy locks would prevent this, but no. There always has to that one guy who never locks the door.
I shouldn’t feel disappointed it was just a drunk guy, but I do. Bad reporter. Bad, baaad reporter.
I might as well do with the interrogations while waiting.
Proceed with non-intrusive/confrontational interrogation
When was the victim last seen alive?
Who was he/she with?
What was he/she doing?
Where was he/she last seen?
I’m not sure if people are just trying to be helpful, or trying to throw me off track.
Asking around in the vault got me nothing but contradictory, inconsistent answers.
Here’s what i got:
- No relatives / Family man
- No Friends / Life of the party
- Unemployed / hard working
- Kept to himself / Snooped around
- No criminal activities / Stole materials from the workshop
- No romantic involvements / A real Casanova
And here, some of the plain unhelpful and sarcastic responses:
- Was really near-sighted
- Favorite hobby: cramming himself into museum displays
- Liked running with scissors
- Was gay and couldn’t live with himself after having read the Old Testament.
- He uncovered the vault’s (Vault Tech’s) true purpose and got packed into a museum display by the Overseer.
I was close to giving up, before I met a woman who gave a strange answer. When asking her if she knew him, she replied “He didn’t exist”.
I convinced her to meet my in my quarters. I set up something vaguely looking like an interrogation space.
The transcript of the interrogation:
Interrogation start 02:04pm / 14:04
Subject: This isn’t exactly what I thought you meant when you said “meet me in my bedroom”
Me: Yeah, sorry about that.s What did you mean by “He didn’t exist”?
Subject: She told me not to tell.
Me: Who did? Why?!
Subject: You are scary. I’m nervous. Do you have any relax-candy?
(Assume subject refers to Med-X. Administering Med-X hoping it will loosen subject’s tongue)
Me: Feel better?
Me: Okay, so who told you not to t..
Note: Subject is unconscious, sleeping on the floor.
Interrogation end 02:08pm / 14:08
I may have too eagerly administered the dosage. Moved the snoring, useless meatsack out in the hallway.
Well, drastic times call for drastic measures. Time to ring up everyone and put some pressure on the killer.
Postmortem (Part 2):
Gather results from the autopsy
The results from the autopsy were not quite as desired. The doctor/coroner, now suddenly very unfriendly, reported the body was cremated and gave me a crudely written note with the findings.
Blood type: red
Wounds&Damage: None, but head fallen off (likely due to high blood pressure).
Cause of death: Natural. Age. Heart attack.
It’s hard to fully accept this professional’s unhelpful, sloppy job, but I guess it will have to do for now.
Systematic review of evidence
Analyze all evidence and clues
Look for connections
Establish possible motives
Thoughts on evidence marked in
- Footprints: Several bloody footprints/shoe prints. On a closer look, they appear to be mine. Brand and pattern match. Don’t have to be a homicide detective to see that.
- Photographs of the deceased:
- The head is not where it should be. Most likely not removed by himself
- Knees bending in opposite direction. Highly unnatural.
- Sign of forced entry into a confined space.
- Feet is turning the right way. Interesting. Indicates a very angry person twisted the legs 180 degrees first, and then the feet another 180 degrees.
- Physical evidence from victim:
- Left pocket, A bullet casing. The vault dwellers are not allowed to carry these things on person.
- Left pocket, A wedding ring, no inscription. Might be left handed
- Left shoe, a note with writing: “Viva la revolting”. Might mean he is a dyslectic Che Guevara fan. Not a particularly linguistic guy. Also, they don’t teach people about Cuban communism here. Signs of outside influence?
- The interrogation subject mentioned a “she” telling her to keep identity of deceased quiet. Someone want’s to hide something from me, threatening people to stay quiet.
The motive still eludes me. Someone didn’t like the museum? An art-critic? Museum display equal rights defender? Was he planning a revolution Guevara-style?
Ok, that’s what I have so far. It’s not much to go on. I may even be the prime suspect in my own investigation.
Something’s fishy, but I can’t seem to find anything leading med further. I’m closing the case.
Copy in triplicate, sign and archive
I had given up on my investigation, when something happened.
While sitting alone in the cantina, a guard approached me and told me that the case had been taken over by the local authorities since it was never sanctioned by the Overseer. He added that me snooping around was beginning to annoy people in the vault.
In a harsher tone, he explained how I was the prime suspect in their investigation, and how they were willing to let me go if I dropped the case. They wanted to evict me from the vault as well. I could stay on one condition though. If I started writing only positively angled articles in their local newspaper.
And with that, the case just reopened. I guess I have a new lead now, but it’s probably good to lay low for a while.
The next addition will be coming soon.