Saturday, June 2, 2012

Homicide: Probable Cause

This is another turn of my ongoing Mythic GM solo game. I've made a couple changes to how I'm tracking this let's play, mostly to keep the turns focused on action rather than filling them with the game context. I've created a single page I'll be using to track the details of the game from the Mythic perspective. You can find the context right here. Note you can also see the posts in this series, in order, on the index page. I update that about once a week, depending on post frequency. Right enough about administration, on to the game.

When we ended the last turn, our detectives had just finished interviewing Anna Marin, mother of the victim. She had a number of interesting things to say. She talked to Scott at midnight on June 7th, right before he was killed. She also said Scott was with Gabe Babbett, the ex-con who was recently employed by the apartment complex. We also discovered that Scott had some sort of religious disagreement with Michelle Allen, the owner of the car that appears to be the actual murder scene. Allen is related to both Babbett, and Albert Burns, one of Scott's former roommates and part of a conflict involving rent.

Evan and Jeff had planned to take a look at Allen's apartment, and the complex manager, Mike Lewis had agreed to let them in. With the information from Anna though, the apartment may be more important than initially anticipated, so we'll wait for a warrant so we can be sure any evidence obtained is untainted. That leaves our detectives at loose ends for the moment, so we'll set the next scene as Evan and Jeff back at their car, putting some plans into action. Mythic tells us the scene is altered, so I'll send Jeff off to check in with forensics and deal with any issues there, while Evan does his thing with the computer. Jeff will also put uniforms on Allen's apartment to keep it secure.

The first thing we'll do is get an alert out on our persons of interest, Michelle Allen and Gabe Babbett. We'll add Albert Burns and Rose Marie Orr to the list as persons of interest, but the most important people now are Allen and Babbett.

  • Q1: Does Allen have another car? (unlikely)
  • Answer: No
  • Q2: Does Babbett have a car? (likely)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Event:  Focus: NPC negative. Meaning: Carelessness rumor.
Flag Babbett's car too. Actually a light white short-bed pickup with a stretch cab and custom body work according to the random generator. Let's see who our event is about. The dice pick Albert Burns. My reading of that event is he's done something careless that's going to bring him into our hands pretty quickly. Hmm. Since he's related to Allen and Babbett, maybe he heard something happened to Marin. He decided to bolt and now he's been pulled over for speeding, just as his name hits the wire. Seems appropriate. We'll say he's in the custody of the Indiana State Police until we go grab him. Before we deal with that, let's finish off the rest of our work here.

Evan also wants a warrant to search Allen's apartment. He has the bloody car, Anna's report of conflict between Scott and Allen, and the visible signs of flight. Seems like more than enough probable cause. We'll shoot off that warrant request and let someone in the office run it through the mill.

We'll also determine where some people live. We don't need addresses, but it'd be nice to know how local people are so we can establish a timeline. I'll use 2d6, with a roll of nine or less being in state, lower is closer, higher is further away. I want to know about the Marins, Babbett, Lewis, plus the roommates's new addresses. Everyone lives in state, and aside from Orr, we'll say they're within an hour or so of Lafayette. Orr is a little further, so let's say south Indianapolis. So far she seems least involved with this.

Alibis: Let's check out a few. We'll pull phone records for Anna to see if we can verify her details about talking to Scott. We'll also check into Lewis's alibi, pulling a credit report that should at least verify that he was on vacation (let's say a trip to the Great Lakes).

Last, we'll check on a loose end we've neglected til now, the anonymous tipster. Let's see what the phone records say about it...
  • Q3: Was the tip called in from a cell phone? (very unlikely - even criminals aren't that dumb).
  • Answer: Extreme no
  • Q4: Was it called in from a pay phone? (very likely)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q5: Is the phone nearby? (likely)
  • Answer: Extreme no
  • Q6: Is it within 100 miles? (unlikely)
  • Answer: No
  • Q7: Is it within 300 miles (very likely)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q8: Was the call recorded? (very likely)
  • Answer: Yes
Well, that's a twist. Someone is on the run it sounds like. The murder was a couple days ago, and the tip was phoned in this morning (since we hit the crime scene immediately), so plenty of time for the murderer to get some distance. Evan makes a note to check alibis for the time of the tip call when doing interviews.

OK that's a start on closing out some loose ends. We'll give the system time to churn and close out this scene. Before we go, let's see if anything turned up at our crime scene. It's been a little while at least.
  • Q9: Anything critical / unexpected from the apartment crime scene? (50/50)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q10: Anything critical / unexpected from the car crime scene? (50/50)
  • Answer: Yes
CSI on the case! Sounds like our next scene is going to be forensics review, but we'll leave that for next time...

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