Thursday, June 7, 2012

Homicide - Where Were We?

Last session our planned scene, checking in with the forensics teams to find out what they'd discovered, was interrupted by a little scuffle when the suspected rental office thief fled the scene. He'd been hiding in the crawl space beneath the offices, and a uniformed officer flushed him out. Let's go back to our main scene and see how things go.

Despite the fact that we've already tried this scene once, we still need to process it as a regular Mythic GM scene, so let's see what the dice tell us...

  • Interrupted! New scene event: Focus: Move toward a thread. Meaning: Attract environment.
"Now what?" Mutters Jeff as he and Evan walk back toward the crime scene. With Kevin Woods, the suspected thief, headed to an HQ interrogation room, the detectives were about done with the scene. They were ready to grab some lunch, then start nailing down some of the other leads.

"This will only take a minute." Evan had spotted an alert flashing on the in car laptop. "Let's see what this is about before we go in." Sliding into the front seat he unlocks the display and opens the message.

The dice tell us this event involves the thread "Does Lewis's alibi check out?" and we were pulling a credit report on him to verify his statement that he was vacationing in the Great Lakes area at the time of the murder. Given his pretty peripheral involvement with the case (recall that Lewis is the property manager), I think it's a near sure thing that his alibi checks out. The fact that we got an answer so fast means it's a bit less likely, so let's go with very likely instead.

  • Q1: Does Lewis's alibi check out? (very likely)
  • Answer: Yes
"See, that wasn't so bad Jeff. His card records show five transactions before and after the night of the murder, placing him up north. Looks like he's clear."

"Yeah yeah. He's an angel. You want to tell him?"

Evan thinks for a moment. "No. Let's keep him sweating a bit, in case we need him to answer some questions later. Might give us a little extra leverage."

"Right. Now can we talk to forensics?"

With that we draw this relatively short scene to a close. Finally, the dice cooperate and our detectives get to talk to the forensics team. Note that mechanically the team as a whole is currently a character in our Mythic GM NPC list. I considered opening this up and adding individual team members to the list, but for now I've decided to keep things as is. This is a detective drama, and unless it turns into a CSI-heavy investigation, treating the team as a unit makes sense. I'll add a few names just so we know who we're talking to, but for system purposes, they're part of a hydra-headed group.

The whole reason we're talking to forensics is that they told Jeff there was critical info about both the apartment and the car scene. Let's start with the apartment. We already have a suspected cause of death, and know the apartment was very clean. I'm going to go with 50/50 across the board here, as I don't have a strong inclination about anything here. Let's see what we find...

  • Q2: Does the new development concern the victim's remains? (50/50)
  • Answer: No
  • Q3: Does the new development concern the apartment premises? (50/50)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q4: Does it provide physical evidence of who placed the body here? (50/50)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q5: Fingerprints? (50/50)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q6: Is there proof that they're tied to the body? (likely)
  • Answer: Yes
OK, so there are prints on something, and some evidence links them to the body. Let's say the print was recovered from the doorway, and there's a blood trace, so it was clearly part of the move process. "Nice work Kristie, when you run that, you may want to check against Gabe Babbett, he used to work here and lied about being an ex-con. He's looking like a strong suspect."

"Sure thing Evan. Once we're done here I'll get the print scanned and check it against his first."

"Anything else?"

"Not much. Aside from the partial on the door frame and a few drag marks it's pretty clean. The door is intact so they either picked it or had a key."

"Key seems likely if it was Babbett, he worked here and had access. Could have duped a master."

"Yeah, sounds reasonable. Wonder what he did with the key afterwards? Think he might have tossed it?"

"Could be, why?"

"Well I have a metal detector in the van. Maybe I'll have someone sweep the area around the entry and double-check the stairwell for a key."

"Good idea. We'll leave you to it. Wes says he has something at the SUV."

Outside, Evan and Jeff head to the car and talk to Wes. We'll use the same sort of questions as we used before, and the same odds.

  • Q7: Does the new development concern the gun? (50/50)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q8: Does it provide physical evidence of who used it? (50/50)
  • Answer: Extreme yes
  • Fingerprints? (likely)
  • Answer: Yes

Well that's good enough for me. Sounds like solid evidence of our shooter. We'll have a similar conversations with Wes as we had with Kristie, mentioning the likely suspect and the possibility that he had an apartment key. Wes agrees to double-check the SUV and the surrounding parking area for the key, just in case they missed it.

That's about a wrap. Evan and Jeff has pretty well covered the bases here, but there's plenty to follow up on. The most likely next scenes:

  • Interview Kevin Woods, the theft suspect.
  • Chase alibis to clear less likely suspects.
  • Pick up Albert Burns from the ISP.
  • Pay a visit to Rose Marie Orr.

Since I'm keeping a central game context I'll take this opportunity to snap-shot the current state below. The context will change along the way, and anyone reading along may have a hard time figuring out what's gone on along the way. Note that I've dropped Chaos back to six, since we've managed to focus in on a pretty solid set of leads. Here you go:

Chaos: 6

Story Characters

Scott Marin
  • The victim, an adult male.
  • Found in a very clean garden apartment, 6600 College Place Apartments, 2B.
  • Dead approximately two days (time of death early AM June 8).
  • The apartment was not the murder scene. The body was dumped.
  • A religious difference with Michelle Allen.
  • One of three roommates involved in a dispute concerning rent.
  • 2B was the apartment rented by the trio.
  • Their lease was up.
Anna Marin, Scott Marin's mother
  • The stranger in the College Place Apartments rental office.
  • Has an alibi (Richard Marin).
  • Didn't steal the records.
  • Spoke to Scott Marin by phone at midnight, June 7, just before he was killed.
  • Lives near Lafayette.
Richard Marin, Scott Marin's father
  • Has an alibi (Anna Marin).
  • Lives near Lafayette.
Rose Marie Orr
    • One of three roommates involved in a dispute concerning rent.
    • Lives in south Indianapolis.
    Albert Burns (SUSPECT)
    • In custody of the Indiana State Police (driving infraction while flagged).
    • One of three roommates involved in a dispute concerning rent.
    • Burns is Michelle Allen's stepson.
    • Lives near Lafayette.
    Michelle Allen, a person of interest (SUSPECT)
    • Owner of the damaged SUV found near the crime scene.
    • Car has blood and a gun in the passenger compartment.
    • Appears to have been the scene of the actual murder.
    • Allen's apartment shows signs of a hasty departure.
    • Works at a religious center that works with students.
    • Allen is Gabe Babbett's cousin.
    • Allen is Albert Burns's stepmother.
    Gabe Babbett, former maintenance worker, College Place Apartments (SUSPECT)
    • Had access to apartment keys.
    • Has a serious felony record that he lied about on his job application.
    • Was fired by Lewis.
    • Babbett is Michelle Allen's cousin.
    • Potential suspect in the office break-in.
    • Lives near Lafayette.
    The anonymous tipster
    • The call was recorded
    • The call was from very far away and made from a pay phone
    The forensics team
    • Forensics has critical info from the apartment (team lead Kristie Duvall)
    • Forensics has critical info from the SUV (team lead Wes Jones)
    • Prints found in both the apartment (a partial with blood trace), and on the gun in the car (our likely murder weapon)
    • Forensics will give priority to checking prints against Babbett's, our ex-con.
    The shooter
    Mike Lewis, property manager, College Place Apartments
    • Lewis agrees to provide access to Allen's apartment.
    • Probably has an alibi for the murder (vacation in the Great Lakes area).
    • Lives near Lafayette.
    Tina Mallory, property administrator, College Place Apartments
    Jacob Anderson, maintenance and grounds, College Place Apartments
    Kevin Woods, suspect in apartment office theft
    • Apprehended fleeing scene
    • In police custody
    1. Who killed the victim?
    2. Rental records for the murder scene are missing.
      • The records were stolen.
      • The thief broke in through a crawlspace.
      • They may have left fingerprints on a soda can nearby.
      • Thief is caught!
      • Additional evidence found on thief (rental binder) and in the crawl space (bolt cutters).
    3. Who owns the murder weapon?
    4. Where is Michelle Allen?
    5. Do alibis for Richard and Anna check out?
    6. Does Lewis's alibi check out?
      • Alibi checks out. Multiple receipts place Lewis up north at the time of the murder.
      • Detectives have not yet informed Lewis, keeping that info as leverage.
    7. Various wanted / flagged people and vehicles.
    8. The print from the apartment being traced.
    9. The prints from the gun being traced.
    Evan's Personal Characters
    • Jeff Long, Evan's partner on the force
    • Evan's Rabbi on the force
    • Evan's family
    • Evan's estranged wife
    • Evan's professional contact
    Jeff's Personal Characters
    • Jeff's relative in trouble
    Personal Threads
    • Jeff has a relative in trouble
    • Evan is on the road to divorce

    Thanks as always for reading. Hope you're enjoying the show!

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