Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Homicide - Motives

Last session our detectives had pretty well wrapped up the two murders they were faced with, with all evidence pointing to Gabe Babbett, our parole-violating ex-con. Based on Kevin Woods's interrogation, we think the following is a reasonable scenario:
  • Michelle Allen, our second victim, steals something from her place of employment, a religious organization associated with the college campus.
  • Scott Marin, our first victim, either discovers or was involved in the theft, leading to some sort of confrontation or conflict with Allen.
  • Gabe Babbett, our main suspect, becomes involved, either as a way to fence the item, as protection against Marin, or in some other capacity.
  • Babbett steals the item from Allen, involving Kevin Woods in the theft. Babbett also steals Allen's handgun, the murder weapon.
  • Things go south and Allen, Marin, and Babbett are involved in some sort of confrontation in Allen's car.
  • Babbett shoots them both, then dumps Marin's body in his old apartment and Allen's body in hers.
  • For reasons unknown Babbett gets Woods to steal rental records from the apartment office, perhaps to slow the identification of Marin and his roommates?
  • Babbett takes off for Delaware to arrange the sale of the stolen item and to put some distance between the crime scene and himself, violating his parole in the process.
Overall, things are coming together, so we're going to drop the Chaos level to five. We're kind of stalled on the main line here, since Babbett is in the wind. Let's eliminate a pair of nagging loose ends, and interview Albert Burns and Rose Marie Orr, who were Scott Marin's former roommates. Burns is in police custody, having been stopped by the ISP for a driving violation. We'll deal with him first.
  • Scene - Burns Interrogation: Normal Scene
Burns is probably not too happy with being held by the police, so we'll go in hard and fast to keep him off balance, but let's see what he knows first:
  • Q1: Did the ISP tell Burns why he was brought in? (50/50)
  • Answer: No
Good. Let's hit him up.
  • Q2: Can he account for his whereabouts on the night of June 7 / early AM June 8? (Very Likely)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q3: Can anyone provide him with an alibi? (Likely)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q4: Is his alibi one of our NPCs? (50/50)
  • Answer: Yes
The NPC that makes the most sense here is Rose Marie Orr, Marin's other roommate. I'll declare Burns spent the night at Orr's, putting him out of the picture as a murder suspect. Since we already know about the rent conflict, but it seems unrelated to the crime we care about, let's see if he knows anything more about Babbett, Allen, Woods, or the thefts. Burns was Allen's stepson, so we know he knows her.
  • Q5: Does he know Babbett? (Likely)
  • Answer: No
  • Q6: Does he know Woods? (50/50)
  • Answer: No
  • Q7: Did he speak with Marin recently? (Likely)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q8: Did he seem upset or say anything out of character? (50/50)
  • Answer: No
The dice tell us he spoke to Scott four days prior to the murder, not very useful. It also seems he didn't know his stepmom's cousin Babbett. This interview seems to support our conclusions about who's involved here. Let's ask about Allen:
  • Q9: Did he speak with Allen recently? (Likely)
  • Answer: Extreme Yes
  • Q10: Did she seem upset or say anything out of character? (Likely)
  • Answer: Yes
OK, Burns spoke with Allen two days before the murder. The extreme yes answer means this conversation was at least memorable. Let's see if Allen was upset or if she said something out of character. The dice are middle of the road (2d6: 7 result - curse you dice!). I'll interpret that as a bit of both.

  • Q11: Comment on work? (Likely)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q12: Fearful / Nervous? (50/50)
  • Answer: No
  • Q13: Angry / Annoyed? (50/50)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q14: Something about Marin? (50/50)
  • Answer: Yes

So Allen was upset by Marin about something at work, something that angered her. Maybe she didn't steal whatever it was that was stolen. Instead maybe Marin stole it and she found out about it. That's interesting, and we can dig into it when we visit the place Allen worked.

Two more questions...
  • Q15: Does Burns react appropriately when informed of Marin's death? (Very Likely)
  • Answer: Extreme no
  • Q16: Does Burns react appropriately when informed of Allen's death? (Very Likely)
  • Answer: Yes
Hmmm. That's odd. We'll use the dice to see how he responded. A middle of the road result doesn't help, so let's go with him making some inappropriate comments about Marin deserving what he got. Apparently he was a bit of a dick on the roommate front.

Given what's going on in the mainline, I'm going to declare this irrelevant and move on. Burns is free to go, but we warn him to stay available as we may have more questions. On to Rose Marie Orr.
  • Orr Interrogation: Normal Scene
We catch up with Orr at home, and follow a similar script to that we followed with Burns. Since she is his alibi, let's see if they match up stories.
  • Q17: Can she account for her whereabouts on the night of June 7 / early AM June 8? (Very Likely)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q18: Can anyone provide her with an alibi? (Very Likely)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q19: Is her alibi one of our NPCs? (Near Sure Thing)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Event: NPC positive / Delay Bureaucracy
That event sounds like she has some means of backing her story, and the meaning indicates some slowness in  gaining access to the backing. Let's say she claims she was using her cell phone and her laptop online during the period in question, and that her phone and internet provider records will prove it.
  • Q20: Does she know Babbett? (Very Unlikely)
  • Answer: Extreme No
  • Q21: Does she know Allen? (Has to be)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q22: Does she know Woods? (Unlikely)
  • Answer: No
  • Q23: Did she speak with Marin recently? (Likely)
  • Answer: Yes
  • Q24: Did he seem upset or say anything out of character? (50/50)
  • Answer: Extreme yes
So she spoke to Marin after Burns, and Marin said something unusual or out of character. Let's see if we can narrow that down.

    • Q25: Was it something related to the rent issues? (50/50)
    • Answer: Yes
    A quick dice roll tells us Marin was the one not paying his share, so the obvious question..
    Where is the pretzel money?

    • Q26: Was he going to pay off his rent due? (Likely)
    • Answer: Yes
    OK, after these two conversations it sounds like Orr and Burns alibi out of our murder. It also sounds like Marin may have been a bit shadier than his parents believed. I'm starting to get the feeling he was responsible for the church theft, and was going to sell whatever he stole to pay his rent.

    That's a good place to wrap for today. Next up, time to visit Allen's church and see what's up there.

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