File No. 003: A Murder Staged

A Murder Staged
File 003.png
File No. 003
Requester Justin Lawson
Difficulty ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Purchase? Yes
Previous Case File No. 002: The Bungled Burglary
Next Case File No. 004: The Walking Corpse

File No. 003: A Murder Staged is the third case presented in Layton Brothers: Mystery Room. This case is requested by Justin Lawson and investigates the murder of a famous actress, Gloria Blaise, who was murdered while performing on stage.


[edit] Characters Involved

Gloria Blaise (32 / F), a high-profile actress who was shot on stage in front of a full house.

Roscoe Strapping (38 / M), the victim's co-star and fiancée.
Destiny Knox (27 / F), a supporting actress that was at the show.
Bray Clegg (31 / M), a stage hand that appeared in the wings during the show.

[edit] Statements

[edit] Roscoe Strapping

Statement 1: After my exit, I went straight back to my dressing room. I only realized something was wrong when I heard the gunshot.

Statement 2: When I came back onto the stage, the lights were up and Destiny was holding Gloria in her arms. I knew she was dead in an instant.

[edit] Destiny Knox

Statement 1: After the blackout, I heard Gloria scream. I'd know her scream anywhere. She's my absolute idol. It was definitely her.

Statement 2: After the scream, I heard a gunshot right next to where I was standing. It was pitch black, so I couldn't see anything. I just remember being utterly terrified.

[edit] Bray Clegg

Statement 1: When he made his exit from stage, Mr Strapping bumped into Destiny. I panicked a bit because it wasn't in the script.

Statement 2: I heard a woman's scream, but then I was attacked by someone who knocked me out. I didn't see the killer's face. When I came to, there was a gun in my hand!

[edit] Evidence

Corpse: Blaise's dead body. She was killed with a single bullet through the chest. Forensics confirmed she was shot from a distance of 1 - 3m away.
Set door: A door in the set used for the show. This is the exit Strapping would have used to leave the stage after his final scene.
Sofa: A sofa used as a prop on stage. At a distance, it appears to be a very luxurious piece of furniture, but in truth it's stained and suffering the effects of old age.
Table and chair: A small table and chair that makes up part of the set. They're brand new, and look great.
Replica gun: A model of a gun that was used in the show. Its construction is such that it can only fire blanks. It's swimming in the oil used to lubricate the mechanism.
Gun: An old revolver that has been identified as the weapon that killed Blaise. Five unused bullets were found in the cylinder.
Bullet hole: Having passed through Blaise's chest, the bullet that killed her pierced a hanging picture to finally lodge itself in the set wall.
Clegg: This is where Clegg was found unconscious, revolver in hand. He was struck multiple times in the back of the head.
Stage position A: A mark indicating Blaise's place on stage for the scene in which she gets shot.
Stage position B: A mark indicating Strapping's place on stage for the scene in which he shoots Blaise.
Stage position C: A mark indicating Knox's place on stage for the scene in which Strapping shoots Blaise.
Bloodstain: A grim mix of Blaise's real blood and stage blood. The bright red is the fake blood, while the real blood is now darkened.
Ladder: A ladder that links the two levels of the set. From the upper level, one can gain access to the lighting bridge.
Bloody note: A typed slip of paper that reads, 'You'll pay for betraying me.' It's not a prop from the show, and has a hole in it where the bullet went through.
Remote switch: A switch to detonate the squib of fake blood that was concealed in Blaise's outfit. She was supposed to operate it at the appropriate time, but it was found in the bin.
Oil stains: A large patch along the back of the set covered in lubricating oil. It looks to have been made by a hand rubbing along the wall, but no fingerprints are present.
Picture: An oil painting hung on a wall of the set. It's a very beautiful picture, but being a replica, is of no particular value.
Rubbish bin: A plastic rubbish bin, situated out of sight of the audience. Various discarded items are inside.
Standard lamp: A standard lamp used on the set that offers somewhat mellow illumination.

[edit] Plot

Note: There are varying ways to complete the game, each going off in a different direction. However the overall plot is unchanged.

The scene starts with Justin Lawson walking into the Mystery Room, looking for Alfendi Layton. Lucy Baker asks if they were expecting him, which makes him think he had walked into the wrong room. Alfendi catches up with them and Justin asks who the young lady is with Alfendi. Lucy introduces herself to Lawson, and Alfendi introduces her to him, who is a detective with the Serious Crime Squad. Lawson tells them the introductions have to wait and tells them about an on-stage murder case that had come up, which Lucy notes she had seen on the Jeremy Summer Show. She had heard a loopy fan was to kill an actress on-stage, but Lawson implies that the media had got it incorrect, saying it was much more straightforward than that, where a stage hand was found in the wings holding a gun. However, a young man had punched the stage hand and knocked him out, and Alfendi tells Lawson the Mystery Room would look into the case, and he replies by saying the files had been sent over, wishing them luck.

[edit] Case Summary

The Suspects

The incident had taken place during a play at the West End Theater, in which a high-profile actor and actress were starring. The victim in this case is Gloria Blaise, who was the actress playing the heroine in the play. The first suspect, Roscoe Strapping, was Blaise's co-star and fiancée. At the performance's climax, the hero shoots his unfaithful wife, and Blaise falls to the floor in a pool of blood as scripted, and the hero leaves the room.

As he was exiting the stage, he collides with a supporting actress by the name of Destiny Knox, where Lucy remarks that she must have been nervous before her big entrance. After this, the lights had went out, and Blaise cries out for help. Another shot is heard through the darkness, and the stage director tries to turn the lights back on quickly. Blaise laid where she was originally, motionless, as Knox had discovered she was dead.

Alfendi turns Lucy's attention to a stage hand by the name of Bray Clegg, who was found unconscious lying in the wings with the murder weapon in his hand. However it is far from conclusive proof to name him the murderer, so in turn this information was held from the press. Clegg claims he was knocked out by someone while the lights were out, and Lucy questions it, however it is certain he had lost consciousness.

Alfendi then goes over the suspects, starting with Bray Clegg, who was found unconscious in the wings with the murder weapon in his hand. He claims he was knocked unconscious and the weapon was planted on him, and Lucy deducts he had to be the number one suspect based on the evidence. The attention is then turned to Roscoe Strapping, the leading actor, who exited the stage before the theater had gone pitch black. He claims to have been alone in his dressing room at the time of the incident. The final suspect is Ms. Destiny Knox, who was found on stage with the victim when the lights were out, as well as the closest person to the victim when the lights came back on again.

[edit] Investigation

As usual, Alfendi questions Lucy on what her gut feeling was telling her about the culprit, and say they were to start with the detective work afterwards. After Lucy gives her reasons on her thoughts of the killer, Alfendi tells her that he is 92.9% certain that the culprit is Roscoe Strapping. Lucy suggests calling him in to put rest the other 7.1% of uncertainty, however Alfendi is unsure whether he would show up, so they take a moment to consider what they know about Strapping. Lucy brings up that he was engaged, soon to be married, but also "engaged in you-know-what with another lass", but there is something else that interests Alfendi. Being an actor, he could be a master of deception, making fantasy appear as reality, and he was one of the best.

At this point, Strapping enters the room, which catches Lucy off-guard. He asks Lucy if she was a fan, but she denies it, and introduces herself. After she says he was in the Mystery Room, he responds by saying it was the very place he was looking for. Alfendi introduces himself, and asks why Strapping had come to the Mystery Room, and responds by saying he had heard they were attempting to unravel the mystery behind Gloria Blaise's death, and wanted to offer his assistance. He tells the two inspectors that it was Bray Clegg who had killed his fiancée, saying it was an elementary case of deduction. His reasoning behind this was that the supposed culprit was crushed by unrequited love, and was found holding the murder weapon. Lucy asks Alfendi if he were to set him straight, but he remarks that Strapping had some rather compelling theories.

The Crime Scene

The team begin to investigate the body for the wounds. They determined that the victim took a single shot to the heart from one to three meters away, with Strapping again putting the blame on Clegg. Alfendi asks him to calm down so that they could continue with the investigation, and analyzes the bullet had passed through Blaise's body, and so should be able to find it on the scene, which is found in a hanging painting. From the relative positions of the hole and the corpse, they were able to deduce where the shot originated from. Strapping tells them to stop immediately, saying they already knew Gloria's life was taken by a bullet, and that any further investigation would be a complete waste of time. Alfendi tells him they were trying to be thorough, and Strapping tells them to hurry with it. They figure that the shot was fired from Strapping's position on stage, however he tells them they were incorrect in assuming that. However Lucy tells him the spot was between one and three meters away from the victim, but Strapping passes it off as a coincidence, calling it a waste of time. Alfendi disagrees and says the information was extremely relevant, as shooting the victim with a single bullet in pitch black was near impossible. Strapping says that nothing they say will bring Gloria back to life, and Alfendi agrees, but Strapping interrupts him by saying there is nothing more to say.

Lucy suggests that Clegg's gun be investigated next, which Strapping agrees is a great idea, while also saying he would set about finding a way to Lucy's heart. After finding the murder weapon in Clegg's hand, Strapping exclaims this is the gun that had killed Blaise, and when the evidence was examined, that's what they would find. They examine Clegg's body, who was knocked out while holding the gun. Strapping compliments Lucy and offers for her to be his personal assistant, which she passes up on. Strapping deducts this was conclusive proof that Clegg possessed the murder weapon, and was more than enough evidence. Alfendi reminds him that Clegg was struck multiple time in the back of the head, which Strapping passes of as that he had done it to himself. Inspector Layton notes it would be strange, had he been indeed guilty, as he was still holding the gun. If he were to avoid suspicion, Clegg would have disposed of the gun, but Strapping tells him he makes such assumptions without knowing a man. He goes on to say he didn't have the brains to dispose of the gun.

Strapping concludes that Clegg was indeed the killer, but Alfendi recaps the case, saying Blaise was killed by a single bullet. Strapping again says the killer was Clegg, but Alfendi reminds him that he was knocked unconscious, and would not have kept the gun if wanting to avoid suspicion. Inspector Layton says that they knew Blaise was shot from where Strapping was standing, but he dismisses that as a cruel twist of fate. Alfendi notes there is problem with the timing, saying that to shoot someone from anything other than point blank range in total darkness was near impossible, but Strapping responds by saying it was irrelevant, passing it off as a fluke. He then says he remembered a death threat, saying they had to acknowledge Clegg as the killer with the additional evidence. He notes that Clegg had an unrequited love for Blaise, and sent her a death threat due to self-pity and rage. Strapping was notified of the note being on the crime scene, but hadn't the need to see it to know what Clegg had come up with.

The death threat is found on Blaise's body, reading "You'll pay for betraying me." Lucy notes that it seemed a bit odd for the note to say "betraying", as it made it sound that Blaise and Clegg had a fling. Strapping ignores this and says she only had eyes for him, which makes Alfendi think that Clegg was not the author of the note. Strapping agrees this was possible, and suggests the killer was a part of the audience, seeing as Gloria had many fanatical followers. Lucy notes that it would take all year if they had to pull in every audience member for questioning, and at this point the phone rings. While Lucy goes off to answer, Strapping asks Alfendi if the two of them were involved with each other, saying that he ought to get a little frisky being cooped up with her often. He then says that if he were Lucy, he would take it as an insult that nothing has happened. Alfendi becomes confused by this, and Lucy comes back to tell Strapping that his manager was on the phone, and that a famous person wanted words with him at his office. He realizes it would be in regards to a two billion pound film where he was to be the headliner, and so takes his leave.

Lucy voiced her annoyance with Strapping, asking Alfendi if he really did do it, and he has no doubts about it. He admits there were still a few things to solve, and that he was rather intelligent, though Lucy doesn't seem to think he was. He brings up the point that Strapping had diverted the conversation away from whether Blaise was actually shot in the dark or not. Alfendi reminds Lucy of where the victim was shot from, again saying that being shot in the dark with a single bullet would be almost impossible. If the room hadn't been pitch black, Blaise would have been an easy target from that location, and asks Lucy when she thought the shot was fired, and she determines that it was during the performance. They knew where the shooter was standing and that there was a noise of a gunshot, and when considering those two facts together, the only logical conclusion was that the gun used in the play was the murder weapon. At this stage this was only a theory, so they had to find evidence that Blaise was actually shot during the performance. Lucy notes that it would've been hard for Blaise to scream if she was dead before it went dark, and Alfendi deducts it was someone else who had screamed.

A control switch is found in a bin backstage, which would have been used to detonate a squib of Blaise's fake blood. Lucy questions why it would be here as she would have been the one to press it, but realizes that the button was never used. Despite failing to trigger the squib, blood has still poured from Blaise's wound during the performance, because she was indeed shot with a real gun. The entire audience were also witnesses to this, and Alfendi decides to hand over the remote to forensics to confirm the button was never pressed. While Lucy went to ask forensics, she pondered why anyone would want to kill someone in front of a large audience, which Alfendi thinks is a great mystery, as Strapping would have given himself away if his aim was even slightly off. He decides the two of them should continue with investigating on what they do know, in that Blaise was shot in the final scene with a real gun. With that established, the events that happened in the dark start falling into place, such as Blaise's scream and the gunshot that was heard in the darkness.

Lucy suggests that since Blaise wasn't the person that screamed, it had to be Destiny Knox, as neither Strapping nor Clegg would be able to cleverly imitate a woman's scream. Alfendi says that there was evidence that Strapping told Knox to scream within one of Clegg's statements, as knocking her over would give him time to tell her what to do. This make Lucy think that Knox was an accomplice, but Alfendi denies this, as they would have plotted the whole thing together if that were the case. The two inspectors then think about what the shot was that everyone had heard when the lights were out, and Alfendi guesses that it was fired by Strapping as part of the deception. A replica gun is found backstage, and from this point would have had to work his way round to knock out Clegg. Oil stains are lined along the back of the set, which would have been used to lubricate the replica gun. Lucy suggests that he had run his hand across the wall to feel his way around in the dark, thus how he worked his way over to Clegg and knocking him out.

[edit] Conclusion

At this point they homed in on that truth that Strapping is indeed the killer, and at this point forensics call them, saying that the remote switch wasn't pressed. This provides them with enough evidence, and thus call Strapping back in. He is surprised that Lucy would want to see him so soon, but she brushes this off. He responds by saying he likes a woman who can take a bit between the teeth, and she tells him this is strictly business. Alfendi interrupts them and tells Strapping they have identified the killer. He demands to know the name, and Lucy exclaims that it was him. He tells them they are an artless pair, and insists that the killer was in the audience, making their way to the stage and pulling the trigger. Lucy reminds him it would be impossible to kill her with a single shot in the dark, as the killer wouldn't know where to aim. Strapping then says that this shouldn't point to his own guilt, but Alfendi disagrees, with Lucy explaining that Gloria Blaise was shot during the performance.

Strapping then tells Lucy her imagination is wasted on her job, and instead become a dramatist, but she tells him it is the truth. He asks them to explain the scream that filled the darkness, and they tell him it was Destiny Knox who screamed, and he denies this by saying the audience had heard Gloria scream. Alfendi brings up the fact that Strapping had knocked into Knox on his way out, as told in Bray Clegg's statement, and that was when he told her she needed to scream. Strapping denies the accusations, saying it was all fabrication. He then says that he has no recollection of anything the inspectors had said, and that the evidence was all circumstantial. He is shown the remote switch, which should have been carried by Blaise for her to push when Strapping had fired the blank. Lucy tells him the button was never pressed, so it would be hard to explain where the blood had come from, because she was indeed shot with a real gun. He suggests that Gloria had forgotten to take the remote with her, but there was no explanation out of it.

At this point, Strapping shouts "Encore!", as he was overwhelmed with their barrage of illogical claptrap, but has now recovered his poise. He tells them he was framed, and that Clegg was behind the whole thing. He goes on to say that he thought it was the replica gun, and had no idea, only to realize his mistake after the deed was done. Lucy fires up, and at this point the "other" Alfendi appears, saying that Strapping was telling the truth. Someone had arranged for a real gun that looked like the replica to be there, and that part of it was a premeditated crime. What had followed was nothing more than an ad-libbed scramble to hide the truth. Lucy questions the possibility that someone else was involved in switching the guns over, but he confirms there was a mastermind behind the whole charade, and Strapping tells him he was getting carried away, but has gotten to the truth, saying that Clegg switched the guns due to his love for Gloria. Lucy reminds him he is the guilty one, but he denies it and says he was in fact a victim. Their constant arguing annoys Alfendi and suggests cutting their tongues out in order for them to shut up, and Strapping tells him there is no need for violence.

Blaise's Scheme

Alfendi then continues and says he had pulled the trigger on what he thought was a replica gun, and then to avert suspicion, he had cut off the lights and asked Knox to scream as he fired the blank. In turn, he fumbled his way to Clegg, knocked him out, and put the gun in his hand. Lucy asked if he was really admitting, and he retorts by saying he did it for justice. After Strapping suggests Clegg switched the guns, but Alfendi says that the man wouldn't have thought of such an "inspired and beautiful" death. Strapping asks if he was alright, and Lucy exclaims there is nothing magnificent about a murder. Alfendi asks Lucy who the mastermind is behind the crime, and what evidence suggests that, and she comes to the realization it was Blaise who had concocted the gun switch all along, with the remote switch proving it, and Strapping finds this hard to believe as she was the victim. Alfendi confirms that Lucy is indeed right, and the "other" Layton disappears. He explains to Strapping that she had purposely discarded the remote control, as she had planned the whole crime from the start. She knew she was to be shot dead that day, and so had no use for the remote control, and this confuses Strapping as to why she would orchestrate her own murder. Alfendi casts his mind back to the note that she had written; "You'll pay for betraying me." Strapping brings up an affair he had been involved with, and that he thought it was silly for her to take such measures because of it, but Alfendi tells him she was driven to such madness by him.

Back at the office, Justin Lawson is again looking for Alfendi, telling both inspectors that a typewriter was found in Blaise's room which was used to type the note, as well as proof that Blaise had ordered the gun. Justin told them he was amazed they solved the crime, and asks exactly who figured it out, with Lucy saying it was both her and Alfendi. Inspector Layton then interrupts and says he must leave, with Lucy remarking it wasn't like him to leave so early. He told her he wanted to see a program on TV, and leaves. Lucy guesses he had been jiggered after all the excitement, then explaining to Lawson his personality change. He asks how he changes, and she explains his wild and disheveled hair and the way he said things, such as when he had suggested cutting her and Strapping's tongues off for their arguing. Lawson passes this off as his sense of humor, but Lucy says how frightening it was. She started to get annoyed with this dark side of Alfendi, and was "this far away from a Lucy Lamping". Lawson tells her to try hard not to lose her patience, and asks if he ever comes out with any unfamiliar names, and Lucy says she had never heard of such things, but did tell him that Alfendi had said that death was inspired and beautiful. Lawson then tells Lucy to tell him if Alfendi ever brought up any strange names while his dark personality was out, but on the quiet, as it would be better for him that way. He then tells her to make sure Alfendi never knew of Lucy reporting to Lawson.

[edit] Walkthrough

1. Alfendi and Lucy will have a few exchanges. Wait until asked who the culprit is.
2. A question will appear. Select any option you'd like. To move straight to deductions, however, select the option "Identify the killer immediately".
3. Select any suspect from the list.
4. Select the "Blaise's wound" Memo to begin investigating.
5. Tap the circle surrounding the body, then tap the "Corpse".
6. Zoom out and tap on the circle surrounding the sofa, then zoom in to tap the "Bullet hole".
7. Zoom out and hit the circle between the door and chairs, then select "Stage position B".
8. Select the "It was fired from here!" button. 9. When a question appears, select the option "The body and bullet hole placing".
10. Select the "Clegg's gun" Memo to begin investigating.
11. Tap the circle at the top to the right, and zoom in to tap the "Gun".
12. Select the "This is the weapon!" button.
13. Tap on "Clegg".
14. To answer the question, select the option "He was still holding the gun".
15. Select the "Death threat" Memo to begin investigating.
16. Tap the circle surrounding the body, then zoom in to tap the "Bloody note".
17. Select the "Here's the death threat!" button.
18. Select the "Murder in the dark" Memo to begin the investigation.
19. To answer the question, select the option "During the performance".
20. Select the circle surrounding the white wall near the door, then zoom in to tap the "Remote switch".
21. Select the "This is the evidence!" button.
22. After the question appears, select the option "It wasn't used".
23. Select the "Scream in the dark" Memo to begin investigating.
24. Select "Destiny Knox" as the person who had screamed.
25. Select Bray Clegg's first statement as evidence that Strapping told Knox to scream.
26. Select the "Shot in the dark" Memo to begin investigating.
27. Tap on the circle surrounding the white wall near the set door, then select the "Replica gun".
28. Select the "This is the evidence!" button.
29. Zoom out and tap the circle at the top on the left, then zoom in to tap the "Oil stains".
30. Tap the "This is the evidence!" button.
31. Select the "Prime Suspect" Memo to call Roscoe Strapping in.
32. Select Roscoe Strapping as the culprit.
33. To answer the question, select the option "It was pitch black on stage".
34. To answer the next question, select the option "He shot the gun in the show".
35. Select "Destiny Knox" as the person who screamed.
36. Select the "Remote swtich" as evidence that Strapping shot Blaise.
37. Select "Gloria Blaise" as the mastermind who switched the guns.
38. Select the "Remote switch" as the evidence.
39. Select the "Death threat" as the message left for Strapping.

Last edited by Squiggle on 20 February 2015 at 04:42
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