House of Sticks is an Arson case in L.A. Noire, although it does not involve the police. It is the first of three cases in the game in which you play as Jack Kelso rather than Cole Phelps.

Persons of Interest

  • Elsa Lichtmann - Jazz singer, beneficiary of Lou Buchwalter's insurance policy.
  • Lou Buchwalter - Deceased California Fire & Life policy holder.


Detailed Walkthrough

California Fire and Life

At the beginning of this case, a cutscene shows Elsa Lichtmann walking into the office of Jack Kelso. They have a conversation about a $20,000 insurance settlement that has been offered to Elsa Lichtmann, which she is declining and is requesting Jack to investigate possible insurance fraud. She claims that her friend Lou Buchwalter's death was a result of foul play. You are now playing as Jack Kelso.

Jack gets a file about the investigation:

  • Turn the pink slip over and scroll down the paper to reveal your first clue.

Close the file and Jack will begin questioning Elsa.

Interview Elsa Lichtmann

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Disputed Claim Payout Doubt Bad Cop
Connection to Buchwalter Doubt Bad Cop
Motive for Dispute Truth Good Cop

After questioning Elsa, a cut scene will occur giving you another clue. As Elsa leaves, Jack flirts with her and obtains her phone number. Then a secretary enters your office, requesting you follow her upstairs to Curtis Benson's office. Once there, another cutscene will cue, directing you to visit the Elysian Fields Development.

Playing as Jack is similar to playing as Cole, with only two major differences: he doesn't have a partner and he does not get a change of outfits (which means Jack does not have access to the extra protection, ammo, or strength provided by Cole's various outfits). As Jack, the player can continue to search for film reels, landmarks, and other pickups, and has access to all the hidden vehicle garages available to Cole.

NOTE: The vehicle driven by Jack when he leaves the office is unique; if you have found all the other vehicles in the game, entering the car will award the Auto Fanatic achievement.

Elysian Fields

Once you arrive, walk into the construction trailer to the left. Examine the desks in the trailer to find three clues:

  • Demolition Order
  • Company Memo
  • Cement Delivery Receipt

Now leave the trailer to reveal another cutscene. After the cutscene, beat up the foreman in a fight. He will then give you the address to the house where Lou Buchwalter died. Then, walk or drive to the house. The building has been demolished.

Demolished House

Go to the rear of the rubble and examine the wood marked by a red flag. Select the bottom piece of wood and you place two broken pieces of wood together to form the words "Keystone Films."

Another cutscene will occur, when Jack realizes that Elysian Fields bought the lumber for the site from used film studio lumber, unsuitable for building with.

Then, the foreman whom you fought with will chase you through a large trench with a bulldozer.

This can be a very frustrating chase, and if the bulldozer so much as touches Jack, the case ends in failure. There are several methods for surviving the chase.

  • First, it is not necessary to shoot and kill the driver. The chase route includes two wide platforms. If you stop on these platforms and turn and shoot at the bulldozer, the driver automatically slows down. This gives Jack enough time to reach the end of the course (once he jumps the pipes at the end and reaches the ladder, he's home free. This is the method used in one of the online video walkthrough here. The video walkthough at the bottom of this article follows a similar tactic, except Jack shoots at the bulldozer from ground level between obstacles).
  • For players more skillful with the controls and gunplay, after you jump the first hurdle, aim at the bulldozer to slow him down. Continue to run and aim your gun again when you hear the bulldozer speeding up. If you are very quick, you can kill the driver.
  • Alternately, a good tactic is to run to the third obstacle and aim at the middle of the bulldozer, just before the bulldozer demolishes this platform, the foreman's head will be visible and you can shoot him before he gets to you (stand on the end closest to the foreman, and make sure you've already slowed down the bulldozer).
  • If the previous is too hard, go to the third obstacle again and do not climb it. Wait until the bulldozer is very close and, if timed right, without holding the run button, climb the obstacle. The bulldozer will go through you and destroy the obstacle; however, you will be alive and wind up behind it with a clear shot of the foreman.

Now use your mini-map to locate and use a gamewell. The operator will give you the address to your next location, Keystone Film Studios.

Keystone Film Studios

After you arrive at the studio and talk to the security guard there, jump the fence to the right and examine the wood pile closest to your car to find a clue: Inferior Quality Lumber. Turn around to examine another wood pile to reveal another clue: Lumber Delivery Receipt. Now jump the same fence you jumped earlier, look to the right, and jump that fence.

Run to the back and on the left, you will see a sign for the Screening Room. Enter and examine the projector in the center of the room. Adjust the knobs on the projector to play a movie and reveal a clue: Film. Turn around and examine the desk on the left to reveal another clue: Film Canister.

Once all the clues have been located, go back to the security shack to use the telephone to call Curtis Benson. He demands that you meet with Elsa that night and tell her to accept the $20,000 payout or else.

After you use the phone, a cut scene cues, giving you more insight into the story. The cutscene will show Jack talking to Elsa at the Blue Room Jazz Club, then Elsa talking to Cole Phelps.

Then, drive to the second Elysian Fields construction site.

Elysian Fields Site Two

Once you arrive at the site, investigate the house under construction with the flickering lights. Once you go upstairs, a cutscene will trigger and you will be forced to fight three mobsters. You will ultimately lose and will be thrown into the trunk of their car. Another cutscene will follow where Jack manages to roll out of the trunk of the car.

Then, take the car stopped in the street in front of the Elysian Fields office and drive through back alleyways and side streets to get to Elsa's apartment to evade them. If they are still following you, disable their cars to successfully evade them.

Car Chase

You can also escape the mobsters easily by using the car you steal to run over the mobster shooting at you from the alleyway. Take his gun and kill the remaining mobsters. Jack will act like he lost them. Then drive to Elsa's apartment. You can use this and still get a 5 star rating.

If you have trouble taking them out or trying to lose them, take alleyways or shortcuts instead of main roads to aid your escape. Keep them behind your car so that you won't be shot.

Easier than all this, just stop besides the car(s) chasing you and this will either cause the passengers to get out and shoot at you or the pursuing vehicle will stop. Then, floor the accelerator and you'll get away without anybody following you. Do this a few times, and you would have evaded them.

Another tactic is to weave around the cars whilst driving on the wrong side of the streets. The gangsters will try to follow, but will end up crashing into the oncoming cars.

Once you arrive at Elsa's apartment, a cutscene will trigger, showing Elsa and Cole after Jack passes out on the floor from being beaten by the mobsters. He is then taken to the medical clinic (not shown) featured in the next case.

Case Briefing

"Some morning this turned out to be. Elsa Lichtmann: German exile; nightclub jazz singer, and a very rich lady if my company has anything to do with it. Her friend died in an accident and she collected the life insurance payout. The claims department never coughs up this kind of money without a fight, but she wants the truth more than she wants the twenty grand. You've got to admire that."

Case Notes

  • "The truth is out on Elysian Fields, despite Leland Monroe's best efforts to bury it."

Video Walkthroughs

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