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The Black Caesar

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The Black Caesar
Desk Vice
Crime Scene Junkies' Apartment on
Yucca Street
Clues 14
Persons of Interest Tyrone Lamont

Cornell Tyree
Fleetwood Morgan
Jermaine Jones
Armstrong Edwards
Merlon Ottie
Jose Ramez
Lenny Finkelstein

Questions 7
Locations The Black Caesar Food Hut
Jermaine Jones Musical Booking Agency

Numbers Operation
Ramez Removals
Polar Bear Ice Company

Previous case Next case
The Quarter Moon Murders The Set-Up or

Reefer Madness
(The Complete Edition or downloaded)

"Two men dead on US Army issue morphine. That makes it an Ad Vice case. Beat it!"
Archie Colmyer

The Black Caesar is a Vice case in L.A. Noire. This is the first case Cole Phelps takes on the Vice Desk after being promoted from the Homicide Desk.


Phelps and Earle report to the scene of two dead junkies – Cornell Eustace Tyree and Tyrone Anthony Lamont found in a squalid apartment at 6358 Yucca St., Apt. 5, in Hollywood, surgical tubing still wrapped around their limp, track-pocked arms as well as their drug of choice: government issue morphine. Your job is to track the morphine back to the supplier and bring them down.


Junkie's Apartment Crime Scene

"They really picked a prize shithole for our first date."
―Roy Earle
"it's up the stairs, Detectives. Around the corner and last door on the left."
―Fred Wallis

Investigate the crime scene over at the junkies' apartment. It will be on the second floor, all the way at the end of the porch. When you get there, you will be able to find the following clues.

  • When you walk through the front door there will be a Black Caesar cup. Further investigate to discover tape on the bottom.
  • Next to the cup will be a wallet on the floor, you will find a Numbers Slip in the right pocket.
  • The Black Caesar cup on the kitchen counter will have a Popcorn cup with morphine.
  • On the table next to the dead body in the chair, there is a Strange doodle.
  • Next to the table, on the floor, there will be two syringes that will give you the clue Morphine Syrettes.
  • Go to the man lying on the floor and look in his pockets, you will take out a wallet and there will be a Radio Station Note in the right pocket.
  • NOTE: In some cases, you may need to investigate the dead man on the chair in order for the investigation music to stop.

Black Caesar Food Hut

When you arrive at the food hut, a short cutscene will ensue after which you'll have to chase the vendor, Fleetwood Morgan, down on foot, and engage in a fist-fight. Once you have him, search the hut for clues.

  • Go to the suitcase and grab the trumpet mute (bottom right), open it and you will find Numbers Racket.
  • Next to the mute there is a Blue Room Pass, turn it around and a new P.O.I.
  • Open the box next to the popcorn machine and you will find Morphine for Distribution.

Now go over to Morgan and talk to him.

Interview Fleetwood Morgan

Question Response Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Morphine overdose victims Lie Popcorn cups with morphine, Morphine for distribution Distributor identified
Number slips recovered Doubt

  • Note: Before leaving, it would be worthwhile to search the parking lot across the street from The Black Caesar Food Hut for rare cars that spawn there such as a Chevrolet Van and a Nash La Fayette Convertible. Finding these helps you make progress towards the Auto Fanatic Achievement/Trophy.

After talking, use the phone next to the food hut to trace Jermaine Jones' address, and head there. Don't go to Merlon Ottie's office yet, you don't have the evidence you'll need to catch him in a lie.

Jermaine Jones' Booking Agency

Climb the stairs and go into the office, the first door on the left.

  • Talk to Jermaine Jones to get permission to look around.
  • Go to the big radio and turn on the volume, choose FM band and tune the frequency to 275, the top will open and you will end up in a brawl.
  • The radio includes $5000, Morphine, Ottie's Number Card, 4 ounces of Marijuana, and a Ramez Removals Sticker.

Now go over to talk to Jones.

Interview Jermaine Jones

Question Response Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Army Surplus morphine Doubt New P.O.I. - Lenny Finkelstein
Involvement of 'Ottie' Lie Distributor identified
Link to Ramez Removals Doubt

Use the gamewell next to your parked car to get address of Ramez Removals, then head over to the Numbers Operation.

Numbers Operation

Merlon Ottie's office is up the stairs.

Note: Only go to Ottie's gambling den after visiting Jemaine Jones or you will not have the required evidence to accuse Ottie of lying

  • Go to the slot machine and drag the arm, if you see a symbol in its respective position, press "hold" on that. The positions are: Cherry, Bell, WIN.
  • The lid will open and search through everything.

Now you'll have to chase after Merlon. After the chase, search his "wand" by opening the top and finding the note hidden inside.

Note: Merlon is fairly easy to catch, stay on him until he runs into a bar, now run around the bar and locate the other exit of the bar, he will run into a customer inside, you can either wait for him to come out or just step inside and catch him, if you fail to do that, just stay on him, he will eventually run into some pedestrians and you should have enough time to reach him. If you don't catch him on the streets, he hits a dead end going down an alleyway.

After you have caught Merlon, you will go back to his office and Earle will give you his cane on his desk. Further investigate the cane by opening the handle of it and you will find an IOU Note from Ramez to Merlon.

Interview Merlon Ottie

Question Response Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Army surplus morphine Lie Finkelstein identified
IOU note from Ramez Truth
Link to Lenny Finklestein Doubt

​Note: If you have found all the evidence up to this point, you will only ask the first two questions here. Now it's time to go to Ramez Removals.

Ramez Removals

Once you get there, it's another chase scene. Other LAPD units will assist in the chase. After pursuing the truck, you'll be back at Ramez Removals. Go inside to look for clues.

  • To the left will be a desk area. Look in the records book and tap on "Polar Bear" and "Merlon".
  • There is a newspaper on a table behind the ledger.
  • Follow the water to the back of the warehouse and climb the ladder up to the crane. Use the crane to pick up a box to clear the entrance to the room, which looks like a white square structure with refrigeration units on top.
  • Go inside and check the block of ice. This will allow shooting the ice block and checking on the morphine.

After that, a cutscene will ensue wherein the Polar Bear Ice Company delivery truck pulls up and Ramez runs inside. After that, chase and subdue Ramez in a shootout.

Polar Bear Ice Company

  • You get in a chase/shootout with Lenny Finkelstein and his gang. Chase them through the factory and kill his men. At the same time, halfway into the chase, you end up in a giant freezer. In the back is a set of stairs up to a landing where Lenny is. Climb the stairs; it goes into to a cutscene where afterward you have to shoot Lenny the Fink.
  • Then look through the crate at the back of the office and find the morphine. Case closed.

Case Notes

  • "The death of Lenny Finkelstein should keep Administriative Vice in the headlines, for now."

Video Walkthrough

LA Noire - Walkthrough - Mission 14 - The Black Caesar (5 Star)41:53

LA Noire - Walkthrough - Mission 14 - The Black Caesar (5 Star)


  • In the PS3 version if you move the wrong crate with the crane in the warehouse, put it down, and then move the correct one, Earle won't enter the cold room. (Glitch has been recently fixed due to an update from an earlier date.)
  • You can occasionally hear Rusty Galloway's voice if you drive recklessly, instead of Roy's.


  • When you are investigating the junkie's apartment, you will find a piece of paper with a 'strange doodle' drawn upon it (in fact, easily recognisable slot machine symbols, specifically: cherry, golden bell, and the word "WIN"). Next to it is a leaf of sheet music (bars, musical notes and lyrics) titled 'All In My Head,' attributed to composers Andrew Hale and Simon Hale. Both of them are the actual composers of this game's score.
  • While chasing Merlon Ottie, you run through a restaurant bearing resemblance to the diner in the movie Pulp Fiction. You can hear a patron exclaim “This is a tasty burger!”, a line first uttered by Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Jules Winnfield, in said movie (although the line can be heard repeatedly throughout the game as one of he stock phrases recorded to be used as backround/incidental NPC chatter).
  • The unique delivery trucks outside Ramez Removals cannot be entered, and do not count towards the Auto Fanatic achievement/trophy.
  • The establishing shot of the interior of Ramez Removals- a high-angled shot looking down on a warehouse filled with boxes and furniture is a possible reference to the closing scene of Citizen Kane (the music cue here also harkens to Kane). The name of Kane's auteur, director, and star, Orson Welles, will also appear in the registry of Hotel El Mar in the next case, "The Set Up."
  • On Jones' radio, if you set the wave selection dial to shortwave signals ("SW") you'll be able to tune in to so-called number stations - there are many of them (on one frequency a man calls out numbers in Spanish, on another a child-like voice is doing the same in Russian, as examples). They are in the game strictly as an easter egg and Cole will not comment on them.
  • When examining the number slip in Jones' radio, you can see a vinyl record lying inside the top-left corner of the radio. The text on the record is actually in Swedish - it says "drag skivan utåt före vridning." which translates to "die out before turning."
  • When the player is finished with the crime scene at the junkies' apartment, Roy says "The emperor across the street appears to shift a lot of popcorn..", referring to the Black Caesar food hut. In real life, Julius Caesar (whom the in-game restaurant is named after) was not an emperor, he was a consul, which is more or less equal to the position of the US president. However, there were several 'Caesars' (twelve, to be exact - see Suetonius & al), and many of them emperors - one of the most notorious among them, for instance, was Nero himself. There is also 'American Caesar,' a term that refers to Douglas MacArthur (General in charge of the overall Pacific front during the game protagonist's, Cole Phelps's service on that front) in the biographical book written by William Manchester. Further, there is the novel 'Little Caesar,' written by William R. Burnett in 1929, once a very popular book, still fresh and popular in the minds of the 1940s' public, further popularised by its movie version released in 1931 by Warner Brothers, which is still popular today among oldies' afficionados and film historians and students alike, being directed by Mervyn LeRoy, director of no small renown especially for his 'pre-code' movies (before codified age and content restriction and censorship was imposed on Hollywood studios), and featuring actors who continued to be popular into the 1940s, including Edward G. Robinson (a favourite of the viewing public for Hollywood represantations of the typical 30s and 40s gangster) and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Last but not least, there are not one but (at least) three notorious individuals who were known as 'Black Caesar' in real life: one, a pirate of African origin and  who succesfully raided American ships and later served under the even more notorious Blackbeard; the second, also a pirate, of Haitian descent, Henri Caesar nicknamed 'Black Caesar.' And the third, and arguably most relevant for the game developers for their own version of the game's character, a drug kingpin by the name of Frank Matthews, aka Black Ceasar, who managed to disappear with at least 15 million dollars, and for all we know may still be alive and 'living it up' (see Ron Chepesiuk's biography, titled "Black Caesar: The Rise and Disappearance of Frank Matthews, Kingpin").

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