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The Studio Secretary Murder is a Homicide case in L.A. Noire.

Persons of Interest

Objectives

Detailed Walkthrough

Pawnbroker

This mission, as with all cases, opens with a cutscene. Following this, head to the pawnbroker and speak to the man at the counter. He will hand you two rings to examine. 

The wedding ring on the right has a hallmark whilst the engagement ring on the left has a maker's mark. You will automatically talk to the man again, and he will give you a false name and address left by the Black Dahlia killer, which Cole Phelps instantly identifies as false due to its relevance to Shelley, the author of the previously discovered poem excerpts. 


Railyard Crime Scene

Now head to the Railyard crime scene, where you'll meet Officer Clyde Hart. Speak to Nelson Gaines, the railway switchman, first. After he is done, speak to the coroner to get the victim's details and then search the green railroad car behind him for blood stains. Finally, search the body.

Stencil Details
StudioSecretaryMurder vagrancy

Vagrancy

Found by examining the victim's head.
Description Victim's body shows signs of vagrant lifestyle
Clue White Clues Vagrancy
StudioSecretaryMurder missing ring

Missing ring

Found by examining the victim's right hand.
Description Missing ring evident from marks on victim's skin
Clue White Clues Missing ring
StudioSecretaryMurder handbag

Handbag

Found on an evidence blanket near the body.
Description Ladies handbag containing personal effects
Clue White Clues Handbag
StudioSecretaryMurder upper half of torn letter

Upper half of torn letter

Found inside the victim's handbag.
Description Part of torn letter addressed to 'Evelyn'
Clue White Clues Upper half of torn letter
StudioSecretaryMurder movie lot job

Movie lot job

Discovered by examining the ID card in the victim's handbag.
Description Movie lot employee ID found among victim's personal effects
Clue White Clues Movie lot job

Although not clues, also examine the matchbox and slip of paper next to the handbag to discover two locations and update objectives.

Next, talk to John Ferdinand Jamison, who is sitting on some planks near Officer Hart. After a cutscene, you will get a new clue and begin questioning him.

Interview John Ferdinand Jamison

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Interference with evidence Truth Good Cop
Discovery of victim's body Doubt Bad Cop

After he is arrested, use the nearby gamewell to get the address for the nearest Levine's Liquor store. Visit Levine's before you go anywhere else, otherwise you will miss out on a small clue that is useful later on in the case.


Levine's Liquor Store

Once you arrive, you will walk in and talk to the owner, Walter Robbins. He will lead you to the victim's bedroom.

Return to the front of the store to talk to Mr. Robbins.

Interview Walter Robbins

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Contact with victim Truth Good Cop Clue Liquor purchase
Relationship with victim Truth Good Cop
Knowledge of McCaffrey Doubt Bad Cop

Mensch's Bar

Head to Mensch's Bar and talk to the bartender, who will tell you to talk to the patrons. Turn around and talk to Grosvenor McCaffrey, the man with the waistcoat and white shirt, who is sitting in a booth. Make sure you go to the bar BEFORE the bowling alley.

Interview Grosvenor McCaffrey

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Criminal History Doubt Bad Cop
Relationship with victim Lie Accuse Book Clue Victim last seen
Last Contact with victim Doubt Bad Cop POI James Tiernan
Location Rawling's Bowling Alley
Objective Investigate Rawling's Bowling Alley


You'll only get the last question If you go to Mensch's Bar first. The last question may not appear on PC (Steam version), but does not count against the total questions.


Rawling's Bowling Alley

Make sure that you drive the car. If your partner drives, you will not be able to go to the bowling alley first.

You'll get a message on the radio that the Captain has some concerns with the murders and needs to see you back at the station. Ignore this; go to the bowling alley for James Tiernan first. Inside, the old woman behind the counter, Florence Jenkins, will tell you that "Jimmy" is resetting pins in the back. Go through the door in the left wall of the building and cue the chase scene. There will be a Cisitalia Coupe waiting for you at the end of the foot chase; get in and chase him. Once caught, there is another cut scene of Jimmy being loaded into a paddywagon for a trip downtown. Now, you may proceed to the police station.


Central Police Station

Back at the station, head downstairs and talk to the Captain. He'll tell you that there are some concerns about the previous arrests for the murders. He will give you a bit of new information and tell you to keep the info under your hat for now. You will also learn that the coroner has had to fire one of his men for being associated with Jamison.

Before leaving the station, use a phone to call in for McCaffrey's address if you haven't done so already.


McCaffrey's Apartment

Check the mailboxes for the apartment number. He is on the second floor in apartment six. Kick the door in.

  • Find the second half of the torn piece of paper on the table to the left of where you enter.
  • Find the tire iron right next to the table where you found the note.

A short cutscene will trigger when one of McCaffrey's neighbors, Elinor Hopkin, walks in. She notifies you of his location -- a pigeon coop above the apartment. Take the stairs to the roof.

Once on the roof, Grosvenor starts to run. Chase him down. You should be able to tackle him, but if he manages to evade you, he will eventually hide behind a wall and attack you, leading to a fistfight.

  • Note: If you go to the roof first, the chase will also start. After tackling Grosvenor down, Rusty takes you to his room, telling you to search it for evidence.

Central Police Station

Now you'll be able to interrogate James Tiernan and Grosvenor McCaffrey.

You must start with James Tiernan, so head on over to Interrogation Room 1.

Interview James Tiernan

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Relationship with victim Lie Accuse Victim Last Seen
Victim's book found Doubt Bad Cop
Alibi for James Tiernan Lie Accuse Liquor purchase
Access to murder weapon Doubt Bad Cop Clue Tiernan's accusation

Do not charge him. Leave the interrogation room.

  • Note: Depending on the order in which you followed up on leads, you may not have the "Victim Last Seen" evidence necessary when questioning him on his relationship with the victim. In that case, simply skip that question entirely; you can still get five stars by following up on the remaining questions and proceeding to McCaffrey from there.

Next, head on over to Interrogation Room 2 and interrogate McCaffrey.

Interview Grosvenor McCaffrey

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Alibi for McCaffrey Lie Accuse Torn Letter (Note: This will only work if you found the other part of the letter on McCaffrey's desk)
Access to tire iron Lie Accuse Tiernan's Accusation Clue McCaffrey's accusation

Do not charge him. Leave the interrogation room.

  • Note: In the Remastered Edition of the game, if you have found all the clues and responded correctly up to this point, you will not be given an option to charge McCaffrey. Cole will stand up and leave the room automatically and the telephone icon will appear.

Use the telephone to receive a clue about McCaffrey's criminal record.

  • Note: A glitch in the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions may prevent Phelps from phoning about McCaffrey's criminal record until after the second Tiernan interview.
  • Note: A glitch in the PC (Steam) version may prevent Phelps from phoning about McCaffrey's criminal record at all.

Now head back over to Room 1, and talk to James Tiernan again.

Interview James Tiernan

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Events prior to murder Lie Accuse McCaffrey’s accusation


Do not charge him. Leave the interrogation room.

  • Note: If the glitch mentioned above occurred, use the phone now to receive the clue. If you are unable to do so, simply go and charge McCaffrey; doing so at this point will allow you to receive five stars, even if you haven't gotten the clue about his criminal record.

Head back to Room 2 one last time and force McCaffrey to break.

Interview Grosvenor McCaffrey

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Military service Lie Accuse McCaffrey's criminal record

After the interrogation, Charge Grosvenor McCaffrey with First Degree Murder. Case closed.

Case Briefing

"Yet another white female, forty years old, the body recovered in the rail freight depot on Santa Fe Avenue, East Downtown. But before our new investigation can even begin, we have old business to attend to. Personal effects belonging to one Deidre Moller were recently pawned for cash and it sounds as though the DA is desperate that something be done before the story hits the newspapers."

Case Notes

  • "Grosvenor McCaffrey can write a tell-all memoir from his cell on Death Row."
  • "Diminished responsibility or not, James Tiernan will have to face up to his crime."

Collectibles

Video Walkthroughs

Trivia

  • This case is loosely based on the real-life 1947 murder of Evelyn Winters. For information about the real case and the scene as it appears today, see the 1947 project time travel blog.
  • One of the suspects in this case, James Tiernan, is loosely based on the real-life James Tiernan, who did work at a bowling alley and was charged with the murder of Evelyn Winters. Both witnesses at the murder scene, Nelson Gaines and John Jamison, are loosely based on railroad worker George Wickliffee, who both found Winters' body and confessed to having kissed it.
  • This is the first case in which you can see the Black Dahlia killer's face in the opening cutscene when he murders his victim, though it is darkened by the shadow of his hat.
  • During the conversation at the Central Police Station with James Donnelly, Ray Pinker and Malcolm Carruthers, Malcolm is visibly upset about something. When Phelps asks what is wrong, Carruthers mentions he just had to fire one of his assistants because he was a friend of John Ferdinand Jamison, implying the assistant may have also been a necrophiliac.
  • When Phelps and Galloway are talking about the Moller case, they imply that Hugo Moller was charged with the crime, even if you charged Eli Rooney during "The Golden Butterfly". They say Moller was "identified by the school's groundskeeper".
  • There are several logical problems with the evidence in this case.
    • According to Tiernan, Evelyn stole McCaffrey's book on the evening of her death. But if, as Robbins testified, she had not returned to Levine's Liquors since that morning, how did the book get there? The only possible explanation is that she sneaked in to place it there.
    • As part of the overarching Black Dahlia sub thread, Garrett Mason planted the murder weapon and letter - but both Tiernan and McCaffrey admit that the lug wrench and letter were in McCaffrey's apartment. A possible explanation is that McCaffrey genuinely thought Tiernan had brought in the condemning evidence. Tiernan also could have believed in his guilt and actions while inebriated, deep down inside.
  • The ring you retrieved from the pawnbroker is originally bought in Hartfield's Jewelry Store, where you arrested Edgar Kalou in the case "Buyer Beware".
  • If you return to McCaffery's apartment after he is arrested, Elinor Hopkin can be found standing around inside the apartment.
  • At Mensch's Bar, a second unnamed patron can be questioned, but doesn't reveal any useful information.
  • Present in the railyard are several locomotives. The one nearest to the body is roughly patterned after a General Electric 44 ton switching locomotive, while further away is a long hooded type with a cab at one end. This locomotive has a trolley pole located on the front of it. This pole did not deliver power to the engine, but was used to activate signals when the train travelled down street tracks. Pacific Electric was unique among railroads for having this feature. However, the pole is facing the wrong way.
  • In the beginning cutscene showing the murder of Evelyn, a locomotive which passes by her is shown spewing steam. However, the locomotive, a Baldwin VO-1000 locomotive from Pacific Electric, was a diesel engine, so their should be no steam at all being emitted. Even during the game, when the vehicle passes by, the train doesn't spew steam, so why it does here is rather strange.