|Plot details follow, read at your own risk.|
Persons of Interest
- Theresa Taraldsen - Murder victim.
- Catherine Barton - Witness and Signal Hill resident.
- Stuart Ackerman - Vagrant sighted in vicinity of Signal Hill.
- Lars Taraldsen - Husband of murder victim Theresa Taraldsen.
- Bobby Ross - Friend of Lars Taraldsen, alibi for night of murder.
- Benny Cluff - Baron's Bar bartender.
- James Jessop - US Navy Able Seaman seen with victim on night of murder.
- Richard Bates - Acquaintance of victim Theresa Taraldsen.
- Cab driver - Driver of Yellow Cab 3591, witness.
- Frank Zeferelli - Interstate bus driver on 189 route.
- Investigate Signal Hill Crime Scene
- Locate Disfigured Suspect
- Investigate Superior Laundry Services
- Investigate Taraldsen Residence
- Investigate Baron's Bar
- Locate Yellow Cab 3591
- Locate Suspect 'Sailor'
- Apprehend Richard Bates
- Interrogate James Jessop
- Investigate Hobo Camp
- Investigate Interstate Bus Depot
- Locate All American 249
- Arrest Disfigured Suspect
- Interrogate Stuart Ackerman
This case involves a lot of driving that you have to do yourself. Cumulative damage ($3,000+) from reckless driving is one of the most common causes for not obtaining a 5 star rating on this case. Drive slowly and carefully.
Signal Hill Crime Scene
Detectives Cole Phelps and Rusty Galloway are briefed about a murder that occurred on Signal Hill during a heavy rainstorm over Los Angeles. The two head over to the crime scene and check in with Officer Andy Brown, who has secured the scene, before meeting with the L.A. County Coroner, Malcolm Carruthers, and Ray Pinker from Tech Services. Unfortunately, the heavy rain washed away most of the evidence. Carruthers tells Phelps and Galloway that the murder is similar to the others: blunt head trauma and strangling, however, there were no messages on the body and the victim was clothed.Phelps will then be able to search the area for clues.
If Cole does NOT examine the laundry label on the victim, he will have to make a call to R&I and ask for "missing white females over the last forty eight hours." The dispatcher will return three names and their home addresses.
Interview Catherine Barton
|Suspicious persons||Truth||Good Cop|| Disfigured Man (Updated)
Locate Disfigured Suspect
Superior Laundry ServicesOnce you're inside of the building, go to the back and talk to the owner. He'll pull out a Ledger of service numbers. Look up 'F1363' and tap on it to find the woman's address. You'll find out she was Mrs. Taraldsen. Go over to her home and see what her husband has to say.
Taraldsen ResidenceOnce you get to the home, you'll have to break the news to the husband, Lars Taraldsen, and their two young daughters Hanna and Lena. Rusty will tell them to wait while you investigate the place. Mr. Taraldsen will also tell you that he was waiting for his wife to get home from a party. You'll have to get several new clues here while investigating.
Before talking to Mr. Taraldsen, use the phone in the living room (located on the room divider between the couch and table). Have dispatch send someone to Bobby Ross' place to check on the husband's alibi and get the address.
Interview Lars Taraldsen
The first thing Phelps will ask is what his wife's name is: Theresa.
Rusty will say you should go to the bar as it looks like she had her last drink there.
Once you're at the bar, go in and talk to the bartender, Benny Cluff. He'll know right away that this is about Theresa. He'll say he tried to call her husband, but the babysitter said he was out. You can ask him some questions now.
Interview Benny Cluff
One of the "Vagrant Male Suspects" will be at the bar (Richard Bates). The barkeep will point him out, but Bates will try to flee. You'll have to chase him on foot as he starts to run.
Run after him with Rusty. You won't have to run for very long as a car will come along and almost hit Richard, and then he'll get into his truck. You'll have the car, so jump in. Rusty will shoot at him when you have clear shots lined up, so keep on him and hit his wheel wells when you can to bring him down. If you can't shoot out the tires, Bates will crash into a wall, get out, go down the stairs next to him to the alley below, and try to run away. The open alleys he runs through should give you an opportunity to fire a warning shot. If you fail to do either, Bates will eventually run into a dead end street and will then give up. Once you catch him, you'll get to ask him some questions.
Interview Richard Bates
|Contact with victim||Doubt||Bad Cop|| Sailor
Locate Suspect 'Sailor'
|Account of movements||Doubt||Bad Cop|
After the interview is finished, use the gamewell across the street to put out an APB for the yellow cab and you will be informed to interview James Jessop, the sailor, at Central Station. Once you and Rusty return to your car (make sure you get into a police car), KGPL will inform you of the yellow cab's position, adding its location to your notebook. The information from the taxi driver is necessary for two questions in an upcoming interview to appear.
Now you'll need to catch the yellow cab (which is on your map). You'll need to manually pull him over. The vague location of him will be called in and put on your map every 30 seconds, if you look around the area it won't take long for him to appear as a red target on your minimap. It is also recommended that you do not play in black and white for this portion of the case, because of the obvious disadvantage when trying to find a yellow taxi. Put your siren on when you approach to trigger a cutscene and get some good info from the cabbie. Now drive to Central Station to interview Jessop.
- Note: If you do not go immediately to the yellow cab (if you respond to a street crime, for example), or if you let your partner drive (fast travel) instead of driving to the next location yourself, you may experience a common bug where the cab does not appear where it should on your map. If this happens, you can find the cab on Garland Ave. just south of the Garland Ave. & 7th street intersection.
Central Police Station
Head back to the police station to interrogate Jessop. The desk sergeant will tell you he's in interview room 2. Go in and he'll say he heard about the murder on the radio and came down himself.
Interview James Jessop
|Contact with victim||Doubt||Bad Cop|
|Incident with Bates||Doubt||Bad Cop|
|Movements prior to murder||Doubt||Bad Cop||All American 249|
|Cab ride with victim||Doubt||Bad Cop|
In order to get the last two questions, you must get the "Victim's movements" clue off the cab driver and branch the "Contact with victim" question with Jessop correctly.
After the interview, Officer Isaac Kelly will come up and say that he's got news on the hobo. He's been sighted and he's wanted in connection with two other female assaults. Rusty will mention a bus depot that you can check to confirm the sailor's story.
Head to the Bus Depot location next. On the way, Cole will have a patrol car pick up Lars; as for Bobby Ross, dispatch reports that his poker game ended around midnight.
At the bus depot, you'll get the name of the bus driver from last night. Turns out he's out driving the 74 route now. The route is now marked on the map. Drive the route counterclockwise until you find the bus, then pull it over by blocking the front left of it and talk to the driver, Frank Zeferelli. He'll confirm that the sailor was telling the truth, however it seems that Theresa was confused and lost. She was dropped off near a hobo camp.
If you begin to chase the bus then give up without actually catching it, Phelps will still mention the bus driver's statement in subsequent interrogations. The case report, however, will state that you ought to have interviewed the bus driver.
If you go to the camp before the Taraldsen Residence you will not find the hobo leader; instead, a hobo named Moss. Galloway will hint that they should come back later.
Rusty will call in for some backup as hobos hate cops. Head to the camp and you'll enter into a scene where the hobo leader will rally the men against you. Rusty shoots one with a shotgun, which makes most of them back off, but you're left to fight the leader hand-to-hand. After defeating him, watch the cutscene to learn his name. He's the disfigured man, Stuart Ackerman. Some officers will cart him off, leaving you to explore.After the fight, you'll be able to look around for clues. Look in Ackerman's hut (straight ahead of you, Rusty is standing next to the door) for the following clues.
Phelps will notice that the coin purse is embroidered with the initials "T T" and inside is a ticket stub to the Crystal Ballroom. Time to go interrogate the bum. Cole will run down all the people they've arrested and it does seem like Stuart is the most likely.
There is a picture of Ackerman in his Marine uniform near the purse. It can be interacted with, but doesn't count as a clue. Behind his bed is a Marine P44 dungaree blouse. In the sidetable where the rope is found, there is a helmet with a Marine Corps helmet cover and next to the sink is a Marines duffel bag which is full.
Central Police Station
At the station, go find him in Interview Room 1. Cole will comment on Stuart Ackerman's burns coming from his time in the war; being on flamethrower duty.
Interview Stuart Ackerman
|Motive for murder||Doubt/Lie||Bad Cop/Accuse||Bloodstained Rope Piece|
|Contact with Victim||Doubt||Bad Cop|
|Alibi for Stuart Ackerman||Doubt/Lie||Bad Cop/Accuse||Purse|
If Ackerman is interviewed poorly, Galloway and Phelps will be reprimanded by a very displeased Donnelly in his office.
- "Just for once, I would like to be able to send my girls to school of a morning and not have to worry about what might befall them on the streets of this fair city. You two are doing nothing to allay a father's fears. Unsolved homicides weigh heavily on this department, young Phelps. Your latest case is an embarrassment, to me and your colleagues. A stint in blues rounding up pond life should renew your vigor. Apprehend anyone and everyone you find flouting the law. At the double, now."
- ―James Donnelly
After the reprimand, a "CASE FAILED" screen will promptly appear with a message comprised of only two words: "Interrogation Failed."
"Storms across the city last night and this morning, while a fourth woman was found dumped on top of Signal Hill. Captain Donnelly puts up a front of business as usual but he's stopped taking questions during morning briefings. The rest of the squad are talking about new evidence in the Dahila investigation, and the weather isn't the only thing starting to look uneasy.
- "The Taraldsens might have justice if Stuart Ackerman is pronounced fit to stand trial."
- "The bus driver who delivered Theresa to her death might have liked a chance to testify."
- "An early visit to the hobo camp might have offered a lead, but good luck finding a coherent witness."
- "Identifying the victim by other means could have saved both legwork and family anguish"
- "Every witness counts, even the cabbie who was among the last to see Theresa Taraldsen alive."
- A newspaper is found inside Ackerman's shack at the Hobo Camp.
- A Golden Record can be found in a small building under the bridge at the Hobo Camp.
During the drive while trying to locate the bus driver, Rusty and Phelps will initiate dialogue unique to that scene.
At the bus station, after receiving information about the route:
- Phelps: We'll need to run the loop.
- Rusty: We're not gonna drive the whole thing, are we?
- Phelps: Won't take long. We have a siren.
- Rusty: All-American seven-four. Let's go get him.
- Rusty: This could be a long trip, Cole.
- Phelps: Or it could be a short one.
- Rusty: And here's me without my hipflask and only a pain in the ass for company.
- Phelps: Way to kick off the drive in high spirits, Rusty. Comments like that put me in just the right mood for some leg work.
- Rusty: Touchy.
- Phelps: You know what your problem is? You don't like hard work. This kind of rigorous search is what police work is all about. Discipline.
- Rusty: Save it, Phelps. You're just as bored as I am.
- Rusty: Still no sign of him?
- Phelps: Did you doze off, Rusty? I think you slept through my solving the case.
- Rusty: Yeah, yeah. Very funny. Give me a nudge if you see him, alright?
- Phelps: How about you nudge me?
- Rusty: I think that's a job for your wife, Phelps.
- Phelps: Oh, Rusty.
- Phelps: How big is this bus route?
- Rusty: It actually covers an area about the size of Central division.
- Phelps: Probability says we'll find it about half-way around.
- Rusty: Bad luck says we'll be chasing it all night.
- Phelps: This is starting to grate a little.
- Rusty: Really? What happened to the joys of rigorous search? Dogged police work, you know?
- Phelps: They went out the window about two blocks ago.
- Rusty: Hey, this could be a Cole Phelps I could grow to love.
- Phelps: Don't count on it.
Fifth conversation: (Triggers once you've driven around for 15 minutes, or three in-game hours)
- Rusty: No, no, no! You should've gone the other way. We'd have found the bus by now if you'd gone the other way.
- Phelps: How was I to know that at the time?
- Rusty: A good detective always depends on his gut, Cole, and yours has just been found wanting.
- Phelps: And yours wants for nothing. But by the looks of it, its main request is beer.
- Rusty: Beer and convictions, Phelps. Beer and convictions.
- This case is loosely based on the real-life 1947 murder of Laura Trelstad. For information about the real case, see here.
- There are a number of technical inaccuracies surrounding the sailor James Jessop.
- The bartender describes him as wearing a hat bearing the name USS Indiana. Although before World War II US Navy sailors had worn a blue wool "Donald Duck" or "flat hat" similar to that of the Royal Navy, with the ship's name on a ribbon encircling the band. From 1941 ribbons bearing ships' names were discontinued in favor of the generic "U. S. Navy," and by 1947 the flat hat itself was rarely worn. When interviewed, Jessop has the correct white, unmarked "Dixie cup" or "Popeye" hat on the table.
- He is described as an "Able Seaman," a rank which existed in the British and Australian Royal Navies but not the US Navy; his insignia marks him as a Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class. This error and the one above may reflect the Australian development team ascribing Anglo-Australian naval practices to the USN.
- He says that the USS Indiana is being scrapped when historically Indiana wasn't sold for scrapping until 1963 (although she was decommissioned to reserve in September 1947, this was done at Bremerton, Washington, not San Pedro). When a naval vessel is scrapped, she no longer has a full crew, but retains a skeleton crew. The discrepancy is possibly explained as the ship being in port to be decommissioned by having her armaments removed.
- When Phelps is done interrogating Stuart Ackerman, a police officer throws him in a holding cell and Clem Feeney, the prime suspect from the previous case, "The Silk Stocking Murder", can be seen in the cell next to Ackerman's.
- When at the Bus Depot, Candy Edwards from the later Vice case "The Set Up" can be seen purchasing a bus ticket to an unknown location.
- The first part of the case plays out during a rainstorm. For the remainder of the case, even after the rain has stopped, the lighting used is that for nighttime, even for events taking placing mid-afternoon, though the case starts in the morning.
- For some reason, James Donnelly is occupying Gordon Leary's office at the end of the case (this is made clear in the opening cutscene of the next case which identifies the name on the door outside the office).
- On the way to the Bus Depot, you'll get a message about Bobby Ross' card game. Rusty asked to have Lars Taraldsen picked up and brought to Central, but if you go into the room with the holding cells after interviewing Jessop, Lars is in the first cell when you walk in.
- This is the first case to feature rain.
- When you commandeer the vehicle to chase the fleeing suspect, you can drive off without your partner. Phelps will shout that there is no time to wait. This will make the car chase more challenging, as your partner will not be available to shoot the suspect's tires. If you start to drive off, then stop to let your partner catch up, it will alter the chase dialogue slightly.
- If one follows the patrol car taking Catherine Barton home, the route will take them under the overpass on Figueroa St. Here, a man will commit suicide and land next to the player's vehicle. After this, the patrol car will continue and infinitely circle the block with the Taraldsen Residence on it.
- Through some incorrect answers to questions, the player can not learn the bus lead. Yet Cole will still mention this during the Stuart Ackerman interrogation seemingly without prior knowledge of it.
- While pursuing Richard Bates, Rusty can shoot his tire out near a building causing a conversation where Rusty puts his hand through Richard's stomach.