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A Spark of Debate
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General information
Season 1
City Portland, Maine, USA
Region Northeast
Case # 1
Initial release date 20th June 2021
Partner(s) Sophie Cullen
Case chronology
← Preceded by Succeeded by →
- Frozen Heart's Clear Reflection
Welcome aboard to the Night Eagle Security Team, detective! After meeting your new teammates, you decide to hang around the wondrous city of Portland, but only to discover the body of the Maine governor near the Cape Elizabeth lighthouse who had been electrocuted. Get ready for your first day at work and make your way out to solve your first ever case that involves the political world and affairs, since you might need to stop some harmful debates as all of them may flare the flames of defamation of various people.
—Case Teaser

A Spark of Debate is a case featured in Criminal Case as the first case of Perplexing Investigations (Season 1). It is the first case to take place in the Northeast region.

Plot

The player arrived at the jetport of Portland, Maine on a bright day to join the Night Eagle Security Team, a national law enforcement agency specializing in solving crimes across the country. As the player then exited the plane, they spotted NEST's senior detective, Sophie Cullen, who greeted them warmly before informing them that Chief Callahan had sent her to take them to the city's headquarters. Soon later, the two arrived at the station, where Chief Callahan gave the player a cold stare before saying that he was impressed seeing how skillfully the player had solved their previous investigations, and that they were glad to have them in the team. He then ordered Sophie to show the player around, prompting her to take them to the breakroom where they found stylish junior agent Oakley Hammond and cheerful chief medical examiner Alicia Torres sitting together. Seeing the player, Alicia wondered if they believed in the existence of supernatural entities before Sophie teased her, while Oakley shook their hand, saying it was wonderful to meet them in a cowboy accent. Sophie then wanted to know where the others were, and Alicia replied that it was still early, which explained why they hadn't arrived yet, prompting Sophie to suggest to the player that they go hang out near the lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, where they could enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean. After arriving at the location a few minutes later, Sophie observed something on the rocky grasslands, causing them to approach only to find Maine's current governor and candidate for the next election, Stanley Atkinson, who had been electrocuted to death.

Understanding it was a murder, the team started their investigation by flagging marine biologist Margaery Cole as a suspect after finding her card at the crime scene. However, after flirting with Sophie during most of the conversation, she led the team to the speech podium where the victim had given a speech the previous day. After searching the place, they added victim's secretary Rebecca Austen and the victim's rival, Orlando Weston to the suspect list, since Rebecca expressed her dislike towards the governor for refusing to even consider her suggestions which could help him win the election having the upper hand, while Orlando believed that Stanley had never been fit to be the governor counting some of the choices he had taken in the past. Again, an analysis from their focused profiler Davion Hunt, who studied the player's body movements and called them suitable for a detective, allowed the team to determine that the killer drank turmeric lattes. Meanwhile, Alicia enthusiastically dubbed the murder to be relatable to a supernatural matter before classifying the cause to be electrocution from an electroshock device as she deduced that the killer knew electronics.

Soon afterwards, Sophie and the player got informed by Marquis that someone was trying to defame the victim by charging him with numerous accusations, creating a scene at a restaurant in the process. So, they rushed towards the restaurant where they witnessed a radio show host named Curtis Chandler, who was best knows for hosting debates involving American politics, standing on a table and shouting how the victim was useless for the society. Sophie then calmed him down and interrogated him about his intention to defame Stanley, and he claimed that the victim had never been up to any good. After questioning him, the team searched the restaurant as well given Stanley had showed up there the previous day, and suspected the restaurant owner, Tamonte Locke, who expressed his condolences and admitted that Stanley wasn't a good person. Later on, it was discovered that Margaery had a grudge against Stanley for legalizing inexcusable methods that would harm the coral reefs and fishes on the sea such as explosives and deep nets, and that Rebecca had intended to put a hit on Stanley after finding him to be a terrible person to work with, but her conscious had stopped her from acting on it.

After a while, the team recapped the case near the podium, and noticed a crowd of the victim's supporters who were accusing Orlando of being Stanley's murderer. Sighing, the team went there and somehow cleared the crowd, disallowing the people to ruin Orlando's reputation without any proof for the time being. However, they then learnt that Orlando used to consider Stanley as a friend before the latter had convinced his wife to leave him for the governor. Besides, it was also revealed that Curtis had found out how the victim had used fake votes in order to win the previous election which caused the radio show host to blackmail him, and that Stanley had publicly criticized Tamonte's restaurant and the service which had almost destroyed his business. After returning to the main crime scene, the team found a tissue and the murder weapon, an electroshock device, which were sent respectively to the sarcastic lab assistant Dani Stemvine and the straightforward weapon expert Carol Meadows, from whom they obtained the final clues needed to arrest Tamonte for the murder.

Despite trying to deny initially, Tamonte couldn't help admitting that he was the killer after Sophie cornered him using the evidences they had gathered. Tamonte then facepalmed, saying that he had no choice given no matter what he did his business would be at stake. Sophie narrowed her eyes and asked him to explain, and he said that he had received an anonymous letter a few days ago which had instructed him to assassinate Stanley using an electroshock device which they had left at the speech podium. The team became skeptical since the podium was a crime scene, and told him to continue as he explained that they had also threatened him by saying that if he didn't murder him, they would expose how he used illicit substances on his foods in order to procure their freshness, which would cause a potential arrest and a huge business drop. Seeing how Stanley had already caused the downfall of his business, Tamonte then decided to work accordingly as he collected the electroshock device and managed to contact Stanley before taking him to the lighthouse, alone. There, he had asked the governor to not ruin his business since he had done nothing to him, but the victim had just laughed, saying there was no need of people of his kind to run any sort of business in Maine, causing Tamonte to get shocked as he believed Stanley wasn't a racist person. Being furious, he understood he had criticized him only because of his colour and lost his temper before using the electroshock device, killing Stanley in the process. He then escaped the place with his mind filled up with ferocity, thinking how the anonymous person had done a good work by helping him get rid of the victim. Sophie shook her head and said that he was in a big trouble, and that not listening to the person would have let him get away with a lighter punishment, and he angrily replied that he didn't care given his life would ruin somehow. He was then taken to the courthouse where the Mongolian judge, Judge Naranbaatar who arrived at the United States behalf of the request of the supreme court, understood his motive but said that crime was never a solution before sentencing him to 32 years in prison for the murder.

Post-trial, Chief Callahan reviewed the case files and congratulated the player for solving the case spectacularly, before asking Sophie and the player to investigate further about the anonymous person who had instructed Tamonte to murder Stanley. Sophie scratched her head and suggested they should also try to figure out why Stanley had gone to the lighthouse alone without the security, and Marquis then approached the trio, asking if the team could help him about an issue.

First off, Sophie and the player decided to search the speech podium in order to know more about the person who had manipulated Tamonte into committing the murder. There, They found a locked phone which belonged to Rebecca. Finding her suspicious, Sophie suggested that they should examine the phone given it was possible for her to be the mastermind. The player understood her point since Rebecca had planned to assassinate Stanley, and they quickly unlocked the phone before sending it to Marquis. After finishing analysis, Marquis revealed that he hadn't been able to find anything suspicious, but that he believed they should talk with the secretary anyway, prompting the duo to do so. When interrogated, Rebecca facepalmed and said that she had nothing to do with the murder and that they should simply search Tamonte's restaurant instead of disturbing her without any valid proof. Sophie rolled her eyes and got out of her room with the player before muttering she had a point as they quickly headed towards the restaurant, where they came across a newspaper which dated back to the previous week. As it was pretty much torn, the team taped it up which allowed them to see the full headline which said how a political scientist had criticized Maine's governmental system. Being intrigued, Sophie read the article and found out that the political scientist in question was named Bryan Sylverman. As it was clear Bryan was vocal against Stanley according to the article, the team wondered if he could be associated with the mastermind and questioned him, only for the political scientist to be skeptical and say that he had written the article only because he had felt how the victim had been ruining the state slowly, and that his colleagues had inspired him to do so since all of them believed it was time for a change.

Meanwhile, being visibly concerned, Marquis paced back and forth inside his room as the team approached him, asking what was going on. The techie narrowed his eyes and revealed that he hadn't wanted to bother them, but that he had no choice after seeing how his friend, hacker Levin Smith had disappeared. Sophie said that he wasn't bothering them at all and asked when Levin had gone missing, and Marquis replied that it had almost been a week and revealed Levin had a tendency to disconnect himself in order to lay low, which was why he hadn't been much concerned about him till now. When asked if he knew where he had been spotted last, Marquis shook his head and said that he didn't know, except the hacker had mentioned how he liked to hang around the lighthouse. So, the duo then searched the aforementioned place and found a USB key alongside a notebook belonging to Curtis. Recalling Curtis' troublesome nature, the team checked out the notebook and soon learnt that the radio show host was planning to overthrow the government, before Sophie noticed how he had written down mere details of Stanley's murder. Being weary, Sophie read further and learnt that Curtis had discovered how Stanley had been very drunk before his death and that someone had bribed his driver to take him to the lighthouse instead of the speech podium, where all the security guards had been sent beforehand in order to ensure better security. Seeing how Curtis had gone deep with the details, the team then quizzed the host who rolled his eyes and said that even though he hated politicians, it was quite fascinating to see how the mastermind had planned enough in order to cover their tracks, as they had gone from changing multiple cars during the drive to messing with the security team. Sophie muttered it was quite fishy for him to know that much, and he got annoyed, saying it was his fault that he was brilliant enough to get to the core of something. Understanding they wouldn't be able to accuse Curtis of anything involved with the murder, and left him alone for the time being.

Again, the USB got the team curious, so they lifted up the name written on the tag which said it belonged to Levin. Knowing they were on the correct track, the team sent the USB key to Marquis, who after analyzing it said that he hadn't found any clue about the hacker's whereabouts but that it was clear that Levin had worked with an independent programmer named Skylar Rose briefly and that it was possible for her to know about him. The team then went to see Sky who was getting ready to go back to New York City, and the programmer wanted the interrogation be quick, prompting the senior detective to get straight to the point as she asked her about Levin. The shy, introverted programmer smoked her e-cigarette and admitted that Levin had asked her help with a tricky website knowing she had been in Maine visiting her uncle, and she had decided to help him before their ways parted. She then revealed that they weren't really good friends and their relationship was mostly professional, which was why she had no idea, except that Levin had muttered something about Stowe and Stanley a few times, although she didn't know why. Nodding, the team then left the place, allowing her to prepare for her flight.

Back at the station, everyone except Sophie gathered inside the breakroom where Chief Callahan expressed his concern regarding the victim's mastermind and their plans, as well as the potential connection of multiple suspects with the said person. He then asked where was Sophie, and Alicia replied that she had gone on a date with Margaery and that she couldn't blame her for that, because in her opinion, the recent investigation had allowed them to meet a few interesting people, especially Bryan. Chief Callahan sighed and asked Marquis if it was possible for Levin to have any connection with Stanley, and the techie nodded, saying Levin used to mess with governmental issues which was why it was very possible. Being annoyed, Chief Callahan asked him what kind of friends he had before ordering the team to get ready as they would go to Stowe next.

Summary

Victim

  • Stanley Atkinson (Got electrocuted to death)

Murder Weapon

  • Electroshock Device

Killer

  • Tamonte Locke

Suspects

Quasi-suspect(s)

Killer's Profile

  • The killer drinks turmeric lattes.
  • The killer knows electronics.
  • The killer is allergic to seafood.
  • The killer is male.
  • The killer has a mole.
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Crime Scenes

Lighthouse Viewpoint Coastside Lighthouse Viewpoint Bonus
Speech Podium Podium Backstage Speech Podium Bonus
Vintage Restaurant Cash Counter Vintage Restaurant Bonus

Steps

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Tricky Codes of Silence (1/5)

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