Burnt to a Crisp
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General Information
Season 4
Location Ravenedge
Region Serene Creek
Case # 40
Initial release date 25th May 2021
Partner(s) Sienna Everett (All Chapters)
Case Chronology
← Preceded by Succeeded by →
Shrinking Violet Sword Swallowing
A silent night is broken by piercing screams at Aimee's Christmas unveiling of Rain Must Fall! During the bloodiest time of the year, can you brave the heat and find her killer before it is too late?
—Case Teaser

Burnt to a Crisp is a case featured in Criminal Case, it appears as the fortieth case in A World Forgotten and the two hundred and twenty-ninth overall. It takes place as the fourth case in the Serene Creek district of Ravenedge.

Plot

With Christmas - and Aimee's unveiling of Rain Must Fall - rapidly approaching, the team agreed to supervise and protect Aimee at her event. Christmas Morning: snow fell on the streets and rooftops as smoke billowed from the chimneys, blackening the sky. Children sung carols on street corners as carriages adorned with holly lined the roads. A somewhat unspoken agreement of peace had settled over the city, only if for a day. Outside the event, Sienna, struggling but insistent on returning to the team, confessed that her favourite memory of the festivities was climbing a nearby mountain to see a tree erected in the city square, since her family couldn't afford gifts. Suddenly, the waiting cue's chatter was broken by the sound of screaming as the pair rushed to a nearby street. There, at the back entrance of the art gallery, wealthy noblewoman Brennen Schnee lay face-down in the melting snow, her hair covered in snowflakes, her body burnt to a crisp and her singed, velvet blue scarf blowing hollowly in the chilling wind.

Fearful that such a brutal murder on a supposed day of peace would ruin everything, Moira soon confirmed that Brennen was doused in alcohol before the killer threw a cigar at her and pointed out the crumbled cigar next to the charred remains. After confirming the killer drank eggnog, they questioned Amethyst’s boyfriend Gabriel Rose, as well as opposing movement supporters Leblanc Devereaux and Andre Oldman (both of whom were invited by Aimee). With Hope preoccupied by erecting a large tree in the foyer, Lawrence took over the archives. He then revealed, much to his surprise, a photo of Isabella and Brennen on the murder site.

They soon confronted the newly appointed team member, where she started to sob upon the accusations. She swore her innocence and claimed that Brennen was an old friend from when she studied abroad, yet when Lawrence asked why she didn’t come forward with said information, she confessed she wasn’t sure how to. She also explained that Brennen arrived in Ravenedge to purchase Aimee's paintings and build a gallery for them. Knowing Isabella had a lot to learn, the team agreed to investigate Brennen's connections to the painting and went on to suspect Osborne matriarch Genevieve Osborne. Meanwhile, Leblanc and Andre were both angered by Brennen when she commissioned more paintings, believing they should be destroyed. Back at the precinct, Sienna sighed into her hand as she recounted the suspect list, all of whom were important individuals within Ravenedge. Suddenly, Isabella rushed in and apologized for her interference but revealed Aimee’s carriage had been surrounded.

Outside the unveiling, the crowd surrounding Aimee were divided by those who supported her attempts to unite Ravenedge and those who were against it. They soon escorted Aimee inside where she, albeit shaken, persevered. A closer look at Brennen’s financials revealed large payments from Genevieve; the matriach confessing she had paid Brennen to act on her behalf and commission more paintings. She admitted she saw the feud as frivolous after Francesca’s arrest and, even though she despised the movement, had no interest in continuing if it meant she'd lose more children. However, she had to keep up appearances while covertly attempting to remind Ravenedge of its homogeneity. Gabriel attempted to bring Marianne to the event, though once she saw Brennen’s influence she believed it to be an attempt to trick the movement into submission. Finally, Isabella had invited her old friend to a Christmas dinner at her house but Brennen refused and stated that she couldn’t be seen celebrating with the team when she was attempting to buy Aimee’s painting. With all said and done, Andre was the killer.

They confronted Andre in the street, Sienna pointing as the man quickly hid his cigar - matching the brand used to burn Brennen. Sienna demanded to know why Andre had killed Brennen and readied her handcuffs, only for Andre to turn his heel and flee down the cobbled steps. The player made chase and eventually corned Andre in a nearby alleyway. Sighing into his hand, Andre agreed it was time to come clean as his face hardened, painted with both anger and sorrow. He explained that he was in a relationship with Deputy Mayor Josephine Caldwell and that for the first time since his ex-wife's death he had finally felt happy. He recounted how the pair had decided to move away from the hustle of Ravenedge and buy a plot in the Bahamas to retire, hence why Josephine was embezzling money. However, the week before they planned to leave Ravenedge, she was killed by the same movement follower who organized Mayor Havisham's death. Josephine's murder turned Andre into a hardened follower of Mayor Osborne; not due to his polices but in the hope that he would crush the movement beneath his shoe and avenge Josephine. Howbeit, the recent weeks in Ravenedge had become peaceful, with each side somewhat agreeing to co-exist in the leadup to Christmas due to Aimee's painting. Angered and worried that Aimee's paintings would unite Ravenedge and allow the Rose Movement to get away with Josephine's murder, Andre went to confront her, only to find Brennen paying for the painting instead. The pair began to argue as Brennen revealed her plan to keep commissioning more paintings. Panicked and incensed, Andre grabbed a bottle of alcohol from a nearby windowsill and doused Brennen, lighting her on fire so she couldn't buy the painting. He then fled the scene as his cigar extinguished in the snow.

In court, Andre pleaded for Judge Haddid to see reason, that the Rose Movement were violent militants who had taken away his love and threatened everything he knew. He believed Brennen and Aimee's pacifism would only lead to more murder, that the Rose Movement couldn't be calmed and that they needed to be stomped out. Misbah sighed and asked Andre to look at himself. She explained that grief had turned him into a criminal, the same as it had done to Marianne Rose, and countered that Andre's murder of Brennen would only ignite a civil war. She then sentenced him to twenty years imprisonment alongside mandatory counselling. Outside, Sienna commented that the feud was a losing battle for both sides. However, she had hope that Aimee's painting could turn the tide and bring about an age of peace, professing they should hurry back to the precinct before the unveiling.

---Rain Must Fall (4/6)---

Back at the foyer, a weary Charity exclaimed that they only had a few hours left until the unveiling and asked the team to be on full alert. However, she stated that they should all enjoy whatever was left of their Christmas day before retiring to her office to rest. Amethyst then ran to the player, dressed in a long, scarlet dress, and asked they accompany her for dinner at the Rose's. She shrugged and knew it was unconventional, but hoped Marianne meeting one of the team would help dissuade her. After collecting the turkey from the butchery and asking Gabriel for an invite, the four settled down for dinner in Marianne's pokey townhouse. Marianne laid the table and - unfortunately - burned the turkey severely but, overall, they had a joyful night of festivities. Marianne soon enquired about Gabriel and Amethyst's relationship, but they exclaimed they were only testing the waters and were excited to see where it took them. The conversation soon shifted to Aimee and Amethyst's childhood in France and how Aimee always looked out for Amethyst, even though she was younger. However, mention of Aimee's name caused Marianne to walk away from the table.

Gabriel started to reason with his mother that Aimee only wanted peace, like he, the player, and Amethyst did. He agreed with her message and promised to always support her with it, that he wanted to avenge Celine, but that her message was being lost in the chaos and he didn't want his sister's legacy to be bloodshed. This caused Marianne to start sobbing, though she quickly wiped her tears away with a tea towel and composed herself. She agreed that things had got out of control but to cut ties with the Rose Movement would mean losing all of her work, that Celine, Olive Lear, and so many others had died for nothing. Amethyst, however, pleaded with her to do things the right way, like she imagined Celine would've wanted. Marianne sighed and agreed, saying she would postpone her next speech and think things through. Gabriel then tried to kiss Amethyst under the mistletoe but she chuckled and said they were not there just yet.

Ecstatic she'd been able to reach Gabriel's mother, Amethyst then suggested they rush to Aimee's unveiling with haste. At the unveiling, Aimee thanked everyone for attending and shakily confessed that although she had only been in Ravenedge a few months, she could see its beauty, from the cathedral to the Phoenix Falls, leading her to pull the curtain down and turn to the crowd with a smile. Aimee, caught up in her own excitement, continued to talk about her message, not noticing the crowd's look of horror. Rain Must Fall was singed, burned at every edge with the canvas falling to the floor like ash. On the wall, the words "Devil's Advocate" were painted in gold paint. Aimee looked on in horror as Amethyst tried to lead her backstage, the younger sister starting to sob. She then angrily exclaimed that she'd had enough and tore the painting to the ground, storming away. Backstage, Amethyst tried to settle Aimee, but she continued to panic. Rambling, Aimee explained that it had been calamity after calamity ever since they had arrived; first Amethyst falling in the river, to Lady Nightshade, to her attack and now this. Aimee then declared that she was leaving Ravenedge behind and asked Amethyst to come with her.

In the foyer, Amethyst begin to fall apart, worried at the prospect of having to leave Ravenedge and Gabriel. The team then agreed that the situation around Aimee was too dangerous to leave her unprotected. However, with all of Charity's resources pushed into investigating the Rose Movement thanks to Francesca's arrest, their hands were tied. Pedro then suggested they speak to Sue Li, the opium lounge owner, about her protective services and see if she could protect Aimee.

Years ago, Marianne sat with Gabriel behind the waterfall. Gabriel continued drawing on the rock walls as Marianne read through her expenses, crumbling into a sighed heap. Gabriel titled his head and asked what was wrong, causing Marianne to take his hand and ask him to sit down. She told him that life was complicated and, like a pebble thrown into a current, sometimes people got caught in up. She worried that she had been taken with the waves and looked at him in the eye, promising him that she'd do anything she could to stop that from happening to him and Celine.

Summary

Victim

  • Brennen Schnee (found burned to death in the street)

Murder Weapon

  • Immolation

Killer

  • Andre Oldman

Suspects

Gabriel Rose
Dock Worker
Height 6'1"
Age 27
Weight 201 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood AB-

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect drinks eggnog.
  • The suspect sings carols.
  • The suspect smokes cigars.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect has facial hair.
Andre Oldman
Mayoral Supporter
Height 5'9"
Age 46
Weight 193 lbs
Eyes Brown
Blood A-

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect drinks eggnog.
  • The suspect sings carols.
  • The suspect smokes cigars.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect wears a hat.
  • The suspect has facial hair.
Leblanc Devereaux
Radical Movement Supporter
Height 5'11"
Age 47
Weight 189 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood AB+

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect drinks eggnog.
  • The suspect sings carols.
  • The suspect smokes cigars.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect has facial hair.
Isabella Sinclaire
Beat Cop
Height 5'4"
Age 20
Weight 125 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood AB+

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect drinks eggnog.
  • The suspect sings carols.
  • The suspect smokes cigars.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect wears a hat.
Genevieve Osborne
Osborne Matriarch
Height 5'7"
Age 56
Weight 151 lbs
Eyes Brown
Blood A-

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect drinks eggnog.
  • The suspect sings carols.
  • The suspect smokes cigars.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect wears a hat.

Quasi-Suspects

Marianne Rose
Rose Movement Leader
Height 5'5"
Age 48
Weight 132 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood AB-
Aimee Villeneuve
Painter
Height 5'3"
Age 26
Weight 123 lbs
Eyes Brown
Blood A-

Killer's Profile

  • The killer drinks eggnog.
  • The killer sings carols.
  • The killer smokes cigars.
  • The killer wears a hat.
  • The killer has facial hair.

Crime Scenes

Waiting Line Melted Snow Waiting Line Bonus
Art Gallery Odd Sculpture Art Gallery Bonus
Brennen's Carriage White Horse Brennen's Carriage Bonus

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