Man is in Chains
Season 1
City Shadowcrest
District Sunny Mercado
Case # 6
Initial release date 19th June 2020
Partner(s) Julian Kang (All Chapters)
Kristen Patterson (1 task in Chapter 3)
Alex Ruiz (Key to the Future)
← Preceded by Succeeded by →
Star-Crossed Lovers Filed Away
(in Ringwald Cemetery)

Man is in Chains is a case featured in Criminal Case as the sixth case of the game. It is the sixth and final case set in the Sunny Mercado district of Shadowcrest.


Previously, at Judge Fierro's Valentine's Day party, someone (who the player had met before) under the alias of "Ana G" sent the player a letter. She begged the player to find The Key, and informed the player that the keys they had found while investigating the deaths of the five victims would unlock an atelier on the outskirts of Sunny Mercado, which would provide them with the answers they needed. Chief Cromwell then dispatched Julian and the player to go to the workshop, but asked for them to be careful and to call for reinforcements if necessary.

Once Julian and the player found the atelier, they found five separate locks. After quite a few attempts, the atelier was successfully unlocked by using the keys on the locks in the order of the victim's deaths. The investigators then rushed into the atelier, only to find the corpse of philosopher John-Jack Russell, chained and tortured. In the autopsy, Sofia confirmed that the victim died due to a severe lack of blood circulation, but was rather confused at the fact that there was no indication that a key had been sent to somebody.

Following the autopsy, Kristen reported that the victim had a delivery truck, prompting Julian and the player to investigate there. Additionally, a cheating housewife named Eleanor Stratham stole Julian's pants, prompting Kristen to momentarily help the player. Interestingly enough, all suspects had relations to the victims of the Key: zombie survivalist Chad Foster was engaged to Lilith Hall, Eleanor was having an illicit affair with Antoine Corbineau, air hostess Kelli Barnes was childhood friends with Yvonne Pritchard, businesswoman Barbara White was Leslie Schmidt's boss, and Dr. Ishan Singh was Allan Ortiz's general practitioner. The team soon found enough hard evidence to incriminate John-Jack's killer as none other than Barbara.

During her arrest, Barbara denied committing the murder, citing the evidence that Julian and the player found as faulty. However, the moment Julian referred to her as The Key, she yelled at him, admitting that while she murdered John-Jack, she was not responsible for the five other deaths. She said that she was afraid to tell the truth in broad daylight and asked if she could inform the team about the truth in prison. Julian and the player complied to Barbara's request in hopes that she would be a fruitful lead.

In prison, Barbara dropped a bomb in that she mentioned that she was "Ana G" and that John-Jack was actually The Key. She said that she hoped that the team could tell that "Ana G" was a code for saying "anagram". When Julian asked why anagrams were so significant, Barbara said that this was due to the order John-Jack picked his victims: Lilith, Antoine, Yvonne, Leslie, and Allan. The strange nature of the murders had to be resolved like an anagram. She pointed out that when the first letter of the victims' names were taken in the order of their deaths, the word "LAYLA" was uncovered. Barbara pointed out that she had no idea who or what "Layla" was, but told the team that she knew it was important, considering John-Jack was twisted enough to kill for it. Julian and the player promised to follow up on this new information and then sent her to court.

In order to keep Barbara safe, Judge Fierro did not mention anything about the intel Barbara gave. However, given her private allegations that John-Jack was a serial killer and her gold mine of a testimony, she was sentenced to 15 years in prison with a chance of parole in 10 years.

In the moments after the trial, Alex and Imogen pointed out that Barbara's claims could be correct: in the previous case, Alex, Kristen, and the player had discovered that John-Jack was abusing gabapentin for his twitchy hands, which Imogen assumed was a likely reason as to why the note from The Key had so many typos. Additionally, it would explain the strange use of the French word "gommage"—meaning "effacement". Imogen theorized that John-Jack meant to say "hommage", or "tribute", as the "H" key is next on the keyboard. She assumed that the murders were a tribute to "Layla", but there was still no empirical evidence about John-Jack being a killer. Alex and the player then went to John-Jack's truck and found his diary. Imogen was able to confirm Barbara's suspicions: John-Jack was indeed The Key and the murderer of the aforementioned five victims.

Meanwhile, Julian and the player investigated the atelier in hopes of answers, where they found a USB drive. Per Dean, he discovered that John-Jack had a meeting with somebody in Ringwald Cemetery about "lessons". However, Dean did not know what these lessons were about, only that John planned on meeting somebody. He also mentioned that John-Jack expressed interest in a file at the Ringwald Cemetery archives. Julian and the player then went to ask Chief Cromwell if they could access the archives; however, the chief initially argued against it, saying that he was raised in Ringwald Cemetery and that he doubted there was anything of suspicion at the archives. Ultimately, he decided that it was a lead worth checking out, given that it could stop more violence. He then told the player he was proud of them and gave them a raise.

Following the two discoveries, Mayor Xandra Sperazzo congratulated the player for their excellence in arresting many killers and successfully identifying a serial killer. She then gave the authorization forms to access the archives at Ringwald Cemetery. She wished the player success on their foray into the gloomiest district of Shadowcrest



  • John-Jack Russell (chained and tortured until he bled to death)

Murder Weapon

  • Chains


  • Barbara White


Barbara White
Height 5'10"
Age 43
Weight 161 lbs
Eyes blue
Blood AB+


  • The suspect works out
  • The suspect has insomnia
  • The suspect takes spirulina


  • The suspect wears lipstick
Chad Foster
Height 6'1"
Age 48
Weight 195 lbs
Eyes green
Blood AB+


  • The suspect works out
  • The suspect has insomnia
  • The suspect takes spirulina
Eleanor Stratham
Infidelitous Wife
Height 5'6"
Age 35
Weight 132 lbs
Eyes blue
Blood O+


  • The suspect works out
  • The suspect has insomnia
  • The suspect takes spirulina


  • The suspect wears lipstick
Ishan Singh
Height 5'5"
Age 33
Weight 175 lbs
Eyes brown
Blood O+


  • The suspect works out
  • The suspect has insomnia
  • The suspect takes spirulina
Kelli Barnes
Flight Attendant
Height 5'7"
Age 24
Weight 122 lbs
Eyes brown
Blood A-


  • The suspect works out
  • The suspect has insomnia
  • The suspect takes spirulina


  • The suspect wears lipstick


Alex Ruiz
Lab Assistant
Height 5'11"
Age 25
Weight 145 lbs
Eyes brown
Blood B+
George Cromwell
Height 6'2"
Age 54
Weight 193 lbs
Eyes blue
Blood O-
Xandra Sperazzo
Height 5'9"
Age 27
Weight 148 lbs
Eyes blue
Blood A-

Killer's Profile

  • The killer works out.
  • The killer has insomnia.
  • The killer takes spirulina.
  • The killer wears lipstick.
  • The killer weighs at least 150 pounds.

Crime Scenes

Atelier Barricaded Doorway Atelier Bonus
Rainy Park Saliceta Rainy Park Bonus
Delivery Truck Truck Cargo Delivery Truck Bonus


Chapter 1

  • Investigate Atelier. (Clues: Victim's Body, Chains, Gun; Victim identified: John-Jack Russell)
  • Examine Chains. (Result: Mud)
  • Examine Mud. (Result: Park Soil; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Rainy Park)
  • Investigate Rainy Park. (Prerequisite: Park Soil identified under microscope; Clues: Damaged Phone, Steno Pad, Purse)
  • Examine Damaged Phone. (Result: Burner Phone)
  • Analyze Burner Phone. (06:00:00; Attribute: The killer has insomnia)
  • Examine Steno Pad. (Result: Grocery List; New Suspect: Chad Foster)
  • Ask Chad what he knows about the serial killer. (Prerequisite: Grocery List unraveled)
  • Examine Purse. (Result: Torn Photo)
  • Examine Torn Photo. (Result: Sexual Photo; New Suspect: Eleanor Stratham)
  • Interrogate Eleanor Straham about her relations with Antoine Corbineau. (Prerequisite: Sexual Photo restored)
  • Examine Gun. (New Suspect: Barbara White)
  • Ask Barbara what her gun was doing at the workshop. (Prerequisite: Gun Handler identified)
  • Autopsy Victim's Body. (18:00:00; Murder Weapon registered: Chains; Attribute: The killer works out)
  • Go to Chapter 2. (No stars)

Chapter 2

  • Examine Truck Lock. (Available after unlocking Chapter 2; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Delivery Truck)
  • Investigate Delivery Truck. (Prerequisite: Truck Lock decrypted; Clues: Rude Message, Victim's Satchel, Strange Device)
  • Examine Rude Message. (Result: Hairs)
  • Analyze Hairs. (06:00:00; New Suspect: Kelli Barnes)
  • Ask Kelli why she thought the victim was a fraud. (Prerequisite: Hairs analyzed; Profile updated: Kelli works out and has insomnia)
  • Examine Victim's Satchel. (Result: Gabapentin Bottle)
  • Examine Gabapentin Bottle. (Result: Prescription Label; New Suspect: Ishan Singh)
  • Ask Ishan why he gave the victim gabapentin. (Prerequisite: Prescription Label unraveled; Profile updated: Ishan works out)
  • Examine Strange Device. (Result: Tracking Device)
  • Analyze Tracking Device. (12:00:00; New Clue: Unknown Molecule)
  • Examine Unknown Molecule. (Attribute: The killer takes spirulina; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Saliceta)
  • Investigate Saliceta. (Prerequisite: Spirulina identified under microscope; Clues: Unemployment Message, Engagement Ring)
  • Examine Unemployment Message. (Result: Barbara's Handwriting)
  • Ask Barbara why she fired Leslie Schmidt. (Prerequisite: Barbara's Handwriting identified; Profile updated: Barbara works out and takes spirulina)
  • Examine Engagement Ring. (Result: Clear Substance)
  • Analyze Clear Substance. (12:00:00)
  • Ask Chad Foster how he knew Lilith Hall. (Prerequisite: Clear Substance analyzed; Profile updated: Chad works out)
  • Go to Chapter 3. (No stars)

Chapter 3

  • Ask Eleanor to stop seducing Julian. (Available after unlocking Chapter 3; Profile updated: Eleanor works out; New Lab Sample: Julian's Pants; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Truck Cargo)
  • Examine Julian's Pants. (Result: Eleanor's Wallet; Profile updated: Eleanor takes spirulina)
  • Investigate Truck Cargo. (Prerequisite: Eleanor interrogated; Clues: Broken Photo Frame. Faded Bill)
  • Examine Broken Photo Frame. (Result: Childhood Photo)
  • Ask Kelli how she knew Yvonne Pritchard. (Prerequisite: Childhood Photo restored; Profile updated: Kelli takes spirulina)
  • Examine Faded Bill. (Result: Medical Bill)
  • Analyze Medical Bill. (09:00:00)
  • See if Allan Ortiz was Ishan Singh's patient. (Prerequisite: Medical Bill analyzed; Profiles updated: Ishan takes spirulina, Chad takes spirulina)
  • Profiles updated: Barbara has insomnia, Chad has insomnia, Eleanor has insomnia, Ishan has insomnia
  • Investigate Barricaded Doorway. (All tasks before must be done first; Clues: Workshop Supplies, Locked Safe)
  • Examine Workshop Supplies. (Result: Hit List)
  • Analyze Hit List. (15:00:00; Attribute: The killer wears lipstick)
  • Examine Locked Safe. (Result: Chain Gun)
  • Analyze Chain Gun. (15:00:00; Attribute: The killer weighs at least 150 lbs)
  • Take care of the killer now!
  • Go to Key to the Future (6/6). (No stars)

Key to the Future (6/6)

  • Interrogate Barbara in prison. (Available after unlocking Key to the Future)
  • See what Alex and Imogen theorize. (Prerequisite: Barbara interrogated; Reward: Burger)
  • Investigate Delivery Truck. (Prerequisite: Alex interrogated; Clue: Locked Diary)
  • Examine Locked Diary. (Result: Faded Diary)
  • Examine Faded Diary. (Result: John-Jack's Diary)
  • Analyze John-Jack's Diary. (09:00:00)
  • Investigate Atelier. (Prerequisite: Barbara interrogated; Clue: Potted Plant)
  • Examine Potted Plant. (Result: USB Drive)
  • Analyze USB Drive. (06:00:00)
  • Ask Chief Cromwell how we can visit the Ringwald Cemetery archives. (Prerequisite: USB Drive analyzed; Reward: 20,000 Coins)
  • Get the authorization forms from Mayor Sperazzo. (All tasks before must be done first; Reward: Bolo Tie)
  • Move on to a new crime! (1 star)


  • The case title is a reference to Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau's quote from The Social Contract, "man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains".
  • This case is one of the cases in which the killer has to be interrogated once again during the Additional Investigation.
  • This is one of the cases in Shadowcrest where all suspects have appeared previously.
  • This is one of the few cases wherein the trial takes place during the Additional Investigation instead of the final chapter of the main leg.


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