Shot in the Dark
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General Information
Season 4
Location Ravenedge
Region Serene Creek
Case # 38
Initial release date 11th May 2021
Partner(s) Lawrence Sinclaire (All Chapters)
Case Chronology
← Preceded by Succeeded by →
How the Cookie Crumbles Shrinking Violet
Our investigation into Our Meadow is a shot in the dark - literally, as a man's heart is pierced by a bullet in the pitch black of a Ravenedge village. Can you conquer your fear of the dark and bring back the light of justice?
—Case Teaser

Shot in the Dark is a case featured in Criminal Case, it appears as the thirty-eighth case in A World Forgotten and the two hundred and twenty-seventh overall. It takes place as the second case in the Serene Creek district of Ravenedge.

Plot

Having had unearthed Francesca Osborne's connections to an extortionate agricultural company, Our Meadow, the team suspected she was using the company as a front to launder money. Deciding to investigate further, Charity tasked the player and Lawrence in heading to Nettledown, a nearby village most affected by Our Meadow. A broken spoke caused their arrival to be delayed and by the time they had crossed Nettledown's gates, it was nightfall. Suddenly, Maudeball heard a shot break out down a nearby back alley and went to investigate, Lawrence trailing behind. There, farmer Robert Fitzsimons was leant against a barrel. Moira confirmed Robert was shot in the heart - as they had likely assumed - and dreaded to think about Louie Fitzsimons' reaction. Vowing to uncover Robert's killer for Louie, they first questioned his brother and farmer Gus Fitzsimons, town crier Rick Dowry, and radical movement supporter Leblanc Devereaux - Beaufort's father. As Lawrence and the player recapped the investigation, they heard shrieking wails echoing from the well.

They ran to the wall and found Aimee Villeneueve gripping to the side. Lawrence soon helped Amethyst's sister and asked her what happened, where she explained she'd been staying on a nearby farm and went for a midnight walk to paint some peonies. However, she lost her footing and tumbled down the well. When asked about Robert, she confirmed she'd been staying on his land and professed that he was a good man. However, this conflicted with town mayor Ben Casey who stated that Robert's drunken antics forced him to bar him from the taverns. Gus and Robert argued over their mother's will after Gus attempted to secure the money first, though he insisted it was only out of fear of what Our Meadow would do to his business. After an intoxicated Robert stole and sold Rick's family bell to pay his bills, they heard loud protesting coming from the town square.

Leblanc then led a group of angry rioters, all protesting Our Meadow. Lawrence demanded the crowd settle down, but Leblanc countered that they'd only lower their pitchforks when Our Meadow was a distant memory. He then began to theorise that the Osbornes sent one of their puppets to shoot Robert and silence the resistance against Our Meadow. Realizing the crowd would only get more tempestuous the longer Robert's killer went free, they later discovered Robert stole Aimee's painting and planned to sell it, and that Robert asked Ben to help in the fight against Our Meadow, which he refused. Finally, after discovering the weapon to be an Italian produced lantern pistol, the killer was Ben.

Ben invited the pair into his office and suggested they discuss cordially, though Lawrence insisted that regardless of his position, the law was the law and he'd be dealt with like any other common criminal. Ben started to sweat and dapped his forehead with a handkerchief, asking they settle down. Eventually, Lawrence out-manoeuvred Ben and forced him into a confession. Ben explained that Nettledown was a back-end town filled with ungrateful citizens, who never praised him for his service and who always overlooked him. When Ben heard about Our Meadow, he saw an opportunity to make a change in his life and make his years of serving Our Meadow worthwhile. He recounted how he made backhand deals, agreeing to silence and stop the resistance in the villages in exchange for a high-paying position under the Osborne administration. He'd then retire early. However, Robert and the other villages refused to go 'quietly into that good night'. Poetically, Ben invited Robert for a drink and once he was drunk, led him to the alleyway and shot him in the heart to set an example to other protestors and to keep them quiet. Lawrence, shocked that Ben was willing to throw his citizens' livelihoods under the carriage for his own gain, handcuffed the man.

In court, Ben claimed that after his years of drudging away for his citizens, it was the least he deserved. However, Judge Haddid countered that they had the right to protest, especially over choices which affected them directly. She also continued that as Mayor, it was his job to do what was best for them and not use their struggles as a ladder. Misbah then demanded to know which official agreed to the deal, though he only stated they were close to Mayor Osborne. He was then sentenced to twenty-seven years in prison. Outside, Lawrence was shocked at Ben's callousness towards his citizens, but hoped there were good Mayors out there. He then agreed that Francesca likely made the deal; the latest in a series of deals which led to murder.

---Rain Must Fall (2/6)---

Post-trial, Aimee asked for Amethyst and the player's help with a personal matter. She then echoed her sister's thoughts about the beauty of Ravenedge being lost amongst the chaos and confessed a fear that soon they would cross the point of no return. Wanting to bring some semblance of unity back to the city, she asked they accompany her to speak with both sides. They first spoke to Leblanc, who confessed he was involved in a workplace accident which left his legs mangled and him unable to work. However, instead of compensating him, the factory covered it up and made Leblanc redundant. He then had to raise Beaufort in squalor. Meanwhile, they also spoke to Rick about his anti-movement sentiments. He exclaimed that things needed to change, yet the Rose Movement's inclination towards violence left a plague on both houses and declared a belief that some were only instigating a war to gain favour and power. With her head left a confused mess of thoughts, Aimee then had an idea: both sides had mentioned the Phoenix Falls, a moving landmark in the north. After deciding to paint the falls to show the sides that they had common ground, the trio found painting supplies in Mary's Brew tavern and Aimee set to work. She then called the painting Rain Must Fall, based on the phrase "in every life a little rain must fall".

Meanwhile, Draco and the player decided to speak to disgraced judge Francis Castillo. Francis refused to name Francesca as the person who paid him to release Howard Strong, yet slipped that he left his briefcase in the alleyway. With one of Antonio's lanterns to light the way, they soon found the briefcase stashed behind a barrel. Hope then exclaimed that she'd found Francesca's fingerprints on the notes used to pay Francis. Furthermore, she'd found documented proof that Francis authorised Our Meadow with illegal money from Francesca. Armed with the evidence they needed, they brought Francesca in for questioning. The pair eventually tricked her into confessing to her crimes; her cigar extinguishing as she snapped it in half.

Cornelius then pleaded with Francesca to explain why, but Francesca countered that Cornelius' obliviousness said it all. She elaborated that day after day she heard calls for her family to be removed, even by force, and that the Rose Movement had already killed the last Mayor. Fearful for her family, she did what she had to do: using Howard and the Vianello gang to eliminate her opponents and protect her family. She then used Our Meadow to cover up her involvement. Cornelius began to sob, but Francesca continued; slating him for turning his back on his family and that the burden of dealing with the movement fell on her shoulders solely. However, she denied making a deal with Ben. She was then handcuffed and taken to the cells.

With Cornelius retiring to his workshop, Genevieve asked to speak with him. Nevertheless, he refused. Speaking to the team, Genevieve claimed that her daughter's arrest was a wake-up call and explained marrying into the Osborne family had left her an outsider, so she did her best to instil the Osborne virtues within her children so they would have a better life than she did. She feared that she had pushed Francesca too far and took responsibility for her actions. Genevieve then confirmed that Hugo wouldn't waver on Our Meadow yet she could convince him to build a railway through the villages to protect their livelihoods. She then asked they keep her involvement a secret and departed. With Francesca, the Fearmonger and Our Meadow dealt with, the team agreed to celebrate by hiking to the Phoenix Falls to watch Aimee paint.

Years prior, Genevieve and a young Francesca sat on the rocks by the falls. Francesca watched her brothers playing by the rocks and asked to join them, though Genevieve sat her on her knee and ran a finger through her hair. She then told Francesca that one day she would lead the Osborne family to greatness and would have the perfect life, filled with acclaim, wealth and belonging. However, to do that, she needed to keep her eyes on the future. When Genevieve asked if Francesca understood, she nodded and turned her eyes back to her schoolbooks.

Summary

Victim

  • Robert Fitzsimons (shot in the heart in a village back alley)

Murder Weapon

  • Lantern Pistol

Killer

  • Ben Casey

Suspects

Gus Fitzsimons
Farmer
Height 5'10"
Age 32
Weight 170 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood AB+

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect carries hay bales.
  • The suspect drinks at Mary's Brew.
  • The suspect eats ginger.
Rick Dowry
Town Crier
Height 5'9"
Age 51
Weight 179 lbs
Eyes Brown
Blood A+

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect carries hay bales.
  • The suspect drinks at Mary's Brew.
  • The suspect eats ginger.

Suspect's Appearance

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

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect carries hay bales.
  • The suspect drinks at Mary's Brew.
  • The suspect eats ginger.
Aimee Villeneuve
Painter
Height 5'3"
Age 26
Weight 123 lbs
Eyes Brown
Blood A-

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect carries hay bales.
  • The suspect eats ginger.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect has black hair.
Ben Casey
Village Mayor
Height 5'10"
Age 34
Weight 150 lbs
Eyes Green
Blood AB-

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect carries hay bales.
  • The suspect drinks at Mary's Brew.
  • The suspect eats ginger.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect has black hair.

Quasi-Suspect(s)

Francis Castillo
Corrupt Judge
Height 5'10"
Age 56
Weight 176 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood AB+
Francesca Osborne
Osborne Heiress
Height 5'10"
Age 23
Weight 125 lbs
Eyes Brown
Blood A+
Genevieve Osborne
Osborne Matriarch
Height 5'7"
Age 56
Weight 151 lbs
Eyes Brown
Blood A-

Killer's Profile

  • The killer carries hay bales.
  • The killer drinks at Mary's Brew.
  • The killer eats ginger.
  • The killer has black hair.
  • The killer is under fifty.

Crime Scenes

Back Alley Toppled Barrel Back Alley Bonus
Local Tavern Tavern Seats Local Tavern Bonus
Town Square Old Well Town Square Bonus

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