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File No. 003: A Murder Staged is the third case of Layton Brothers: Mystery Room. A famous actor, Gloria Blaise, had been shot dead at the curtain fall of the play she was starring in.

Plot Edit

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The case begins when Justin Lawson walks into the  Mystery Room looking for Alfendi Layton. Instead, Lucy Baker approaches him, asking if he was being expected. When Alfendi appears, introductions are in order: Lawson to Baker, and vice versa. After introductions, Lawson asks about the on-stage murder case,and asks Alfendi and Lucy to clear up the mysteries surrounding the prime suspect. When he confirmed that the file has been sent over, Lucy and Alfendi begin to work on the case.

The DebriefingEdit

Alfendi and Lucy goes over the details of the case. It took place during a play in which a high-profile actor and actress were starring. The victim was Gloria Blaise, the starring actress in the play. Her co-star and fiance, Roscoe Strapping, had a scene in the climax of the performance in which Strapping shoots Blaise, who was playing his unfaithful wife. It went exactly as scripted, with Strapping shooting Blaise and Blaise falling to the floor in a puddle of blood. As Strapping exited the scene, he bumps into supporting actress Destiny Knox, and immediately the lights went out. In the darkness, Blaise cries for help, and another shot is heard in the darkness. When the lights return, Blaise is laying exactly where she was, motionless. Knox hurries over to her and discovers her dead. Bray Clegg, a stagehand, was found unconscious in the wings of the theater with the murder weapon in his hand. He claims that while the lights were out that someone had hit him, knocked him out, and planted the murder weapon on him. Strapping claims to have been in his dressing room when the second shot was heard. Knox had been on stage with the victim when the lights went out.

The InvestigationEdit

Lucy comes across a varity of evidence in the replication, all of which was recorded inside the case file. After doing so, Lucy feels confident enough to name a culprit: Roscoe Strapping. Alfendi agrees, with a 92.9% that he was the culprit. Enthusiastically, Lucy proposed to erase the 7.1% of doubt by calling him in. While unsure that he will show up, Alfendi and Lucy go over what they already know about the actor. This reveals that Strapping was having an affair with Knox while engaged to Blaise.

After a bit of chatting, Strapping rings the Mystery Room's doorbell. He immediately starts to flirt with Lucy, who makes it clear that the feeling is not mutual. After introducing himself, Alfendi asks Strapping why he was there. He claims to have come to help the two with the mystery of the murder. He states that the murderer was indeed Bray Clegg, the stagement. When asked about his logic, he gives two reasons: That he was crushed by unrequited love, and that he was holding the murder weapon. While Lucy believes he should be set straight, Alfendi thinks that Strapping has compelling theories. With that, they begin on their deductions.

Investigating the wound of course means to check out the body, and to Lucy's chargin Strapping offers to escort her. By looking a the corpse, Alfendi states that Blaise was shot with a single bullet to the heart from between one and three meters away, which resulted in instant death. Strapping uses this to cement his belief that Clegg was the murderer. Continuing the conversation, Alfendi also states that the bullet went straight through the body and should still be on the scene. Lucy looks for a bullet hole, which was found inside of a replica painting. Using the hole and the body, they are able to deduce where the shot originated. However, Strapping tries to intervene by saying that it would be a waste of time. Alfendi assures him that it wouldn't take longer than a moment, and Lucy investigates the set to find the place. This turns aout to be Stage Position B, where Strapping was standing in his final scene. However, since the position was between one to three meters away, that that was the most likely place the shooter was standing. Strapping restates that that had been a waste of time, and had no relevance. Alfendi, however, counters that it is very relevant information, as shooting someone in one bullet in darkness was nearly impossible. Not hearing this, Strapping ends the conversation.

Deciding to look into the gun Clegg was holding, Strapping once again states that Clegg was the one who shot Blaise. Alfendi refutes this by saying that Clegg had been hit and unconscious. Strapping counters that he had done it to himself to avoid suspicion. Lucy states that couldn't be true, as he was still holding the gun. Strapping, however, states that Clegg doesn't have the brains to know to throw away the murder weapon before knocking himself out. Alfendi, seeing that it was going nowhere, ends the conversation.

The three recap what they have learned: Blaise was killed by a single bullet, Clegg was the one who was holding the gun and he had been knocked unconscious, and where the killer stood to take the shot. However, Alfendi finds a problem in the timing, that it was nearly impossible to shoot someone at point blank in the dark. Strapping says that it is irrelevant, being a fluke, and when Alfendi tries to counter, states that he had something of importance. He brings up the death threat, that the note also points to Clegg being the murderer. They find and discuss the note on Blaise's person, which states "You'll pay for betraying me." Saying that this is weird for Clegg to write, Strapping changes his tune to say that an unhinged member of the audience was the murderer. Suddenly, the Mystery Room gets a call from a producer asking for Strapping. He takes that as his cue to leave, leaving Lucy and Alfendi alone to gather their thoughts. They decide their next plan of action was to determine when Blaise was shot. Lucy concludes that she had been shot during the performance, not after, which Alfendi agrees. They go back into the simulation in order to find proof of this theory.

Lucy finds a remote control in a rubbish bin behind stage, which controlled the squib that would burst with fake blood when the timing was right in the play. Because it was back stage and not on Blaise's person, it can only be deduced that it was never used. Lucy sends the remote to Forensics in order to confirm this. Alfendi brings up two new mysteries to go over: Blaise's scream, and the shot that was heard in the dark.

Questioning Blaise's supposed scream, since she was already dead before then, leads to the two suspecting that it was Knox who screamed. Alfendi points out that in the statements--Clegg's first statement--that Strapping most likely told her to scream when the lights went out. However despite this, Alfendi doesn't believe that Knox was an accomplise.

Alfendi guesses that the shot that was heard was fired by Strapping as part of the deception. Lucy finds evidence of this in the replica gun, which could only fire blanks. Since the gun was found backstage, there had to be proof that Strapping was moving around in the dark. This evidence was the oil stains that were found on the back of the set. As the replica gun used lubricating oil, it must have gotten on Strapping's hands, and the stains were from him feeling his way in the dark in order to knock Clegg out. Forensics calls back, and it is confirmed that the remote had never been pressed. Due to solving all of their remaining mysteries, the two call in Strapping.

The ConclusionEdit

Strapping comes in, and immediately starts to flirt with Lucy who once again displays that she is not interested. Alfendi interjects, saying that they were able to identify the murderer. When asked for a name, Lucy tells him that he was the one who murdered Blaise. Strapping doesn't believe them, stating that it was a member of the audience who did it. Lucy disproves his theory by saying it is impossible for someone in the audience to have killed Blaise, as it was pitch black at the time. Strapping uses this point to say that it wasn't  him, however Alfendi points out that because it was a single bullet, it could have only been him. This is when Lucy points out that Blaise wasn't killed in the blackout, but during the show. He counters that that idea is ridiculous, and asks who it was that screamed in the dark. Lucy states that it was Knox who screamed, not Blaise. Alfendi backs up Lucy by bringing up Clegg's statement about bumping into Knox when he exited the stage, which Strapping refutes. When asked for proof, Lucy shows him the remote control, and tells him that it was found backstage and unpressed. Strapping begins to falter, stating that there was no way that would happen, and that Blaise simply forgot to take it on stage.

Just as Lucy thinks that she and Alfendi have cornered him, Strapping bounces back. He claims that Clegg had framed him for the murder, that he was the one who switched the real gun and the replica gun without his knowledge. This is when Alfendi's "dark side" emerges. He agrees that Strapping was telling the truth. That someone had deliberately made the replica look like the real thing, which pointed to a premeditated crime. Yet everything that followed was ad-libbed to hide the crime. Strapping, despite being slightly afraid of Alfendi's crazed demeanor, agrees with him and states that it was Clegg once again. Alfendi restates what happened, to which Strapping agrees: He shot Blaise in the heart, told Knox to scream, and knocked Clegg out and put the gun in his hand. Alfendi, disagreeing, goes on a monologue about how it was a magnificent and beautiful murder, but it was not Clegg who switched the guns.

It is revealed that it was Blaise herself who was the mastermind behind the entire thing, and that the discarded remote control was proof. It was thrown away on purpose, and she was the one who switched the guns. Strapping, terribly confused, asks what it was that just drove Blaise to do such a crazy thing. The answer was in the death threat. It was revenge for the affair that Strapping had on the side while the two were engaged. She was driven to madness by Strapping, which caused her to take her own life.

MYSTERY SOLVEDEdit

Justin Lawson returns to the Mystery Room, telling the two that a typewriter found in Blaise's room was the same as the one used to create the note, and that they also found proof that Blaise ordered the gun. He gives the two a bit of praise, and asks just who it was that solved the mystery. While Lucy is confused about the question, Alfendi states that he is leaving early for a TV program.

Once he is gone, Lucy tells Lawson about Alfendi's "sudden change" when he's with criminals. After she explains, he tells her to not to lose her patience with him. He then asks if he ever says any unfamiliar names, to which Lucy says he doesn't. When asked why he was interested, he says it's nothing, and if he ever does mention any strange names, to tell him about it without Alfendi knowing.

CASE END

Case FilesEdit

PeopleEdit

Victim

Suspects

EvidenceEdit

  • Replica Gun - A model of a gun that was used in the show. Its construction is such that it can only fire  blanks. It's swimming in the oil used to lubricate the mechanism.
  • Rubbish Bin - A plastic rubbish bin, situated out of sight of the audience. Various discarded items are inside.
  • Remote Switch - A switch to detonate the squib of fake blood that was concealed in Blaise's outfit. She was supposed to operate it at the appropriate time, but it was found in the bin.
  • Set Door - A door in the set used for the show. This is the exit Strapping would have used to leave the stage after his final scene.
  • Table and Chair - A small table and chair that makes up part of the set. They're brand new, and look great.
  • Stage Position B - A mark indicating Strapping's place on stage for the scene in which he shoots Blaise.
  • Stage Position C - A mark indicating Knox's place on stage for the scene in which Strapping shoots Blaise.
  • Stage Position A - A mark indicating Blaise's place on stage for the scene which she gets shot.
  • Corpse - Blaise's dead body. She was killed with a single bullet through the chest. Forensics confirmed she was shot from a distance of 1 - 3m away.
  • Bloodstain - A grim mix of Blaise's real blood and stage blood. The bright red is the fake blood, while the real blood has now darkened.
  • Bloody Note - A typed slip of paper that reads, 'You'll pay for betraying me.' It's not a prop from the show, and has a hole in it where the bullet went through.
  • Sofa - A sofa used as a prop on stage. At a distance, it appears to be a very luxurious piece of furniture, but in truth it's stained and suffering the effects of old age.
  • Standard Lamp - A standard lamp used on the set that offers somewhat mellow illumination.
  • Picture - An oil painting hung on a wall of the set. It's a very beautiful picture, but being a replica, is of no particular value.
  • Bullet Hole - Having passed through Blaise's chest, the bullet that killed her pierced a hanging picture to finally lodge itself in the set wall.
  • Oil Stains - A large patch along the back of the set covered in lubricating oil. It looks to have been made by a hand rubbing along the wall, but no fingerprints are present.
  • Ladder - A ladder that links the two levels of the set. From the upper level, one can gain access tot he lighting bridge.
  • Gun - An old revolver that has been identified as the weapon that killed Blaise. Five unused bullets were dounf in the cylinder.
  • Clegg - This is where Clegg was found unconscious, revolver in hand. He was struck multiple times in the back of the head.

StatementsEdit

  • Roscoe Strapping: Statement 1 - "After my exit, I went straight back to my dressing room. I only realised something was wrong when I heard the gunshot."
  • Roscoe Strapping: Statement 2 - "When I came back onto the stage, the lights were up and Destiny was holding Gloria in her arms. I knew she was dead in an instant."
  • Destiny Knox: Statement 1 - "After the blackout, I heard Gloria scream. I'd know her scream anywhere. She's my absolute idol. It was definitely her."
  • Destiny Knox: Statement 2 - "After the scream, I heard a gunshot right next to where I was standing. It was pitch black, so I couldn't see anything. I just remember being utterly terrified."
  • Bray Clegg: Statement 1 - "When he made his exit from the stage, Mr Strapping bumped into Destiny. I panicked a bit, because it wasn't in the script."
  • Bray Clegg: Statement 2 - "I heard a woman's scream, but then I was attacked by someone who knocked me out. I didn't see the killer's face. When I came to, there was a gun in my hand!"

DeductionsEdit

  • Blaise's Wound - Available initally
  • Clegg's Gun - Available initally
  • Death Threat - After resolving "Blaise's Wound" and "Clegg's Gun"
  • Murder in the Dark - After resolving "Death Threat"
  • Scream in the Dark - After resolving "Murder in the Dark"
  • Shot in the Dark - After resolving "Murder in the Dark"

GalleryEdit

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