Colonel Spangler
Biographical information
Full name Nelson Spangler
Gender Male
Status Deceased
Birth 1958
Death 2015
Cause of death Burning
Nationality Flag of USA American
Residence Pacific Bay, U.S.
Profession(s) Army colonel
Affiliation(s) United States Army
Game information
Appears in Criminal Case
First appeared Case #8: The Root of All Evil (s2))
I promise you, I will do all that it is within my power to take you home. Even if it's the last thing I ever do!
—Colonel Spangler

Colonel Nelson Spangler (1958-2015), appearing as a recurring character in Season 2 of Criminal Case, was the victim in The Ties That Bind (Case #44 of Pacific Bay). Prior to that, he was suspected of five murders. He also cooperated with the Pacific Bay Police Department to catch a killer hours before he died.


Colonel Spangler was a 56-year-old Colonel of the US Army with green eyes and brown hair, donning a standard colonel suit accompanied by a white shirt and black necktie underneath his colonel coat. He sported four silver stars on his shoulder along with various army decorations coming from his years of service. Spangler also wore a standard army officer's cap, also with four silver stars.

In his first appearance, it is known that Spangler knew gardening and used lemongrass.

In his second appearance, he donned a blue "Jazz Town Evacuation" badge. It is discovered that he drank chicory and used insect repellent.

In his third appearance, he wore a green army raincoat and it is revealed that he had a cold and drank tea.

In his fourth appearance, he reverted back to his first appearance and it is noted that he drove a pickup truck and ate barbecue sauce.

In his fifth appearance, he wore a tan variant of his army uniform and a brown shirt underneath, as well as a black tie and a bandana with a camouflage pattern around his neck. It is learned that he drank tequila, spoke Spanish and watched soccer.

Height 6'1"
Age 56 (in 2014)
Weight 210 lbs
Eyes green
Blood AB-

Events of Criminal Case

The Root of All Evil

The first time Spangler was called into investigation was when Frank and the player—homicide investigators from the Pacific Bay Police Department—found a military schedule inside Lt. Nora Lewis's locker at Fort Lafayette (a military bootcamp stationed in Bayou Bleu) before shipping it to tech expert Hannah for analysis. Hannah managed to crack the military schedule and realized that Lt. Lewis (the victim) was a participant in a project named "Alternative Universal Defense Resources on Elected Youth", abbreviated as A.U.D.R.E.Y., deducing it as being a cover-up done by the military to keep information out of public. In addition, Hannah managed to expose Colonel Spangler—who was currently serving as the head of Fort Lafayette—as the leader of the project, so the team went to the base in order to talk to him.

Spangler was upset when the police had to tell him about Lt. Lewis's death but Frank told Spangler it was a criminal investigation under civilian authority. Spangler told the team that the project was given to Lt. Lewis to find new grounds for military training, but never knew that she would not survive in the hostile swamps. He personally thought that the military should investigate Lt. Lewis's death but Frank countered that the death occurred on civilian soil, grounds for the Pacific Bay PD to do the investigation.

The second time Spangler was interrogated was immediately after the Chief of the Pacific Bay PD, Andrea Marquez, commanded the player to head to Fort Lafayette to release Hannah and to have her exonerated of treason charges against her. All Chief Marquez knew before she went to Fort Lafayette to reason with Spangler was that Hannah was hacking to assist the team in the murder investigation albeit the military would not allow that—something the Chief wanted to talk some sense into the military official.

Upon arrival at Hannah's cell, Spangler declared what the team wanted was superceded by military authority. Chief Marquez did not buy Spangler's claims and requested Hannah to be released and exonerated of high treason charges or she would permit the media to publish a story about Project A.U.D.R.E.Y. (a mission Lt. Lewis was working on) as the Chief was not afraid of doing so because she knew what was happening within the Pacific Bay Police Department's touch. Dumbfounded, Spangler gave the team clearance to wander around Ft. Lafayette to continue the investigation, but not without interrogating the Colonel once again.

Frank told Spangler that Project A.U.D.R.E.Y. was not about finding new training grounds, but to investigate old experiments conducted by Pacific Pharma and wondered as to why Spangler would do such a thing. All Spangler knew was that Lt. Lewis found some weird sprouts using the formula to grow a plant into a gigantic plant in Swamp Forest, so Spangler grew one sprout in his office, knowing that formula made the plant gigantic. Spangler sent Lt. Lewis to intercept Swamp Forest once again where she found the carnivorous plant (which killed her), and attempted to get the gigantic plant project open once again but Frank told Spangler to stand down since the higher-ups had a reason to scrap the project.

Although Spangler was innocent after Ray Westman was found guilty of grand homicide, Chief Marquez held a personal grudge against the military given what happened to Hannah during the investigation—him confiscating Hannah's laptop was enough to make Chief Marquez uneasy, so she requested the player to accompany her to talk some sense to Spangler following the indictment. Spangler felt it was a military right to retain Hannah's laptop but Chief Marquez made it clear that the laptop was Pacific Bay Police property, but being the persuasive chief Andrea was, Spangler agreed to have the player retrieve the laptop but at the expense of having the player hack the computer and give it back to Hannah following the Blue Screen of Death. Chief Marquez was displeased when Spangler tampered with the laptop prior to Hannah's retrieval.

Colonel Spangler's stunt on Hannah's laptop angered her as she found out that the military placed electromagnetic pulses to compromise her laptop. Although Chief Marquez approved Hannah's earnest investigation in the abandoned lab, she could not cover Hannah's vendettas as she required the player to accompany her but in exchange Hannah would behave. Hannah found a suitcase with a broken incubator pieced together, and found out that it was the device that caused Hannah's laptop to act up. Hannah would have one final word with Spangler about the incubator (which he claimed it was military property) that made Hannah's laptop act up in which Spangler wanted to revive the cancelled experiments to be promoted to a better district of Pacific Bay but felt that it was too much of a hassle and opted to give up on the lost experiment anyway.

Under the Thunderdome

Colonel Spangler was later put in charge of the Thunderdome evacuation project in Jazz Town to extract as many lives out of Hurricane Zelda's sight by all means possible, but became a suspect when he witnessed Theo Mercier's body stuffed inside a military crate. Spangler recognized Theo as a thief and a troublemaker who did not make any friends under any circumstances throughout his life. He was also generous enough to hand the Mercier residence's address to the PBPD team of Amy and the player, which was severely hit by Hurricane Yves.


The confidential memorandum found at the Mercier residence.

Colonel Spangler's troubles were far from over as during the investigation, Amy and the player found a confidential memorandum at the Mercier residence (following Chief Marquez's order to make a second trip to the Mercier residence due to rising waters), in which Hannah managed to incriminate the document as being information about the Army's weather machine project. Amy and the player interrogated Spangler in the Thunderdome about what they found at the Mercier residence, in which Spangler was infuriated to know about a thief's success in stealing classified military documents. Theo was unsuccessful in cracking the code, but Amy told him that the police were able to incriminate the document as a vehicle for the Army's weather machine project. Spangler countered that the project was top-secret and that he would not spill a word about what the document revealed. Amy and the player interrogated Peggy Pascal following their discussion with Spangler, although both Spangler and Peggy were innocent after the pharmacist was impounded for grand homicide.


Documentary of the weather machine project headed by Spangler.

Colonel Spangler would then be caught in the middle of the military laptop fiasco involving Peggy tampering with military property as a part of her quest in seeking the truth behind the storms. Furthermore, Amy and the player found a document of the weather project being headed by Colonel Spangler during the military laptop fiasco. Amy suspected Spangler since there were a lot of things (not limited to the weather machine) that he was hiding, but he was very upset when the police tried to leak the weather machine to the public. The military laptop fiasco and the events of this case would haunt Spangler for the hours to come.

The Eye of the Storm

Colonel Spangler was implicated in the murder of storm chaser Peggy Pascal after Amy and the player found her electrocuted to death at the weather tower.

The moment Amy and the player found a tower shard at the weather tower Peggy was electrocuted to death, it was sent to Hannah for analysis, in which she managed to unravel a logo the player managed to match to that of the US Army's Special Projects Division, a feat that flagged Colonel Spangler as a suspect.

Meanwhile in the Thunderdome, Amy told Spangler that Peggy was electrocuted in which the tower had Spangler's divisional logo in it, not to mention the weather tower utilized to control hurricanes. Spangler did not like what Amy said but Amy countered that Hannah had strong evidence that the division's tower transmitted a signal that could control the storm. Spangler told Amy the weather machine was stolen months before this case, and pleaded with Amy and the player to clear his name from the crime he was recently implicated in and to bring good back to his division's reputation.

Colonel Spangler was approached by Amy and the player a second time after the player found a doll with a built-in security camera which Hannah confirmed to be a tool Spangler used to monitor the machine. Amy was fed up with Spangler's lies and vowed to make Spangler cough up the truth. Amy started by telling Spangler that both the machine and his spying doll were found in the derelict bunker, but Spangler stated that the remote which controlled the weather machine was stolen, not the actual machine itself. Although Spangler admitted Peggy was nosy at times, he pleaded with the team again to find the remote and save his division from a possible information leak.

Colonel Spangler was cleared of all crimes once the largest crime spree of Jazz Town was stopped. As an added bonus, Spangler offered to help both the Pacific Bay PD and Susanna Towers bring sun to the ensuing carnival following the end of the man-made hurricanes which stirred a controversy since the player's first day of duty in the hurricane-battered district.

Road to Nowhere


Spangler was transferred to Red Stone following what happened previously.

Colonel Spangler was discovered to have transferred to Red Stone in Rhine Canyon following the aforementioned event, moments before being flagged as a suspect for the murder of Cal Stark after Frank and the player found his badge on the scene of murder. During the resulting interrogation, Spangler demonstrated his ability of keeping his activities with the military away from the reach of the Pacific Bay PD, and while he was not cooperative as usual, he was generous enough to identify the victim as Cal Stark, suggesting the team to check out the Stark Farm so that he could continue his military work.

The team would later find a picture of Cal's alien sightings at the Stark Farm, leading to another conversation with Spangler, who then stated that he did not like the idea of Cal spilling those findings to the media without verification as he was upset about the police ruffling his feathers about those so-called UFO sightings in Rhine Canyon. Frank took a moment to ask Spangler if he had to kill to keep things confidential, but to no avail.

Spangler was eventually found innocent for a fourth time, but was clearly upset about the Pacific Bay PD's continuous interrogations about him keeping what he believed to be "confidential" out of civilian reach.

Crystal Death

Spangler was flagged as a suspect for the murder of Manny Sanchez after the team found a package of chemicals in the victim's crystal lab, which, after Hannah and Yann's analysis, turned out to be a red phosphorus package (a chemical involved in drugs production) with the seal of the Army.

When the team talked to him, Spangler revealed his hatred towards meeting them again and offered them tequila (proving he drinks tequila). After being asked about the red phosphorus, he stated the Army used it to create military equipment but one of their trucks was stolen by a burglar who insulted them in Spanish, insults he managed to understand since he also spoke Spanish, who was none other than Manny Sanchez, the victim. When the team told him that Manny was murdered, Spangler felt shocked but assumed deserved it. Then he left to make a call.

Spangler later ran into the police station to tell the team something about the train crash in which Manny's head was found: the train crash was planned but, since this was top secret, the Colonel wanted to tell them in private. This prompted the team to interrogate him a second time.

In the interrogation room, Spangler told the team he was the responsible one of the planned accident. He paid the victim to leave his delivery truck on the tracks and cause the train to derail. Frank only believed Spangler killed Manny and caused the accident to cover his tracks, but Spangler stated it was part of a top secret mission and wanted the team to trust him.

Spangler was proven innocent when drug dealing and border crossing defiance were the murder reasons, but Andrea wanted to talk to him to know why he caused the train crash. Spangler did not put much trust in the team but Andrea made clear they were reliable given the player's success in Pacific Bay. Spangler said some important files were lost when the train crashed, prompting the team to go the crash site one more time. They found a briefcase, unlocked it and found a faded folder. They dusted it and revealed the words "PROJECT ALIEN". The folder was sent to Hannah for analysis. Hannah's analysis revealed the train was carrying a real alien when it derailed, prompting the team to talk to Spangler one more time and find out what happened.

Spangler, given the team saw the lost files, told them all the truth: there was an alien in the train and he helped him escape, which Andrea only thought it was a ridiculous joke. Spangler said they would see the alien in the future and left the station, leaving the team intrigued.

Hannah then ran with the team and told them Spangler left a message: if they wanted more answers, they should go look for them themselves at the PASA's launch pad, dropping a bomb for the next case.

Dead Space

Spangler did not become a suspect in this case but played a very important role by leaving a message to the team to meet him at the PASA launch site and know more about the alien he was protecting. There, the team found Tom Nelson's dead body. He later went to the police station and revealed to the team the location of a secret war room the Army had in the desert, thus disobeying the orders of his superior General Freeman in the process, which the team investigated to find the murder weapon and many other clues.

Some time later, Andrea told the team she heard Spangler was going to be court-martialed for high treason since he revealed the location of the war room, prompting the team to quickly find the killer because, even though Andrea disliked him, Spangler helped them with the investigation and should not die for it. Spangler was actually found innocent when an act of distrust were the murder reasons.

More later it was discovered Spangler's career and himself were saved from court-martial because arresting the killer proved the Colonel was right in giving the team access to the war room. Spangler went to the police station again to thank the team for saving him, and Andrea demanded more answers about his alien. Spangler said the alien needs their help, and told them to meet him at a festival that is going to take place in Rhine Canyon to finally tell everything, thus dropping another bomb for the next case.

Murder details

Moments after he told the team to meet him at a festival to know more about the alien he was helping out, Spangler was found dead in the desert, tied and burned to death.

Roxie was saddened having to autopsy the corpse of a deceased military officer, but Frank made it clear that Spangler's death was murder, and there was no time to mourn over his death. Spangler died from the third-degree burns he sustained even though Roxie could not determine how the fire ignited. Roxie suggested that a molotov cocktail could have been used as the murder weapon given that the fire ignited violently. Moreso Spangler could have escaped if he was not tied with a spelunking (cave exploring) harness—meaning the killer practices spelunking.

Later on, the team made a second trip to the festival grounds, where they found pieces of glass in which the player glued them to reveal a used Molotov cocktail, confirming the object as the murder weapon. The used bottle was sent to Yann for analysis, and he determined the flammable liquid used to craft the bomb was an antiseptic for pierced ears, suggesting that the killer wore earrings.

Killer and motives

The killer turned out to beadventurer Pearl Montana.

Pearl had many reasons to be thankful for Colonel Spangler for teaching her the many aspects of archaeology, allowing her to embark on a quest to discover alien life in Pacific Bay. She believed that she was the one who crossed the finish line when it came to the discovery of an alien cave, but to Spangler, orders were orders as he had to quarantine the cave out of civilian reach. Spangler told Pearl to keep her discoveries secret, but Pearl had enough because she believed the Colonel wanted to take credit for the discovery, in which she discovered the cave moments before Spangler barricaded the cave. Pearl thought that Frank and the player made a false arrest, but after Frank gave out the Killer's attributes to Pearl, she bowed to the player's investigative abilities, admitting that she killed Spangler. Pearl caught Spangler by surprise, tied him up with spelunking harnesses, and threw a homemade Molotov cocktail (with a flammable liquid made to treat earring wounds) to off Spangler with an explosion. Pearl used the hippie festival that promoted using flames, so that she could have the team believe Ezra Hope landed the wallop. Frank heard enough, so the player shipped Pearl to court for a hearing.

Judge Dante thought Pearl killed Spangler for crimes against fashion, but Pearl told the judge that Spangler's appearance had nothing to do with the murder. She told the judge that if Spangler was not involved, then she would be the one to be credited for her discovery of alien life on Earth. Pearl even told Judge Dante that she should be written in the history books for her discoveries, but given the motives not to mention being liable for the death of a military official were grounds for Pearl to receive a lifetime jail sentence, the first lifetime jail sentence in 14 cases. Frank was relieved to know the verdict of the case, and felt that Spangler was more of anti-hero than an antagonist as even though Spangler obstructed justice at times, he died wanting to redeem himself to the team.


  • Spangler is one of the suspects who appear in five cases.
  • Spangler and Karen Knight are the only characters to appear in three districts of Pacific Bay.
  • Spangler is one of the characters who animate (or move) during at least one cutscene in the game.
  • Spangler resembles Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart from the British television series Doctor Who.
  • He is named after a character in Malcolm in the Middle named Commandant Spangler

Case appearances