Hot Mess is a case featured in Criminal Case as the eleventh case of The Conspiracy (Season 5) and the two-hundred forty-second case overall. It takes place in the Money Mile district of Grimsborough.
Mid-investigation, Cathy tracked the victim's car to a nearby workshop. Later, Jones got distracted while driving to the station with the player and crashed into a tree, damaging the police car. The team eventually found enough evidence to arrest strip club client Nicolette Butler for the murder.
Upon admitting to the crime, Nicolette stated that Vince considered her a "dangerous stalker", and hence advised the other entertainers not to serve her. Angry at Vince for taking away her "sea of men", Nicolette poisoned his cocktail with botulinum toxin. Judge Powell sentenced her to 25 years in jail for the murder.
Post-trial, Jones and the player went to the workshop to retrieve their squad car. There, the mechanic, Maylin Park, mentioned to them that she had found a notebook belonging to Zoe Kusama, whom she knew from Grimsborough Asian Women's Association, but had lost it somewhere in the garage. The team subsequently found the notebook, which (per Gabriel) proved that Zoe had been investigating the disappearance of about a dozen homeless people, including Trey Warner, over the span of six months. However, she could not prove the disappearances were criminal and the notebook was not a clear lead on her whereabouts, which angered Jones.
Back at the station, Amir revealed that Meera Kat's art performance involving the use of real lava would take place the following day. Fearing for her safety, the team prepared to attend her exhibition.
- Voodoo Vince (found dead on strip club stage)
- Nicolette Butler
- The killer has had plastic surgery.
- The killer drinks Pink Thongs.
- The killer dances the tango.
- The killer wears eye glitter.
- The killer is female.
- Investigate Strip Club. (Clues: Napkin, Victim's Body; New Suspect: Kiki Shae; Victim identified: Voodoo Vince)
- Ask Kiki Shae about the victim. (Prerequisite: Strip Club investigated; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Gym)
- Investigate Gym. (Prerequisite: Kiki interrogated; Clues: Torn Poster, Gym Equipment)
- Examine Torn Poster. (Result: Show Poster [Unknown Man])
- Examine Unknown Man. (New Suspect: Thunder Dave)
- Talk to Thunder Dave about the victim. (Prerequisite: Thunder Dave identified)
- Examine Gym Equipment. (Result: Jewelry Box [Jewelry Box Note])
- Examine Jewelry Box Note. (Result: Note to Victim)
- Ask Nicolette Butler about her gift to the victim. (Prerequisite: Jewelry Box Note unraveled)
- Examine Napkin. (Result: Pink Crystals)
- Analyze Pink Crystals. (03:00:00; Attribute: The killer drinks Pink Thongs)
- Autopsy Victim's Body. (18:00:00; Murder Weapon registered: Poison; Attribute: The killer has had plastic surgery)
- Go to Chapter 2. (No stars)
- Investigate Garage. (Available after unlocking Chapter 2; Clues: Wallet, Locked Tablet)
- Examine Wallet. (Result: VIP Card)
- Analyze VIP Card. (12:00:00; New Suspect: Christian Bateman)
- Question Christian Bateman about his VIP card for the strip club. (Prerequisite: VIP Card analyzed; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Gym Benches; Profile updated: Christian drinks Pink Thongs)
- Investigate Gym Benches. (Prerequisite: Christian interrogated; Clues: Angel Wings, Victim's Agenda, Torn Paper)
- Examine Angel Wings. (Result: Brown Substance)
- Examine Brown Substance. (Result: Sculpting Sin Cream)
- Question Thunder Dave about sabotaging the victim's wings. (Prerequisite: Scultping Skin Cream identified under microscope; Profile updated: Dave has had plastic surgery and drinks Pink Thongs)
- Examine Victim's Agenda. (Result: Notes in Agenda)
- Question Nicolette about the victim's notes on her. (Prerequisite: Victim's Agenda unlocked; Profile updated: Nicolette has had plastic surgery and drinks Pink Thongs)
- Examine Torn Paper. (Result: Killer's Notes)
- Analyze Killer's Notes. (12:00:00; Attribute: The killer dances the tango)
- Examine Locked Tablet. (Result: 3D Model of Mustang [Tablet]; New Suspect: Maylin Park)
- Ask Maylin Park if she knew the victim. (Prerequisite: Tablet deciphered)
- Go to Chapter 3. (1 star)
- Investigate Work Station. (Available after unlocking Chapter 3; Clues: Victim's Phone, Victim's Bag)
- Examine Victim's Phone. (Result: Victim's Phone)
- Analyze Victim's Phone. (09:00:00)
- Confront Christian about his relationship with the victim. (Prerequisite: Victim's Phone analyzed; Profile updated: Christian has had plastic surgery)
- Talk to Kiki about the victim wanting to open his own strip club. (Prerequisite: Christian interrogated; Profiles updated: Kiki has had plastic surgery, drinks Pink Thongs and dances the tango, Dave dances the tango)
- Examine Victim's Bag. (Result: Pregnancy Test [Test with Note])
- Examine Test with Note. (Result: Message to Victim)
- Question Maylin about her pregnancy. (Prerequisite: Message to Victim unraveled; Profiles updated: Maylin dances the tango, Nicolette dances the tango)
- Investigate Performance Stage. (All tasks before must be done first; Clues: Poison Bottle, Locked Chest)
- Examine Poison Bottle. (Result: Silver Substance)
- Analyze Silver Substance. (15:00:00; Attribute: The killer wears eye glitter)
- Examine Locked Chest. (Result: Cocktail Glasses)
- Analyze Cocktail Glasses. (09:00:00; Attribute: The killer is female)
- Take care of the killer now!
- Go to On Shaky Ground (5/6). (No stars)
On Shaky Ground (5/6)
- See what Kiki wants. (Available after unlocking On Shaky Ground; Reward: Sexy Police Cap)
- Investigate Strip Club. (Prerequisite: Kiki interrogated; Clue: Washing Up Tub)
- Examine Washing Up Tub. (Result: Damaged Mixtape)
- Analyze Damaged Mixtape. (06:00:00)
- Ask Thunder Dave for advice with dance choreography. (Prerequisite: Damaged Mixtape analyzed; Reward: Burger)
- Check with Maylin about squad car repairs. (Available after unlocking On Shaky Ground; Reward: 20,000 Coins)
- Investigate Garage. (Prerequisite: Maylin interrogated; Clue: Open Notebook)
- Examine Open Notebook. (Result: Zoe's Notes)
- Analyze Zoe's Notes. (09:00:00)
- Lure Chief Parker to her surprise party. (All tasks before must be done first)
- Investigate Performance Stage. (Prerequisite: Diane interrogated; Clue: Remote Control)
- Examine Remote Control. (Result: Remote Control)
- Move on to a new crime! (1 star)
- The case title refers to the phrase "hot mess", which is used to describe a person or a thing that is amazingly unsuccessful or disordered, usually a source of fascination.
- This case was released on a Wednesday instead of the usual Thursday.
- This is one of the cases in which Jones and Gloria interact with each other.
- In the "Garage" crime scene:
- A handful of fictional brands and products mentioned in the case are parodies of real-life brands or products:
- "You Can Leave Your Tie On", a song mentioned by Ray Parker during On Shaky Ground, is a parody of "You Can Leave Your Hat On".