Pain in the Neck is a case featured in Criminal Case as the thirty-eighth case of The Conspiracy (Season 5) and the two-hundred sixty-ninth case overall. It takes place in the University district of Grimsborough.
Returning from his leave, Jones accompanied the player in going for a walk on campus on the university open day. They followed a scream to the university cafeteria where they found economics professor René Narcisse stabbed in the neck.
Shortly after, Cathy informed the team of the victim's Buzzer posts about his secret spot, a city view of Grimsborough. Later, Dean Donna Walker asked the team to finish the case so the university could continue the open day as scheduled. In the end, the team apprehended the victim's wife Isabella Narcisse for the murder.
Admitting to the murder, Isabella reminded the team that René wanted total control over his and her finances. She then said that René had depleted all of their savings by investing in the wrong things in the stock market. Angry over René telling her to be more understanding after she confronted him, Isabella took a nearby fork and stabbed him, puncturing him in the jugular vein and draining him of blood, but regretted her actions soon afterwards. Judge Powell sentenced her to 5 years in prison.
Post-trial, Gabriel said he was concerned for Julian Ramis after he had told the team during the investigation that he gave up in his college application after the victim told him that the university would not accept a "delinquent" like him. He then accompanied Gloria and the player to the amphitheater to find Julian's college application. There, Gabriel and the player found the application and (with Ramirez and Cathy's help) used it to get Dean Walker to admit Julian to the university the following semester.
Meanwhile, the team also found Rozetta Pierre's old desk in the amphitheater (which she had doodled the DreamLife logo on). On the desk, Gloria and the player found the words "AD ASTRA D2231" scribbled on as well. Cathy said that "Ad Astra" was a Latin phrase meaning "to the stars" often expressing ambition, but she was unsure of its connection to Rozetta. However, she was certain of D2231 being the number of philosophy professor Kevin Charles's room during Rozetta's time. The team then talked to Kevin about their findings, who nervously claimed that Ad Astra was just an "old study group" that convened in his classroom before he hurriedly left the team. After all the events, the team decided to look further into Ad Astra.
- René Narcisse (stabbed in the neck in the university cafeteria)
- Isabella Narcisse
- The killer is left-handed.
- The killer uses Moist Mitts.
- The killer plays Counter Compassion.
- The killer wears Stockinette stitch.
- The killer has a tattoo.
- Investigate University Cafeteria. (Clues: Dirty Dishes, Victim's Body; New Suspect: Dorothy Kix; Victim identified: René Narcisse)
- Ask Dorothy Kix how well she knew the victim. (Prerequisite: University Cafeteria investigated; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Amphitheater)
- Investigate Amphitheater. (Prerequisite: Dorothy interrogated; Clues: Lost and Found Box, Broken Plastic)
- Examine Lost and Found Box. (Result: Beanie; New Suspect: Julian Ramis)
- Ask Julian Ramis about being in the victim's lecture hall. (Prerequisite: Lost and Found Box unlocked)
- Examine Broken Plastic. (Result: Mousepad [Unknown Woman])
- Examine Unknown Woman. (New Suspect: Isabella Narcisse)
- Inform Isabella Narcisse of her husband's death. (Prerequisite: Isabella Narcisse identified)
- Examine Dirty Dishes. (Result: Bloody Cloth)
- Analyze Bloody Cloth. (09:00:00; Attribute: The killer uses Moist Mitts)
- Autopsy Victim's Body. (18:00:00; Attribute: The killer is left-handed)
- Go to Chapter 2. (1 star)
- Investigate City View. (Available after unlocking Chapter 2; Clues: Torn Paper, Victim's Briefcase)
- Examine Torn Paper. (Result: Notebook Page)
- Analyze Notebook Page. (06:00:00; Attribute: The killer plays Counter Compassion; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Fridges)
- Investigate Fridges. (Prerequisite: Notebook Page analyzed; Clues: Locked Phone, Defaced Poster, Economics Book)
- Examine Locked Phone. (Result: Victim's Phone)
- Analyze Victim's Phone. (12:00:00)
- Interrogate Isabella Narcisse about her fight with the victim. (Prerequisite: Victim's Phone analyzed; Profile updated: Isabella is left-handed and uses Moist Mitts)
- Examine Defaced Poster. (Result: Orange Powder)
- Examine Orange Powder. (Result: Orange Eyeshadow)
- Confront Dorothy about defacing the poster. (Prerequisite: Orange Eyeshadow identified under microscope; Profile updated: Dorothy uses Moist Mitts)
- Examine Economics Book. (Result: Book Authors; New Suspect: Kevin Charles)
- Question Kevin Charles about working with the victim. (Prerequisite: Book Authors unraveled; Profiles updated: Kevin is left-handed and plays Counter Compassion, Isabella plays Counter Compassion)
- Examine Victim's Briefcase. (Result: Mug; New Suspect: Gregory Lynn)
- Question Gregory Lynn about being the victim's teaching assistant. (Prerequisite: Mug found; Profile updated: Gregory is left-handed and used Moist Mitts)
- Go to Chapter 3. (1 star)
- Investigate Desks. (Available after unlocking Chapter 3; Clues: Broken Trophy, Slide Projector, University Document)
- Examine Broken Trophy. (Result: Trophy)
- Analyze Trophy. (12:00:00)
- Ask Julian why he smashed the victim's trophy. (Prerequisite: Trophy analyzed; Profile updated: Julian is left-handed and plays Counter Compassion)
- Examine Slide Projector. (Result: Slide Projector)
- Question Dr Charles about getting his class cut by the victim. (Prerequisite: Slide Projector unlocked; Profile updated: Kevin uses Moist Mitts)
- Examine University Document. (Result: Letter of Dismissal)
- Ask Gregory Lynn about getting fired by the victim. (Prerequisite: Letter of Dismissal unraveled; Profile updated: Gregory plays Counter Compassion)
- Investigate Dirt Path. (All tasks before must be done first; Clues: Bloodstained Glasses, Pile of Leaves)
- Examine Bloodstained Glasses. (Result: Fibers)
- Analyze Fibers. (09:00:00; Attribute: The killer wears Stockinette stitch)
- Examine Pile of Leaves. (Result: Bloody Fork)
- Analyze Bloody Fork. (15:00:00; Murder Weapon registered: Fork; Attribute: The killer has a tattoo)
- Take care of the killer now!
- Go to Original Sin (2/6). (No stars)
Original Sin (2/6)
- Talk to Gabriel. (Available after unlocking Original Sin)
- Investigate Amphitheater. (Prerequisite: Gabriel interrogated; Clues: Torn Application, Old Desk)
- Examine Torn Application. (Result: Julian's Application)
- Analyze Julian's Application. (06:00:00)
- Talk to the Dean about Julian's application. (Prerequisite: Julian's Application analyzed; Reward: Burger)
- Investigate City View. (Prerequisite: Donna interrogated; Clue: Picnic Trash)
- Examine Picnic Trash. (Result: Lucky Charm)
- Give Julian the lucky charm. (Prerequisite: Lucky Charm found; Reward: Lucky Cat Necklace)
- Examine Old Desk. (Result: Writing on Desk)
- Analyze Writing on Desk. (06:00:00)
- Ask Dr Charles about his connection to Rozetta. (Prerequisite: Writing on Desk analyzed; Reward: 20,000 Coins)
- Move on to a new crime! (1 star)
- The case title is a reference to the idiom "pain in the neck" used to describe a person or thing that is annoying or extremely inconvenient.
- This is one of eight cases in The Conspiracy thus far in which the victim and the killer are relatives, along with Gone Pear-Shaped, Game Over, I Lost My Heart in Xerda, Behind These Walls, Blood in the Water, Up in Flames and Trick or Treat.
- In the "Amphitheater" crime scene, a bust of Julius Caesar can be seen.
- In Chapter 2, philosopher Socrates is mentioned.
- Also in this chapter, Cicero, another philospher, is quoted.
- Moist Mitts is a reference to Wet Wipes, moist towelettes used for personal hygiene and household cleaning.
- Counter Compassion is a reference to the game Cards Against Humanity.
- In the "Desks" crime scene, a map of South America can be seen.