The Art of Murder is a case featured in Criminal Case as the twelfth case of The Conspiracy (Season 5) and the two-hundred forty-third case overall. It is the final case to take place in the Money Mile district of Grimsborough.
To ensure that Meera Kat was not harming anyone with her performance with real lava, Gloria and the player went to her performance area, only to find her in a cage submerged in the lava, having apparently been knocked unconscious and plunged in the lava.
Mid-investigation, Jones told the team that mafia lord Tony Marconi, who was released from prison over a year prior, had a connection to the murder. Later, Rita and Martine went to the crime scene drunk. The team then found enough evidence to arrest venture capitalist Christian Bateman for the murder.
Upon breaking down and admitting to the murder, Christian stated that he fell in love with Meera when they went to the red carpet as dates. When he confessed, however, she merely mocked him. Finally snapping after "denying him his last chance of feeling love", he went to see her set up her stage for her performance, knocked her out with a wrench, forced her into the cage, and dropped her into the lava when she woke up, taking pleasure at her screams of pain. Judge Powell sentenced him to life in prison, pending psychiatric evaluation.
Post-trial, Ramirez saw Zoe Kusama staring at the lava crevasse in the street. Gloria and the player then found her sitting at the performance stage apparently amnesiac, even forgetting her own name. They sent her to Gabriel, who gave her some sedatives to sleep, saying that she was in a deep state of shock.
Meanwhile, Jones and the player went to the yacht in order to ensure that Marconi was up to no good. They found his phone, which (per Cathy) he used to contact his psychotherapist, Dr Jennifer Russo. They talked to Dr Russo, who only said that she suggested that he immerse himself in art during their last session a few weeks prior. They then went to Meera's studio and found Marconi's bag, which contained Christian's business card. They talked to Christian, who said that Marconi was working in entertainment and was quietly running a business in The Greens. Per Jones, The Greens was the old Industrial Area, now full of tech startups and trendy businesses.
After the events, Gabriel took Jones and the player to see Zoe. She said that she remembered nothing but running in the dark, afraid and wanting to hide so that "they" would never find her again. After promising to give her help, Jones, Gloria, and the player talked about her current state. Zoe then walked in, and pointed to Marconi's picture on Gloria's files, stating that she recognized him. Jones and the player then talked to Marconi, who denied even knowing her, let alone hurting her, stating that he was really a reformed man.
Knowing better than to take Marconi's word, the team planned to go to The Greens to investigate Marconi, as well as look deeper into the disappearance of Zoe and the people she was looking for.
- Meera Kat (plunged into lava)
- Christian Bateman
- The killer eats chili pepper.
- The killer takes antidepressants.
- The killer owns a crocodile skin wallet.
- The killer is under 40 years old.
- The killer has black hair.
- Investigate Performance Area. (Clues: Strange Machine, Blue Car Door [Killer's Message], Victim's Body; Victim identified: Meera Kat)
- Examine Strange Machine. (Result: Lava Machine; New Suspect: Ruby Armstrong)
- Ask Ruby if she witnessed the murder. (Prerequisite: Lava Machine unlocked; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Victim's Studio)
- Investigate Victim's Studio. (Prerequisite: Ruby interrogated; Clues: Torn Photo, Flyer)
- Examine Torn Photo. (Result: Magazine Cover; New Suspect: Christian Bateman)
- Ask Bateman about his relationship with Meera. (Prerequisite: Magazine Cover restored)
- Examine Flyer. (Result: Note on Flyer; New Suspect: Megu Hashira)
- Ask Megu why she refused to sponsor Meera. (Prerequisite: Note on Flyer unraveled)
- Examine Killer's Message. (Result: White Powder)
- Analyze White Powder. (03:00:00; Attribute: The killer takes antidepressants)
- Autopsy Victim's Body. (18:00:00; Murder Weapon registered: Lava; Attribute: The killer eats chili peppers)
- Go to Chapter 2. (1 star)
- Interrogate Tony Marconi. (Available after unlocking Chapter 2; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Yacht Party; Profile updated: Tony eats chili peppers)
- Investigate Yacht Party. (Prerequisite: Tony interrogated; Clues: Doll, Liquor Cabinet)
- Examine Doll. (Result: Green Powder)
- Examine Green Powder. (Result: Wasabi)
- Ask Megu Hashira about the Meera doll. (Prerequisite: Wasabi identified under microscope; Profile updated: Megu takes antidepressants)
- Examine Liquor Cabinet. (Result: Cage Key)
- Analyze Cage Key. (12:00:00; Attribute: The killer owns a crocodile skin wallet; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Performance Stage)
- Investigate Performance Stage. (Prerequisite: Cage Key analyzed; Clues: Suitcase, Torn Paper)
- Examine Suitcase. (Result: Postcard)
- Examine Postcard. (Result: Victim's Message; New Suspect: Eleanor Abernathy)
- Talk to Meera's mom about their relationship. (Prerequisite: Victim's Message unraveled; Profile updated: Eleanor owns a crocodile skin wallet)
- Examine Torn Paper. (Result: Earthquake Photo)
- Analyze Earthquake Photo. (09:00:00)
- Talk to Ruby about Meera's photograph of her. (Prerequisite: Earthquake Photo analyzed; Profile updated: Ruby eats chili peppers, takes antidepressants and owns a crocodile skin wallet)
- Go to Chapter 3. (1 star)
- Investigate Work Desk. (Available after unlocking Chapter 3; Clues: Torn Canvas, Locked Smartphone, Fancy Plate)
- Examine Torn Canvas. (Result: Portrait)
- Ask Marconi about his destroyed portrait. (Prerequisite: Portrait restored; Profile updated: Tony takes antidepressants and owns a crocodile skin wallet)
- Examine Locked Smartphone. (Result: Bateman's Phone)
- Analyze Bateman's Phone. (03:00:00; Profile updated: Christian takes antidepressants)
- Interrogate Bateman about his disturbing fantasies. (Prerequisite: Bateman's Phone analyzed; Profile updated: Christian eats chili peppers and owns a crocodile skin wallet)
- Examine Fancy Plate. (Result: Eleanor Abernathy)
- Ask Mrs Abernathy about the message she wrote on the plate. (Prerequisite: Eleanor Abernathy identified)
- Investigate Yacht Sofa. (All tasks before must be done first; Clues: Trash Can, Meera's Glasses)
- Examine Trash Can. (Result: Wrench)
- Analyze Wrench. (09:00:00; Attribute: The killer is under 40 years old)
- Examine Meera's Glasses. (Result: Purple Substance)
- Analyze Purple Substance. (15:00:00; Attribute: The killer has black hair)
- Take care of the killer now!
- Go to On Shaky Ground (6/6). (No stars)
On Shaky Ground (6/6)
- See what Ramirez found out about Zoe. (Available after unlocking On Shaky Ground)
- Investigate Performance Area. (Prerequisite: Ramirez interrogated; Clue: Zoe Kusama)
- Analyze Zoe Kusama. (09:00:00)
- Investigate Yacht Party. (Available after unlocking On Shaky Ground; Clue: Locked Smartphone)
- Examine Locked Smartphone. (Result: Marconi's Phone)
- Analyze Marconi's Phone. (06:00:00)
- Ask the therapist about Marconi. (Prerequisite: Marconi's Phone analyzed; Reward: Burger)
- Investigate Victim's Studio. (Prerequisite: Jennifer interrogated; Clue: Marconi's Bag)
- Examine Marconi's Bag. (Result: Bateman's Business Card)
- Ask Bateman about Marconi. (Prerequisite: Bateman's Business Card found)
- Accompany Jones to the recovering Zoe. (All tasks before must be done first; Reward: 20,000 Coins)
- Interrogate Marconi about Zoe. (Prerequisite: Zoe interrogated; Reward: [MALE] Crocodile Skin Suit, [FEMALE] Crocodile Skin Dress)
- Move on to a new crime (in The Greens)! (1 star)
- This is one of the cases in which the killer has to be interrogated once again during the Additional Investigation.