The lights are on
Rockstar revealed early in L.A. Noire's development that the title
isn’t striving for realism only in terms of impressive visuals and
animations, but that cases in the game have striking similarities to
real-world crimes. Research by Team Bondi included sifting through Los
Angeles newspapers from the 1940s, attempting to find inspiration in the
grisly subject matter. While not translated directly to the game, some
of the more unique aspects of high-profile crimes were borrowed before
the rest of the case was fictionalized for a slightly more fantastical
Detailing one such case
on its blog, Rockstar revealed that this weekend Pax East attendees
will have a chance to check out a demo inspired by the very real “Red
Lipstick Murder.” You can find Rockstar’s notes on the crime below.
Lipstick Murder’ is based on the real life homicide investigation into
the murder of Jeanne French. French was a 45 year old veteran Army nurse
who was discovered stripped and stomped to death in an isolated lover’s
lane type area of LA known as ‘The Moors’ early one morning in February
just weeks after the notorious ‘Black Dahlia’ murder of Elizabeth
Short, the killer in this case infamously created a stir when it was
discovered that the letters “B.D.” (along with some obscenities) were
scrawled in red lipstick on Mrs. French’s nude body. Was this the work
of a serial killer, responsible for both killings, and possibly others?
Or was it a sick copycat inspired by the Black Dahlia crime? As one
would imagine, a sensational media frenzy ensued and the case of Jeanne
French spurred a wide LAPD dragnet.
investigation yielded an intriguing list of possible suspects who were
investigated by the police. French’s husband, who proclaimed his
innocence as the tabloids reported he was abusive to Mrs. French and
even had an argument with her the very evening of her murder. The
mysterious “other man” who shared a private post office box with her?
The unidentified ‘dark-haired’ male companion who reportedly shared a
last meal with her at a Chinese restaurant hours before her death? “In
the end, the case remained unsolved. French’s husband famously passed a
lie detector test in effort to prove his innocence. The other men were
proven to be false leads or never identified. Jeanne French was just
another cold case from the year of 1947.”
Lifted elements from the murder used in L.A. Noire include red
lipstick on a female corpse and a protesting husband. The primary
difference between Rockstar’s fictionalized story and the real crime is
that players have a chance to lay the case to rest.
L.A. Noire hits retail May 17. Have some catching up to do? Check out our most recent hands-on preview here.
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