Rockstar revealed early in the development of L.A. Noire 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 story.
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.
“’The Red 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 ’47.
“Occurring 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.
“The 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.
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