Anatomy of a Crime is a quest which Geralt receives from Raymond Maarloeve in Chapter II as part of his investigation into the Salamandra organization in Vizima and his quest to find and neutralize its leader, Azar Javed.
Geralt must get the body of the crown witness out of the cemetery and to St. Lebioda's Hospital so that he and Shani can perform an autopsy to try to determine how he was killed and by whom. During this procedure, Geralt can end up implicating any one of the three suspects Azar Javed, Kalkstein or Ramsmeat as the murderer. His conclusions have repercussions on quite a few other quests.
The course of the autopsy develops through the conversation that Geralt and Shani have as she does all the dirty work and he watches and comments. They first examine the wounds, noting that although the body has clearly been scavenged by necrophages, it appears that a blade wound killed him. The following conversation options begin narrowing the field:
- leaning towards Ramsmeat: An assassin's dagger... Ramsmeat's men.
- leaning towards Kalkstein: Something's wrong. His head's in an unnatural position, his hands twisted.
- still curious: His neck muscles and palms look tense. How do you know when he died?
Next, they move on to the internal organs and it is at this point that the lines of questioning begin to diverge and we begin to head one way or another towards a conclusion.
If Geralt focuses on the lungs and heart, knife or dagger wounds feature prominently. This is the usual modus operandi of Ramsmeat and his band of thugs. So this line of questioning during the autopsy results in Ramsmeat looking more and more like the murderer, but the head and brain still need examining.
If Geralt focuses on the liver, Shani comments that it is completely cirrhotic, a sure sign of alchemical damage. It looks like a deadly and rare poison that only a master alchemist could secure. So this line of questioning during the autopsy results in an alchemist looking more and more like the murderer, but the head and brain still needs examining.
If Geralt has simply remained neutral so far, Shani will still comment on the liver, but not make any leading comments about alchemists and Geralt has the choice of questioning her assumption (Can this be verified?) or drawing his own conclusions (This is too easy.). They move on to the head.
- leaning towards Kalkstein: Can this be verified
- still curious: This is too easy
If the questioning has been leaning towards Ramsmeat, this seals his fate. Shani notices that the tongue of the crown witness has been cut out. Geralt comments that this was surely a message from Ramsmeat to anyone else who felt like talking and his conclusions are drawn. It is Ramsmeat.
If the questioning has been leaning towards an alchemist, this seals Kalkstein's fate. Shani notices that there is still blackened tissue left behind from when the tongue of the crown witness was cut out to removed evidence of the poisoning. Geralt comments that this means it was definitely poison and his conclusions are drawn. It is Kalkstein.
If Geralt has simply remained curious until this point, and not followed any path leading to Ramsmeat or Kalkstein, Shani will notice something in the brain. Tiny white dust-like particles... fisstech? No! The larvae of Zerrikanian tse tse flies. Aha! How many Zerrikanian alchemists with reason to kill the crown witness do we know? Only one: Azar Javed. He must be the murderer.
- Geralt can not get the body from the gravedigger before he speaks with Shani at her house about doing an autopsy. Only after their conversation does the body become available.
- The player should not talk with Shani about the autopsy when he has the option to begin the Old Friend of Mine quest (by speaking to Shani at St Lebioda's and gathering some celandine for her), to avoid a situation wherein this quest cannot be completed. This in no way affects the ability to finish the game, but some users feel cheated.
- Geralt should read the books Forensic Medicine and Zerrikanian Insects and Other Vermin. The former can be purchased from the Antiquary on Merchant Street, from Thaler or found in Shani's room (Since placements of certain items can be random, you might not find it in Shani's room until Chapter III). The latter is also available for sale, but the same information can be obtained for less by asking the Gardener about his past. Vincent Meis is also useful, if you ask him about his investigative methods in unearthing criminals.
- Alternative methods of obtaining the information in Forensic Medicine and Zerrikanian Insects and Other Vermin are talking to the gravedigger (asking about investigations and bodies) and the gardener (who tells of his days as a mercenary on an expedition to Zerrikania).
- It seems that it does not have to be midnight, since the corpse was delivered at 12:00 noon during one of my game plays. Shani is ready and waiting to help by 21:00 and the body never physically leaves the hospital until Chapter III, it just lies there on the surgery table with everyone seemingly ignoring it.
I have never done an autopsy before. Well, there always has to be the first time for everything. I have to make an appointment with Shani and get the corpse from the gravedigger. I have to make an appointment with Shani and get the corpse from the gravedigger. (−200 )
The Corpse Edit
The corpse hasn't been delivered to the graveyard yet, but at least I learned something of interest. I should talk to Shani.
I have to call on Shani at her house — we won't be able to talk about the autopsy in the hospital. We need to stay low with this. I need to go to Shani's house and talk to her about the autopsy.
Preparations for the Autopsy / Know Your Enemy Edit
Geralt is in the dark: I'll collect the corpse from the gravedigger. It should take some time, so in the meantime I'll prepare for the autopsy. I should talk to people who have conducted investigations, or read some books. While I'm waiting for the corpse, I should talk to someone who have [sic] conducted such an investigation or read some books about it.
The Bribe Edit
The gravedigger won't let me get the corpse. A bottle of vodka should convince him, I reckon. I should bring the gravedigger some liquor — best if it's dwarven. (Can purchase Mahakaman Mead at the Hairy Bear Inn.)
The Autopsy Edit
Everything's ready. We're starting at the hospital at midnight. I have to come to the hospital at midnight. (500 XP)
Geralt knows the deal: I know Azar is masquerading as Raymond — I have proof. I should go ahead with the autopsy — not to learn the murderer's identity, but to discover his methods. The autopsy will reveal Azar's methods.
Ramsmeat / Kalkstein / Azar Javed Edit
Implicate Ramsmeat: The autopsy proves Ramsmeat was behind the murder. That suggests the bandits from Vizima co-operate with the Salamanders. The autopsy proves beyond doubt that Ramsmeat was behind the murder. (1500 XP)
Had other suspects/suspected no one else: The autopsy showed Kalkstein was the murderer. It would be hard to find a better proof of his working for Azar. The autopsy proved Kalkstein was the murderer. (2000 XP)
Surprise: The autopsy results are astonishing — Azar is the murderer. The son of a bitch disguised himself as Raymond, almost fooled me! The autopsy results are surprising — Azar is the murderer. (2500 XP)
As expected: The results of the autopsy confirmed my suspicions — Azar is a cruel and ruthless man. There are many ways to get rid of a witness; he chose the most malicious. I must remember that and I should not underestimate him. I must not underestimate Azar — the autopsy showed he'll stop at nothing. (2500 XP)