The court room looked sharp, regal, formal, with its mahogany furnishings. It was how any house of justice should look. Inside, the families of Smith's victims waited. Some were crying, some were stoically silent. The jury was waiting, quietly. They had all read in the newspapers and seen on television of the series of murders that Smith had committed. The prosecution was shuffling papers, re-examining his points for his opening. The prosecutor felt confidant. Smith had declined the state-provided lawyer, which the prosecutor felt was a bad move on his part. Any trained lawyer would have a better chance of getting him free than him defending himself. He glanced over at Smith. John Smith was looking cocky, confidant. He was tilting the chair he sat in, with his feet on the table. And he had a smirk on his face, as if he had won. The prosecution felt doubt creep in, but hid it carefully. There was no way that Smith had a golden Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card. He had pored over the evidence, examined every last detail from every angle. He knew this case back to front. There was a chance, but it was slight, that Smith could get out of this. But it would be one that only a good lawyer could exploit. Smith could not. But then why was Smith smirking?
Judge Rudolph walked into his court room. He let his people do there job, and then asked Smith how he pleaded.
"I plead guilty, your honor." Smith replied, the smirk still on his face. The court room gasped.
"What?" Rudolph said. He was genuinely shocked. He had thought this trial was going to drag on and on, keeping him from his daughters. Could it possibly be over quickly?
"I plead guilty to all accounts of murder, your honor, who lives on 281 Garden Way. How are your two little girls, your honor? Ages 5 and 7?" Smith said, his smile growing wider.
"What are you saying, Smith?"
"I'm saying that if I were you, I'd be going home, to check on your wife, age 46, and your daughters. I'd be going home quickly, if I were you, your honor." This last 'your honor' was said sarcastically, insolently.
"What did you do?"
"My dear judge, have you ever heard of crucification?"
Rudolph sped home, with police cruisers flanking him. Thoughts of Smith's previous victim's sped through his mind. Sally, an eight year old girl, with her throat slit. Josh, 15, stabbed repeatedly though the stomach. Luther, 23, eaten alive by maggots bred in his own feces. Alexandria, 36, sawed in half. Elizabeth, 3, blood loss from removed limbs. Every one sped through his mind.
Rudolph turned sharply onto his driveway. His house stood, dark and forbidding. A forlorn toy stood on his front lawn. It was 4:00. He should be hearing his daughters playing. Rudolph, with the police behind him, entered, and saw a an arrow, drawn with blood, on the floor. These arrows led him downstairs. Rudolph threw open another door in his basement, and saw a grisly scene. His wife, nailed to a cross. His daughters, with cut, bleeding arms, tied to the base of the cross. Rudolph staggered into the room, and heard two things. A click, and his wife saying "Goodbye, my love."
The napalm, triggered by the tripwire Rudolph had broken, lit. The fire ate threw the gasoline-treated cross in seconds. Rudolph fell to his knees as we watched his wife and children die.
Adam Smith had long brown hair, blue eyes, and usually accompanies by a grin. If there's one positive thing that can be said about him, its that he enjoys what he does. And what he does is kill people. Gruesomely. On his record is 13 deaths, discounting the one inmate the got him in solitary. None of his victim's have much in common. The only thing linking them all is a little, typed note, describing how he killed them. This note also has a picture of a dragon on the top, a factoid never disclosed to the public. The tenth note, on his tenth victim, had a solitary fingerprint on it. The fingerprint led the police to Adam Smith's door. And Adam Smith went with them quietly, with a slight knowing smile on his face. How he managed to kill Rudolph's family is a mystery, and the only thing Adam Smith will say about it is "'That was quite something, wasn't it?' with a grin on his face."
There is little known about Smith's life. What is known, however, is that Smith had been born to an affluent family in the U.S. Most of his life is unknown, but reports say that Adam Smith was a "charming boy. A tad mischievous, but still, a charming boy." This was said by an elderly neighbor. He got high grades in all his classes. While during high school, there was a buzz about the rape and murder of a 12 year old, named Anabel Stroud. Not enough evidence was found to pin it on anyone. During college, where he was studying medicine, both his parents died tragically. They had been killed in a hit-and-run. Some believe that the Smiths were Adam Smith's first victims, but there is not enough proof to add them to his list of crimes, like that of Anabel Stroud. Smith used this money to fund the focus of his later life- killing.
Smith committed the first 7 of his murders (at least, the ones attributed to him) when he was 29. He killed April Bowen on his 30th birthday. On the tenth murder, that of Brian Winters, the police found a solitary fingerprint on a piece of duct tape. This led them to Adam Smith. When the police had knocked on Smith's door, Adam Smith opened it, smiled, and then said that they were late, and that the fingerprint should of been discovered faster. Smith went away quietly, where (after the mysteries of the Rudolph family) Smith spent the rest of his life in jail. Several inmates died (none with enough evidence to be attributed to him) before Smith was confined to solitary. While in solitary, Smith killed himself.
Murders (in chronological order):
1. Sally Simons: Eight years old, Sally had been playing outside when Smith calmly parked his car, walked over, and slit her throat.
2. Josh Hart: 15 years old, Josh was a freshman in high school. He had been walking to Geometry when Smith stabbed him three times in the stomach.
3. Luther Darden: 23, Luther had been going through college. He had been kidnapped, and chained into a tub. Maggots had spawned in his feces (which weren't removed), and had eaten him alive.
4. Alexandria Powell: 36, Alexandria was happily married with kids. Her feet had been tied to the rafters of a slaughterhouse, and Smith had sawed her in half. The handsaw Smith had used had been left.
5. Elizabeth: three years old, Elizabeth had her limbs chopped off. She had eventually died from blood loss.
6. Logan Benson: 11, Logan just fit into the oven. Smith had then turned the oven on 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Kevin Mills: 41, Kevin's arms and legs had been bashed into bloody bits with a sledgehammer. Smith had then bashed through the ripcage, and busted his lungs. Along with some other necasary organs.
8. April Bowen: 18, April had been tied to Smith's car and dragged for miles over lonely dirt roads.
9. Judith Scott: 27, was buried alive. After three weeks, the police recieved an anonynmous phone call giving her location. (Suggeseted by Cheka Man)
10. Brian Winters: 35, Brian's death is unknown. What is known, however, is that each body part was duct taped to the side of the jail.
11-13. Rudolph's Family: Emily Rudolph (wife), Sarah Rudolph (7 year old daughter), and Amy Rudolph (5 year old daughter) were all killed at roughly the same time. Emily had been put up to be crucified, but had burned to death with her daughters when her husband, Rudolph, triggered the napalm. For details, see above story.
Note: Each of the above murders had Smith's calling card on them. This calling card is a 3x5 inch white card with a picture of a dragon around the edge, biting its tail. In the middle is a quote that has something to do with the killing.
A Wanted Man: A mysterious group wants to meet Smith, for unknown reasons. And they hire the expendable PCs to attempt to break Smith out of solitary in a maximum security prison. And when Smith is out of the prison's walls, will he elude the PCs, and force them to track him down again? The PCs will only get paid when Smith reaches the mysterious group.
The Perfect Little Helper: The PCs just finished putting Smith behind bars, when a new string of murders breaks out. People are found hanged to death from various building all over the city. And pinned to each corpse is a note with Smith's exact dragon picture on it. The PCs have to make a deal with Smith to get him to tell them what he knows. What Smith wants is simple- to run around after this newest murderer with the PCs. Will Smith betray them? Is this new murderer an accomplice, who helped Smith kill the Rudolphs? What will happen when Smith and the PCs track down the murder in a climatic stand-off?
Escapee: The PCs have been thrown into prison, where they meet Adam Smith, who claims to be only a petty thief. Smith befriends them, and tells them of his plan to escape the prison, and how they can help with that. But when they do get out, they find that Rudolph isn't too pleased with their choice. Adam Smith, too, thinks that loose ends should be dealt with. And that important person, who the PCs had previously annoyed enough to get him to throw the PCs in jail, would like to deal with the PCs too. And so begins a mission of survival. Can the PCs outwit their enemies and survive?
Additional Ideas (1)
Tragedy Plus Time:
Adam Smith escapes from prison and travels to new town and starts up his murderous spree again. Little does Adam Smith expect that he will finally meet his match, the world’s most incompetent police force and unmotivated journalistic community. Try as Adam Smith might to stake out (literally he put a stake into somebody) a reputation and inspire fear in people he just can’t get these badge totting morons to connect even the most obvious dots. Murders go unnoticed or misunderstood. The local PETA president eaten by rescue kittens was never discovered. The couple buried alive under a ton coal was declared an accident, the detailed calling card describing how he killed a local vicar with a high pressure liquid nitrogen enema was declared a suicide note, and the investigation of the man tricked into to eating ball bearings before the MRI was derailed by poor paper work and a mix up at the morgue. They dismissed that calling card as a prank cause autopsy ruled it a hearth attack. Just last week Adam Smith went to the police station to inquire about the how the investigation into that “terrible trebuchet and sewing needle related death” was going and the duty sergeant paused from her texting long enough to point at the chalk board listing open cases. His latest masterpiece was beneath “tire fire”.
Truly, Adam Smith was put out. He could move to new town, but then what about all the work he put into this mid-size town. He would just have to play both sides. So Mr. Smith goes to hire the some professionals. The PCs are brought in to town with the promise of money and the goal of getting these investigations back on track. Then the "action" starts.
1) The PCs have to wrestle the case away from the momentum of incompetence that currently holds them.
2) Another elaborate murder occurs (sort of) but even the PCs will find convincing evidence that this was an accident, all be it, a freakish one. There is the absence of the dragon card, which their employer insists would be there. The hitch is that local minister and his friend the town’s largest landowner, both ex-spies or cops, have been working to cover up the murders. a. Minister “This would just ruin the town, a few accidents we can handle but serial killer…no thank you…they never make you look good.” b. Land Owner: “Best just to ignore these types, they will move along or die, at least he doesn’t do it on the street. ”
3) Smith starts cracking up, he is practically confessing to crimes, finding evidence and insisting that crime scenes have been tampered with. The PCs will no doubt be putting things together. If they do “catch” Smith I can imagine the confrontation going something like this.
Smith-“Hello, my friends, I suppose this isn’t really what you expected is it.”
PC 1- “Well….uh…you kind of told us where to look for stuff”
PC 2- “Wait, are we still getting paid?”
Smith-“I think a certain payment will be delivered, perhaps not what you expected, but a man can only do so much from jail. Of course I have been know to plan ahead as Judge Rudolph would attest”
PC 1- “Who?”
PC 3- “Listen bud we work for you, no reason to send you up the river”
PC 2- “I forget did he pay us”
Smith-sipping his brandy, “I suppose you will want toknow how the undertaker’s fingers ended up in the boot of that volkswagon.”
All PCs- “Nah”
PC 3- “You said there would be a reward if we got the guy, is that still tr-”
PC 4 I shoot Smith in the head
GM-wait you don’t know how the fish monger ended up glued to the wrecking ball
PC4-Head. * rattle * SWEET a crit!