How to investigate the crime scene in Alan Wake 2

Alan Wake 2 investigate the crime scene
(Image credit: Remedy)

You'll need to investigate the crime scene in Alan Wake 2 very early on the game to get Saga and Casey's case in Cauldron Lake started. The pair of FBI agents begin their investigation by examining the horrific ritualistic murder of Nightingale, though you'll have to find a range of clues both around and even in the body to begin piecing together what happened. To help you uncover the clues you need, I've detailed everything in the first crime scene investigation in Alan Wake 2. 

Alan Wake 2 crime scene investigation guide

Alan Wake 2 cauldron lake murder scene

(Image credit: Remedy)

When you first approach the crime scene in Alan Wake 2 just interacting with the body on the table will get you a key image you can place on the Alan Wake 2 case board in your mind place. Once you've put that on the board you'll begin a fresh line of investigation in Alan Wake 2 and need to find clues to add to it. To start with the clues are on or around the body: 

Alan Wake 2 crime scene body

(Image credit: Remedy)
  • The heart, next to the body
  • Cargo straps on the wrists 
  • Incised stab wounds on the chest

Interreacting with all of those will get you three photos you can then put on the case board by selecting them and placing them on the yellow card marked 'consistent with prev murders'. Saga will conclude the murders are all connected and you'll add two new threads to the case board: The Victim and The Killer(s) that will ask you to 'talk to someone' and 'find evidence' respectively. 

Alan Wake 2 The Victim and The Killer(s)

(Image credit: Remedy)

Where to find evidence at the crime scene 

Alan Wake 2 investigate the crime scene

(Image credit: Remedy)

The first piece of evidence can be found at the table you've already examined, where Saga will comment there's a large amount of blood on the table and that the victim died where he was found.

Next, right by the body are two yellow markers labeled 2 and 3. The footprints you find here suggest multiple people, or killers, were at the location 

Alan Wake 2 crime scene evidence

(Image credit: Remedy)

The next set of clues is by the yellow number 4 marker. Here you'll discover a knocked-over tripod suggesting a camera was used, and some empty beers indicating someone waited there. 

Alan Wake 2 more murder scene evidence

(Image credit: Remedy)

To find out more about the victim you just have to talk to the deputy who'll tell you the man was called Nightingale, an FBI agent who came to town 13 years ago. That will open up a few dialogue options with your partner Casey to get a bit more info. 

This should give you everything you need for the murder for now and Saga will say as much. Go to the case board and place what you've found so it looks like this: 

Alan Wake 2 crime scene case board

(Image credit: Remedy)

This will start a new thread called 'Victim came from ...?' and open up profiling which takes place at the table behind the profiling board. This is largely a cutscene where you'll 'hear' the victim Nightingale explain the two topics you've unlocked, 'Missing Person' and 'Ritual Murder'. This will give you a clue for the 'Victim came from...?' note on the caseboard.

Alan Wake 2 Victim came from...?

(Image credit: Remedy)

You'll now have to 'Check the lake shore' which will take you to the Witche's Ladle, a massive tree with a sign by it. 

Alan Wake 2 Witche's Ladle

(Image credit: Remedy)

Here you'll find a blocked path with a footprint and a manuscript page at the base of a giant tree. This will unlock a new profiling question where you'll discover something was put in Nightingale's chest. You'll also get two new clues for the 'Came from...?' thread that conclude that the footprints emerge from under the rocks and that the trail has gone cold. 

Alan Wake 2 crime scene tree clues

(Image credit: Remedy)

Completing the profiling and placing the clues will unlock a final thread, 'Anything else here' where you can place the manuscript page and the information that Nightingale has something inside him. This will complete the case board and the investigation for now, and it should look like this: 

Alan Wake 2 complete crime scene case board

(Image credit: Remedy)

At this point you're now free to head to Bright Falls to investigate more, or you can freely explore Cauldron Lake to see what you can find. The Alan Wake 2 maps all generally open up more over time, so you won't be able to find everything yet but there is stuff to find and it might make things easier to tick off a few items now before you have a larger area to explore.  

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Leon Hurley
Managing editor for guides

I'm GamesRadar's Managing Editor for guides, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.