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.
After some time has passed since the detective is attacked by Salamandra assassins, Raymond decides to resurface by sending a messager boy to Geralt, inviting him to a meeting at the detective's place. During the meeting, Raymond tells the witcher that the "Crown Witness" has died and it's very likely that he's been murdered. An autopsy, if performed successfully, could pinpoint the potential murderer, who definitely commited the act to cover for Salamandra.
Since Geralt has never done an autopsy, the witcher turned to Shani asking for help. The red headed medic agreed and told Geralt to gather as much information as possible to help the autopsy. This essentially boils down to two things:
- An understanding of the current state of medical science. (Journal Entry: Glossary - Medical Science)
- Some rather random knowledge about vermins in a place called "Zerrikania". (Journal Entry: Locations - Zerrikania)
Geralt can read about them in the books "Forensic Medicine" and "Zerrikanian Insects and Other Vermin", which are sold by the Antiquary on Merchant Street. You can purchase "Forensic Medicine" from Thaler as well.
Alternatively, the witcher can obtain this information by simply talking to people. For Medical Science, talk to the gravedigger about the prisoner's corpse ("A prisoner died recently. Is he in the cemetery already?"). For Zerrikania, ask the Gardener about his mercenary days with a gift of food.
Regardless of the amount of information gathered, Geralt still has to 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 undisturbed. To do so, the witcher will have to get a bottle of "Dwarven spirit"(or "Mahakaman mead") for the gravedigger.
Once everything is settled, Geralt will meet Shani in the Hospital at midnight, starting the autopsy.
The course of the autopsy can vary greatly, depending on whether Geralt has learned a critical knowledge that changes the entire purpose of the autopsy among other things:
For simplicity and accuracy, this critical knowledge will be refered to as the "Grand Truth" from this point.
If Geralt is still kept in the dark by now, the autopsy can end up implicating any one of the three as the murderer: Kalkstein, Ramsmeat or Azar Javed, providing a chance at beating Azar in his own game and uncovering the "Grand Truth".
For Kalkstein or Ramsmeat, no information is required to implicate one of them as the murderer, simply keep leaning towards one of them and Geralt will eventually make up his mind.
It's much harder to expose Azar's scheme however. For one, Geralt will need to gather both of the information about the autopsy: Medical Science and Zerrikania. Additionally, after the two has agreed that the body has clearly been gnawed at by necrophages post mortem, Geralt will also need to remain prudent and skeptical throughout the autopsy by choosing the following dialogue option:
- "External signs aren't everything... His neck muscles and palms look tense. How do you know when he died?"
- "This is too easy..."
If Geralt has learned the "Grand Truth" beforehand, the objective of the autopsy shifts from identifying the murderer to confirming the murderer and uncovering his method of killing. In this case, all dialogue options leading the autopsy to a misguided direction are removed and Geralt automatically figures out the murderer's method. No information is required either.
The quest ends alongside the completion of the autopsy. Geralt must now get back to the detective to share his newest findings, or does he now?
- This quest has a strange relationship with Old Friend of Mine: In that quest, progressing passed the phase "Invitation" will either fail this quest instantly, or remove the dialogue option to start it if it's not started already. Refer to the "Notes" section of that quest to learn how this could happen.
- Clearing Ramsmeat and Kalkstein(Only possible with mod) independently beforehand does not remove them from possible results of the autopsy(Only learning the "Grand Truth" does). This has the potential to create a contradicting situation where a previously cleared suspect became guilty of working with Salamandra again. To learn the information priority the game uses when this happens, refer to the "Notes" section of Suspect: Kalkstein and Suspect: Ramsmeat.
- Due to the existence of information priority metioned above, you can still salvage the situation even if the autopsy ended up being misguided. See "Notes" of Vizima Confidential for the exact point Geralt is duped for good.
- This quest is one of the three ways to uncover the "Grand Truth" about Chapter II's plot. See Vizima Confidential for more details.
- If asked, Shani suggests that you could talk to Vincent Meis for potentially helpful information for the autopsy. However, nothing useful can be learned since the city guard captain turned out to be quite dismissive towards autopsies.
- Even though the quest description says midnight, you can actually start the autopsy from 21:00 to 5:30 the next day.
- The phase "Know Your Enemy" will be put to the bottom of the active phase in the phase log when you load a save with it. This is likely the result of the game updating the scripts when you load a save and therefore normal behavior.
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 )
Know Your Enemy
This becomes the active phase whenever Geralt has learned the "Grand Truth". This is the earliest position it can be.
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.
This only appears if you ask the gravedigger whether the body has been delivered to the cemetery.
The corpse hasn't been delivered to the graveyard yet, but at least I learned something of interest. I should talk to Shani.
This only appears if you ask Shani about the autopsy in the Hospital.
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
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 conducted such an investigation or read some books about it.
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.
Everything's ready. We're starting at the hospital at midnight. I have to come to the hospital at midnight. (500 XP)
Ramsmeat / Kalkstein / Azar Javed
Autopsy implicates 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)
Autopsy implicates Kalkstein:
- 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)
Autopsy implicates Azar Javed as a 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)
Autopsy implicates Azar Javed 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)
This only appears if the quest failed.
Given recent developments, proceeding with the autopsy no longer makes sense. I basically know all I need. I no longer need to do the autopsy.