Mermo Lachbannia Case
Infamous murder case on 6532 AT on Pardes world where Mermo Lachbannia II, heir of the Baza-Lachbannia Shares of Cygexpa, was found dead on her yacht more than 100 kilometres from the nearest modosphont being.

Although initially diagnosed as a fatal case of sleep apnea, the local law enforcement software discovered significant traces of nanodust in her cabin. The yacht had received a sizable shipment of Pardean art objects and nanofactured food during the night, which had been distributed by the domobots. Apparently the smartstuff had not been dissolved on the deck as usual but placed in Mermo's room, where the dissolution freed enough carbon dioxide to suffocate her. Afterwards the domobots cleaned up the room from the dust, but not well enough.

Interrogation of the domobots revealed nothing - apparently a scripted instruction set had overridden their programming, organised the assassination and then replaced their memories with simulated memories. Analysis of communications logs revealed nothing. Suspicion fell on Laiala Lachbannia, Mermo's sister and now the shareholder. However, she had vacuumtight alibis stretching many months back.

A long series of fruitless investigations led nowhere, until it was discovered that the domobots had received a masquerade program some years earlier from Ure Khyninen of Cageton, a noted entertainment programmer and also Laiala's lover. Although the program had been erased, enough information remained from the party and other observations for inspector-process Olmynich Vantez to deduce enough constraints on the program to show that Ure had arranged the murder. Subjected to a legal mental scan revealed that Ure had planned the murder in order to gain access to the Lachbannia fortune and guarantee that Laiala would remain psychologically bonded to him. The Holy Corporate Court of Pardes sentenced Ure to 600 consciousness-years of imprisonment, which was executed 6534 AT on a Pardes penal mainframe. Afterwards Ure chose indefinite cryonic suspension.

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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
Initially published on 08 December 2001.