Countdown to Murder is a case featured in Criminal Case as the one-hundred and thirty-third case of the game. It is the eighteenth case of the game's World Edition (Season 3) and the final one to take place in Eurasia.
After Elliot hacked COSMORUS' security systems, the Bureau headed to a launch site in Kazakhstan to prevent SOMBRA's satellite from being launched. After convincing head of COSMORUS Natasha Romanova to let them in, Jack and the player investigated the launch control room to find the body of Senator of the Security and Defense Committee Vitaly Borodin with his throat slashed.
During the investigation, Natasha placed the launch site on lockdown, restricting the Bureau's investigation and forcing Jack and the player to go undercover as cosmonauts. Later on, one of scientist Nikolai Sharapov's experiments caused an explosion and the lockdown was lifted, which allowed the team to gather enough evidence to arrest cosmonaut Yelena Tereshkova for the murder.
Yelena insisted that she was not the killer but soon admitted to the crime. Yelena killed Vitaly after Natasha told her that the Senator was responsible for denying her applications to go to space. Wanting to fulfill her biggest wish, Yelena slashed Vitaly's throat with a modified laser torch in anger. As the team interrogated her about the satellite, about which she knew nothing, a loud noise was heard from the control room, where they headed to discover that Natasha had already launched the satellite. Natasha then ran away from the team following the confrontation.
After the confrontation, Chief Ripley interrogated Yelena about SOMBRA. Although she did not know about them, she claimed to have listened to Nikolai talking about them in his tablet. In the training pool, Jonah and the player found Nikolai's tablet, which (per Elliot) contained part of a code that would override the satellite. Pressed by Jonah, Nikolai agreed to provide the missing part and help Elliot override the satellite.
Meanwhile, Marina and the player investigated the control room and found Natasha's phone with a message implying (per Dupont) that she was hiding in the Bayterek tower. There, the team found Jack and MGB agent Anya Ivanova, who said that she had spotted Natasha stirring the trash in panic before hiding in the tower. In the vicinity, Marina and the player found a note in which SOMBRA considered Natasha a loose end. The team finally found Natasha, who revealed that SOMBRA had promised her power in exchange of launching the satellite. Marina told her mother about SOMBRA's note before arresting her. In the court, Judge Adaku then sentenced Natasha to 75 years in a maximum security facility for launching the satellite and ordering the hit on Vitaly. Afterwards, Yelena was sentenced to 50 years in jail for the murder.
Elliot then managed to override the satellite, giving the Bureau control over it. Shortly after, Ingrid reported that the satellite detected a major earthquake in New Delhi, prompting the team to head to India to provide aid.
- Vitaly Borodin (found with his throat cut)
- Laser Torch
- Yelena Tereshkova
- The killer eats beshbarmak.
- The killer plays Fletris.
- The killer knows physics.
- The killer has a bandage.
- The killer wears a COSMORUS badge.
- Investigate Control Room. (Clues: Victim’s Body, Torn Photo, Plastic Device; Victim identified: Vitaly Borodin; New Suspect: Natasha Romanova)
- Talk to Natasha Romanova about the victim’s presence at the launch site. (Prerequisite: Control Room investigated)
- Examine Torn Photo. (Result: Victim’s Selfie; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Tower Square)
- Investigate Tower Square. (Prerequisite: Victim’s Selfie restored; Clues: Protest Sign, Security Badge)
- Examine Protest Sign. (Result: Yellow Dust)
- Examine Yellow Dust. (Result: Pollen; New Suspect: Agrafena Raskolnikova)
- Question Agrafena Raskolnikova about her grievances toward the victim. (Prerequisite: Pollen identified)
- Examine Security Badge. (New Suspect: Anya Ivanova)
- Ask Anya Ivanova about her presence in Kazakhstan. (Prerequisite: Security Badge identified)
- Examine Plastic Device. (Result: Writing on Device)
- Analyze Writing on Device. (03:00:00; Attribute: The killer plays Fletris)
- Autopsy Victim's Body. (18:00:00; Attribute: The killer eats beshbarmak)
- Go to Chapter 2. (1 star)
- Investigate Training Pool. (Available after unlocking Chapter 2; Clues: Gray Pouch, Torn Picture, Metal Case)
- Examine Gray Pouch. (Result: Yelena’s Name; New Suspect: Yelena Tereshkova; Profile updated: Yelena eats beshbarmak)
- Question Yelena Tereshkova about her trip to space. (Prerequisite: Yelena’s Name unraveled; Profile updated: Yelena plays Fletris)
- Examine Torn Picture. (Result: Autographed Picture; New Suspect: Nikolai Sharapov)
- Ask Nikolai Sharapov about his presence at the launch site. (Prerequisite: Autographed Picture restored)
- Examine Metal Case. (Result: Laser Torch)
- Analyze Laser Torch. (12:00:00; Murder Weapon registered: Laser Torch; Attribute: The killer knows physics)
- Investigate Fountain. (All tasks before must be done first; Clues: Electronic Card, Plastic Box)
- Examine Electronic Card. (Result: Strange Device)
- Analyze Strange Device. (12:00:00; Profile updated: Anya knows physics)
- Talk to Anya about her tracking the victim. (Prerequisite: Strange Device analyzed; Profile updated: Anya eats beshbarmak and plays Fletris)
- Examine Plastic Box. (Result: Receipt)
- Question Agrafena about the victim’s message. (Prerequisite: Receipt found; Profile updated: Agrafena eats beshbarmak)
- Go to Chapter 3. (2 stars)
- Investigate Space Capsule. (Available after unlocking Chapter 3; Clues: Security Camera, Torn Magazine)
- Interrogate Nikolai about the explosion. (Prerequisite: Space Capsule investigated; Profile updated: Nikolai knows physics)
- Examine Security Camera. (Result: Security Camera)
- Analyze Security Camera. (09:00:00)
- Question Yelena about her confrontation with the victim. (Prerequisite: Security Camera analyzed; Profiles updated: Yelena knows physics, Natasha knows physics)
- Examine Torn Magazine. (Result: Magazine Cover)
- Question Natasha about her message regarding the victim. (Prerequisite: Magazine Cover restored; Profile updated: Natasha eats beshbarmak and plays Fletris)
- Investigate Launch Console. (All tasks before must be done first; Clues: Newspaper, Victim’s Briefcase)
- Examine Newspaper. (Result: Red Crystals)
- Analyze Red Crystals. (09:00:00; Attribute: The killer has a bandage)
- Examine Victim’s Briefcase. (Result: Camera)
- Analyze Camera. (15:00:00; Attribute: The killer wears a COSMORUS badge)
- Take care of the killer now!
- Go to Darkness Descends 6 (No stars)
Darkness Descends 6
- Ask Yelena about Natasha helping with SOMBRA’s plan. (Available after unlocking Darkness Descends; Reward: Cosmonaut Suit)
- Investigate Training Pool. (Prerequisite: Yelena interrogated; Clue: Locked Tablet)
- Examine Locked Tablet. (Result: Locked Tablet)
- Analyze Locked Tablet. (06:00:00)
- Persuade Nikolai to provide his missing satellite override code. (Prerequisite: Locked Tablet analyzed)
- Investigate Launch Console. (Prerequisite: Yelena interrogated; Clue: Broken Phone)
- Examine Broken Phone. (Result: Smartphone)
- Analyze Smartphone. (09:00:00)
- Ask Anya to help keep an eye out for Natasha Romanova. (Prerequisite: Smartphone analyzed; Reward: Burger)
- Investigate Tower Square. (Prerequisite: Anya interrogated; Clue: Metal Briefcase)
- Examine Metal Briefcase. (Result: SOMBRA Note)
- Confront Natasha about launching the satellite. (Prerequisite: SOMBRA Note found; Reward: 20,000 Coins)
- Move on to a new crime (in South Asia)! (1 star)
- This case is one of the cases in which the killer has to be interrogated once again during the Additional Investigation.
- This is one of nine cases in World Edition where all suspects have appeared previously.
- This is one of the several cases in which more than one suspect gets arrested.
- This is one of the few cases wherein the trial takes place during the Additional Investigation instead of the final chapter of the main leg.
- This case, The Murder Games, Till Death Do Us Part, Fool's Gold and Going Once, Going Twice, Dead! are currently the only final cases of a district/region/time period in which the victim made no physical appearances prior to the events of those cases.
- Fletris is an obvious parody of the Russian tile-matching puzzle video game Tetris.
- There are several references to the movie series Star Wars, such as:
- There are some references to Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in this case, such as:
- A photo in the "Training Pool" crime scene.
- The cover photo for the third chapter.
- Mentioned by Nikolai Sharapov in the same chapter.