Mayor Martha Price (1958–2018) was a suspect in the murder investigations of four individuals in Grimsborough, as well as a suspect in the murder investigation of her assistant, Penny Farrell, in Bone of Contention (Case #26 of The Conspiracy), before being murdered in Blood in the Water (Case #30 of The Conspiracy). She also made a video appearance in Dearly Departured (Case #49 of The Conspiracy).
In her first appearance, then a 55-year-old mayoral candidate of the Blue Party, she dressed in a professional blue business suit, with a "Vote Blue" button on the left side of her suit. She also sported a pair of glasses, a gold necklace, blue earrings and red lipstick. She also had a pair of sunglasses hanging off of her shirt. It is known that Martha drank mead and sailed boat.
In her second appearance, it is discovered that she played golf and drank wine.
In her third appearance, Martha ditched the sunglasses and wore blue eyeshadow and her "VOTE BLUE" badge now included stars. It is revealed that she was in contact with talc, wore heels and practiced acupuncture.
In her fourth appearance, Martha replaced her "VOTE BLUE" badge with an "I VOTED" badge. It is noted that she could handle guns and was right-handed.
In her fifth appearance, now the 60-year-old city mayor, her hair was shorter. She was seen wearing a dark grey shirt under a blue blazer. She also wore her usual glasses, red lipstick, white pearl earrings, a blue, white and red badge with G on it, and two baroque pearl necklaces. It is learned that she was a vegan.
Events of Criminal Case
Martha was a mayoral candidate for the Grimsborough Mayoral Race and head of the Blue Party.
Martha was first mentioned in the Red Party's leg of the Additional Investigation of Blood and Glory, when Jones and the player found a promotional tract for the Blue Party's bid to dethrone the Red Party in the Grimsborough Mayoral Race.
During the events of the case, the instant Jones and the player found Andrew Ashworth's body, the team did not hesitate to talk to Martha. Martha thought that the murder was a "dirty trick" and that the Red Party would do anything to smear her party. Martha did not like the victim as Andrew did not have the family values Martha required. The team then talked to Isabella Fairchild to know as to why Martha did not like the victim.
Martha was brought to the police station after finding out that the Blue Party yacht was used to conduct the murder. Martha told the team that she had nothing to do with the murder and would allow the team full authority to search the yacht when it comes back to the port, a feat which annoyed Jones. Martha mentioned that the yacht was newly acquired in order to make an impression to her affluent supporters, and even mentioned that the yacht was purchased at a reduced cost from Archibald Ashworth.
Martha was interrogated a second time in the interrogation room regarding about Isabella's relationship with Andrew. Martha did not like Isabella's racy secrets as this prompted Martha to admit that Andrew lured Isabella away from Martha's reach every chance he gets—such racy secrets prompted Martha to look after Isabella to prevent Isabella from living a racy life, for example sailing boat. Andrew's willful plea to send Isabella to Jezabela's Dungeon had corrupted the first name heiress beyond help.
Chief King told the team after Isabella's indictment that Martha was complaining about a possible bomb in her yacht. Jones thought that the police would only support the Red Party but the Chief said that even if Martha was a mayoral candidate, she had to be treated as being a citizen nonetheless. The team complied by finding a gift box immediately after the orders were issued. Alex then examined to make sure the gift box was safe, and then the team examined the gift only to contain a Red Party candy dispenser. The team told Martha that the object was a candy dispenser, but Martha was aggravated when she was told about this, but the team said that Martha started the mudslinging herself. Either way Martha was relieved that no further threats were imminent.
Before the team called Martha into questioning once again, she was being interviewed on television scolding Tony Webb. Martha claimed that Tony represented everything that was wrong to her beliefs, including but not limited to womanizing and date-cheating, just to name a few, as her campaign was to represent the working class of Grimsborough. Jones suspected that the Blue Party candidate showed no sympathy at all, so the team had to question her following an inspection at the political headquarters.
Jones lambasted Martha for discussing murder investigation content on television in more than unfriendly terms, as she claimed she needed to be firm in her TV interviews—a discussion Jones found to be bothersome at times. Later, the team found a T-Shirt exposing Tony's involvement with Martha's mayoral bid, but Martha stated that the T-Shirts were not distributed for the public since she learned of Tony's womanizing scandals. As a parent, Martha took liability to ensure that all sponsors were family-friendly given that her daughter was an intern for the Blue Party. After Martha parted ways from Tony, it appeared that Tony took the split harshly throwing a fit at the Blue Party for their betrayal.
In spite of her hatred against the golfing great, Martha was found innocent a second time at the climax of this investigation. Martha was not ready to move on without a request, as she wanted to make sure no further harassment to her daughter was done in the hours after Harold Knight's indictment.
Martha returned when her daughter, Abigail, was murdered during a beauty appointment. Martha fainted when she saw Abigail burnt to a crisp and she was rushed to a hospital.
The moment Martha was at the Blue Party's marina, Grace and the player went to interrogate her at the Blue Party grounds. Martha felt that Abigail would be an example as her late daughter was the president of a purity fellowship, and felt that Abigail's purity presidency was the driving force of her campaign, based on civil values, but Grace felt that Martha should be more concerned about her daughter's death than her campaign.
After Serena Johnson brought up Abigail's pregnancy to the team, the team needed to talk to Martha again regarding about Serena's rumors. Martha was not pleased when the team told her about the pregnancy rumors, but the team felt that it could help incriminate the killer one step further. Martha did not want to talk to the team as she was busy with another campaigning event, and the team felt that Martha was being uncooperative in this case.
The rivalry between Martha and Serena (especially with rumors of Abigail pregnant and questions about Abigail's chastity) grew, but when Ramirez gave the team Abigail's clutch and found an abortion card, Grace was shocked because Abigail's actions contradicted with Martha's campaign, as Martha included abortion criminalization in her campaign as well. Martha was approached by the team a third time but she did not want to talk about her daughter's secret as that was a ground for Martha losing the mayoral elections. Grace felt that Martha placed her political career over her family, but in spite of Martha being very hard on the police this time around, she was found innocent a third time when the murder was actually linked to a crumpled friendship between Abigail and Sabrina Kingston.
Adam Bentley, a forerunning socialite of Maple Heights and apparent outsider, was slain in the Red Party Office, and since Martha ran for Grimsborough Mayor as the Blue Party ticker, she was interrogated by Jones and the player after she was spotted in a Blue Party meeting at the Halifax Hotel. Martha stated that after Adam's death in the Red Party office, she stated that she would become Grimsborough Mayor, stating that the Red Party were filled with bloodthirsty maniacs ready to do bad things to advance their political agenda, hence her beliefs was based on honesty and morals, whilst she believed the Red Party was based on deviousness.
Martha was approached by the team at the Blue Party's marina after the team verified the blurred image that she was suspected to have snuck in the Red Party Office to execute Adam, but Martha claimed that Johnson was trying to shift the blame. The police stated that the video recording was authentic, but her visit to the Red Party Office had nothing to do with the late socialite, but rather any final mudslinging Martha had to do for her campaign as the clock was ticking.
Martha lost the elections per Lola Vallez, but when Chief King insisted the team to find Adam's killer, the team checked the election stand and found a torn paper, pieced back together with Martha's name on it. The team wanted to talk to Martha (in spite of her being in a depressed mood) about the speech and suspected that Martha and Howard were working together. Martha told the team she hired a speech consultant whom Howard hired and because of this, Martha fired the speech consultant, and even though Martha could handle guns, she told the team that she did not kill Adam at all, in which Martha told the truth at the climax of the investigation but at a cost: Chief King was found guilty of Adam's death but he admitted to the crime and felt guilty for what he did and took his own life, proving all suspects involved innocent.
Martha, now the Mayor of Grimsborough, became a suspect for the fifth time after Gloria found her agenda in her office and discovered that she was at a meeting downtown. When being informed of her assistant's murder, she was shocked and even said that this was the worst possible time for her to lose her assistant because of the flood and the Demon Fish.
Martha was spoken to again after the team (per Cathy) learnt that she was unhappy with her work and even sent an angry email to the victim because she had neglected her duties. Answering about this, Martha explained that Penny's negligence had cost Grimsborough much-needed relief funds, and she did not even know what it would cost her if the press knew it.
Martha was found to be innocent for the fifth time after the team incarcerated dog walker Kitty Young for Penny's murder. Later, the team (per Martine) discovered that a female Demon Fish could produce a powerful neurotoxin that can be lethal to humans. The team then went to Mayor Price to inform her of the findings. She told them that there had been a recent report from the sewer system where the fish originated. They then found the file, which (per Cathy) proved that someone had deliberately released the fish into the city by blowing up a Xerdan cave wall right next to the sewer system. The team then updated Mayor Price regarding their findings and Martha told them that everyone would be told to stay away from the Demon Fish.
Shortly after the closing of Celine Dernier's murder investigation, Jones informed the player that Martha had been assassinated.
Martha's half-eaten body was found by Jones and the player at the animal control tanks. Jones and the player deduced that Martha had been eaten by the Demon Fish, which was confirmed by Martine, who revealed that the Demon Fish had released neurotoxins in Martha's body when they bit her, causing her organs to shut down. She also found proof of a struggle on Martha's body, determining that the killer had attacked her with some kind of metal implement before pushing her into the tank. Martine also noted that she found traces of olives on Martha's jacket. Because Martha had no olives in her stomach, Martine concluded that the killer ate olives.
Relationship with suspects
Martha was found to be cousins with scientist Ernest Emerson, who was angry at her for wanting to kill the Demon Fish before he would examine them closer. Martha was also accused by animal control worker Benjamin Fetcher for his ex-girlfriend's death, claiming that if Penny were not full of civic duty, she would have not died from investigating into a dognapping scheme. Martha also traded rude retorts with historian Ray Parker, with the former disliking the latter and cutting him off, as well as belittling him. Martha also infuriated singer Lola Vallez by not letting her build a statue of her due to height regulations, despite the latter being convinced that the former was jealous of her. Martha also made author Patricia P. Harris angry after the mayor banned her books from the local bookstores, despite Patricia supporting her mayoral campaign throughout her career.
Killer and motives
The killer turned out to be Ernest.
Upon admitting to the murder, Ernest also admitted that he released the Demon Fish into the floodwaters in the first place "for science". After he heard that Martha was planning to exterminate the fish, he snuck into the animal control facility to release them again. When Martha walked on him, he tried to fend her off with a screwdriver before pushing her into the fish tank. Judge Powell sentenced Ernest to life in prison for the murder and for indirectly killing multiple people through the Demon Fish.
The team would later learn that the reason Martha was alone in the tanks was that Martha's deputy mayor, Joe Warren, told her that it would be good for her ratings, in an attempt to gain political power to exercise the will of Ad Astra.
- Martha bears similarities with American politician Hillary Clinton:
- Martha physically resembles Hillary.
- Martha is the candidate for the Blue Party while Hillary is an active member in the Democratic Party which is symbolized by the color blue.
- Martha lacks her blue eyeshadow in her mugshots from Good Girls Don't Die and It All Ends Here.
- Martha is one of the characters to physically appear in two seasons.
- Martha is one of the characters to appear as a suspect in five cases.
- Martha's death at the hands of her cousin is one of the instances of domestic homicide in The Conspiracy.
- Blood and Glory (Case #42 of Grimsborough; mentioned)
- Troubled Waters (Case #43 of Grimsborough)
- Drive, Swing, Die (Case #46 of Grimsborough)
- One Wedding and a Funeral (Case #47 of Grimsborough; mentioned)
- Good Girls Don't Die (Case #48 of Grimsborough)
- All the King's Horses (Case #49 of Grimsborough; crime scene appearance)
- Snakes on the Stage (Case #50 of Grimsborough; mentioned)
- It All Ends Here (Case #51 of Grimsborough)
- The Lost City (Case #19 of The Conspiracy; mentioned)
- The Truth Hurts (Case #24 of The Conspiracy; mentioned)
- Muddying the Waters (Case #25 of The Conspiracy; mentioned)
- Bone of Contention (Case #26 of The Conspiracy)
- Light My Fire (Case #29 of The Conspiracy; mentioned)
- Blood in the Water (Case #30 of The Conspiracy)
- Domesday (Case #31 of The Conspiracy; mentioned)
- Dearly Departured (Case #49 of The Conspiracy; video appearance)