House of Sticks is an Arson case in L.A. Noire, although it does not involve the police. It is the first of three cases in the game in which you play as Jack Kelso rather than Cole Phelps.

Playing as Jack is similar to playing as Cole, with only two major differences: he doesn't have a partner and he does not get to change outfits (which means Jack does not have access to the extra protection, ammo, or strength provided by Cole's various outfits). As Jack, the player can continue to search for film reels, landmarks and other pickups, and has access to all of the hidden vehicle garages available to Cole. Additionally, the vehicle driven by Jack is unique; if you have found all of the other vehicles in the game, entering the car will award you the Auto Fanatic Achievement/Trophy.

Persons of Interest

  • Elsa Lichtmann - Jazz singer, beneficiary of Lou Buchwalter's insurance policy.
  • Lou Buchwalter - Deceased California Fire & Life policy holder.


Detailed Walkthrough

California Fire and Life

At the beginning of this case, a cutscene shows Elsa Lichtmann walking into the office of Jack Kelso. They have a conversation about a $20,000 insurance settlement that has been offered to Elsa Lichtmann, which she is declining. She asks Jack to investigate possible insurance fraud. She claims that her friend Lou Buchwalter's death was a result of foul play. Jack gets the case file from his cabinet. You are now playing as Jack Kelso, and your first order of business is to examine the file for clues.

Stencil Details
Houseofsticks buchwalter case file

Buchwalter case file

Found by turning over the pink slip and reading the letter in the file.
Description Investigation report for policy number 11901659, Louis Jan Buchwalter
Clue White Clues Buchwalter case file
Location Locations Elysian Fields site

Close the file and you will begin questioning Elsa.

Interview Elsa Lichtmann

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Disputed Claim Payout Doubt Bad Cop
Connection to Buchwalter Doubt Bad Cop
Motive for Dispute Truth Good Cop

After questioning Elsa, a cutscene will occur in which Jack obtains her phone number. Immediately afterwards, a secretary enters the office requesting that you follow her upstairs to see your boss, Curtis Benson. Before following her, sit back down at your desk and examine the slip of paper Elsa gave you for another clue.

Stencil Details
Houseofsticks slip of paper

Slip of paper

Found on Kelso's desk after Elsa leaves the room.
Description Elsa Lichtmann: 6005 West Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, MI 221
Clue White Clues Slip of paper

Now, follow the secretary to Benson's office and another cutscene will play in which Benson advises Kelso to write off Elsa's suspicions and stop investigating her claim. Rebelliously, Kelso leaves to pay a visit to Elysian Fields.

Elysian Fields

Once you arrive at the subdivision office, walk into the construction trailer to the left and examine the desks to find three clues.

Stencil Details
Houseofsticks cement delivery receipt

Cement delivery receipt

Found on the corner of the desk immediately after entering the trailer.
Description Delivery details for consignment of cement, sand and aggregate in ratio 1:4:8
Clue White Clues Cement delivery receipt
Houseofsticks demolition order

Demolition order

Found on the desk in the corner of the trailer.
Description City ordinance for demolition of building works at Buchwalter accident site
Clue White Clues Demolition order
Houseofsticks company memo

Company memo

Found next to the demolition order.
Description From Leland Monroe to site manager, reads: 'DELAYS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED'
Clue White Clues Company memo

After leaving the trailer, the site foreman approaches Kelso and demands that he leave the property, prompting a fist-fight. The foreman will then give you the address of the house where Lou Buchwalter died, just a block away. Walk or drive to the site of the demolished house.

Demolished House

Go to the rear of the rubble and examine the wood marked by a red flag. Select the bottom piece of wood and place two broken pieces together to form the words "Keystone Films".

Stencil Details
Houseofsticks broken wood

Broken wood

Discovered by piecing together the broken wood slabs at the back of the house.
Description Broken wood stamped 'Keystone Films', found at site of Buchwalter accident
Clue White Clues Broken wood
Location Locations Keystone Film Studios (?)

Another cutscene will occur in which Kelso realizes that Elysian Fields bought used lumber from a film studio as construction material; lumber that is unsuitable for building. Then, the foreman whom you fought with will arrive and chase you through a large trench with a bulldozer. This can be a very frustrating chase, and if the bulldozer so much as touches Jack, the case ends in failure. Afterwards, use the nearest gamewell to ask the operator for the address of Keystone Film Studios.

Bulldoser Chase

Firstly, it is not necessary to kill the bulldozer driver. Simply aiming (which will automatically spin you around) and shooting at the bulldozer or driver will slow him down.

For players more skillful with the controls and gunplay; after you jump the first hurdle aim at the bulldozer to slow him down. Continue to run and aim your gun and shoot again when you hear the bulldozer speeding up. If you are very quick, you can kill the driver. Alternatively, a good tactic to use is one where you run to and climb up the third obstacle and aim at the middle of the bulldozer: Just before the bulldozer demolishes the platform the foreman's head will be visible and you can shoot him before he gets to you (stand on the end closest to the foreman and make sure you've already slowed down the bulldozer).

If the previous is too hard, go to the third obstacle again and do not climb it. Wait until the bulldozer is very close and, if timed right and without holding the run button, climb the obstacle. The bulldozer will go through you and destroy the obstacle; however, you will be alive and end up behind it with a clear shot of the foreman.

Keystone Film Studios

After you arrive at the studio and talk to the security guard there, jump the fence and go around the building on the right for two clues, then enter the building to the left of the entrance for two more.

Stencil Details
Houseofsticks inferior quality lumber

Inferior quality lumber

Found on top of the lumber pile around the building to your right.
Description Building site lumber marker 'Inferior Quality, Not for Structural Use'
Clue White Clues Inferior quality lumber
Houseofsticks lumber delivery receipt

Lumber delivery receipt

Found on top of the lumber pile across from the previous clue.
Description Delivery details for consignment of lumber, supplier name not listed
Clue White Clues Lumber delivery receipt
Houesofsticks film canister

Film canister

Found inside the Screening Room, on a desk to the right after entering.
Description Empty film canister labeled 'Suburban Redevelopment Fund'
Clue White Clues Film canister
Houseofsticks film


Discovered by opening the projector case, adjusting the dials, and flicking the switch.
Description Film reel implicating Monroe, Benson, Fontaine and others in Suburban conspiracy
Clue White Clues Film
Objective White Objectives Telephone Curtis Benson's Office

In the Screening Room, located within the building to your left, examine the desk to the right of the projector in the center of the room to reveal the clue Film Canister. Now, examine the projector and adjust the knobs to play a movie and reveal a clue: Film.

Once all the clues have been located, go back to the security shack and use the telephone to call Curtis Benson. He demands that you meet with Elsa and tell her to accept the $20,000 payout. After you use the phone, a cutscene will play. This cutscene will show Jack talking to Elsa at the Blue Room Jazz Club, then Elsa talking to Cole Phelps.

Now you must drive to the second Elysian Fields construction site.

Elysian Fields Site Two

Once you arrive at the site, investigate the house with the flickering lights that is under construction. Once you go upstairs, a cutscene will start and you will be forced to fight three mobsters. You will ultimately lose and will be thrown into the trunk of their car. Another cutscene will follow where Jack manages to roll out of the trunk.

Take the car that stopped in the street and drive through back alleyways and side streets to evade the pursuers and get to Elsa's Apartment. If they are still following you, disable their cars to successfully escape them.

Car Chase

You can escape the mobsters easily by using the car you steal to run over the foe shooting at you from the alleyway. Take his gun and kill the remaining mobsters. You can also come to a stop in your car and wait for the enemies to pull over and get out to shoot at you. After they have opened fire just accelerate away from the gunfire. Another way to evade the enemies is to drive on the wrong side of the road and swerve lots so that the mobsters crash into oncoming traffic.

Once you arrive at Elsa's Apartment there will be a cutscene showing Jack pass out on the floor due to being beaten up by the mobsters.

Case Briefing

"Some morning this turned out to be. Elsa Lichtmann: German exile; nightclub jazz singer, and a very rich lady if my company has anything to do with it. Her friend died in an accident and she collected the life insurance payout. The claims department never coughs up this kind of money without a fight, but she wants the truth more than she wants the twenty grand. You've got to admire that."

Case Notes

  • "The truth is out on Elysian Fields, despite Leland Monroe's best efforts to bury it."

Video Walkthroughs

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