Chapter 202: Passenger Conflict

“Flat awl?” Chen Shi rubbed his chin. “Are there other findings?”

“The victim's teeth were loose and there were several bleeding points on the gums and inside the lips. We found a bottle of medicine on him,” Peng Sijue said as he held up a plastic bottle with a label that was fully-written in English. “It’s labelled as a sleeping pill. The ingredients have to be tested, but in addition to this, there’s an even more critical clue. There seems to be dandruff under the nails of the deceased.”

“That's great. Just check the DNA of all the passengers and we can lock onto the killer,” Lin Dongxue said.

“Let me see!” Chen Shi said.

Peng Sijue took the hand of the corpse and put a magnifying glass in front of it. Chen Shi looked into the gap between the nails for a while and questioned, “Is this dandruff? Why is the color...”

“It has been tested. It’s human dandruff, but there is also some fibrous matter in there.”

“From clothes? I'll take a look at the scene!”

When Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue came out, Xu Xiaodong asked, “How was it? Did you find anything?”

“We’ll tell you later. Xiaodong, help me with an experiment.” Chen Shi beckoned.

“Experiment? Just say the word, Brother Chen.”

“Go find a pair of scissors or a knife-like object. Try to keep it from being detected by the security and see if you can pass the security check.”

“What should I do? They have metal detectors.”

Chen Shi glanced at Xu Xiaodong's shoes and said, “I remember that you had to take off your shoes just now, right? There are metal objects on your shoes. If you hide the sharp tool in your shoe, would it be detected?”

“Okay, I'll head over now!”

Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue got to the airport runway. A passenger plane was stopped here and a group of passengers crowded on the steps as they caused a commotion. “Give me my luggage!”, “Without our consent, who’s allowing you to investigate!”

There were several policemen at the hatch explaining desperately, but the passengers just didn’t want to listen

Chen Shi forced a smile. “How lively!”

Lin Dongxue said, “Yes, we can't go up!”

The two sides couldn't stop arguing. At this time, Lin Qiupu came in an airport car, jumped out of the car, and held a search warrant in his hand. “This is a search warrant. Now that a vicious murder has occurred on board, everyone must cooperate with the police investigation.”

“In what right? You can’t just go around investigating because you want to! Who will pay for the time lost?” A bald man in a leather coat stood up and yelled.

Many people were encouraged by him and followed suit in adding to the commotion. They claimed that they had important meetings or that their loved ones were in critical condition. Being forced to stay here, they were already very agitated.

Upon seeing companions, the bald-headed man was even more arrogant. “Let us go! It’s just that an old man is dead. Detaining everyone here, you policemen are too unreasonable!”

Lin Qiupu said with a stern face, “If anyone continues to create a commotion, I have the right to detain you.”

“Detaining me?! Do you know who I am?” The bald-headed man slapped his chest a few times.

“Dongxue, arrest him.”

Lin Dongxue immediately stepped forward and the bald-headed man was frightened. He turned around to try to go deeper into the crowd, but was pulledback out by Chen Shi. The bald-headed man raised his fist threateningly. Chen Shi said casually, “Assaulting the police? You don’t want to leave, right?”

“If you want to say something, then we can talk it out slowly. Why do we need to do it this way?” The bald-headed man said with a smile on his face. When Lin Dongxue was about to handcuff him, he hid his hands behind his back.

Lin Qiupu was determined to make an example out of him and said, “If you continue resisting, we’ll call people over!”

Finally, the bald-headed man was handcuffed and no one else dared to say anything. They whispered saying that the police were being unreasonable. Lin Qiupu said, “We won’t move your property during our investigation. Please rest assured and head back to the hotel and wait. Don’t leave without permission.”

Under the guidance of the airport personnel, the crowd of passengers left one after another and the storm temporarily subsided.

Lin Qiupu looked at his watch and frowned. “It’s 10:20. A whole hour was wasted.”

Chen Shi asked, “Which hotel are they staying in?”

“A 4-star hotel next to the airport.”

“Are there surveillance cameras?”

“Absolutely. Why do you ask this?”

“Since the killer is in this group of people, they may make a move during this time. Send a brother to keep watch.”

“Okay, I'll leave it to the team.”

The three of them got on the plane and went to the first class section. The policemen did baggage checks one by one and looked down the narrow aisle. Lin Qiupu said, “There is only one way from first class to economy class.”

“Isn’t that a given? Everywhere on the plane is a straight aisle.” Chen Shi laughed.

Lin Qiupu had no light on his face[1] but continued and pointed to the doors on both sides. “The front is the piloting cabin and the first-class’s washroom. This door separates the economy class and the back is also the washroom and the flight attendant rest area. The curtain can be used for obscuring. I asked the flight attendant and there were no passengers between the two cabins after take-off.“

“All eight people in the first class are ruled out!” Lin Dongxue said.

Chen Shi disagreed. “Not necessarily. I don't believe in witnesses much. There’s no surveillance monitoring here either.”

“There is but we can’t see it right now,” Lin Qiupu pointed out.

“You mean the black box? Let’s go check things out in the economy class!”

The three people moved into the economy class area. When they opened the curtain, they saw a seat cordoned off. Because the space was limited, the cordoned off area was only a symbolic circle on the ground.

Lin Qiupu pointed to the aisle seat and said, “This is the seat of the victim.”

Chen Shi glanced forward. “Everyone's facing this way. Was the light on at the time?”

“The time of the incident was around 6:00 in the morning and the plane took off at 4:00 in the morning. Most of the passengers either didn’t sleep or got up early. To facilitate the passengers' rest, the night light was turned on and the light was dim.”

“Was there anyone sitting next to him?”

Lin Qiupu picked up a document and handed it over. “This is a list of all the passengers!”

Chen Shi glanced at the list. The victim's name was Deng Shirong. The seat next to him was empty, and the passenger beside the window seat was named Li Zhaodi. The fine print read “Female, 58 years old.” Lin Qiupu said, “This lady was asleep at the time and had a sleep mask on. She didn’t hear anything unusual.”

“There isn’t a single witness?” Chen Shi asked.

“We're still questioning others, but it seems like there are none so far.”

Chen Shi imagined the scene on the plane and muttered, “The deceased was pierced with a sharp weapon. His gums were bleeding and his teeth were loose...” He made Lin Dongxue sit there, then squatted down with one hand and covered Lin Dongxue's mouth with one hand. He pretended to hold a weapon and pointed it at her throat with the other.

“I think the murderer committed the murder like this. This is the safest way given the situation at the time,” Chen Shi said.

“Oh, your thoughts are similar to mine...” Lin Qiupu noticed that Chen Shi had eyes full of suspicion and raised his volume. “I really do think so!”

“Well, I didn't say I doubted your reasoning ability.”

“That's exactly what you were doing!” Lin Qiupu muttered.

Lin Dongxue changed the topic. “Did the murderer plan this or was it a spontaneous killing?”

“Both of them, I think!” Chen Shi said “What does the victim do? Do we know if he offended anyone?”

“We’re still checking!”

“Let's check their luggage to see if we can find anything.”

1. He lost face. 

 

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