“We carefully checked the bottle that fell into the victim’s hands and the ones we bought from the convenience store. There were no abnormalities, no trackers, and no breakage,” said Lin Qiupu.
The room was filled with shock.
Lin Qiupu continued, “I have announced this on the Weibo of the Public Security Bureau, advising that the general public shouldn’t buy this beverage in the near future. This is, of course, a big blow to the production plant. From last night to early in the morning, I have been receiving calls from the manufacturer. There have been dozens of phone calls and they even hired a lawyer, but don’t worry, I will deal with this matter. You guys just need to investigate the case at hand. One more thing, last night was not the first murder, but the fourth...”
Amidst all the exclamations, Lin Qiupu took out several empty beverage bottles in the evidence bags. “These are recent murder cases taken over by various branches. The victims included an otaku, a family of three, and a driver. These caps were all found at the crime scenes without any exception. In the case of the family of three, both the husband and wife were killed, but the little boy was just beaten into unconsciousness. But the little boy is currently too traumatized and cannot provide any clues.”
Old Zhang asked, “Apart from this, the people killed have nothing else in common?”
“Didn’t he back himself into a corner? As long as we step up with the publicity and stop everyone from buying the drink, would no one be killed again?”
“I don't think so.” Chen Shi said, “No matter how much publicity there is, there will always be people who aren’t aware. Furthermore, this drink is cheap and 50 cents cheaper than Coca-Cola and Pepsi. The taste is pretty authentic. You can find it in all the shops around the countryside and people there don't have the habit of checking Weibo.”
“The murderer is so amazing. As long as the person bought this bottle cap, he can kill them?”
Lin Qiupu said, “The killer gave us this impression. He could have poisoned them with the drink, but he chose to appear in person to kill the buyer. The difficulty was ten or a hundred times more than just poisoning. He wanted to show off his ability to us.”
Xu Xiaodong said, “If it’s like this, if we buy this drink with the pattern ourselves, wouldn't he come straight to us?”
Chen Shi said, “I have already bought it. I ran around a few convenience stores last night, bought dozens of bottles and won a 'prize'. I have already opened it and drank it. The bottle cap is on my body to see if he would come and kill me.”
The crowd was startled and Lin Qiupu said, “You’re too brave.”
“Just trying my luck.”
Lin Qiupu assigned tasks to everyone present. “Don’t do anything else today without my permission. Run around the convenience stores and supermarkets all over the city and buy this beverage. If you find a “prize”, get a copy of the surveillance video to determine the scope of the killer’s activities.”
Peng Sijue chemically tested the components of the pattern’s ink to see if the killer could be tracked down through the source.
Lin Qiupu said, “In addition, just open the drink and discard it. Don't drink it any more. In case the killer predicts our next move, it would be troublesome if he poisoned the drinks.” When he said this, he kept staring at Chen Shi.
The meeting room was used as a temporary office. Lin Qiupu got a detailed map of Long'an City and hung it on the wall. Each convenience store that won the “prize” was marked with an icon.
Chen Shi called Lin Dongxue, who was about to go out, and said, “Wait a minute, I will accompany you on the investigation.”
Lin Dongxue said, “I can go to the convenience store alone.”
“You don't have a car. It will be troublesome to take a taxi. Just wait for me for a while.”
Chen Shi looked at the crime scene photos and autopsy reports of the four murders. He frowned and knitted his brows. Lin Dongxue asked, “No findings?”
“They should have been done by the same person. Like your brother, I’m afraid of serial killings, especially this person...”
Chen Shi remembered the situation when Song Lang arrested Wang Sunlei himself. He had been a helpless,unsuccessful and cowardly young man. In order to take revenge on his ex-girlfriend and her current boyfriend, he came up with this kind of killing method that hid a piece of wood in a forest.
When he was arrested, Wang Sunlei wept and wept, and soon confessed all of his crimes.
At that time, Wang Sunxu was just a small child. Song Lang had met him when he came to collect evidence. Song Lang wanted to comfort him, but Wang Sunxu stared fiercely at him, saying, “You are all bad people. One day, you’ll have to pay.”
Unexpectedly, ten years later, the child who went onto the path of evil really took action. Judging from Wang Sunxu's attempt to kill Wang Daji, he knew his identity.
This case was targeted at him. It is likely that Chen Shi's true identity will be revealed when Wang Sunxu is arrested...
“What's wrong with this person?” Lin Dongxue asked, pulling Chen Shi back to reality.
“Oh, according to our speculations, ‘Zhou Xiao’ is a small gang of people. Wang Sunxu has accumulated considerable experience and skills in previous killings. He is a tricky guy.”
“I have a question. Didn't he expose himself by imitating his brother's case?”
“He has been exposed for a long time. Wang Daji had his DNA on the soles of his shoes. Old Peng has figured out his identity. It seems that he was aware of this, so he began to commit crimes frantically. He does not seem to intend to escape.”
“A twisted heart is terrifying.”
“Society is cruel to the close relatives of a convict. He has been isolated, rejected and discriminated against since childhood.”
“However, it is his own fault for going onto the path of taking revenge on society.”
Chen Shi smiled bitterly. “Isn't it the job of the police to remove these abnormal people? It's like a doctor removing tumors.”
After reading the information at hand, Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue drove to a large supermarket. In the supermarket, they overheard a lot of people discussing the matter. Some people said that the company's stocks had dived overnight and that many people who had bought the stocks lost hundreds of thousands of yuan. Some people said that some marketing accounts on the internet were even making use of the hot topic to talk about the top 10 harmful effects of carbonated drinks etc..
The two looked for the drink on the shelves, but they didn't find it. They asked the staff member, and the staff member said, “Didn’t you read Weibo? The Public Security Bureau said there was something wrong with the drink, so all of them were taken off the shelves.”
Lin Dongxue showed her badge and said, “We are the police and we want all the drinks.”
“Oh, then let me talk to the manager first.”
The supermarket was worried that the drinks could not be sold. They were glad to learn that the police had arrived and would deal with them at the wholesale price. The two of them opened them bottle by bottle next to the drains outside, making people look on in curiosity.
After opening more than a hundred bottles, Lin Dongxue said frustrated, “I didn't win the 'prize'!”
“I didn’t get it over here either. It seems he hasn't been to this supermarket.”
“I’m wondering suddenly if it was a competitor who hired this person specifically to ruin the beverage company’s reputation.”
“Haha, it should be unlikely. The carbonated drinks market is basically just Coke competing with Pepsi. This domestically manufactured beverage is meant to survive in the cracks. Even if it’s as you said, once the real murderer is caught, wouldn’t the company that hired him be just ruining their own reputation? This kind of marketing is too unreliable.”
“I’m just speculating.” Looking at the carbonated beverage in the drain, Lin Dongxue said, “This time, the investigation expenses are going to be off the charts!”
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