Volume 30: Ghost Gun
On July 26th, Chen Shi arrived at the bureau early in the morning. A few days had passed since the gun mailing case. The last gun with a silencer was still missing. The task force was temporarily disbanded. The work that had accumulated before was piled up like mountains. The police who were working non-stop the past few days all envied Chen Shi who didn’t have to do anything once the case was over.
Chen Shi went to Lin Qiupu's office and asked, "Did you check what I’ve asked you to check?"
Lin Qiupu, who was on the phone, made a gesture to indicate that Chen Shi should wait. After ending the call with a few simple sentences, he crossed his arms. "You’re getting more and more arrogant. Do you know how busy I have been these two days?"
"Who cares about that? Did you check it or not?"
"I have. Zhou Tiannan's private assets haven’t increased. Ji Xingyao isn’t in the city anymore. The interrogation will be carried out by the public security bureaus of the other cities. I read the fax sent over in the morning. She didn't know the background details of the person she hired, and she isn’t clear what they look like either. The two parties made the transaction in a dark alley."
Chen Shi was disappointed. In fact, he had already expected this result. If Zhou Tiannan wasn’t cautious, his identity would have been exposed long ago.
It seems that it would be a long journey before they could arrest him and his people and bring them to justice.
Chen Shi turned to leave, and Lin Qiupu asked, "Where are you going?"
"Going home to rest. I’ve been exhausted over the past two days and I’m both physically and mentally drained right now.”
"You should help me with some of the work. When we were tracing the missing guns, there were several more murders in the city. You must be interested in them."
"No. Let me rest on such a hot day!"
When Chen Shi turned around and left, Lin Qiupu received another call. He suddenly stood up and chased after him. "Hey, stop there. There’s been a shooting!"
Chen Shi turned around in surprise. Has the last gun appeared?!
Lin Qiupu didn’t have a lot of staff available at the moment, so he asked Chen Shi, Lin Dongxue, Xu Xiaodong and Peng Sijue to go over together. The crime had occurred in a high-end residential area. In the morning, an old man who was doing his morning exercises found that a household had left their lights on. When he looked inside, a man was laying in a pool of blood. He frantically ran to his local police station who then called it in.
Seeing the criminal police show up, the local police officers who were at the scene breathed a sigh of relief. They could finally hand over the case. Chen Shi asked, "What is the identity of the deceased?"
"I just checked the ID card with the station. This man is called Song Yuwen. He’s 30 years old and a local. His occupation is a dentist and his family background should be pretty decent..." The police looked around the house. To be able to buy such a big house at a young age, they could tell that his income must be quite high.
Chen Shi pondered, "Would a dentist have conflicts with anyone?"
The deceased was lying on the wooden floor, with three bloodstains on his body. His head was facing the door. Peng Sijue put down the toolbox and used tweezers to pry open the wound of the deceased for examination. The wound was a round hole outlined with blackened burns. “He was shot to death.”
"Three shots were fired. If it was a normal gun, it would have alarmed the neighbors last night. It must have been a gun with a silencer. Maybe it was the missing gun."
"We’ll have to wait until we see the bullet before we can confirm it."
"Xiaodong and Dongxue, you two should interview the nearby residents to understand the situation."
The local police also left as well. Chen Shi and Peng Sijue were the only ones left in the room. Chen Shi checked the pupils of the body and asked, "The time of death was about six hours ago?"
"No." Peng Sijue took a look at the remote control of the air conditioner on the table. "The air conditioner is set on a timer. The air conditioner should have been on when the victim died. The indoor temperature was 20 degrees. The time must be pushed back two to three hours."
"That's around eleven then."
"We have to wait and test the liver and anal temperatures to determine it properly."
"The owner set the timer on the air conditioner, indicating that he was ready to go to bed. Seeing that he was wearing pajamas, the time seems about right?” Chen Shi took out his cell phone and told Lin Dongxue the time of death. He told her to question the property managers as well.
Chen Shi stood up and looked around. There were two cups on the table. The tea inside had already cooled down. The deceased was facing the door, wearing pajamas and slippers. The perpetrator was obviously an acquaintance, and an acquaintance that the deceased would welcome in late at night.
Could it be a woman? He pondered.
Then he picked up the TV remote control and turned on the set-top box. The last viewing time was 11:00 last night. The deceased should have been alive at that time. Someone came to visit, so he turned off the TV. That made more sense.
He opened the refrigerator and the refrigerator was empty. It seemed like the deceased normally didn’t cook. But there was an exquisite box inside. Chen Shi opened it and it turned out to hold a bouquet of pink roses.
"Look at this! Could the murderer be a woman?"
Peng Sijue shook his head. "You’re jumping to conclusions. The flowers and the murder case may not be connected. Since it was placed in the refrigerator, it means that he was ready to leave it there for two days before giving it away.”
Chen Shi smiled. "I was just saying it casually. By the way, are there any flower gifting holidays coming soon?"
When he looked at the calendar on his mobile phone, it turned out that it was Qixi Festival two days later. It’s unknown when it started, but Qixi Festival had become China’s Valentine’s Day. Chen Shi wondered whether he should buy a small gift for Lin Dongxue.
Chen Shi inspected both the inside and outside of the house and collected all the evidence that he thought would be valuable. On the kitchen floor, he saw a bullet hole in the tile and rubbed it with his fingers. The size of the bullet hole was very close to the size of the bullets that the Russian Makarov pistol holds.
The kitchen was clean and tidy and there were no traces of struggle. It was also quite far from the living room. It was unknown why there was a bullet hole there.
When Chen Shi went to the bathroom and lifted up the toilet lid, he suddenly realized everything. There was a mobile phone soaking in the toilet. The phone was already shattered by a bullet. The murderer should have put the mobile phone there and shot at it, shattering the tile. Then the murderer chucked the broken phone into the toilet.
Chen Shi picked up the phone, but it was so damaged that it was probably impossible to repair it. Just in case, he also collected some water from the toilet to see if the murderer had used it before.
Peng Sijue found a set of shoe prints in the living room which were left by a pair of size 37 high heels. It seemed that the murderer was likely to be a woman. There were only one set of fingerprints on the door frame, table, and walls. Judging from the size, they belonged to the victim. It was possible to commit the murder with a gun without leaving fingerprints.
The two exchanged their findings. Chen Shi looked at the corpse on the ground. "The deceased's appearance is fairly standard, and he’s a well-paid bachelor. It’s not surprising that there will be friends of the opposite sex visiting late at night... By the way, since the murderer is an acquaintance, how did she come in?"
Peng Sijue immediately understood his words. "The doorbell!"
The two went outside the door and collected evidence at the doorbell. They were able to find a small fingerprint.
This time, the murderer used a gun with a silencer, and much of the information couldn’t be seen. But Chen Shi thought of the last case. Most of the recipients selected by Zhou Tiannan were bitter and full of resentment.
He should have been quite confident that this woman would commit murder if she got her hands on a gun to have sent her a pistol.
In other words, the motivation must be very profound. It was definitely not a spontaneous murder.
At this time, Xu Xiaodong and Lin Dongxue returned. Xu Xiaodong said, "Neighbors reported that this young man's parents operated a dentist's clinic. His father bought this house for him after he started working. There’s also a white BMW in the parking lot below which belongs to him. It seems that his family background is pretty good."
"What about interpersonal relationships?"
"The people I questioned all said that he had a docile personality and that it was impossible for him to have any enemies. At the moment, he isn’t in a relationship either. He basically just goes to work from 9 to 5 every day. This is all that the neighbors know."
Chen Shi looked at Lin Dongxue, "What about your side?"
"I’ll tell you some bad news. The surveillance footage last night was deleted by someone."
1. A ghost gun is a firearm made by an individual, without serial numbers or other identifying markings.
2. The festival originated from the romantic legend of two lovers, Zhinü and Niulang, AKA the Weaver Girl and the Cowherd. The tale of The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl has been celebrated in the Qixi Festival since the Han dynasty. It’s the one day each year in which they can be together.
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