Chapter 458: Recreating the Crime Scene

When Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue returned to the neighborhood, they saw police cars and a lot of people from afar. There was a small river by the entrance of the housing district. To be precise, it was just a ditch with a bridge above it, and the body was stuck in the beams of the bridge.

As soon as Xu Xiaodong met them, he complained, "How can you guys leave me behind and go back first?"

"We were sending the body back. Don't complain and eat your meal!" Chen Shi handed him the claypot rice package in his hand.

Seeing the food, Xu Xiaodong's grievances totally disappeared. He squatted down at the side to eat.

The body had already been retrieved by the local police and was lying on a tarp. Chen Shi uncovered the cloth on the body. The deceased was wearing a security guard uniform and he was a middle-aged man in his forties. The bloodstain on his chest had been washed away by the river, so it looked very light. There was a hole in the center of the bloodstain that was suspected to be a gunshot wound.

Chen Shi put on gloves and inspected the mouth of the corpse. His mouth was tightly closed, and his airway was very clean. Generally, people who drown would have pink foam in the mouth. Then he looked at his hands. His hands were not tightly clenched and there was no dirt or sand in his fingernails. 

He said, "The time of death was very close to that of the other body. He was first killed by someone and then the body was abandoned here."

Lin Dongxue said, "The deceased looks quite heavy. There’s quite some distance from here to the entrance of the housing district. If the murderer is a woman, how did she drag it over?"

"He’s about the same height as me. We can conduct an experiment to verify it."

Xu Xiaodong interjected. "The security guard came over just now and confirmed his identity. He is Old Wang, who was on duty last night. Then they said that because the toilet was far away, the security guards often came to the river to relieve themselves at night."

"If he was shot while urinating, it was unlikely to be from the front... Dongxue, let's turn the body over."

The two turned the body over and saw that there was also a gun hole in his back as well. Whether it was the bullet’s entry or exit wound had to be determined by a forensic pathologist. Generally, there would be gunpowder particles left in the bullet’s entry wound.

Chen Shi asked the local police to bring a permanent marker over and counted along the spine of the deceased so that Lin Dongxue could mark a spot at the corresponding place on his body.

Lin Dongxue said, "Are you not afraid of your clothes getting dirty?"

"It doesn't matter. It’s only a few dozen yuan. I can just buy a new one when I go back."

Hence, Lin Dongxue marked a spot behind him, and then Chen Shi turned the body over. Using the ribs of the deceased as a reference, he asked Lin Dongxue to mark the corresponding place on his body. The two bullet holes were compared and the trajectory was found to be inclined. It was high from behind and low from the front.

Chen Shi told everyone to spread out and look for footprints on the ground. There was a pair of shoe prints made from leather shoes ten centimeters from the river’s edge, which were very close to the size of the deceased’s shoes. Chen Shi stood in a parallel position to them and said to Lin Dongxue, "Where would the murderer have stood?"

"There are no visible footprints on the ground."

"That means that the murderer was standing on the concrete above."

Lin Dongxue stood there, simulating the murderer's movements. Roughly calculating from the angle of shooting and the trajectory, the gun should have been fired from the roadside above. Then the bullet fell into the water.

Just in case, Chen Shi still asked the local police to search on the opposite riverbank. The local police said, "The criminal police really have many ideas. You can recreate the scene without any equipment."

Chen Shi speculated, "The murderer should have waited for the security guard in the community to come out, and then took the opportunity to kill him. Afterwards, the murderer pushed the body into the water and then deleted the surveillance footage calmly... Haii, this person died really unjustly."

The body was put into a bag and placed into the car. The scene was full of people coming and going. Chen Shi took photos carefully, saying that there was no need for the scene to be cordoned off.

The results of the autopsy came out very slowly. It turned out that Peng Sijue didn’t have much experience with gunshot wounds. He went to the physical evidence center to find a special ballistics expert to analyze things together. However, from the bullet found at the scene, the pistol that the murderer wielded should have been that Russian Makarov pistol.

The day passed by peacefully. Early next morning, everyone gathered in the office. Peng Sijue handed over the autopsy report, saying, "The death of Song Yuwen should have occured around 11:00 PM on July 25th. There were three gunshot wounds on his body. They all caused fatal injuries. The bullets all entered from the front, but the trajectory of the first bullet was almost perpendicular to the body and should have been shot from a standing position. The inclined angle of the trajectories of the second and third bullet was close to 30 degrees. The amount of bleeding was relatively minimal. Based on the trajectories, it’s speculated that the murderer may have fired insurance shots after the deceased fell to the ground. They were shot ten minutes after the first bullet.”

Chen Shi said, "What would the murderer do in these ten minutes? Speak? Would the first shot have killed the victim?"

"The shot went through the main vein and lung lobe, but he should still have struggled for a while. There were indeed signs of struggling on the floor. There is a long smeared blood stain. It had been covered up by the body at the scene yesterday... In addition, two things were found by the people I sent over to re-examine the scene. There were broken bits of leather scraps on the floor and the chest of the deceased. A strand of long brown hair was also found on the coat that the deceased had placed on a hanger."

"Leather scraps? Why are there leather scraps?" Chen Shi wondered.

Old Zhang picked up a bag from his breakfast and put his hand in the shape of a gun into the bag, saying, "Could the murderer have hidden the gun in her purse and shot directly through it?"

"That's right!" Chen Shi praised.

Peng Sijue went on to say, "There are also some findings that may have nothing to do with this case, but I still need to mention that there are old injuries on the deceased. They were incurred about four or five days ago. It wouldn’t have been more than a week ago. These old injuries were mostly concentrated on the torso and on the right arm."

"That's when the deceased fought with someone, or was attacked..." Chen Shi thought for a while. "These shouldn’t have been left by the murderer, because according to the timing of the gun mailing case, it can be inferred that the murderer had already received the gun four or five days ago. With a pistol on hand, the murderer didn't need to attack the deceased and attract suspicion."

Then the other policemen talked about some of the deceased’s interpersonal relationships. It seemed that his relationship with others was good. There were more than a dozen friends alone, which would be troublesome to investigate.

The deceased’s mobile phone couldn’t be repaired. Checking the communication records revealed that many people had sent him text messages on the day of his death, which may have been to congratulate him on his birthday. Chen Shi said, "Please list the people who have sent him text messages. The murderer may be among them."

Lin Dongxue said, "Could the murderer have anticipated this and chose to commit the murder on his birthday?"

Chen Shi shook his head. "This notion seems too far-fetched. I don't think so. Judging from the murderer's actions, the murder seems more like a crime of passion. Because right after killing him, she destroyed the phone and killed a security guard to delete the surveillance footage. If it was premeditated, she could have evaded the phone and surveillance... I think that she’s a first-time offender. After killing him, she suddenly calmed down and remembered that she had to tie up any loose ends."

Peng Sijue supported this view. "During the re-examination, we found that the cup on the table had been wiped clean, but some fibers were left. The initial judgment is that it was a handkerchief made of synthetic fibers."

"Right, what about the deceased's girlfriend? Have we found her yet?" Chen Shi asked.


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