Back at the bureau, Xu Xiaodong was leaning back in his seat and putting eyedrops in his eyes. When the two came back, he said, "Have you caught the murderer?"
"Do you think it'd be so fast?" Lin Dongxue asked.
"If you’ve caught her, I wouldn’t have to watch this anymore… I’m nearly blind from watching all day.”
Chen Shi asked, "Are you watching at the normal speed?"
"Yeah, didn't you tell me to watch carefully?"
"Aren’t you being too earnest? 2x speed would have been fine!"
"Damn you, why didn’t you tell me earlier?! My eyes are so uncomfortable. I’m going to go to the window and stand there for a while.”
Chen Shi sat down and asked, "Who entered the duty room?"
"No one. Only the security guard."
"I’m certain. Didn’t you say the murderer entered the duty room and deleted the footage? I stared at the footage all day, and no outsider entered the duty room at all!"
"Then who do you think deleted it?"
"Uh... I heard that there’s an optical camouflage method that can make people invisible..." Xu Xiaodong’s imagination started to soar again.
Chen Shi smiled and shook his head. "Let me ask a more reliable person. What do you think, Dongxue?"
Lin Dongxue said, "If only the security guard entered the duty room, then the impossible is ruled out. What’s left is... But that’s also impossible. Why did the security guard delete the footage himself? It happened at the decisive moment of the case as well."
"The neighborhood is normally always quiet. No one would watch the footage at all. The security guards go to work, day after day, and basically face the computer all day. Suddenly, there was a murder one day and he actually reformatted the hard drive. What could be the reason?"
"Is there something that had to be kept secret on the computer?" Lin Dongxue said.
Xu Xiaodong exclaimed. "I understand now! The security guard has been downloading too much porn. He was afraid that the police would find out and that he would be fired by the boss, so he reformatted the hard drive."
Chen Shi thought for a while. "Although your way of thinking is perverted, you’ve gotten a point right. The security guard's worst fear is not that the case never gets solved but getting fired. So he doesn’t care about the case as long as the things in the hard drive aren’t seen by anyone!”
Chen Shi opened the folder. "Hey, why is there only one video in this USB drive? Is there nothing else?"
"When the information department gave it to me, there was only this video."
"Quickly stop one or two of them and get them to restore the entire hard drive. I want to see all its contents."
The three of them ruthlessly stopped a younger guy who was about to get off work again. They baited him by saying that they’d treat him to a meal and forced him to work overtime. When Peng Sijue passed by outside, Chen Shi stopped him. "Old Peng, is the autopsy for the second corpse finished?"
"The autopsy is done, but the ballistic expert has gotten off work already, so the report hasn’t been written yet."
"Come and see."
Chen Shi followed him to the forensic laboratory. Two forensic pathologists were still working. The body’s chest had been cut open. They were taking pieces of bone out piece by piece, and dozens of shattered bone fragments were placed in the tray next to it.
Peng Sijue said, "I was just about to look for you. I found a suspicious point when dissecting the body. You know that when a bullet enters a body that it would quickly create a near-vacuum cavity in the body. Then the air would rush in from behind, causing a secondary blast. There would be a lot of broken bones around the entrance."
"Get to the point."
"You previously judged that the bullet had entered from the back, but there wasn’t much bone fragmentation in the chest. Instead, there are more bone fragments in the back and the blasting direction was backward. That means that there’s a higher probability that the bullet entered from the chest… I kept the deceased's clothes and will go to the ballistic expert to confirm tomorrow."
"Shot in the chest?!" Chen Shi was a little surprised. He pulled Peng Sijue outside and was about to use a pen to mark on his body.
Peng Sijue exclaimed, "What are you doing?!"
"Recreating the scene!"
"Wait..." Peng Sijue took out a box of plasticine from the drawer. "Use this. We bought this for a non-Newtonian fluid test."
Chen Shi used different colors of plasticine and placed them on the table to set up the scene at the time. "Here is the bridge. This is the river. He stood here to pee. If the bullet entered through the chest, where would the murderer be? In the river?"
"Who told you that the deceased was peeing?"
"The security guard said that they would all go to the river to urinate at night."
Peng Sijue turned the plasticine that marked the person around. "Maybe the deceased felt someone behind him, turned around, got shot and then fell into the water... No, that wouldn’t have resulted in this kind of trajectory. The trajectory would be high at the front and low at the back."
"The murderer shot him while in the water?" Chen Shi suddenly realized. "The murderer shot him while in the water! I understand why the murderer wasn’t captured by the surveillance cameras. That river! Let’s get going!"
"The crime scene! Bring a protective suit. The waterproof kind."
The two drove back to the scene. At that time, it was already getting dark and the housing district was lit up by a myriad of twinkling lights. It was peaceful and quiet. Chen Shi went to the spot where the security guard was killed. Peng Sijue already knew his intentions. "Are you sure you want to do this at night?"
"The crime also happened at night. It can only be recreated this way.”
"I’m not going down."
"You keep watch here!"
Chen Shi put on the protective clothing and immediately felt like he was sweltering and was very uncomfortable. After entering the water, he felt a little more comfortable. But the water was mixed with the residents' domestic sewage, so it was extremely smelly. He asked Peng Sijue for a flashlight before going underneath the bridge.
This bridge was actually an embankment bridge with water on one side and no water on the other. Actually, there was a pipeline underneath. He walked forward in water that came up to his waist. The walls of the pipeline were covered with disgusting moss and it was very hot. The protective suit was full of sweat.
After walking an unknown distance, a light appeared in front of him. Chen Shi climbed upwards and was actually able to come out into an inconspicuous open drain inside the housing district.
He was very pleased. This was the secret that the murderer used to disappear in the face of surveillance cameras. He almost raised his hands to cheer. Then, a resident saw him. They thought he was a suspicious person and ran away screaming.
Chen Shi ran outside the housing district and Peng Sijue was still looking into the water with his arms crossed. "I know now. I know. The murderer came out of the waterway. The peeing security guard saw someone get out of the water, so the murderer killed him."
"What about the missing footage?"
"That was a coincidence... Let me take off my clothes first."
Smelling the reek from his body, Peng Sijue frowned. "Why didn't you use a small paper boat to test it?"
"You make it sound so easy. The hole wasn’t so easily found. It's hidden in the green belt within the housing community. It may be a rainwater well but there wasn’t a cover on it... The killer either knew about the exit beforehand or had surveyed the area in advance."
"If that’s the case, she’s quite smart!"
"Do you want to go in and find out if there’s any clues?"
"What do you think?"
Chen Shi thought for a while. “Forget it. It’s very dirty inside and it’s all sewage. There probably won’t be any evidence."
At this time, Lin Dongxue called. "Where did you go? You chased after Captain Peng and then disappeared.”
"Old Peng and I are at the crime scene."
"You slipped away without telling me? Honestly!" Lin Dongxue smiled bitterly.
"Have you found anything?"
"We have. Um... it's hard to explain in a few words. I'll send you a few photos to let you understand what I mean!"
1. Reference to the “Bloodthirsty Muse” volume.
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