Chapter 503: Yue Chao's Secret

Lin Dongxue asked, "You two dated?"

Yue Chao nodded. "Yeah."

"What did you do specifically?"

"Shopping, eating, watching movies, and the like. Those days were the happiest times of my life. I can’t describe how I felt when I heard that she was killed. I was willing to exchange my life for hers!"

Yue Chao took out his handkerchief to wipe away his tears. Then he lit another cigarette, and shook his head sadly.

For a moment, Lin Dongxue sympathized with him a little. She continued to ask, "Did Yan Qilin say that she liked you?"

"She did."

"How did she say it?"

"I asked her if she liked me, and she agreed. Does that count?"

"In that case, did you hold hands or kiss?"

"We hadn't reached that point yet, but she held me while we were taking pictures together. I still keep those pictures!" Yue Chao took out his phone to show them. He had several pictures with Yan Qilin, and they had been taken on their dates.

Lin Dongxue held the phone in her hand to have a look. Chen Shi also moved his head closer to look. She was looking at the location of the photos,  while Chen Shi was concerned about whether the photos were digital composites.

Lin Dongxue asked Chen Shi in a whisper, "Do you have anything else to ask?"

"Can't wait to go out and breathe some fresh air." Chen Shi replied.

Thus, they bid their farewells. Lin Dongxue said, "Thank you for providing these clues."

Yue Chao sat still, wallowing in his sad memories as before. Yue Chao said, "Do you know why I sent that brocade banner? It was not because you detained me for a day. It was because six years have passed since the case. You still haven't caught the murderer yet. I hate you for being incompetent. When can the murderer be caught so that she can be avenged?”

"We will do our best."

Yue Chao appeared a bit disappointed. This was probably what he was least willing to hear from the police. However, as a police officer, nothing could be revealed until the case was solved.

Leaving the company, Chen Shi sighed. "It's practically Luo Shengmen[1] Everyone has their own version of the story."

Lin Dongxue said, "One thing I can be sure of is that Yan Qilin didn’t like Yue Chao. She was using him to propose a break up with Zhang Jinlei. The Zhang family had used all kinds of methods to break up the couple. As a girl, she couldn’t take it anymore. "

"I think so too."

"What next? Do you want to go and see Zhang Jinlei?"

"Do you think he’s a suspect?"

"I was wondering if a stubborn boy like Zhang Jinlei would take extreme actions if he knew that Yan Qilin was together with his rival in love and she had proposed to break up with him.”

"Hatred born from love? But as I said, the parties concerned will hide the most unfavorable parts for them. Even if we see him again, we won’t be able to find out anything." Chen Shi glanced at his watch. "Call everyone in for a little meeting."

Back at the bureau, everyone was waiting in the office. Chen Shi told them of the current situation. The truth from the person involved surprised the people present, but some people raised questions. "If the string of numbers was just the ticket identification code, why did it appear on different victims for six consecutive years? From this point of view, isn’t Yue Chao highly suspicious?" "There must be someone lying among these people. I think they should be detained separately so we can understand the situation in detail." "Although what happened six years ago was complicated, at the end of the day, it was only a matter between a young couple. I think it’s still slightly weak as a murder motive. Since the case was previously classified as a serial murder, you can no longer limit your attention to the first case." "But all the murders that happened afterwards were repeating the first case. I agree with Brother Chen's opinion that the first case is the most crucial."

Everyone was arguing fervently. Chen Shi interrupted them and asked, "Does anyone have any progress to report at the moment?”

"I went to verify Zhang Jinlei's alibi on August 7th. The intersection’s surveillance captured him walking into the bar, and the guests in the bar also confirmed that he ordered a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label whiskey and sat in the corner the whole time.”

"How much did he drink?" Chen Shi asked.

"Not clear."

Another person said, “Xiao Ran’s alibi holds as well. There was a security guard who saw the light from the fire and walked over. He saw her face-to-face. The time was around 9:00PM on the 7th.”

Old Zhang said, "We found Cai Yating’s car. It had been abandoned in the suburbs with the key left inside the ignition. It had been driven away, but it’s been recovered now. The car has traces of having been rammed from the side by what looks like a large car."

Chen Shi asked, "What color and brand was her car?"

"Red Xiali[2]."

Chen Shi nodded. "I need everyone to check something. What kind of girl was Yan Qilin? Cunning or naive and kind? All the parties are saying something different, so it's difficult to obtain objective and fair evaluations. That’s why we need to expand the scope and go to visit her classmates, teachers, and neighbors."

Old Zhang asked, "Little Chen, we just have to check those?"

"Just these."

Everyone left one after another. Chen Shi asked for Lin Dongxue's notebook, wrote a few lines in it, and handed it to her. "You should help me investigate these."

Lin Dongxue glanced through the list. "I may not be able to investigate all of these."

"Just investigate as much as you can."

Lin Dongxue looked at Chen Shi curiously, "You seem to have thought out a plan now."

"Just a hypothesis. Of course, it needs to be verified."

"You’re planning to keep me in suspense again?"

"I’m not trying to keep you in suspense! In fact, I have several sets of assumptions. I still need evidence to figure out which one fits the truth."

The following afternoon, Chen Shi was alone in the office looking at various surveillance footage related to the case. When he saw a certain detail, he became excited and made a query on the computer. Then he sent a text message to Lin Dongxue, "Help me check for a silver Mercedes-Benz. I don’t know the license number. I want to know who owns this type of car among all the parties involved."

Then he went to the forensics department and exclaimed, "Old Peng, Old Peng, let me show you something."

Peng Sijue was giving instructions about some things to his subordinates at the time but was dragged away by Chen Shi and made to sit down on the chair. Chen Shi inserted the USB flash drive into the computer and began to play the video. After watching, Peng Sijue asked, "Okay, is there anything special about it?"

Chen Shi rewound the footage a bit, paused it, and pointed at the screen. "This red Xiali belongs to the victim, Cai Yating!"

Then he rewound it a little more again and paused. "After this silver Mercedes-Benz left, the Xiali followed closely behind. Cai Yating was following it."

Due to the angle of the camera, only the upper part of the car’s body could be seen. They could just barely make out that a single person was sitting in the car. Peng Sijue raised his eyebrows, "Without a license plate, how do you know if this was the victim’s car?"

"The key point is that the time was 8:00, which is consistent with the time the corpse was abandoned based on the salt-permeation test. The two pieces of evidence mutually verified that the time the corpse had been abandoned was 8:00!"

"The body was abandoned at 8:00 and time of death was at 9:00, so the murderer had manipulated the time of death? Could it have been dry ice? But we can’t trace that."

"What if someone bought dry ice?"

"Who bought it?"

"I don't know. I'm still investigating." Chen Shi patted on Peng Sijue's shoulder. "I'll leave first. See you tomorrow!"

As he walked to the door, he remembered something. "Oh yes, give me something."

1. Situation where conflicting interpretations of the same event obscure the truth. Named after Rashomon, a Japanese movie and novel of the same name which examined the nature of truth was created. 

2. Tianjin FAW. 

 

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