Chapter 504: Self-Produced and Directed

At 7:00 in the evening, guests went into Huoxing Bar one after another. The boss suddenly found a man crouching behind the bar checking the whiskey bottles and asked the bartender, "Who is this?"

"Police. He said he was looking for clues. He’s been squatting down and looking at the bottles for over an hour now.”

"Oh!" The boss looked at the guy suspiciously.

Chen Shi was checking all of the fingerprints on the Johnnie Walker Red Label whiskey bottles. He had asked Peng Sijue for Zhang Jinlei's fingerprint samples. When the homicide case happened six years ago, the fingerprints of all parties had been collected by the police.

Chen Shi stuck tape on all the bottles to lift off the fingerprints. He compared them with the samples and finally found a match.

He stood up and asked the bartender, "On the evening of the 7th, there was a guest who ordered a bottle of this whiskey and sat alone in the corner. Do you have an impression of him?"

"Uh, what does he look like?"

Chen Shi described him and showed Zhang Jinlei's ID photo. The bartender said, "I seem to remember him a little. He sat there from 9:00 to 12:00 and only ordered a bottle of whiskey."

"Did he finish it all?"

"He did!"

Chen Shi said deliberately, "Don't lie to me. The guest has hepatitis B. If it was given to other guests before it was finished, it would be a problem."

"I didn't lie to you. He really finished drinking all of it. There aren’t many customers who come here and order a whole bottle of whiskey. It was the bottle I collected that day."

"Thanks, I need to take this bottle away."

Chen Shi took out a bag and put the bottle in it. Instead of going home, he wandered around until 9:00 before going home.

The police’s visits didn’t bear fruit until the next afternoon. Everyone gathered in the conference room to report what they had respectively found. A policeman said, "According to a classmate of Yan Qilin, she was a girl with a good personality who usually spoke slowly and quietly. She also had high self-esteem. If she was aggrieved in any way at all, she’d cry. Her studies had always been pretty good until her third year of senior high. Her classmate said it might have been due to her romantic relationship.”

Chen Shi asked, "Was the classmate a male or female?"

"Male student. He said he shared the same table with Yan Qilin for a year."

Another policeman said, "I found out the opposite on my side. The student said that Yan Qilin was a very cunning girl. She often snitched on classmates to the teachers. She always acted pure and pitiful in front of the boys. After she got together with Zhang Jinlei, her tail stuck up towards the sky[1]."

"I’m guessing it was a girl?"

"Yes."

The third policeman said, "Her form teacher said that Yan Qilin was obedient, diligent, hard-working, self-disciplined, and often helped her classmates."

It was obvious that they weren’t familiar with Yan Qilin so they’d say those things. Therefore, Chen Shi directly ignored that report.

The collected information showed that the boys felt that Yan Qilin was a very gentle and attentive girl. The girls generally hated her, thinking that she was a scheming x[2] and a green tea x[3]. They said she had dubious relationships with several boys. Some people even said that she instigated Yue Chao to mess with those that gossiped about her.

After listening to the reports, Chen Shi had an impression of what she was like in his heart. It was no wonder that Zhang Jinlei and Yue Chao would like her at the same time.

Old Zhang said, "A classmate said that although she and Xiao Ran were best friends, she stole Xiao Ran's boyfriend. For a while, the two were completely in a state of cold war. In addition, Xiao Ran didn’t attend the class reunion."

Lin Dongxue said, "Zhang Jinlei shouldn't be considered as Xiao Ran's boyfriend. It’s just that they grew up together.”

"But it was said that Xiao Ran and Zhang Jinlei used to go home together after school before, and their relationship was very close. Ever since Zhang Jinlei and Yan Qilin began dating, they’ve never walked home together again."

Chen Shi said calmly, "The probability of Zhang Jinlei committing the crimes is quite high."

Everyone was stunned for a moment. Chen Shi explained, "I went to the bar last night. The bartender said that he ordered a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label whiskey alone on the night of the 7th. After drinking it, he left at 12:00. The nearby security camera showed that he had come to the bar on foot. A bottle of 700 ml Red Label is almost equivalent to three cans of cola. The alcohol percentage is around 40%. My drinking ability isn’t too bad, but if you were to tell me to drink a whole bottle in three hours, I’m afraid that I’d get drunk. But when he left the bar, the surveillance footage showed that he had a steady gait. Of course, we can’t rule out that he may be good at holding his liquor, but he’s taking an antidepressant called Paroxetine on a daily basis. Taking this medicine and drinking spirits will cause blood pressure to rise. I think he would have been taken away in an ambulance that night. So, I suspect that he didn’t drink the whiskey at all, but just quietly poured it out. He went to the bar just to create an alibi in a crowded place.”

Old Zhang said, "But he really did have an alibi. Wasn't he always in the bar?"

"Yes, according to the time of death, he was indeed absent. But I did a salt-permeation test with Old Peng and a detail that appeared in the surveillance footage showed that the time at which the murderer abandoned the corpse was actually 8:00 on the evening of the 7th. Why was the time of death at 9:00? Obviously, the murderer used a trick to interfere with the forensics’ judgment of the time of death. The time of death should be about two to three hours prior to that. A variable appeared in the murderer’s plan this year, which was Cai Yating, who was secretly following them. According to the autopsy report, Cai Yating's time of death was at 10:00. I think the murderer also used the same means to postpone the time of death, so Cai Yating should have been killed between 8:00 and 9:00.”

"Assuming that the murderer is Zhang Jinlei, he left the scene where he abandoned the corpse at 8:00 and was followed by Cai Yating. The murderer rammed Cai Yating's car on the road, killed her and took her to the suburbs to abandon the corpse. I retraced this route again last night. You can rush to the bar by 9:00. The problem is that Zhang Jinlei didn’t drive according to the surveillance footage, so I walked around the bar and found an underground parking lot in a shopping mall. The footage there shows that Zhang Jinlei had parked a silver Mercedes-Benz there. After 12:00, he drove away. We can’t prove anything with this footage alone. But when all the evidence is combined, it’s a complete puzzle of the crime! Dongxue..."

Lin Dongxue said, "There is only one car under Zhang Jinlei's name. That’s the white BMW that he shares with Xiao Ran. But there’s a silver Mercedes under Zhang Jinlei's mother's name. His mother doesn’t drive normally, so this car may be in Zhang Jinlei’s hands."

Chen Shi nodded. "You’ve investigated thoroughly! With Zhang Jinlei's profession, he usually wouldn't go out often. It’s more than enough to share a car with Xiao Ran. The house that he bought only has one parking space as well. Why should he keep an extra car? This silver Mercedes is used for killing people. We didn’t notice it before because on one hand, he hid it well. On the other hand, it’s because he was Yan Qilin’s boyfriend and in our blind spot."

Everyone was so shocked that they were speechless. After some time, Old Zhang said, “It turns out that everything was produced and directed by Zhang Jinlei himself. The murder of Yan Qilin may be because of hatred born from love. He escaped the grasp of the police back then. Why would he want to take the risk to repeat the same murder year after year?”

"This question can only be answered when they arrive."

"‘They’?"

Chen Shi smiled. "Go through the formalities and forcibly summon Zhang Jinlei and Xiao Ran!"

1. Smug and proud behavior. 

2. Scheming bitch. Used to describe girls who act pure but have a cunning personality. 

3. Green tea bitch. Used to describe girls who act innocent with guys but are actually manipulative and cunning. More on how this term came to be here: https://radiichina.com/green-tea-bitch/ 

 

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