Lin Dongxue took a taxi back to the bureau, where Chen Shi was waiting for her at the door looking very excited.
"Why are you so excited?" Lin Dongxue asked with a smile.
"What did you hear?"
"There’s no useful clues. Zhang Hao has committed domestic violence towards his wife and son for a long time now and the wife seems to have become numb to it..." Lin Dongxue sighed. "Poor woman."
"Human bone's DNA matches 99.99% with Zhang Hao and 99.98% with Zhang Farong. It can only be Zhang Hao's father and Zhang Farong's brother. This may be a father-killing case!"
"Where’s Zhang Hao?"
"In the interrogation room. We’re just waiting for you."
The two went into the interrogation room. Zhang Hao sat in the interrogation chair and looked calm. Chen Shi said, "I didn't expect to meet you here. In fact, I really like your noodle soup. I feel a bit sorry that I have to interrogate you."
Zhang Hao said, "No worries. This is your job."
"Do you know what was found in the wall of your shop?"
Zhang Hao shook his head.
Chen Shi produced a printed photo with the bones taken on the spot. "Do you have an impression of this?"
"Did your father disappear two years ago?"
"You should ask him about that."
"This set of bones has been scorched and the soft tissue on it has been burnt away, so it won’t smell bad even when placed in the wall. I asked your shop’s employees at the scene. They said that the freezer was bought by you two years ago. Is it a coincidence that it blocks the wall where the human bones are hidden? Another person mentioned that you’ve been buying beef paste from a cannery for a long time, which seems to answer a question of where the meat on the bones went. We suspect that the meat was mixed with beef paste and turned into beef balls. They’re then sold to customers for 16 yuan for a large bowl and 13 for a small bowl.”
Lin Dongxue kicked him underneath the table. How could he still make jokes in this situation? Later, when Lin Qiupu looks at the interrogation records, who knows what he’d say.
Zhang Hao raised his head. "Do you have cigarettes?"
Chen Shi walked over, gave him a cigarette, and Zhang Hao exhaled. Zhang Hao looked at the cigarette in his hand. "I can answer these questions one by one. I don’t know anything about the bones being burned. In fact, I didn’t even know that it existed at all. I bought the freezer two years ago because the original one wasn’t cold anymore. You can ask the clerks. Because it was broken, we weren’t in business for a few days. Why did I put it in front of the wall? You’ve seen the layout of my shop. One side is where the customers sit, one is the bench, and one is the cash register..." He gestured with his hands. "The freezer can only be placed there! Also, as for human meat being mixed with beef paste, I don’t know how you guys have imagined it. I haven’t thought about it and I definitely didn’t do it. But, I do admit that I’m not using beef in my shop.”
"What kind of meat is it then?"
"Pork, lamb, duck, and chicken."
"Did I hear that right? Lamb is more expensive than beef."
"This is the recipe of our store. The taste of the mixed meat is the best, and lamb accounts for about one-tenth."
"So, how much do the other meats account for?" Chen Shi asked with interest.
Lin Dongxue kicked him again. To be actually caring about the making of beef balls, she was speechless. She said, "I just talked with your wife for a bit. She said that your relationship with your father has been bad and that you grew up in a domestic violence environment. Can this be regarded as a motive for crime?"
"I would like to ask who wasn’t subject to domestic violence if they were born in the 80s? You have to kill your father if you’ve been subjected to domestic violence? Wouldn’t China’s aging population problem long been solved then?”
The two exchanged looks with each other. They didn't expect this guy to be so tight-lipped. It was time to show the decisive evidence. Chen Shi said, "Your father disappeared two years ago, right?"
"So why are the bones in the wall your father’s?" He showed Zhang Hao the document. "This is the DNA identification result. It’s been confirmed that it’s your father. What else can you say?"
Zhang Hao smiled faintly and shook his head. "I don't know!"
"You don't know? Some people know that your second uncle has been blackmailing you. It seems that he knows something."
Zhang Hao sneered disdainfully.
"Your version and his of what happened last night are completely different. He said that you used your knife after you had recognized who he was. However, you said that you didn’t recognize him before you hurt him. However, you cut him three times: One on the shoulder, two on the back. We tried to restore the scene. After your first knife fell on him, it would be impossible for him not to make a sound. That is to say, you continued to chase after him after you recognized his identity. You needed to kill him to prevent him talking. From this, we can infer that there’s a ghost in your heart!”
"You can ask as much as you want and ask whoever you want, but I didn't kill anyone. I have a clear conscience!"
Zhang Hao was taken back to the detention cell by the police. Lin Dongxue said, "This is too tight-lipped!"
Chen Shi shook his head. "Thinking carefully, we really have no evidence. He won’t easily admit to it.”
"Then, do you want to try the second uncle again?"
"We can only do it that way."
In the interrogation room, Zhang Farong said, "My elder brother must have been killed by that boy. This shop was originally my father's, which was then inherited by my elder brother. Suddenly, my elder brother disappeared and all his inheritance was passed onto him. You don’t need to think too hard to know what's going on! Now that you’ve discovered my brother's bones in the shop, the evidence is conclusive. Why don't you hurry to take him to court?"
Chen Shi sighed. "Have you got no other evidence?"
"What other evidence is needed? To catch adultery, you need to catch the both of them. To catch a thief you need to find the stolen goods. The corpse has been found but you still need evidence? Can’t you police use some means? Like that tiger chair or chili water. Let him try it and see whether he’ll talk!"
"You blackmailed him just relying on these?"
Zhang Farong spread his palms out. "I have a clear conscience. When have I blackmailed him? I originally owned half the house. The property prices are going up and the market says it’s at least worth 30,000 yuan per square meter. I just want to get back my part of it. Isn’t that reasonable?”
Chen Shi got a headache from listening to him. "Tell me something else. How did your father die?"
"My father isn’t dead!"
"Your father isn’t dead?"
"He went missing. Two years after the disappearance, the Public Security Bureau considered him dead, so I went to get my part of the inheritance. It’s reasonable!"
"What year did it happen in?"
"1999. Or was it 2000?"
"Did you report it?"
"It's reported. They couldn’t find him after the investigation. I had been arguing with my elder brother for the inheritance for some time. I didn't have time to care about the old man's life and death. My elder brother was disloyal. When my dad left, he continued to open the shop like nothing happened.
Chen Shi leaned back on the chair and pondered. Lin Dongxue asked, "When you were young, did your father often subject you guys to domestic violence?"
"What is domestic violence?"
Zhang Farong laughed. "He mainly hit my elder brother. My brother would talk back to him and was disobedient. Every time my dad beats him, it’d be half to death. I was sensible. Every time my dad beat my elder brother, I’d say, ‘Dad, don’t hurt your health from being so frustrated. You should have a rest before beating him again.’ Ever since I was a child, I’ve been my parent’s baby. They gave me lots of love and rarely hit me… My nephew and my elder brother were too straightforward and deserved to be beaten as kids!"
1. Guilty conscience.
2. It’s a torture method in China that targets the joints.
3. Unsure if they’re talking about water-boarding with water spiced with chili-pepper, but that’s a torture method used by the Mexican police?
Previous Chapter Next Chapter