On the afternoon of October 20th, Qu Jing’an’s body was lying on the corpse bed at the public security bureau. According to the surveillance footage inside the elevator, the three bodyguards escorted Qu Jing’an to the upper level of the hotel. Midway, the elevator suddenly had a power outage, and then fell sharply. A strange flame suddenly appeared inside the elevator.
The three bodyguards were all severely burned and were now being treated in the hospital. Only Qu Jing’an was burned alive.
The whole thing seemed strange and suspicious. It seemed like someone was targeting the Qu brothers.
At the current moment, Lin Dongxue, Chen Shi, Lin Qiupu and others were wearing sterile clothes, waiting for the autopsy results from Peng Sijue. Peng Sijue used a scalpel to dissect the surface of Qu Jing’an’s body under the severe burns. He took out the internal organs for weighing as the assistant stared at the electronic scale and reported the weight with a monotonous voice. Peng Sijue said, "There’s an abnormality in the liver. Little Wang, go and conduct a pathological test. Wait a minute..."
He removed the burnt skin and attached fragments from the corpse and asked the assistant to conduct a test. Soon after, the assistant came back and reported, "Captain, the cause of death may be due to poisoning."
"Poisoned?" Lin Dongxue was slightly surprised. "He was obviously burnt to death!"
"Of course. We’ve all seen the situation. The burns on the other people's bodies aren’t less than that of Qu Jing’an, but only he died." Chen Shi said.
"Did someone put poison in the fire extinguisher?"
"How imaginative. How do they put poison in the fire extinguisher? That thing is completely sealed."
Peng Sijue personally went to conduct a test and came back to tell everyone. "Arsenic was detected on the inside of the deceased's shirt. It’s suspected that someone had applied it to the clothes in advance. Skin absorption alone isn’t enough to be fatal, but in case of a fire, the epidermis gets damaged, the toxin heats up, and then it evaporates into the body, killing them within seconds.”
Chen Shi said with emotion, "The bizarre fire in the elevator was for this purpose?"
Lin Qiupu said, "We’ll interrogate the suspicious people caught at the scene.”
At that time, the police arrested a total of three suspicious people at the scene. In addition to the one holding the metal box, there was the truck driver who intentionally parked the truck at the intersection, resulting in the police not arriving in time. The third person was near another emergency exit wandering around and was captured by bodyguards.
The metal box which Chen Shi thought was an explosive or a dangerous item was sent to the bureau for careful inspection by a bomb disposal expert and found to be just a pocket watch with only the man's own fingerprints on it.
None of the three people directly participated in the process of killing Qu Jing’an, but their presence increased the trouble for the police. It was suspected that someone had instructed them to do so.
They didn't expect them to be so tight-lipped, insisting that they just happened to be at the scene. After investigating their occupations and identities, they found that they didn’t know each other.
They didn’t know when the interrogations would come to an end. Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue went to see the surveillance footage found at the scene and stared at the monotonous video. Lin Dongxue asked, "Would the Qu Brothers have offended Zhou Tiannan?"
"It's possible. I think this murder case is definitely carefully planned."
"Brother Chen, look here!"
Xu Xiaodong found a suspicious point. On the morning of the signing ceremony, a man dressed as a cleaner entered the elevator with a spray can in his hand and sprayed something carefully on the elevator.
Then, another person entered the elevator, pried off the emergency button, and stuffed something underneath.
The two suspicious people not only tampered with this elevator, but also did the same thing to the other one. Seeing this, Chen Shi was so frightened that he broke out in cold sweat. Lin Dongxue said, "It's okay, the scene has been sealed. No one will use these two elevators again."
"Let’s go and take a look at the scene!"
They brought two forensic police officers with them. The hotel lobby had already been blocked with a cordon and the hotel staff was being questioned. When passing by, some words and phrases floated into Chen Shi's ears.
"...The man said that he was lost and went into the security monitoring room. Fortunately, the security guard found out and he was kicked out."
The inside of the elevator in which the incident occurred was already scorched. As samples were being collected, Chen Shi sniffed it carefully and exclaimed, "Combustion aid!"
Then, his eyes fell on the emergency button. The button was gone. There appeared to have been a slight explosion in the hole. Chen Shi found some burnt metal fragments inside.
"Go and look at the other elevator!" Chen Shi said.
The two entered the other elevator and smelled the inner wall of the elevator. After smelling carefully, they could smell something similar to gasoline. However, because the fragrance was used in the elevator, it wasn’t too noticeable. Chen Shi touched it using his finger. "This is ordinary anti-oxidation paint, but it’s mixed with flammable, unleaded gasoline. The paint itself could be melted into gasoline."
"So, as long as there was an ignition source, the entire inner wall of the elevator would burn up immediately?"
"This is the first time I’ve seen this murder method. It’s very imaginative." Chen Shi seemed a little excited.
The two cautiously pried off the emergency button and found nothing underneath.
The subsequent investigations were very trivial and took a lot of time. After three days, they could finally be considered to have made some progress. Lin Qiupu announced at the morning meeting on October 24th, "This case has been characterized as a deliberate murder, but it isn’t possible to define who the murderer is. It’s not because there are no suspects. In fact, the number of suspects is so high this time that it’s unimaginable! We have arrested a total of thirteen people through eyewitness testimonies and surveillance footage records from the scene. Perhaps there are more than this number. They created chaos at the scene, turned off the fire alarm, changed the clothes worn by the deceased that day, made phone calls to interfere with bodyguards, applied combustion aids in the elevator, tampered with the elevator's main control program, and some people were responsible for the aftermath. The traces left by those people were removed.”
"We’ve interrogated all of these people. They don't know each other and their ages and occupations are vastly different. Some people confessed that a man in a black hat hired them to do these things and the props were also provided by the other party. Each of them just did a small thing, and they didn’t even know what the consequences would be. The mastermind behind the scenes decomposed a carefully planned murder case into several small tasks and gave them to different people to perform. They were like blind people and didn’t know the meaning behind their tasks at all. In other words, these people who were used have not violated criminal law. They were just a dozen pieces in the hands of the murderers behind the scenes."
This conclusion caused them to be dumbstruck because the police officers involved in the case had traced their respective clues. Many of them found suspicious personnel and thought they had caught the real murderer. The shock at that moment was beyond description.
After some struggle, it was finally quiet in the conference room. Chen Shi asked, "Are they still in the bureau?"
Lin Qiupu shook his head helplessly. "All of them are just ordinary people and no matter how much they were interrogated, we only got the tiny clue where the person in the black hat asked them to do it.”
"There should be people among them who have received Zhou Tiannan's ‘benefits’, right?"
"I suspected that this was the case, so I arranged people to follow them..."
Previous Chapter Next Chapter