Hearing this, Lin Qiupu was excited, and asked, "Where did you find this out?"
"I made trips to the branch offices and there was a case that hasn’t been solved recently in each jurisdiction. The earliest case was in June last year. The deceased, who was surnamed Qin, had been planning to buy a house and get married. After the house went onto the market, he bought this house, but was killed the next day. The back of his head had been smashed with a hammer, and the murderer had faked it to look like a robbery. All the valuables on his body were taken away. As there was no payment made, the house was left to be released with Phase B. The sale opening of Phase B was launched in April this year. Mr. Li was also killed by myocardial infarction before he made payment due to the injection of excessive anesthetic. The anesthetic that had been injected by the murderer was thiopental. Then this case happened. However, this time, the murderer took action a little early. I suspect that it was because Zhang Haichang intended to make payment for the house in full and the murderer couldn’t wait any longer."
"The methods were all different."
"The murderer doesn’t want to be treated as a serial killer with the cases being investigated together. Otherwise, the commonality of the three groups of victims would be exposed. They only wanted to kill people and keep this house forever. Maybe the murderer wants to buy it but is temporarily unable to come up with the money to do so for some reason. Or, perhaps the murderer wants to lower the price of this house in this way by scaring away other buyers, just like the murderer’s motive in Dream Home.
"How did you find out? Did you use illegal means again?"
Knowing that concealing this matter would become a hidden problem in the future, Chen Shi euphemistically stated, "When I went to buy the house, I took a glance at the customer information while they weren’t paying attention and then checked them one by one. From this, I can see that their customer information isn’t difficult to obtain."
"You remembered everything at a glance? Are you a genius?"
"A genius with a USB stick." Chen Shi smiled.
Lin Qiupu raised a finger, "Fortunately, you aren’t a policeman. Otherwise, I’d have to ask you to write a self-criticism report!"
Chen Shi shrugged. "If you don't check it like this, how long would the investigation take? Or, how many people will have to die before the police will realize this motive? You also know that if there are ideas in my head, they will be put into practice immediately."
"I’ll call everyone to gather now and have a meeting!"
"No, I have an appointment with the sales lady. Let's talk to her first and learn more about the situation."
Lin Qiupu informed everyone that they need not follow up with the clues on hand for the time being. He went with Chen Shi to a tea house. The saleswoman hadn’t arrived yet. They ordered tea and snacks. The tea house had been selected by Chen Shi. The tea snacks included garlic green beans, pistachios, rice cakes and dried fish. Chen Shi tasted them one by one, saying, "They’re delicious. You should try them too!"
"Mind your image! You’re still concerned about eating even while investigating... By the way, the agency that your friends run must often do a lot of things like illicit photography, stealing information, and home invasions, right?"
"No home invasions. As for the other things... The private investigator industry has always been a little gray. My two friends just investigate mistresses. Captain Lin, please be magnanimous. Here, I’ll give you a toast!”
"I don't care about this, but you need to tell them to be more mindful. There is a lot of news about private detectives going to jail."
"If they don't check these, what can they do? Help people look for missing cats?"
"Doesn’t your tone sound a little as if you are defending them? I find that you often don't follow the rules. Birds of a feather flock together indeed.”
Chen Shi wondered what Lin Qiupu would think if he knew that kk was a former thief who had turned over a new leaf. Chen Shi responded perfunctorily, "I will remind them."
At this time, Gong Jianqin entered the tea house and smiled, "Sorry, Mr. Chen, there was a traffic jam on the road. Is there some matter for which you have invited me here today?"
"Sit down!" Chen Shi poured a cup of tea for her. "I have something to ask you."
Gong Jianqin tapped on the table with her index and middle finger to show her thanks.
"Qin Yi and Li Xiaolei. Do you have any impression of these two people?"
Gong Jianqin's expression changed slightly, "They were my former customers..."
She glanced at Lin Qiupu, "Have you found out already?"
Lin Qiupu said, "Sure enough, you were hiding something from us!"
"It's not something I intended to hide. The manager said that if this kind of news spreads, not just that house, the sales of the entire building would be affected. Our company's budget is very tight, and we can’t afford the price to drop by even 100 yuan per square meter."
"Is this what the manager said?" Lin Qiupu disagreed. "Property profit is several times the cost, so many people are rushing to go into this business. Even if it’s affected, it won’t be affected too much."
"Mr. Police Officer, you are not familiar with this line of business. Selling a house is not as easy as you think."
"Okay, okay, let's get back to the point!" Chen Shi asked, "When did you find out that the two of them have died?"
"Mr. Qin didn’t pay in time after buying the house. I found out after receiving a phone call from his family. Mr. Li also didn’t pay in time. I went to his house to look for him and saw his mourning altar. So the house went back to the company."
"So, the designer going abroad was all nonsense made up by the manager?"
"Yes, the manager said that outsiders shouldn’t be told that people related to this house had died. If the customer asked why it had not been sold, we’d just stick to the story."
"Who do you think did it?"
Gong Jianqin smiled, "I don't know. I'm not a policeman!"
"You’ve been handling that house the entire time?"
"Yes, I have."
Chen Shi borrowed a book and pen from Lin Qiupu and handed it to her. "Please write down the names and contact information of all the people who are interested in this house!"
Gong Jianqin took out her mobile phone, wrote the information down one by one, and got to the last name. She looked up and asked, "Mr. Chen, including yourself?"
Lin Qiupu asked, "Do you want to buy that house?"
"I'm not superstitious. The house is really good. Isn't it great to solve the case and buy a house as well?"
"I think you’re taking advantage!"
"What do you mean taking advantage of it? I’m buying it with my own money!"
Lin Qiupu meant that the price of this house had fallen because the murderer killed four people. However, after thinking about it, did he do it to sound out information?
Lin Qiupu's eyes fell on the baby-faced saleswoman. Perhaps Chen Shi wanted to test her. It was normal to suspect everyone in the process of solving the case, so he asked, "Miss Gong, have you bought a house?"
"I bought one. It’s not far from the unit."
"I'm just curious, if you insiders buy a house, would it be a little discounted?"
"No, we are just like everyone else. It’s just that we have more comprehensive knowledge about the market, so we will end up wasting less money... If you wish to buy a house, look for me. Even if you don’t buy it from our company, I’d just charge a small consulting fee afterwards." She was indeed a salesperson. She didn’t forget to solicit customers even at this time.
"Thank you, I will consider it."
Chen Shi took the book that had at least twenty names on it. Gong Jianqin wrote 1, 2 or 3 in front of them, indicating the phase in which the customers had taken interest in the house. She specifically warned, "These are commercial secrets. I know that you’re investigating the case, which is why I’m willing to disclose this information. It’s best not to leak it. The competition in this industry is fierce."
"Understood!" All your customers’ information is in my computer, and the confidentiality protection measures are very mediocre.
"I also have a small request. I hope that this news will be published. The customers I have handled are constantly getting killed, but I can’t tell other customers. If it goes on the news and people are warned, perhaps no one will be murdered!"
Chen Shi nodded, "This matter can be considered, but wouldn't this affect your entire company?"
"I can resign. However, as long as I’m in the company, I can’t speak out because it’s the manager’s order. I really don't want anyone else to be killed. Dying for a house is really not worth it!” As she said this, she showed a sad expression.
1. According to some stories, Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty was fond of traveling throughout the country incognito to observe his subjects. At a teahouse he was particularly impressed by the way people were able to lean across the table and pour tea without spilling a drop. The Emperor decided to try pouring tea for his companions. He spilled it everywhere and decided he needed more practice. However, custom demanded that people bow before the Emperor. This, of course, would ruin his disguise. Instead, the Emperor told his companions to "bow" with their fingers each time he refilled their cups. Nowadays, tapping the table is a way of paying silent thanks to the person who poured your tea.
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