After Gong Jianqin left, Lin Qiupu said, "She’s really a kind girl."
"Don't just look at appearances!" Chen Shi said, "Let me remind you; If you want to investigate, everyone in the sales department has to be investigated once. They are the ones who have the easiest access to customer information, including this girl."
"You don't need to teach me this kind of thing!"
"I'm leaving. I don't have anything to do today. I’ll go home, buy vegetables and cook..." Chen Shi exhorted him as he left, "Remember to pay for the tea."
The next day, Lin Qiupu told all the members of the second team about these matters and analyzed the information of the previous three cases. The first was the surveillance footage. The surveillance retained by the police had captured a black-clothed person entering and leaving the scene. However, he was wearing loose clothes as well as a hat, and the camera's resolution was too low. It was impossible to distinguish any specific characteristics of the murderer. They couldn’t even tell if it was a man or a woman. It could be seen that the murderer was good at evading investigation.
The deceased Mr. Qin in the first case had gotten the back of his head smashed in the parking lot of a shopping mall. He was then pushed under the car by the murderer, so the corpse was only found on the fourth day when the body started to stink.
The murderer was committing a crime for the first time and seemed a little nervous. Some fingerprints and footprints were found at the scene. The footprints were size 38. It could be seen that the size 39 footprints that had appeared in Zhang Haichang's house were the result of deliberately wearing larger-sized shoes to obscure the facts.
In the second case, the deceased Mr. Li had been killed at home. After injecting an excessive amount of thiopental into him, the murderer had taken off his clothes and burned him in the bathroom. They had also sprinkled a lot of toilet cleaner on the deceased, seemingly to remove any evidence.
Undigested steak, red wine, vegetables and other foods were found in the deceased’s stomach. According to the meal-ordering hotline that the deceased had called before his death, he had ordered a set meal for two people. It was speculated that he had dinner with the murderer.
Since more than half a year had passed since the two cases happened, the only evidence on hand were these. At that time, the branch offices had also investigated the interpersonal relationships of the victims, but did not expect their deaths to be related to a house.
Hearing this, Chen Shi said, "I was thinking that the murderer had entered and left the scene all wrapped up in professional assassin's clothing, but could they have entered the deceased’s house dressed like this? If an acquaintance came to my house dressed like this, I would definitely be suspicious. I think the murderer changed their clothes after passing through the surveillance area. Another point is that the second victim had been stripped naked and sprinkled with toilet cleaner. Isn’t this way of dealing with the aftermath a bit too exaggerated? I can’t help but have one thought. Could the murderer be a woman? She had sex with the second victim, so it was necessary to clean up the scene so thoroughly. A man is unlikely to invite a same-sex acquaintance to eat steak and drink red wine. At least I wouldn’t... And if the murderer is a woman, it can be explained why the same person wasn’t found in the interpersonal circle of the three victims. All three of them were married middle-aged men. They knew a member of the opposite sex, and such relationships wereoften one-way. As long as the person himself dies, nobody would know about their relationship, so the police can’t discover it. Moreover, if it was a member of the opposite sex, it would have been easier to make the victims relax their vigilance. I have another reason to support this speculation. The murderer had killed people in particularly labor-saving ways. They were killed with one blow. That is to say, they didn’t have the confidence to fight with the victims. It should be due to a lack of physical strength."
Many people felt that Chen Shi’s words were reasonable. Lin Dongxue said, "Zhang Haichang promised to buy a house for his mistress. Could it be this woman? But if Zhang Haichang had already agreed, why did she kill him prior to getting the house?"
Chen Shi said: "Zhang Haichang died more tragically than the previous two, and they even took his son's life... Could it have been like this? Zhang Haichang’s buying a house for her was just a pretense. The house was actually for his son and it just temporarily lent to her to live in. She wanted to obtain this house and found that she had been cheated, so she committed murder!"
Old Zhang said, "I have a question. Now that the police have discovered this motive for which the murderer is doing this to get the house, would they still dare to buy the house? If they buy it, they’d become a target of ours. If they didn't buy it, the three crimes would all be in vain. They would have made bridal clothes for others.”
Xu Xiaodong raised his hand fervently. "I watched the movie Dream Home recommended by Brother Chen once, and I have a question. Has the murderer been caught yet?"
Lin Dongxue said, "The murderer has been caught. Otherwise, how could they have made a movie based on this if the murderer hadn’t been caught?"
"This kind of motive is too easily discovered. It's unbelievable that someone would actually kill to buy a house!"
Chen Shi said, "The murderer’s perspective is not as objective and clear as ours. They may be a low-income office worker who desperately wants to have a house in Long'an. This house determines their household registration, marriage and their child’s registration and school certificate, their face in front of family and friends, and their entire life. It means everything to them. They finally found this house but strong competitors appeared again and again, so they developed this crazy idea of relying on murder to lower the house price. It’s an ingenious idea from their point of view, but for us, we would see through it immediately. Every premeditated murderer thinks that the police are stupid and thinks that they can escape. A crime always contains two goals: To get rid of the dead and to not to be discovered!"
Lin Qiupu said, "The house price has indeed fallen. The house used to be 3 million yuan, but now it only costs a little over 2 million yuan. As a result, more people are interested in it. There are already over a dozen people interested in buying it in the third phase that is about to be launched, including..." Lin Qiupu glanced at Chen Shi, and he thought to himself. Chen Shi couldn’t be the murderer, right?!
Xu Xiaodong suddenly thought, "In this case, I don't think we need to do anything. Just look at who ends up owning the house in the end, and the suspect is most probably them!"
"Stupid!" Lin Dongxue said, "The person who bought the house is not necessarily the murderer. If the murderer doesn’t get the house, they will continue to kill until the house’s price is reduced to the point where they can afford it, but how many people will die before then?"
Xu Xiaodong stuck out his tongue and admitted that he didn’t think it through.
Lin Qiupu asked everyone to pick two buyers from the list to follow-up with. Chen Shi said, "Ah, by the way, if any of these people have already bought other houses, I think that they can be eliminated directly. Captain Lin, did you check the staff at the sales office?"
"It was too late yesterday. I will check them today!"
"I'll go too!"
Chen Shi was tending to personal matters under the guise of work. He went to look at the house again. This time he brought Lin Dongxue. When she saw this house, Lin Dongxue's reaction was almost the same as Tao Yueyue's. She said, "God, this house is too amazing. It feels like a palace."
"Moreover, it’s an eighteen-story house with a panoramic view of the scenery outside. Look at the distant mountains, the clouds, and look, there’s a dog on the street urinating and pooping everywhere." Chen Shi embraced Lin Dongxue and admired the scenery below.
"You like this house so much? I thought you said you wanted to buy it for the sake of the investigation. Are you really planning to buy it?"
"When we move over, I’ll invite everyone to dinner to celebrate the joy of moving."
"But... I don't really suggest you buy this house. If you buy it, wouldn't you become the target of the murderer? I don't want you to be in danger."
"Don't be afraid. I have the protagonist’s halo!"
"Arrogant guy. Before everyone dies, they all think of themselves as the protagonist."
Chen Shi leaned on the railing. Looking down, he had a sudden spell of dizziness. He suddenly flashed back to the scene of Zhou Tiannan being pushed off the building to his death, and muttered, "Yes, even Zhou Tiannan once thought he was the protagonist of the world."
1. The poem "Poor Girl" by Qin Taoyu of the Tang Dynasty used the analogy to mean working hard on other people’s behalf without getting anything in return.
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