Just after dawn, Lin Qiupu received a police report and sent several people to the scene.
The scene of the crime was a commercial street next to an old housing community. It was said to be a commercial street, but in fact, there weren’t many people around. It mainly consisted of tattoo, antique, vet, and other shops that weren’t afraid of not being busy. However, at the moment, there were a dozen people around the cordon. People talked a lot. "It's too pitiful like this.", "What's the matter?", "I’ve long since said that the security in this area isn’t good. Look, something has happened!"
"Okay, please don't look anymore. Please don't hinder us from handling the case." Xu Xiaodong told the crowd of onlookers. Most of them remained unmoved. A small number of people moved to the sidewalk and continued to watch.
The police had long been used to crowds watching when they were handling a case. As long as they weren’t photographed with their mobile phones, it’d be okay.
Peng Sijue was examining the corpses. The deceased were a man and a woman who were killed a few hours ago. Judging from the injuries, they were killed by a blunt weapon to the head. The man was fatally hit by a single blow, and the woman seemed to be hit in the back from behind and then a few times on the head. After a few hits, the entire head of the corpse had been severely deformed, and transparent cerebrospinal fluid flowed out of the broken skull. Some gray-white brain plasma could be seen in the gaps.
He noticed that the man's clothes were lifted up, revealing his back waist. They found mobile phones, wallets, and documents on their bodies. The man was named Song Quan, a local of Tiantai, 29 years old; the woman was named Cai Xiaoting, a local, 24 years old.
Many policemen couldn't stand this scene. Among the crowd of onlookers, some people ran to the side and vomited, wiped their mouths after vomiting, and then came back to look again. Their faces seem to have the expression implying “Don’t worry. After looking at it for a bit longer, the excitement will disappear.”
Peng Sijue covered the face of the deceased with a handkerchief, called his subordinates over, pointed out a few details, and asked them to take pictures one by one.
Lin Dongxue glanced at her phone. "The informant lives nearby. Captain Peng, I'll go there first."
"Okay, you go!"
Lin Dongxue called Xu Xiaodong to go to the nearby housing complex. There were no security guards there, only a small pavilion responsible for the ups and downs of the gate arm. There was currently nobody inside and outsiders could enter and leave at will.
"There’s surveillance." Xu Xiaodong pointed to it. There was indeed a camera hanging on the power pole next to it.
"Wait for someone to come later and then we’ll come and ask again!" Lin Dongxue said.
The two of them entered the unit building and got to the top floor. They knocked on the door a few times and a man's voice came from the inside. "Who is it?!" There was panic in the voice like a frightened bird.
"Police. Did you report the case?"
"You... Stand back and let me take a look," said the person inside.
The two did so and the man said, "Hold up your credentials."
"How could we lie to you?" Lin Dongxue asked.
"You’re not wearing police uniforms. How would I know who you are? Maybe you’re here to silence me."
"Okay, okay!" Lin Dongxue took out her badge.
The door opened, and the owner was a thin man. The dark circles on his face indicated that he hadn’t slept all night. He gave the impression that he was a field mouse popping out of a hole. It seemed that as long as they clapped or stomped their feet, he would be scared and rush back.
"Sir, why is there the smell of urine in your room?" Xu Xiaodong asked.
"Don't ask, don't ask!" The owner blushed and raised his voice. "We’re both men. Please give me some face, okay? The murderer came to my door in the middle of the night. How could I not be afraid?"
"What's your name?"
"Zhou as in the weekend and Xiao as in smile. Is this name so strange?”
Lin Dongxue opened her mouth and looked at Xu Xiaodong. He had the same name and surname. Xu Xiaodong smiled. "It's not strange. I share the same name and surname as a fighting madman!"
When the two entered the house, Zhou Xiao seemed to be very interested in Lin Dongxue. He kept stealing peeks at her. His cheeks were red like a thermometer. He had never had someone of the opposite sex visit this small house, let alone a dazzling and graceful one at that.
The house was small and messy with a bed and a computer desk. The bed was doubly used as a chair. The bed was covered with miscellaneous things. There was even a rice cooker and razors. There was a human-shaped space in the middle of this "garbage." That was where Zhou Xiao usually slept. Sleeping in it was like putting his body in a sea of garbage.
The floor hadn’t been cleaned for a long time, and the dust in the corner had been piled up. Lin Dongxue frowned as she looked at it, really wanting to pick up the broom and help him sweep it.
Zhou Xiao rushed to pick up something and hid it in the cabinet. Lin Dongxue saw what it was and deliberately pretended not to know.
Xu Xiaodong walked to the window and looked down. From here, he could see the scene of the crime. He said, "Mr. Zhou, did you witness the assault from here?"
"Yeah, it was 4:00 in the morning. The couple was arguing and then the man rushed out. Two hits and they were knocked down. I was frightened like crazy…”
"Why did you only call the police in the morning?"
Zhou Xiao took out his mobile phone with a broken screen. "This damn shanzhai mobile phone. It’s not durable at all. After I woke up, I turned it on and off several times before I could barely make a call."
"You said the murderer came here?"
"Yes, yes, yes!" Zhou Xiao nodded desperately. "I was so motherfucking frightened. The light from one of my windows was on at the time. He saw me and came up. He must have come to silence me. He kept knocking outside the door. He kept knocking and knocking. I really wanted to jump down from the seventh floor at the time. I thought it would be better to fall to death than to be hit by a sledgehammer."
Although these words were also mentioned when calling the police before, Lin Dongxue was still surprised when he said it personally. The murderer was really too arrogant and went straight to kill him.
"Then what?" Xu Xiaodong continued to ask.
"Then..." Zhou Xiao cried. "Then the aunt next door woke up and opened the door. Maybe it’s because she saw his face, but he just directly... A family of three. There was even a ten-year-old child. He’s a monster.”
"What?!" Lin Dongxue said in shock, "Which door?"
"The one next door."
When the two went outside, Lin Dongxue knocked a few times, but no one responded. Lin Dongxue asked Zhou Xiao, "A family of three really was-"
"It's true! I heard it."
"Why didn't you say that when you called the police?"
"I was a little flustered..."
"The door can't be opened, and the property manager isn’t working." Xu Xiaodong said, "Can you find someone to unlock it?"
"Get Old Chen to come over."
"Brother Chen can unlock doors? Wow, he really knows everything."
They called Chen Shi. He had just gotten up and was watching the morning news. Lin Dongxue briefly explained the situation and Chen Shi said that he would be there soon.
During the waiting period, the two chatted with Zhou Xiao and verified every detail of the case. Zhou Xiao said that the man was tall and burly, wearing a brown, shabby windbreaker, a round hat, and had wrinkles on his face. He looked ruthless.
Lin Dongxue checked the door. The door was very thin, giving people the feeling that it was light. It was clearly a cheap product. She asked Xu Xiaodong, "The man was so crazy that he killed all the neighbors who glanced at him, but he didn't think of smashing down the door with the sledgehammer?"
"Could it be that he was afraid that the movement would be so loud that it would alert others?"
"He killed a family of three. Wouldn't he be afraid of that movement?" Lin Dongxue glanced at the door next door. Thinking that at this moment a family of three's corpses were lying inside and there was a ten-year-old boy as well, her heart couldn't help but tighten.
Zhou Xiao let out a scream like a groundhog, pointing to the stairs. They saw an aunt carrying a vegetable basket, taking loud steps as she climbed the stairs. She casted curious glances at the two strangers standing in front of her house and asked, "Who are you looking for?"
"It's a talking... ghost! Ghost!" Zhou Xiao shouted hysterically, "It's the aunt next door who was killed last night. Can you see her too? She's coming up! Coming up!"
1. The author wrote “were” here instead of “weren’t”, but I changed it as it doesn’t make much sense based off of standard procedure.
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