After eating, the three of them went to Zhou Xiao’s house and checked his computer and mobile phone. Lin Dongxue was in charge of reading the chat records on his computer. With a beautiful woman checking his chat records and emails, Zhou Xiao felt very ashamed as he stood next to her while sweating.
Lin Dongxue said, "You have so many emoticons on QQ."
"I... It’s my work."
"No wonder there are so many editing softwares on the desktop. How interesting, and this kind of work... Do you know this person?"
"Yes, it's a colleague I used to work with. Don't worry, he’s not 190cm."
"What about this one?"
"A friend from a game. He’s an uncle. He doesn't live here."
After checking around, Zhou Xiao could explain every chat record. It seemed that they weren’t left by the other personality. The other personality didn’t seem to like to use social media. Zhou Xiao said, "Sometimes the money I have on me would go missing, but my brain wasn’t working well and I couldn’t figure it out. Now that I think about it, that guy must have spent it... Aiya, he’s not frugal at all!"
This reminded Chen Shi something. He checked the taxi records and confirmed each of them with Zhou Xiao. There were several addresses Zhou Xiao hadn’t remembered visiting. Those places were food bureaus, bathing centers, and second-hand markets. They were all places Zhou Xiao didn't usually go to.
Xu Xiaodong said, "Would you like to visit these places?"
Chen Shi said, "No need, the murderer won't stand there and wait for us." He asked Zhou Xiao, "Does your other personality have many friends?"
Zhou Xiao spread his hands. "How would I know?"
"For example, your girlfriend. I noticed that you’ve been peeking at her. Is she your type?"
Zhou Xiao admitted shyly, "Yes."
"So I think your other personality is just doing what you’ve long wanted to do but didn't have the guts to. Maybe you’ve also met that person in reality."
"I don't usually go out. Where would I meet a man of 190cm? Could it be..." Zhou Xiao's expression changed.
"What did you just think of?"
"I thought of a man who’s 190cm! He’s called The Silent Man. He was a patient at the mental hospital, but we never spoke to each other. As the name suggests, he never speaks, but I’m not sure if this other personality is close to him."
"Uh, it's a nickname made up among the patients. He should be surnamed Wu. I forgot what he was called. By the way, my nickname is the landlord. At that time, I was wondering why I was called the landlord. I now understand that it must be the other personality spouting nonsense." Zhou Xiao thought about it again. "Right, it must be him who I saw last night! That body shape, the walking posture, and the injured hand."
"Do you know anything about him?"
"The Silent Man used to be a construction site worker. I heard that he was very unfortunate when he was a child. His mother went out to play mahjong all night and left him at home alone. He suffered a cold, had a high fever, and had his brain fried. His intelligence was a bit low and he would laugh idiotically when he saw people. Later, his mother remarried. His stepdad saw him as a burden and screamed at him all day long. As for his mother, if her love for her son could have been one-tenth of her love for mahjong, he wouldn’t be like this. The Silent Man wouldn’t speak. He just screams if he has any needs just like an animal. His stepdad found him annoying and would burn him with cigarettes as long as he yelled. Later, he dared not scream anymore. He wouldn’t make a sound even if he had urine or shit on his pants. The stepdad said he was crazy and looked for the neighborhood committee to issue a certificate of mental disorder and sent him to the mental hospital. He has never been taken care of since then." Zhou Xiao’s face was filled with sadness. "Everyone in that place has an unfortunate past. We’re a bunch of monsters to society, but no one has ever asked who made these monsters!"
"Since he can't speak, he’s unlikely able to write. How do you know this?" Chen Shi asked curiously.
"His biological father talked about this. His father has visited him several times, and every time, The Silent Man screamed and begged his father to take him away. All the patients were sad, but his father was very poor and couldn't even take care of himself, let alone him.”
"The one you stayed in is called Rehabilitation Psychiatric Hospital?"
"Yes! You can probably tell that the name isn’t like your typical mental hospital. It’s privately-owned. The hospital director originally wanted to set up an online organization, hearing that it made money, but the higher ups didn’t approve. So, he turned it into a mental hospital and recruited some people who didn’t even have professional qualifications casually to come in as caregivers. The way they dealt with us was to get us to take medicine, take medicine, and take more medicine non-stop. What pipotiazine, sulpiride, haloperidol… I feel nauseous just hearing about it."
"What medicine?" Lin Dongxue asked.
Zhou Xiao repeated them again. Lin Dongxue researched it on her mobile phone and showed it to Chen Shi. Chen Shi nodded. "They’re all medicines that have the effect of treating schizophrenia, haven't you discovered it?"
"Treat my ass. Those medicines would only cause you to get sicker the more you take them."
The Tiantai City Rehabilitation Psychiatric Hospital disappeared in the fire five years ago, and the information of all personnel was burned to a crisp as if it had never existed before. Now, if someone wanted to investigate them, they could only rely on inquiries. Chen Shi asked, "Among your fellow patients, was there anyone from Long’an?"
Zhou Xiao thought for a while and said, "No."
"What's the name of the director?"
"Called... Qin Wanmu."
Since they couldn’t get anything else from Zhou Xiao, the three of them bid their goodbyes and told him to contact them immediately if there were any issues.
Back in the bureau, they checked the name "Qin Wanmu" in the household registration files. There was someone who was suspected to be the director who was relatively close in age. He was from Tiantai City. The files showed that he had run a rehabilitation institution before but the rest of the file was blank.
Chen Shi said, "I remember that the male deceased was also someone from Tiantai. Could it be related to the mental hospital?"
Lin Dongxue said, "Do you think it’s a murder for revenge?"
"We can’t rule it out!"
Lin Qiupu was investigating the situation of the deceased. Judging from the clues currently available, the deceased had nothing in common with the director except for being from Tiantai City. His occupation was just a company employee.
The surveillance around the scene of the crime all captured the characteristics of the murderer. Several eyewitnesses were found around as well. They said that they saw a tall man who was holding something wrapped in newspaper that night. It looked to be a hammer-like object and he exuded a dangerous atmosphere.
The leads were broken right there, which made the entire task force very frustrated. They could only switch angles and go to the local police stations to check the information of the migrant population. However, the murderer seemed to have not applied for a temporary residence permit, and no one knew where he was now in the big city of Long’an.
On the evening of November 14th, the second murder occurred with exactly the same modus operandi.
1. And other disorders.
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