That night, Chen Shi received a call and drove to the scene of the crime.
The area was a large, compound housing area. The murderer broke into the door and smashed the head of a middle-aged man living alone. The deceased fell to the ground, holding a mobile phone tightly in his hand. His entire head was severely deformed, leaving splattered bloodstains on the ground. Human tissues splashed everywhere, reminiscent of the scene where the hammer made impact with the head.
The lower body of the deceased was lifted up by the overturned chair. The murderer should have kicked the door in, knocked the deceased who was sitting on the chair while on the phone down with a hammer, and then smashed his head again like bursting open a coconut.
In addition, the deceased's clothes were also lifted up, revealing his waist.
"The deceased is male, 48 years old, a local of Tiantai..." Peng Sijue checked the documents he found from the deceased.
"It's someone from Tiantai again?" Chen Shi was a bit startled.
He really couldn't look at the scene in front of him any longer because he just had mapo tofu for dinner. So, he went outside. Several witnesses in the compound were being questioned. There were mothers and children crying as they held each other, and young female migrant workers who were so scared that they became incontinent.
They basically all reported the same situation. They heard a bang and then a muffled sound an hour ago. When they went out to have a look, a man with a bloody hammer walked out and the door to Old Li’s house was open. They saw Old Li through the door. He had fallen to the ground.
When they walked in, the neighbors all went nuts. They hadn’t calmed down yet.
"Old Li is usually very nice. He didn't provoke anyone. He divorced his wife and his son is studying abroad. We just heard him calling his son. Haii, why did this happen?!" An aunt who was a neighbor explained.
"What is his occupation?"
"He works as a civil servant at the Food Administration Bureau."
Chen Shi heard the words “Food Administration Bureau” and immediately opened the map on his phone and looked at it. It turned out that this compound was called the Food Administation Compound. Across the street was the Food Administration Bureau. Zhou Xiao’s other personality had been here before, and the deceased was from the same city as the hospital director.
He walked over and asked, "Elder sister, judging by your accent, you don’t seem to be a local."
"I’m from Tiantai."
"So, all the people living in this compound are from Tiantai?"
"Yes, they’re all fellows from my hometown because the landlord is from there as well. Everyone has a support abroad here."
"What's the landlord's name?"
The aunt said a name, but it wasn’t who Chen Shi was after, so he asked, "Has a person called Qin Wanmu ever lived here before?"
"Yes, Old Qin lived here previously and moved out later."
"When did this happen?"
"Half a year ago. Why? Does this matter have something to do with Old Qin?"
Chen Shi was suddenly enlightened. He called Lin Qiupu and Lin Dongxue aside. "The murderer came to find Qin Wanmu."
"Qin Wanmu, the director of that mental hospital?" Lin Qiupu said.
"It's him! The man who died on the 11th was someone from Tiantai. He was arguing with his girlfriend at the time. Old Li, who had just died, was also from Tiantai. He was on a call. They were from the same town. They were both talking when they died. The recognition rate for the Tiantai accent is very high."
"Chen Shi, do you want to say that the murderer regarded them as the hospital director?"
"This... this is ridiculous. If he wants to kill him, wouldn’t he figure it out beforehand?"
"Most people would, but The Silent Man is different. He has a low IQ and may only remember the director's accent."
Lin Qiupu wore an expression as if he had a headache. He thought of something and said, "Right, today the police station called to tell me that there was an attack on the police a month ago. The assaulter was this Silent Man. He was wearing a windbreaker and carrying a sledgehammer wrapped in newspaper on the street. The police officer found him suspicious and asked him to show his ID, but the other party pushed the officer down and fled... From this point of view, the murder on the 11th wasn’t accidental. He was always looking for a target. That night, he heard the deceased, Mr. Song, arguing with a Tiantai accent, so he rushed out to kill him."
Chen Shi said, "I can't learn the Tiantai accent, but one of its characteristics is that it’s loud and fast, just like when you argue."
Lin Dongxue asked, "How could he find this place? If it weren't for Qin Wanmu's move, he might have succeeded tonight... According to this method of murder, I don't know how many innocent people will have to suffer."
"Zhou Xiao told him. To be precise, it was Zhou Xiao's other personality who did." Chen Shi replied, "The two met on the evening of the 11th. Zhou Xiao told him this address. Zhou Xiao had been here before. His other personality was also looking for the director."
"If that’s case, wouldn't he be aiding the murder?" Lin Dongxue asked. She hoped that wasn’t the case.
Deep down, Chen Shi also didn’t want this. Zhou Xiao’s inner personality never appeared. He couldn’t find out about the situation from him. Lin Qiupu frowned. “He’s suspected of instigating murder. I think he should be detained or sent to the mental hospital so that we can ask a psychologist for help."
"That’s too extreme. No matter which personality Zhou Xiao has, they both greatly dislike mental hospitals. It’d only make him more rebellious."
"But he instigated murder..."
Lin Dongxue assured him, "If we find evidence that he instigated the murder, I will personally arrest him."
"Okay, keep an eye on this guy. I think he has a big problem." Lin Qiupu's understanding of Zhou Xiao was merely from a few simple words from Lin Dongxue at the project meeting. The witness and a serial killer had the same name, so naturally he wouldn’t have a good impression on him.
A piece of paper was found at the crime scene, which was packed in a plastic bag by the forensic police and sent to Lin Qiupu. The three of them saw that it was a crude map with a few lines indicating the route. Lin Qiupu ordered someone to get it tested. Chen Shi exclaimed, "Wait!" Then, he took out his phone and took a photo of it.
It took three hours to process the handling of the crime scene. Just like last time, The Silent Man "generously" left a lot of evidence and surveillance footage. Then, he disappeared in a certain alley. Chen Shi didn't think he possessed any anti-investigation awareness. He speculated that The Silent Man may not have a fixed place to live and wandered around the city. He mostly came out at night like a ghost, so the police haven’t been able to find him.
Chen Shi silently hoped that when they met, it wouldn’t be after the next murder.
The next morning, everyone went out to investigate the case. Chen Shi was sitting in the meeting room with a few identical maps of the city spread out on the table. He drew on them until Lin Dongxue came in and asked, "Old Chen, what are you doing?"
"I’m restoring the road map and to have a look at it. I’ll guess where The Silent Man set off from."
"So it’s like that. We’d find out where he resides like that!”
"This route is the most similar..." Chen Shi pointed to one of the maps. "But the starting point was at the scene of the first murder. In other words, Zhou Xiao gave him the route map which shows how to get to the Food Administration Bureau’s compound."
"Does he live near Zhou Xiao's house?"
"I don't think so..." There were many small dots on the map, which were marked down by Chen Shi. These were all places where surveillance cameras captured him, or places where witnesses had seen him. "The Silent Man has a low IQ. I'm afraid one road map couldn’t take him to the destination smoothly, so the second murder took place three days later. He’s been looking for this place everywhere..." Chen Shi pondered. "Let’s look at the surveillance footage around the murder scene!"
1. They refer to it as abroad even though they’re from the same country as everyone is registered to their hometown/city.
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