Chapter 685: Ma Xiang’s Identity

Chen Shi was taken aback. He truly hadn’t noticed this detail. The body had been covered with blood, and the surrounding area was very dark. After the police arrived, they had bagged the body and brought it back to the bureau.

Chen Shi continued to ask, "When was he injured?"

Chu Shifang replied, "A few years ago, I asked him how it had happened. He said that he had visited a factory run by a friend and accidentally gotten his hand caught in a machine. He also said that it didn't matter as the doctor had helped him to reattach it and that after a while, it’d grow better. However, I discovered that the transplanted finger seemed to be a bit different from his original finger."

"Was it ten years ago?"

"Seems like it."

Ten years ago was the time when Chang Juan's parents were killed. Could it be that Ma Xiang's severed finger was related to this matter, or was Ma Xiang the criminal fugitive?

"Could I ask you some more private questions?" Chen Shi asked.

"Well... As long as it’s related to the case, please ask!" Chu Shifang was very cooperative.

"Does Ma Xiang have a missing penis?"

Chu Shifang spat out her tea with a "poof". She wiped her mouth, looked at Lin Dongxue and then at Chen Shi. "Mr. Chen, this question is really too 'private', right? No, no, he’s normal there... However, if I have to say it, we haven't seen each other's naked bodies for years. After all, we’re divorced!"

Lin Dongxue and Chen Shi both felt it was necessary to personally check Ma Xiang's body.

After asking some other questions, Chen Shi thanked Chu Shifang. She said that she would stay there that night and wouldn’t leave until afternoon the next day. Before leaving, Chen Shi suddenly thought of something and asked, “I’m very curious about something. How did you know that Chang Juan was here?"

Chu Shifang's eyes became wary for an instant, then calmed down again. She replied, "I installed a tracking program on Chang Juan's mobile phone. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? Chang Juan is spiritually my daughter. I was just afraid that she’d encounter danger."

"I understand."

After Chu Shifang left, the two went to examine the corpse for the first time, and it turned out that Ma Xiang's penis was intact. Lin Dongxue felt uncomfortable examining that part of the deceased, so Chen Shi put pants on the corpse again.

Then he looked at the right hand of the corpse. Ma Xiang really had a scar encircling the base of his thumb. The color of the thumb was slightly different from the other parts of his body.

Lin Dongxue said, "That the murderer's penis is missing was just our speculation from start to finish. Perhaps the murderer has no physical parts missing at all and just suffered from simple erectile dysfunction. That was why he used an artificial penis to rape."

Chen Shi mumbled, "It can be explained like that, but there’s a question here. This incident would have become Ma Xiang's self-directed act from beginning to end. He provided clues to catch himself and set up a situation to lure himself out? He might as well just go and surrender to the police."

Lin Dongxue fell silent. This was indeed a problem, but she still tried to find a solution. She said, "Dual personality?"

"I don't think it’s like that. Even if it’s a dual personality, self-harm is impossible. This violates biological instinct. To every personality, the body is its own. The focus of conflict with dual personalities is often control of the body."

"Then what do you think?"

"The case in which Chang Juan’s parents were killed ten years ago was slightly different from the other cases that have occurred since. Chang Juan’s parents seemed to have had additional stab wounds, and the scene was also faked to look like a robbery-cum-murder. It seems that the murderer back then was very careful. However, the other later cases became sloppy. I have a hypothesis that when Chang Juan’s parents were killed, there were two people at the scene. Ma Xiang was one of them, and the partner of the other murderer. Let’s call him Murderer A. After that, Murderer A continued to commit crimes, but Ma Xiang gradually turned over a new leaf. Perhaps due to his love for Chang Juan, he wanted to give her justice, but couldn’t voluntarily reveal himself, so he guided us through Chang Juan."

"There’s a problem with that. Chu Shifang said that Ma Xiang had money without having to work. He wouldn’t have been paid for rape and murder. If he had taken the deceased’s assets, he would definitely have been tracked down by the police. So I think the death of Chang Juan’s parents was actually a hired hit. The rape was purely a spontaneous idea of Murderer A. Due to this incident, the two were punished by their employer!" Lin Dongxue pointed to her thumb, "Murderer A may also have had his penis removed. His heart became more and more twisted and he began to continuously rape and kill people."

"That’s some proper reasoning!" Chen Shi nodded and praised. "Indeed, Ma Xiang's 'gray income' is something I am particularly concerned about. When he was young, he seemed to have had a stable and lucrative source of income. Maybe he was a hitman."

"So Chang Juan's parents..."

"They were just researchers studying genetically modified crops. Was it necessary to kill them? Or were they doing other research...? Well, this matter can be investigated later. The focus now is to find Murderer A."

"Shall we stop by the scene to have a look?" Lin Dongxue suggested.

"No, we can't find out anything there. When Old Peng comes over tomorrow, let the professionals investigate."

That night, Lin Dongxue had trouble sleeping thinking over the details of the case. The next morning, Peng Sijue and his team came back from the city and surveyed the scene carefully.

Returning during the day without the gloomy atmosphere of nightime, this abandoned resort was only half a kilometer away from the town and had many stray cats and dogs roaming around. During the search, signs of human habitation were found. They found some convenience food packaging, an induction cooker, kettle, toothbrush and other daily necessities in a certain house.

The footprints found at the scene belonged to a woman based on their size. Footprints of the same size were also found on the first floor of the scene of the crime and on part of the window frame. The person had stayed at the scene and then left through the window.

Chen Shi remembered that when they came, he had seen a bright flash of light in the window. Could it be that someone had jumped out from there, and the buttons on their clothes or something else had reflected light?

Peng Sijue had inspected the murder weapon, and it only showed Chang Juan’s fingerprints and Ma Xiang's blood stains. This result made Lin Dongxue very discouraged. She really didn't want Chang Juan to have killed someone.

Since the town’s public security bureau didn’t have a forensic laboratory, the body was taken back by Peng Sijue for an autopsy. Lin Dongxue anxiously wanted to know the results, but under Chen Shi’s persuasion, they stayed in the town and continued to investigate the Chunqin case and this case.

The two wandered around the crime scene for a day, looking for witnesses or missed evidence, but came up empty-handed.

As the night settled in, Peng Sijue called and informed them, "The initial autopsy has been done and the direct cause of death was a stab to the liver. One thing is very strange. I carefully compared the depth and shape of the stab in the liver. I found that it was different from the weapon found at the crime scene. The fatal stab had been caused by another weapon. As for the other wounds, they were all post-mortem injuries."

Chen Shi was taken aback by this. "That is to say, someone killed Ma Xiang first, and then Chang Juan stabbed Ma Xiang's body with another knife in front of us?"

"I don't know the specific situation. In short, from the autopsy, except for the fatal one, the other wounds are very shallow. It can be seen that the knife holder is weak or didn’t use all their strength."

"Thank you, this discovery is very important."

Chen Shi told Lin Dongxue and when she learned that there was another who was the real murderer, she breathed a sigh of relief. "I knew things wouldn’t be so simple."

"It seems you really hope that Chang Juan isn’t the murderer."

"Yes!" Lin Dongxue smiled. "I think this girl is very pitiful, and she’ll be even more pitiful if she is unjustly blamed for this crime for no reason... Would this hinder the objectivity of a police officer?"

"There’s no harm. The police are also human! But back to the topic, she had wildly stabbed a corpse in front of the police. She could actually have done it. If the autopsy hadn’t been performed so carefully, she’d have been charged with murder!"

"Fortunately, we have Captain Peng." Lin Dongxue said.


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