At the case discussion meeting the next morning, Lin Qiupu said, "An incident happened last night. By now, everyone must already know about it. I won’t punish the police officers that were on duty. After all, it happened so suddenly and nobody would have expected it. But from now on, please be vigilant. The criminal we’re facing this time can be described as vicious and inhumane."
After a round of whispering below, Lin Qiupu summarized the suspect's known information. A male about 35 years old engaged in manual labor and probably lived near the work studio rented by Xin Bai.
The most important clue was the video taken by Tao Yueyue. Although the suspect who ran out of the Public Security Bureau was wearing a hat at the time, they could still make out certain distinctive features, which increased the probability of arrest.
The face that came out through the slideshow prepared perfectly matched Chen Shi's expectations. He had an ordinary face, was clean, had no beard, wore glasses, and looked very cowardly.
In addition, the corpse found in the work studio yesterday was called Xi Xiaohu. This person was also an Internet writer. He had misdemeanors where he used to pretend to be an editor to scam for manuscripts. He also argued with readers on Weibo.
According to Xin Bai’s editor, Xin Bai was scammed of some of his manuscripts by this person in the past. Xi Xiaohu changed it into his name and published it. In a cocky manner, he had said, "You can sue me if you can." Considering that a lawsuit was needed for a few thousand yuan, it wasn’t worth it. Xin Bai could only complain to the website. Later, the book Xi Xiaohu published was blocked. He actually bought a bunch of paid posters to leave negative comments to tarnish Xin Bai’s reputation.
Xi Xiaohu disappeared a month ago. The autopsy found that he had only had rice, pickles, and other food residues in his stomach, and there were many old wounds on his body. The catecholamine concentration in the heart muscle was higher than average. It was speculated that he had been imprisoned and abused before being killed. This could be confirmed in Xin Bai's "Murder Diary".
The "Murder Diary" mentioned five other homicides, all of which occurred in this work studio. It was currently impossible to determine the identity of all the deceased.
The police discovered that the missing Lan Xiao’s ID card had been used many times in the city and was even used to issue a new sim card. The time he went missing was two months ago. It was speculated that he should be still alive now. The suspect wanted to let Xin Bai kill him personally at a specific time.
"The main task today is to find this person and arrest him!" Lin Qiupu announced.
"Wait everyone, don't rush away." Chen Shi took out a bag and the police smelled a fragrant smell. The bag read God's Fried Chicken. "Perhaps Xin Bai can provide some more clues. Captain Lin, please arrange for an interrogation."
Xin Bai was taken to the interrogation room again. Although he didn’t see the suspect last night, the gunshots and the shouts of the police frightened him. He still hadn’t recovered from it yet. He sat on the interrogation chair and trembled. "He came last night, didn't he?"
"There’s no need to hide it." Chen Shi whispered to Lin Qiupu, and then answered, "Yes, he was here and wants to kidnap you. We almost arrested him."
"He really came! He really came!" Xin Bai looked horrified.
"You haven’t had breakfast, right?"
Chen Shi put the fried chicken, coke, and french fries in front of him. Xin Bai was stunned looking at these three things, as if he had thought of something. Chen Shi smiled and said, "You said so yourself. If other methods can't wake you up, just use this!"
Xin Bai swallowed a few mouthfuls of saliva, then grabbed the chicken leg and gnawed at it wildly. After eating for some time, tears flowed down his face. In the blink of an eye, he had finished a whole crispy chicken leg until all that was left was bones. He sucked at his fingers with zeal.
"Could you please tell us what his name is and where he lives? We’re just one step away right now. As long as he’s arrested, you will be safe. If you don't save yourself, no one can save you!"
Xin Bai trembled, as if he was accumulating courage. "Walmart on Dongyang Road. I saw this written on the bag he brought back. He works there."
Chen Shi announced excitedly, "I will buy you fried chicken again when we arrest him."
The police rushed to the supermarket and found out that there was an employee named Xu Guolong who worked there, but he had asked for leave for two days. The supermarket employees didn’t know where Xu Guolong lived.
However, this didn’t trouble the police. They quickly found out where he rented a house through his ID information. As Lin Qiupu predicted, the place where he rented was only two blocks away from Xin Bai's work studio.
At noon, everyone rushed to the housing district and went to the door of Xu Guolong’s house. Everyone’s nerves were tense. The door was opened. They saw a dark cabin that hadn’t been cleaned for a long time. There was a computer and a few books on the table. The books, one of which was a physical novel of "Detective of The Abyss", had the pages turned over so much that they were about to fall apart.
There were many printed papers and newspaper clippings posted on the wall. They were all news relating to Xin Bai. There were also public photos of Xin Bai that were posted from the Internet. This person was basically a fanatical fan.
Lin Qiupu turned on the computer. "Yes, this is the person. A monitoring program is installed on the computer."
"It looks like he never came back yesterday." Chen Shi said from the bathroom.
"Find some clues and rescue Lan Xiao first!" Lin Qiupu ordered.
"I'll take a look at the surveillance footage." Lin Dongxue said.
The police started searching in the narrow house. Lin Dongxue and Chen Shi went to find the property manager. They brought up the surveillance footage from last night. At about 11:50, an unexpected scene appeared.
They saw Xu Guolong walking to the gate of the housing community in the takeaway uniform. He didn't mind showing his face under the security camera, and even raised a sign with some words vaguely written on it.
"It's a number... 139..." Lin Dongxue struggled to make out the numbers.
The two finally recognized the number. Lin Dongxue hurriedly told Lin Qiupu, and Lin Qiupu asked, "Does he want us to call him? I’ll first contact the bureau to track his signal."
After a brief explanation, Lin Qiupu dialed the number and turned on the speakerphone. Everyone in the room held their breath nervously.
The phone went through and a very ordinary male voice said, "I know that the person who made this call must be a police officer. You should already be at my house right now, but don't think I’m here to surrender. Actually, I want to negotiate terms. "
"Xu Guolong, keep dreaming. You have nowhere to run. Your crime has been exposed by us and surrendering is your only way out!" Lin Qiupu said.
"Hahahaha!" The other party laughed, then hung up the phone.
Five seconds later, a call was returned. Xu Guolong said, "Since I left you the phone number, can't I leave something else? Look at what’s hidden behind the electric fan above your heads!"
Everyone looked up and found that it was a camera, which was installed on the hanging handle of the electric fan and was almost invisible.
"I put a bomb in the house, and now the detonator is in my hand. As long as I press it, all of you will be wiped out!"
"Xu Guolong, do you want to openly challenge the police?" Lin Qiupu roared.
"Why not?!" He hung up again.
1. This was written in English.
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