The next day, Little Li acquired a pile of footage from the Traffic Management Bureau. Lin Dongxue called Chen Shi over to help out with watching. Chen Shi said, "I’m a family member of the suspect!"
Lin Dongxue said, "Would you still be able to carry out any hanky-panky while watching the footage? You just need to write down all the key parts, and I will watch it again later on. You can't be partial even if you wanted to."
He thought it would be another difficult battle, but the suspicious point soon appeared. When the bicycle of the deceased passed the bus stop in the surveillance footage from opposite the road, a bunch of people spilled over from the bus stop onto the road, forcing the deceased to turn left.
However, the bicycle seemed to turn violently suddenly on the screen, and then it was hit by a bus on the opposite side of the road.
Chen Shi replayed the video frame by frame. He pointed to a certain part. "The bike was moving strangely. In a normal turn, the front of the bike turns first, and then the rest of the bike turns with it. However, in the footage, it seemed to have jumped over from the right side of the road all at once."
This was especially obvious when the two frames were played repeatedly.
Lin Dongxue said, "Like what I said yesterday, there seems to be an external force acting on the bicycle. However, this external force can still be understood as the 'murder hook' made by Yueyue."
"But the bicycle didn't topple forward. It was more like it was being pushed from the side!" Chen Shi's eyes were sharp and unblinking.
"Pushed?" Lin Dongxue shifted her gaze to the crowd on the side of the platform. Due to the resolution of the surveillance footage, the heads of the people in there were only 16 pixels each, and the hands were only four pixels. Therefore, you couldn’t see clearly even if you zoomed in.
After repeatedly examining the moment when the bicycle was affected by external forces, there were no obvious suspicious points found. Little Li complained, "This bus stop was too jam-packed. People were crowded all the way onto the road!"
"I usually pass by this stop whenever I pick Yueyue up. This bus stop is truly crowded, because Bus 109 only arrives every 20 minutes. As soon as the bus comes, passengers will rush onto the road for fear of not being able to get onto the bus… Due to this, there was once an accident where a food delivery guy was blocked by the crowd when he passed by and was hit by an oncoming car after he turned left. As a result, Yueyue’s school conducted a lecture on traffic safety knowledge." Chen Shi recalled.
"It seems that this is an accident-prone area. That is to say, bicycles riding past here have to turn left because of the crowd being an obstacle... Is it possible that Yueyue knew this and took advantage of it?" Lin Dongxue said.
Chen Shi pondered. "Although I don't want to admit it, I think it's possible. She did observe Liang Zuoming riding through this section of the road."
After a moment of silence, Little Li proposed to look at it from another angle, so she found the surveillance footage from the intersection. This surveillance footage had greater depth. At 5:23PM, Liang Zuoming’s bicycle passed by and then suddenly tilted to the left. Chen Shi discovered the problem. "At the moment when he turned left, the front of the bicycle didn’t turn. It was not turned by the deceased, but was pushed by someone!"
But the clarity of this footage was even worse. Lin Dongxue felt that this wasn’t very convincing.
"Why don't we do an experiment?" Chen Shi suggested.
Little Li agreed. "Let’s go outside to rent a public bicycle and then go to the parking lot to test it out."
"Okay, let's go!"
They got to the parking lot. Little Li held a DV camcorder, Chen Shi rode the bicycle, and Lin Dongxue played the role of the pusher. When Chen Shi passed Lin Dongxue, she shoved the bike fiercely and Chen Shi's bike turned to the other side. He quickly used his feet to support himself.
After doing this three times repeatedly, Little Li checked the video on the DV camcorder and said, "Brother Chen, your hypothesis doesn’t seem to be convincing. You see, every time you’re pushed, your handlebar will turn towards the other direction."
Chen Shi tapped his forehead as he thought. "Our experiment may not be able to perfectly recreate the scene, because I’m mentally prepared. As soon as Dongxue pushes me, I instinctively use the handlebar to maintain my balance, but Liang Zuoming wasn’t mentally prepared at the time."
Little Li said, "We can't exactly find a stranger to push."
Lin Dongxue commented, "I think we’re attending to trifles and neglecting essentials. Let’s not talk about the response of the bicycle. If someone had pushed the deceased, it would definitely have appeared in the footage."
"Attending to trifles and neglecting essentials..." Chen Shi murmured, and suddenly his eyes lit up, "Yes, the dead body is here. What are we trying to test?! Let’s go check the autopsy results!"
"A push like that would leave traces? Even through the clothes?" Little Li puzzled.
Lin Dongxue explained, "Of course, there would be traces. After death, the body won’t repair itself any longer. As long as a bit of strong force was exerted before death, there will be traces. Thus the bodies are always covered with bruises."
Chen Shi said, "Moreover, it’s the fourth day if we count today. The venous network of the deceased has already putrefied, and the rigor mortis has begun to soften. The traces will be very obvious!"
The three went to the forensics department. Peng Sijue and a group of forensic pathologists were still busy performing autopsies on the corpses from the villa. Chen Shi called Peng Sijue, and he came over with a mask on. Chen Shi asked, "Can the child's body be examined immediately?"
Peng Sijue shook his head. "Line up."
"Then can we go and see it ourselves?"
Peng Sijue sighed, called a forensic officer over, and asked him to take the three people to see the corpse.
When they arrived at the morgue in the basement, the temperature there instantly gave Lin Dongxue goose bumps. The officer used a key to open the sliding door on a morgue drawer. Liang Zuoming's body appeared in front of the three with a gust of cold air. His face was terrifyingly pale. As the corpse had been groomed at the funeral home, the crushed belly had also been stitched up.
Chen Shi looked at the traces on the corpse's skin. "Damn, the people in the funeral home wiped his whole body with a hot rag in order to change his clothes!"
Little Li asked the forensic officer, "Can we use any advanced techniques to make the previous traces appear?"
"Haha, things aren’t so easy. Once rigor and livor mortis are destroyed, they are permanently destroyed, so we must be very careful when we touch dead bodies... Don't be impatient. There’ll be an autopsy in two days. There might be some findings?"
Chen Shi shook his head. "This autopsy would be of little significance. The key clues are all on the skin."
Lin Dongxue turned on the phone's flashlight and checked every inch of the corpse's skin. There were a lot of bruises on the frosted bluish-white skin which overlapped so much that they were hard to distinguish. Lin Dongxue asked the forensic officer to turn the corpse over.
While looking at the back of the deceased, Lin Dongxue noticed a unique mark. "Do you think that this looks like the mark of a palm?"
Little Li went forward and looked. "It does, but also not really."
"But this mark is on the shoulder blade. If someone had pushed him, it should be in this position."
Chen Shi, who had always insisted on the intervention of a third party, held an opposing opinion this time. He said, “Since the mortician has touched the corpse, this mark isn’t convincing. Even if we ourselves are convinced, it can’t convince the judge.”
"But there’s no obvious shot showing someone pushing Liang Zuoming in the footage." Lin Dongxue said.
"The footage may not have captured it!" Chen Shi said, "The frame rate of traffic security cameras is eight frames per second, and the pushing action is very fast. The security camera may not have been able to capture it!"
"Old Chen, do you know what your hypothesis means? It means that this child wasn’t murdered by Yueyue, but by another person!"
"That's what I think right now!" Chen Shi said with assurance.
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