Chapter 8: You are the Murderer
Translator: MintCatnip Editor: Chrissy
Everyone heaved a sigh of relief.
A man and a woman entered the conference room. The man was the captain of the forensics team, Cheng Zheng.
He seemed around 27 or 28 years old. Probably influenced by his profession as he had been dealing with corpses for years, he had an “untouchable” aura that made him seem cold and distant. He was wearing a white coat and a pair of white gloves, looking capable and tidy. At the same time, he seemed to dread socializing with mortals. There was an aloof feeling about him—when he just stood there, he was like the odd one out.
Cheng Zheng, similar to Bai Muchuan, had come to Jin City not too long ago. He had studied abroad for many years and was especially talented in forensic biology. It was said that by working in the Municipal Bureau in Jin City as the Forensics Captain, it was a waste of talent for someone like him who had exceptional abilities.
“My apologies for being late,” said Cheng Zheng while looking at Bai Muchuan.
The rest of the team was non-existent in his eyes.
Bai Muchuan looked at his watch, “42 hours.”
It was four o’clock in the afternoon.
From the time of death of Zhao Jiahang till now, it was exactly 42 hours.
Undoubtedly, Bai Muchuan was not satisfied with Cheng Zheng’s efficiency.
Cheng Zheng did not bother to explain. He turned to his female assistant, “PPT.”
There was complete silence in the meeting room.
Cheng Zheng walked to Bai Muchuan, nodded at him, and began a very innovative presentation of the findings.
In just 10 minutes, he restored the crime scene where Zhao Jiahang met his death, with professional but vivid language. He gave a conclusion for all the physical evidence, the autopsy results, as well as the automobile examination result. To be exact, under the existing technological equipment and facilities of the Criminal Investigation Unit, to be able to come up with a detailed report within 42 hours was already considered efficient.
Several new detectives in the team listened with great interest, but the conclusion was mind-blowing.
Judging from the autopsy results and the evidence from the crime scene, Zhao Jiahang’s death was completely accidental.
The automobile technical engineer had carried out a thorough and detailed examination of Zhao Jiahang’s SUV. The final results showed that the real cause of the accident was because Zhao Jiahang had made unreasonable modifications to his vehicle that resulted in the clutch getting stuck and could not go back to its original position. When Zhao Jiahang got off and checked the hood of the SUV for abnormalities, the clutch that was stuck loosened but did not manage to get back in position thoroughly. This caused the SUV to move by itself, triggering the activation of the protection device. Zhao Jiahang was therefore pushed to the wall of the garage and killed on the spot.
“What a coincidence!” Tang Yuanchu gasped.
“If it’s a coincidence, how could the author’s novel be the same as the case?”
“… Could it be it has something to do with ghosts?”
Bai Muchuan knocked on the table for everyone to keep quiet and looked toward Cheng Zheng.
“What about the three burnt cats?” he said.
The atmosphere of the conference room was stagnant for an instant.
Cheng Zheng spoke slowly, “How did you know there are three of them?”
“From the point of criminal psychology,” Bai Muchuan raised his chin, “everything has been so perfect. How can a small defect like this be tolerated?”
Cheng Zheng gave him a meaningful gaze and turned to everyone else in the conference room. “Captain Bai is right. We did an autopsy on the cats and found that it’s not two, but three cats.”
“What?!” There were sounds of gasps across the room.
Those who were on duty at the scene clearly saw two dead cats being taken away by the forensics team.
Especially Captain Bai—he was not a Medical Examiner and was not involved in the work of the forensics team, so why was he so sure that there were three dead cats?
Cheng Zheng waited for everyone to stop gasping before he continued his speech steadily, “Our findings showed that the three cats are around three months old. Two males, one female and they’re siblings. They were brutally abused while alive. They suffered many fractures, and their bodies were cut open by the abuser… One cat was headless, while another has no body. The cats’ bodies are not complete.”
On the screen, there were many brutal pictures of cruelty that were “not suitable for children”.
The meeting room was quiet as the crowd listened attentively.
Cheng Zheng and his female assistant were emotionless throughout.
Bai Muchuan suddenly laughed. “Is this your final conclusion? A freak accident?”
“The final conclusion should be done by Captain Bai.” Cheng Zheng turned to look at him. “I only provide references. Is there anything that Captain Bai does not understand on the findings?”
“Cheng Zheng, I don’t understand,” said Bai Muchuan leisurely, “with your qualifications, why did your findings only present an accident?”
Cheng Zheng looked him in the eye. A few seconds later, he took over the control of the mouse from the female assistant and operated the presentation by himself.
“In addition, I managed to extract half of a suspicious fingerprint on the SUV, which should have been left more than one month ago. It is the only fingerprint that did not belong to Zhao Jiahang on the SUV…”
Zhao Jiahang was a peculiar person.
Anyone who was similar to him in terms of wealth had a chauffeur.
Yet he didn’t have one. He loved his car so much as if the car was his wife and would not let anyone touch it, not even half a finger.
Everyone inside the conference room knew that fingerprint extraction had to be done the earlier the better. A fingerprint that was more than one month old would prove the extraction to be much more tedious. Cheng Zheng mentioned half a fingerprint, and this was not something that any forensic professional could succeed to extract. In fact, this ability was what Bai Muchuan valued in him.
His nonchalant face slightly eased. “Fingerprint comparison results?”
“No match was found when compared to the fingerprint database,” said Cheng Zheng. Then he nodded to everyone in the room. “We’ll leave the rest to Captain Bai.”
He closed the laptop, gave it to his assistant, and was about to leave.
Bai Muchuan called out to him, “The 720 case has not been solved. We may have to trouble Captain Cheng tonight…”
Cheng Zheng turned around and interrupted him, “I have something on this evening, no overtime.”
Bai Muchuan fixed his gaze on him, his eyebrows suddenly raised. “I wish you good luck.”
He was not a warm person. To receive his blessing without rhyme or reason left Cheng Zheng startled for a moment.
But Bai Muchuan calmly turned the other way and waved to his team. “Get cracking now!”
Once the forensic report was out, everyone spilt up their responsibilities respectively and started to get on to work.
Real life criminal investigation was very different from movies, TV dramas, and novels. There was no such thing as relying on a certain amazing existence like “Conan” who could solve a crime easily with ease.
The work of the detectives was more inclined toward modernized digital case-handling like an assembly line. The forensics team was responsible for on-site crime scene investigation, gathering evidence, and various evidence processing. The fieldworks team would gather information and be fully involved in surveillance activities as well as on-site investigations. The intelligence team was in charge of searching for clues. Finally, the fieldworks team would make the conclusive summary and analysis.
The professionals should do jobs that they specialized in to achieve the best results.
Bai Muchuan had just finished the arrangements on the upcoming work when he received a call.
“Zhao Jiahang’s wife has set up the mourning hall at the entrance of the Municipal Bureau. Where’s the case report?”
The person who called was the Commissioner of the Municipal Bureau. He might have been driven to anger by public opinion these days, and his voice sounded loud and slightly high-pitched.
Bai Muchuan pondered for a moment. “Tell her that it’s a freak accident,” he replied in a tepid manner. “If she’s willing to accept the result, she can go and collect the body!”
“…” The Commissioner was speechless.
Everyone in the Criminal Investigation Unit was busy, but Bai Muchuan got off work on the dot.
To Huang He, his new boss was like a pain in the *ss, but there was nothing he could do about it.
Bai Muchuan had an unyielding style of handling cases. He was firm, strict, and relentless.
He refuted everyone’s joint consensus on the “immediate questioning of Xiang Wan”, and he was also the first to go home and release Xiang Wan, who was “locked up” by Nanny Li.
The word “locked up” might have sounded too serious, but it was the truth.
Two hours ago, Xiang Wan made a request to go out but was rejected. Nanny Li simply locked her up in the room.
“Young Master Bai, this young lady is so delicate. You need to be… be gentler,” said Nanny Li when she saw him with a gloomy face and was worried that he might hurt Xiang Wan. Hence, she used a very subtle way to talk him round. “… Young people are full of vigor and vitality, and impetuous. Don’t take things too hard when there’s something bad. If there’s any misunderstanding, just communicate with each other…”
Bai Muchuan: “…”
Xiang Wan: “…”
Just what kind of relationship did Nanny Li think they were in?
Bai Muchuan said coldly, “Nanny Li, you can go down first.”
This was an order. She was only a nanny, so it was inappropriate of her to say anything more.
Nanny Li gave a sigh. She blinked her eyes at Xiang Wan, kindly reminding her to know when to give in and left.
There were now two people left in the room. Xiang Wan was slightly daunted by Bai Muchuan’s irritated face.
“Detective Bai, you have no right to detain me…”
“I remember you’re the one who requested to stay at my house?”
“That was last night!” retorted Xiang Wan but she immediately calmed down. She did not want to argue over such a trivial matter. “Detective Bai, I want to go out today not because of the blind date, but there’s some sudden situation that I must report to you immediately…”
In principle, her going for a blind date had nothing to do with Bai Muchuan. She did not need to explain that.
But she felt that she might appear more righteous if she were to be viewed as “her whole heart is on the case”.
Sure enough, when Bai Muchuan heard that, he gave a casual nod. “Continue.”
Is this detective too used to interrogate people that it’s now a habit? she thought. His every word seemed to suggest that she was a suspect.
Xiang Wan pouted as a silent protest, but her tone was very mild. “Someone left a strange comment in my review and comments section. But when I refresh the page, it got deleted.”
Bai Muchuan narrowed his eyes, as if judging the credibility of her words.
She showed her laptop to him, as if worried that he wouldn’t believe her. “You see, I even did a screenshot.” She pointed to the screen.
On the screenshot, the message was left by an ID which was a string of a mobile phone number. The message was interesting:
“Do your best, I’ll make sure that you’ll be popular! Famous and celebrated! Release your inner demons completely…”
Bai Muchuan sent the screenshot to Huang He to let him investigate the ID. “Why didn’t you call me directly?” He turned to Xiang Wan.
“My apartment’s being spied on, my mobile phone…” Xiang Wan laughed at herself. “What if it’s also being spied on? I thought of going to the bureau personally. Cough! I thought it might be safer too. But I’m a little angry when Nanny Li won’t let me go. Whether the case is solved or not, it doesn’t concern me anyway. Why should I care? ”
When she mentioned that she was angry, she really did seem so. Her stubborn little face looked up, the corners of her lips curving in a slightly disdainful expression. It was as if she was a mouse that got knocked down from the stove for stealing a pumpkin, hateful but pitiful at the same time.
Bai Muchuan took a glance at her, sat down, and took her laptop.
“What are you doing?” Xiang Wan was shocked and wanted to get her laptop back.
That stance of protecting her laptop seemed desperate.
Bai Muchuan looked expressionless. “Show me the chat records of your chat group!”
Her hands that wanted to snatch back her laptop halted. “You don’t believe me?”
Bai Muchuan did not reply but motioned for her to open QQ. Xiang Wan seemed unwilling as the laptop was considered a personal item that involved her privacy. However, now that she was involved in a criminal case and Detective Bai wanted to investigate her, she did not dare to say no.
Entering the QQ group, she searched through her records. Soon, she stopped and looked at Bai Muchuan helplessly.
“I forgot that my laptop was reinstalled not too long ago… I have no backup. ”
“How long has it been since you sent the plot outline?”
“About more than a month ago? I forgot. How will I know that such a thing would happen? If I’ve known, I would have kept them safely.”
“Xiang. Wan.” Bai Muchuan gritted his teeth and glowered at her intensely. “All the signs are pointing to you as the murderer!”
 PPT – It means a powerpoint presentation file.