Netherworld Investigator

Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Officer Sun told me that it happened ten years before. At the time, he was still only the captain of a crime scene investigation team. He climbed all the way up to his high position now, and it was all thanks to Grandpa.

Grandpa was a remarkable person, said Officer Sun. He would not bother getting involved in any trivial cases, and it would take much persuasion to convince him to help the police. But once he was involved, it was basically guaranteed that the case was as good as solved!

It all began on a dark, moonless night. At the time Officer Sun was at the provincial police headquarters to deliver some important documents. A middle-aged man suddenly walked in carrying a plastic bag in his hand. He was wobbling and unstable on his feet, and his face was red like he was drunken. The moment he got in he shouted and pleaded for help, saying someone was trying to kill him. But just as he uttered his sentence, he fell splat on the floor.

Officer sun thought he was just a drunken passed out on the floor, but when he went over to check the man’s breathing, he realized that he was already dead.

Officer Sun opened the plastic bag in the deceased’s hand, and lo and behold! It was a human heart inside!

There were no injuries or wounds on the victim’s body, he looked just as if he fell asleep. Neither were there any signs of struggle or of poisoning. In other words, the victim simply parked his car outside of the police station, got out of the car while the engine was still on, and died at the police station. Apart from his own fingerprints, none other was found in the car.

The police checked his background and found that he was an esteemed judge working in the city.

Because of that, the higher-ups in the police organization made solving this case a high priority. They arranged for the best police officers and forensic scientists and coroners to work on the case, forming a special task force that would comb through every available clue. But weeks passed and no results were gained, and the investigation went nowhere. Even the exact cause of death was not totally understood.

The truth was that the task force was made up of people who were more eager to move up the rungs of the organization than they were to solve the case. In the meetings, for example, each of them was more concerned with being the one who got it right, no one was listening to anyone else’s suggestions, and they all worked individually and separately with no real teamwork at all.

Officer Sun was one of the most junior members of the task force, so when he first suggested contacting Grandpa to help them with the case, everyone laughed and mocked him, saying to hire an out of date Traditional Coroner like that, why not just ask a fortune teller to try to look for the murderer through the crystal ball?

Just then, the second case happened. This time the victim was a woman. She was a rich businesswoman who had just returned from abroad.

And just like the first victim, the police found a plastic bag near her body that contained a human heart.

Because there was absolutely no progress in the investigation, Officer Sun decided to go rogue and bring Grandpa in to help despite objections from his colleagues. Grandpa agreed, but just as Officer Sun took him to the police station, they discovered that the bodies had been dissected for autopsies.

The coroner had dissected the bodies and examined every inch of them, but all they found out was that the heart in the plastics bags belonged to the victims themselves. The murderer used a mysterious method that was able to extract the organ without damaging or leaving any damages on the body at all.

Grandpa told Officer Sun that there’s nothing he could do with this case any more, because there was one non-negotiable condition for him in order to co-operate with the police – and that was that no one must be allowed to touch the dead bodies before he did.

Officer Sun used all his abilities to persuade Grandpa to keep on working with the police, eventually Grandpa suggested that they went to the victim’s house to find some clues.

The victim’s house had already been searched through plenty of times. But apart from the footprints and fingerprints of the forensic team, absolutely nothing was found. If there was one thing that could be said of this serial murderer, it was the word thorough!

Criminal motives, killing method, evidence left at the crime scenes, none of this could be found out at all, and it seemed that the murderer knew exactly how to get rid of clues towards finding them out so that the police were left completely in the dark!

But Grandpa was no ordinary man. Once they’d reached the crime scene, he covered all the blinds and curtains of the windows, then lit up a bunch of dried wormwood until the smoke filled up the whole house. Then, from the fog of smoke the words appear on the wall – Jiangbei Daggers, Protect the People, Condemn the Corrupt!

Jiangbei Daggers was probably the name the serial murderer gave himself. And it seemed that he believed himself to be acting in the people’s benefit by eradicating the powerful corrupt people from society! Officer Sun rushed back to the police headquarters to retrieve the victim’s information. It turned out that the first victim, the judge, had received bribes and judged two innocent men to be guilty of murder. The other victim, the businesswoman, had invested in the pharmaceutical industry and had sold a cancer drug that cost ten yuan originally to be sold at an exhorting price of a few thousand yuan, getting rich on the pain of patients.

The murderer must’ve thought that because these people have committed crimes, they must be punished, so he assumed himself to be the jury and the judge and executed them!

By then, a third murder had happened. The victim this time was a renowned university professor. Like the previous victims, he had committed some morally questionable conduct, namely having sexual affairs with one of his research assistants. In fact, he even took photographs of her in inappropriate circumstances and used it as blackmail.

This university professor died at an academic seminar where many reporters were present, so it was no longer possible to keep the news of this serial murderer under wraps.

After extensive press coverage, some people on the internet turned this serial murderer into a sort of anti-hero who championed the people and help eradicate the corrupt out from society. They even said that the police had a skewed notion of right and wrong, that even though this serial murderer had committed crimes it was in the end for the good. This put a special pressure on the special task force that was investigating the case.

No matter how many serious problems there were in society, and no matter how many crooks were bleeding the society dry, law and order were always there to continuously keep the peace. No one had the power to surpass law and order to become the jury, the judge and the executioner themselves. What the serial murderer did was still murder, and it was only right the police must catch him!

This time Grandpa insisted to be the first person to examine the corpse. Officer Sun ignored all the objections from the other police officers and went to great lengths to let that happen. Grandpa cooped himself up in the corpse room for a whole day and night, and Officer Sun was there all the time, guarding the door, preventing anyone from interfering.

Once, Officer Sun had to leave his position to use the restroom. One of the forensics intern accidentally opened the door and saw a scene that shocked him. He said that Grandpa and the corpse were both wearing a strange mask, and Grandpa had used two strings to tie the corpse up as if trying to recreate the crime scene.

The day after that, Grandpa was suddenly heard laughing in the examination room. Officer Sun rushed in to ask him what he had discovered. Grandpa said although this case had puzzled him to no end, and he still didn’t know how the murderer killed the victims, and couldn’t find any answers about how the hearts of the victims were extracted so cleanly.

But it wasn’t all for naught.

“The dead body told me,” said Grandpa, “that the murderer is 1.8 meters tall, is tall and lanky, his eyes are triangular in shape, has thick eyebrows and a high nose bridge.”

According to Officer Sun, those were his exact words.

They had cooperated many times before, so Officer Sun naturally trusted Grandpa’s words without question.

Hence, Officer Sun took action straight away. He sent his officers all over H City to do a carpet search and find someone with the characteristics that Grandpa had described. They didn’t find the murderer, but they did find a key witness. The man was called Zhang Bao, and he stated that he saw someone similar to the description of the suspect hanging about his house. He feared that he might be the serial murderer’s next target, and pleaded with the police so that he might receive their protection.

Grandpa requested to see Zhang Bao’s statement and compared it with the information they got from the first three murders.

He then drew up some strange symbols on the map of H City and ordered Officer Sun to do a search near the street he marked.

Officer Sun asked him why and how he figured that out, but Grandpa only urged Officer Sun to hurry up and act before it was too late!

And so the police rushed to the mentioned street to interrogate and question the people around there. As expected, the landlord of that lodging said lately there had been a man renting one of his rooms, and this man looked exactly as Grandpa had described him. He even said that he had a contract with him that contained the tenant’s information.

Officer Sun was overjoyed by this revelation, he immediately sent two of his officers to go with the landlord to get that document, while the others would go to the mentioned rented room to search through the place. What they found there was a huge surprise. There were many cut newspaper articles that contained news of the three murdered victims. What’s even more alarming was the picture of Zhang Bao pinned on the wall by a dagger!

There was no doubt about it — the man living here had to be the legendary Jiangbei Daggers!

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