“At that time, it was still quite warm!” As he drove, Director Ba explained some of the details of the murder case to Zhao Yu.
He then continued, “At first, unit 110 received a phone call from the informant, saying that a murder might have occurred in the Royal Tomb neighborhood! The police thought that it was an emergency, so they had the criminal police go and check it out immediately. But, since Big Tooth had drank too much the night before, he had me fill in for him! So, I went with the police to the crime scene in his place.”
Deputy Bureau Chief Zhang quickly jumped in and explained, “Yes, that is a common situation here. Since we’re really short of manpower, the logistics director often has to stand in and embrace some other duties sometimes. However, our Director Ba is no amateur, as he used to be in the Criminal Police Force!”
Director Ba nodded his head in thanks of the recognition, then continued, “The informant was the brother of the deceased. His name is Zhang Jingfeng. When we arrived, he had already jumped over the wall and opened the iron gate that led to Han Kuan’s house for us. But, as the front door was locked, he couldn’t get inside the house.”
Director Ba then said, “When we asked him why he had called the police, he said that he had just received a phone call from his sister, but when he had picked up the call, nobody spoke on the other end of the line. At first, he thought his sister accidentally called him, so he hung up. But then, he saw that Zhang Jingru had also sent him a picture in Wechat, which was an image of a bloody arm!”
Director Ba continued, his voice getting more high-pitched out of excitement, “As he recognized the bracelet on the arm, Zhang Jingfeng thought that it was his sister’s wrist in the picture. So, he rushed to report the matter to the police! He then rushed to his sister’s residence and met the police there.”
Director Ba shook his head, then said, “At that time, we followed Zhang Jingfeng to knock on the door and windows, but there was no response. So, police officer Xiao Fengzi stepped on my shoulder, climbed up to a windowsill, and looked in. Because it was quite dark, he could only see that there were two people on the bed, but they weren’t moving at all. At this time, we realized that something was very wrong, so we got an axe and broke down the door!”
Director Ba continued nervously, “When we rushed in, we saw a lot of blood on the bed. As Han Kuan and Zhang Jingru were both lying in the blood, we thought that they were both dead at first. We soon discovered that Han Kuan was only asleep, and he had no wounds on his body. But, he was holding a fruit knife in his hand! It certainly looked like he had cut his wife’s wrists.”
Director Ba paused to take a deep breath, then said, “That scene was quite frightening. We called an ambulance and reported it to our leaders immediately. The victim’s brother, Zhang Jingfeng, was distraught. He rushed to Zhang Jingru and shook her, but Zhang Jingru had already lost so much blood that she was already gone.”
Director Ba shook his head sadly, then said, “We even tried to wake up Han Kuan, but got no response from him at all either. At that time, we firmly believed that Han Kuan had killed his wife, then had possibly committed suicide with poison or sleeping pills! So, instead of waiting for an ambulance to arrive, we put Han Kuan into the police car and took him to the hospital.”
Director Ba then said, “We were really shocked by the crime scene. In our haste to deal with Han Kuan, we did not pay much attention to preserving the evidence at the scene, which made it difficult on us later…”
At this point, Miao Ying couldn’t help but interrupt him, saying unhappily, “It was so unprofessional of you guys to give us such a limited report before. No wonder Han Kuan insisted that he was innocent!”
Wu Xiumin then turned to Director Ba and said, “Yes, there must be something more that we could find if we had access to that phone call and Wechat message. So, where are they? Were they saved in the criminal police data system?”
“Zhang Jingfeng’s mobile phone should have been taken to the Department of Evidence.” Director Ba said.
“I’ll have someone get it out…” Deputy Bureau Chief Zhang quickly took out his mobile phone to make the call.
“Hey… Check it out… Another Zhang Jingfeng…” Zhao Yu muttered.
It turned out that the younger brother of the deceased had the same name as Zhang Jingfeng of Qinshan, but the middle character was only the same in pronunciation.
“Did you find the victim’s cell phone at the scene?” Miao Ying asked Director Ba.
“Yes, it was also on the bed, lying between the couple,” Director Ba replied. “We confirmed that both the phone call to Zhang Jingfeng and the photo of the bloody arm were both sent from that mobile phone. We also know that the arm in the picture is indeed Zhang Jingru’s…”
“Wow. Well… I’m beginning to understand why the police have been insisting that Han Kuan is the murderer. At least on the surface, it really does look like a murder and a suicide!” Zeng Ke said thoughtfully.
“No. At least from a psychological point of view, that would be very unreasonable!” Wu Xiumin said. “If Han Kuan was determined to die, there would be no reason for him to refuse to plead guilty!”
“I agree!” Miao Ying said. “Moreover, if he wanted to die, why didn’t he just cut his wrists too? Why take sleeping pills, which were clearly a less surefire way to commit suicide?”
Director Ba did not quite know how to answer the women, so he simply continued reporting the facts of the case thus far, “Um… After we confirmed that the fingerprints on the mobile phone only belonged to Han Kuan and Zhang Jingru, we then consulted a trusted doctor, who assured us that the dosage of sleeping pills in Han Kuan’s body was not enough to cause his death.”
“Oh…” Wu Xiumin nodded. “Then that means that either Han Kuan did not want to die, or someone else did not want him to die!”
Deputy Bureau Chief Zhang nodded, then said, “Oh… I remember that we had a professional psychiatrist come to examine Han Kuan as well. Although he was very upset by his wife’s death, it was concluded that he didn’t show any signs of mental illness.”
“Wow! This case is getting more and more interesting!” Zhao Yu exclaimed. “It seems that this case is really full of unknowns! I’m looking forward to meeting this great writer!”
At this time, Deputy Bureau Chief Zhang’s mobile phone rang. After he answered it and listened to the person on the other end of the line, his face changed slightly.
He then said to Zhao Yu and the others, “Investigators, the criminal police just called to tell me that they just confirmed that the death in the Xianghe neighborhood was indeed a murder! According to their preliminary estimation, the victim was electrocuted and has been dead for more than a month and a half.”
After hearing this news, Zhao Yu and the others felt that the case was getting much more complex…