“You’re not a policeman, so you couldn’t have seen the crime scenes,” Zhao Yu said.
He then asked, “So, Why are you so sure that the man killed the people according to your novel?”
Han Kuan took a deep breath and paused to organize his thoughts before he said, “In early August of last year, the police found a corpse in an abandoned building near the Dongshan Building Material Market in the Golden City. By the time the corpse was found, the victim had been dead for more than half a month. The police confirmed that the killer cut the victim’s wrists.”
After the group heard that there was another victim, who was also killed by having their wrists slit, the atmosphere became quite tense. Obviously, due to Han Kuan’s case, this method of murder had become quite a sensitive topic.
“Because the corpse was highly decayed, the police did not find any usable clues that would help solve the murder. So, the case was considered to be a cold case and was closed without the truth ever being found out…” When he spoke, Han Kuan took a look at Deputy Bureau Chief Zhang, and his eyes clearly showed his dissatisfaction and disdain.
Han Kuan then added, “Since I’m a crime fiction writer, I’m very interested in these kinds of cases, so I actually did some investigating myself. But, my main purpose for doing so back then was to find out if that case was really a suicide or not.”
He help up his hand and waved it toward Zhao Yu as he said, “Of course, I’m not a famous detective like Officer Zhao, so I couldn’t find anything definitive. So, after a while, I just forgot about that case.”
Han Kuan frowned, then said, “However, when the National Day holiday came around, another suicide occurred in the Golden City. A breaking news report said that a person hanged himself in an unfinished residential building in the Qiaobei neighborhood.”
He sighed. “After hearing the news, I was totally shocked. I vaguely recalled the plot in my book, and that was the first time that I also connected the first suicide to my book! I finally realized that something was very wrong!”
Han Kuan then said, “In 11 Kills, in order to avenge his daughter, the protagonist killed the first victim by slitting his wrists, then tampered with the crime scene to make it look like a suicide! And… The second victim in my book was also hanged. I remember clearly that the location was also in an unfinished residential building, just like what the news report had described!”
As they were listening to Han Kuan, the others all kept quiet. Zhao Yu blinked toward the interrogation room, signaling for Zeng Ke to check the two cases that Han Kuan had just mentioned.
“When I realized that something was wrong, I rushed to my basement to look for the notebook like crazy!” Han Kuan said, his voice revealing his distress. “However, even though I turned the basement upside down, I couldn’t find my notebook, nor my previous manuscripts! My manuscripts were kept in a carton, and that carton was gone!”
Han Kuan’s face had a look of intense despair on it. “At that time, I really wanted to report my findings to the police. But, when I calmed down, I realized that because my book was written so long ago, I’d forgotten many of the details that were in the plot. In fact, I could only remember its general framework.”
He shook his head, then added, “Besides, when I wrote 11 Kills, I was very young and had so much to learn about writing a good book. So, its plot is full of loopholes. In my mind, that meant that, if someone had really killed people according to the plot of the book, the police would already have found the killer!”
Han Kuan shrugged his shoulders as he said, “Since those two cases ended up being classified as suicides, I thought that it might not be as bad as I first thought.”
Han Kuan shook his head and grinned bitterly. “But then, my wife was killed! I… I am really innocent!”
At this point, Han Kuan was so emotionally excited that he had to stop for a moment to calm himself down. He then went on to say, “Then, I was wrongly accused of her murder and thrown in jail! After that, just two weeks ago in fact, I read in the newspaper that someone had found a frozen dead man in an abandoned factory building!”
Han Kuan continued with wide eyes, “The article also said that the police had detected a large amount of alcohol in the victim’s body, proving that the victim was quite drunk before his death. Therefore, the police suspected that it was an accidental death.”
He shook his head, then added, “Those days happened to be the coldest that the Golden City had experienced in years. In that case, no matter who slept outside would be frozen into a human ice stick!”
Han Kuan then said with a solemn expression, “But, that is not important! What is important is that the fourth victim in my book also died this same way! Alcohol… An abandoned factory… Severe cold… All of it was the same!”
Hearing this, people finally realized that what Han Kuan had said about his book really did seem to add up.
“Wait a minute…” Zhao Yu thought of something, so he asked, “You said that the fourth victim was frozen to death in your book! So… It seems that… There should be a third victim, right?”
“Yes, although I can’t remember the exact details from my book’s plot, the order of the deaths are still clear in my memory!” Han Kuan said. “There was the slit wrists, the hanging, the electric shock, the frozen body, a drowning and…”
“So… The third victim should have died from an electric shock?” Zhao Yu interrupted him and asked.
“Yes!” Han Kuan confirmed. “At least, in my novel, the third victim dies after suffering an electric shock. Then, the fourth victim in my book is frozen to death! Perhaps the murderer confused the order?”
“Wait…” Zhao Yu interrupted him again, then counted with his fingers.
He then turned to Deputy Bureau Chief Zhang and asked, “Chief Zhang, what are you waiting for? Call the criminal police and ask them!”
“Ask them what?” Deputy Bureau Chief Zhang was confused and wasn’t following Zhao Yu’s train of thought.
Miao Ying, however, did understand his meaning, so she quickly explained, “Well, you said before that you received a report today that a man was found dead, and that he had been dead for more than a month. Moreover, he was found in a residential area in the southern part of the Golden City. So… Ask your man exactly how did the man died!”
“Oh…” Deputy Bureau Chief Zhang’s face immediately turned pale, as he now realized that this might be a really big case!
But, before he had time to make the call, the door to the interrogation room was pushed open. Director Ba rushed in and said, “There is no need to call, as I just received news that the coroner has confirmed that the victim that was found in the Xianghe neighborhood died from an electric shock!”