Chapter 97: Case Analysis
Perhaps all that keeps a man and a woman from expressing their true feelings for one another is a barrier thinner than a piece of paper. Perhaps love really is simple after all. Cui Jing, who had hitherto lived a fairy tale kind of life, had suddenly found herself face-to-face with a man who had spent most of his adult life living in the criminal underworld. A special kind of feeling was growing inside the hearts of these two people with polar opposite backgrounds. The feeling came quickly and naturally. Life often likes to play tricks on us. Sometimes, it will pull together two people who couldn’t be farther apart and somehow find a way for them to live together. Whether the end is happy or painful, only those who have experienced such things would know for sure…
The next morning, Jiang Zhengkai as usual dropped off A-Jiao at the preschool before showing up at his own office. He now had even more evidence in the serial murder case. He decided that now would be a good time to go around and collect all the evidence gathered by other officers in the investigative division in order to completely reorganize this case’s sequence of events.
Inside the sub-bureau’s investigative division conference room, Jiang Zhengkai and his subordinates sat looking at a projection screen while Lu Xiaoqiang operated the PowerPoint presentation. Jiang Zhengkai had specifically tasked Lu Xiaoqiang with giving today’s case analysis presentation. He really was fond of that young man, probably because Lu Xiaoqiang reminded so much of himself when he first joined the force: young, energetic, motivated, and driven.
“According to the evidence we have collected thus far, we now suspect that the alley serial murders are connected with drug traffickers in our city, especially the as-of-yet unsolved A-Xiu drug ring that was under investigation two years ago.” Lu Xiaoqiang used the laser pointer in his hand and pointed at the current slide on display.
“Regarding to the identities of the two victims of the first murder…” When he read out A-Mei’s name, Lu Xiaoqiang’s voice quivered ever so slightly. He was still young, after all, so he wasn’t yet able to completely control his emotions. “The male victim of that first murder was Zhao Renchu, a former member of the Sui Dequan crime family and a current member of the Sui Zhongyi crime family.
“Meanwhile, the male victim in the fourth murder was most likely another member of the Sui Zhongyi crime family, Tang Xiaosheng.
“We had previously believed A-Xiu to be one of those killed in the serial murders, but our latest investigations have revealed that the woman who actually died that night was named A-Dan. She was a prostitute who had only recently arrived in our city. Even though she bore a striking resemblance to A-Xiu, she was in fact much younger than A-Xiu. A close examination of the deceased’s remains confirmed that the person who died that night was not A-Xiu.” At that point, Luo Xiaoqiang paused for a moment and looked over at Jiang Zhengkai, who nodded in approval. The fact that Lu Xiaoqiang was able to discover A-Dan’s true identity was due in no small part to A-Ping’s help. As for any more specifics regarding A-Dan’s background, there was no need to delve any further. All anyone needed to know was that she was an unfortunate woman who had died in the place of another.
“The male victim in the A-Lian case has been identified as Guo Dinggang. We have already confirmed Zhao Renchu and Guo Dinggang’s identities using DNA testing, and we have also submitted Tang Xiaosheng’s DNA for testing as well. If DNA results were to confirm Tang Xiaosheng’s identity, then we have at least three male victims who were members of a drug trafficking ring. Furthermore, all of the female victims, with the exception of A-Dan, have some sort of connection to the missing drug trafficking suspect A-Xiu. The female victim in the fifth murder, Yin Zhumei, does not appear to be a member of A-Xiu’s drug ring. However, we have evidence showing that she used her position as a hospital nurse to illegally obtain syringes and tubing for A-Xiu.”
Lu Xiaoqiang shifted his attention once again to Jiang Zhengkai and stated, “Inspector Jiang, this concludes my report. Would you like to make any additional comments at this time?”
“Excellent report! Very comprehensive,” Jiang Zhengkai said as he stood up and walked over to the projection screen. “Based on the evidence gathered, we can now confirm A-Xiu’s identity. She is a native of Guangxi. Her birth name is Shen Zhuxiu. She has one son and one daughter, both of whom live in her home village in Guangxi. Our colleagues over at the External Affairs Division obtained this information from the Guangxi police force. In addition, we have obtained letters and other documents written by A-Xiu when she was here two years ago.” As for the documents’ source, that was Jiang Zhengkai’s secret. As long as none of the higher-ups like Yao Tianyu asked him about it, Jiang Zhengkai didn’t plan on giving a straight answer.
“However, the most pressing and perplexing issue in this case is the fact that the lead suspect, A-Xiu, suddenly disappeared approximately two and a half years ago. We have no credible evidence that can tell us where she was or what she was doing during the period when she went missing. Nevertheless, the most significant and suspicious change in her behavior has been the fact that she has not wired any money home, which she had regularly done before her disappearance.” Jiang Zhengkai paused for a moment. “According to the Guangxi Police Department’s investigation into her personal life, she did not wire any money home during her period of disappearance. She comes from an impoverished region of the country. With no steady income from their mother, her children have yet to start attending school full-time.”
Almost all of the officers seated at the conference table bowed their heads in silence. Most of them were mothers and fathers themselves. They knew that a mother would be willing to suffer any hardship so that her children could live a little better. Therefore, it was indeed very peculiar for a woman who had previously shown such great care and affection for her children to suddenly stop caring for them.
“As such, based on the evidence before us, I still have my suspicions as to whether or not this newly-returned A-Xiu is the same as the A-Xiu who lived and operated in our city two years ago.” Jiang Zhengkai stopped here and circled A-Xiu’s name on the projection screen several times with his laser pointer. He then turned around and looked at the officers seated at the conference table and said, “Alright, that is all the information we have obtained thus far. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to speak out.”
“Inspector Jiang, I was the first one to receive A-Xiu’s documents,” said Liu Na as she raised her hand. “There was something that I found to be very odd. According to information provided by the Guangxi Police Department, A-Xiu lost contact with her home two and a half years ago. However, her family continued to receive wire transfers from her for an additional three months afterwards.”
“Yes, that is indeed a question that needs an answer,” Jiang Zhengkai nodded in response. “However, we cannot eliminate the possibility that someone else made those wire transfers on her behalf,” he said inadvertently. As soon as the words left his mouth, he thought of A-Jiao and how she had wired money home for A-Mei. He knew that if A-Jiao knew A-Xiu couldn’t wire money home, she probably would’ve wired the money for her. However, he had a feeling that A-Jiao hadn’t done such a thing. Could it be possible that there was another woman who’d done the same thing as A-Jiao, but only for a short three months…?
“Inspector Jiang, based on our conversations with the officers in the Narcotics Division, we have reason to believe that the female victim in the first murder, A-Mei, was not involved in the drug ring,” said the liaison officer to the Narcotics Division, Liu Kun. “According to the documents we’ve reviewed, A-Mei was not well-acquainted with A-Xiu back then. The victims who knew A-Xiu well were A-Hua, A-Lian, and A-Xue. As for A-Li and A-Di, the Narcotics Division wasn’t able to find any information on those two.”
“Okay. We were able to confirm A-Di and A-Xiu’s relationship using other channels,” Jiang Zhengkai nodded in response. “As for A-Mei and A-Li’s relationship to A-Xiu, we have to keep digging!”
“Yes, Inspector Jiang,” Liu Kun nodded back.
“Inspector Jiang, according to our investigation of the other male victims and Yin Zhumei, we believe that Zhao Shuhai should be considered a suspect. The results of our investigation show that Zhao Shuhai has a criminal record for introducing drugs to various johns,” remarked the officer in charge of investigating the male victims, Du Yuting. “However, Yin Zhumei probably wasn’t involved with A-Xiu. She was transferred to anesthesiology after A-Xiu had already disappeared. Prior to her transfer, she worked in internal medicine, which meant she probably didn’t have much contact with syringes and surgical tubing.”
“That is very important information!” Jiang Zhengkai nodded in approval. “Excellent! Continue the investigation into Yin Zhumei’s professional background. See if we can conclusively rule her out as a suspect.” But if Yin Zhumai had no relation to A-Xiu, then why had she died? At the thought of that, Jiang Zhengkai re-emphasized, “Also, we need to intensify our investigation of Zhu Yuping. We still haven’t found anything suspicious on him.”
“Yes, Inspector Jiang!” Du Yuting acknowledged, standing at attention.
“Inspector Jiang!” Right then, the conference room door swung open, and the Investigative Division’s on-duty officer, Lu Haiqiang, popped his head in. “Sergeant Zhang of the Ju’an Road Station just called! He said A-Tie just woke up from his coma. He asked if you wanted to go with him to the hospital.”
“Really?” asked Jiang Zhengkai as he glanced at the other officers in the conference room. “Alright, you all have your assignments. This meeting is dismissed! Xiaoqiang, come with me to the hospital.”