Criminal Investigation Notes
Criminal Investigation Notes: Chapter 139

Final Volume: Source of Evil

“Evil is more severe than any other illness because it attacks the soul.” – Dostoevsky

The door opened, and Yang Yuqing looked up at the person in front of her. He was a middle-aged man, nearing fifty, and had a friendly appearance. The wall behind him was filled with certificates and trophies, representing numerous honors.

The man smiled and said, “Come in, let’s proceed with today’s supervision.”

In the world of psychology in Huadu, there was not a single person who didn’t know him. He was Professor Zhang Junzhi, the supervisor for many psychological counselors.

Psychological supervision is professional guidance for psychotherapists, an essential aspect of analyzing clinical experiences and clarifying thoughts.

Zhang Junzhi had been working in the field of psychology in Huadu for nearly thirty years, nurturing countless students and training numerous psychotherapists.

Yang Yuqing and An Yuci were once his students.

The supervision room played soothing music, and a humidifier emitted a white mist with a faint fragrance.

Yang Yuqing sat down on a chair, and ever since she saw Professor Zhang, her mood had improved significantly.

Zhang Junzhi asked her, “Have you been having that dream lately?”

Yang Yuqing blinked her eyes and replied, “I haven’t dreamed of An Yuci for a while.”

Zhang Junzhi sighed, “As a supervisor, I didn’t expect him to do such a thing. Initially, when I recommended him, it was with the hope of helping you. Later, I sensed that something was amiss and advised him, but it seemed to have little effect.”

Yang Yuqing said, “Professor Zhang… Although we study psychology, sometimes the deeper we delve into it, the more we realize that we can’t control someone’s inner world or change their future… We are observers on their path of the soul, able to see the traces and warn them of dangers ahead and around them. But we cannot save them from every peril.”

Yang Yuqing believed that An Yuci was a skilled pretender.

Just as they couldn’t save every patient, it was understandable that Professor Zhang, as a supervisor, didn’t notice An Yuci’s abnormality.

Professor Zhang had so many students and was busy every day. As a supervisor, he must also bear tremendous pressure.

It could be said that he had dedicated his entire life to the field of psychology and had not yet married or had children.

Yang Yuqing looked a bit weary. Recent events had come one after another, making her feel a bit overwhelmed. “I’ve become more indifferent towards life lately. Especially with Uncle Wang’s recent incident… He was initially a good friend of my father’s, and later he provided significant assistance to the clinic. I never expected him to…”

Yang Yuqing had just received the news of Deputy Director Wang’s suicide. In the past, she would visit this uncle almost every year during holidays.

Not to mention anything else, designating her psychological clinic as the designated clinic each year had solved half of the clinic’s business and funding issues.

Professor Zhang said, “As a long-time friend of Wang Shaogu, I also received the news quite unexpectedly.” He paused and asked her, “How is the clinic’s operation lately?”

Yang Yuqing nodded, “It’s been alright. And thank you again for renting out the consultation room to me at such a low price…”

Professor Zhang said, “Taking care of juniors is the least I can do. Let’s not waste any more time. Let’s begin today’s supervision. Which patients have you encountered recently, and what are their situations?”

Yang Yuqing recounted the recent patients she had encountered to Professor Zhang, and he provided guidance on her handling methods. They reviewed and analyzed each case, and he offered her some advice.

During the latter part of the session, with the scent of fragrance in the room, Yang Yuqing started to feel drowsy. It was not uncommon for this to happen during a therapy session, but falling asleep during a supervision session was highly disrespectful to the supervising teacher.

She tried to keep her eyes wide open and remain alert, but she felt her consciousness drifting away. Some of her responses became vague, and her brain seemed to stop thinking. Professor Zhang had to repeat his questions for her to answer.

As they progressed, it was mostly Professor Zhang speaking while she nodded in agreement.

The instinctive response of her brain was that the teacher’s words made sense and were correct.

An hour quickly passed by.

When Yang Yuqing stood up, Professor Zhang asked, “By the way, it seems that Officer Su hasn’t come for a while?”

Yang Yuqing was taken aback, “Yes, he has been busy recently and had to reschedule twice. I’ve made an appointment with him for next Wednesday. It seems there’s a new case at the police station, and he’s been occupied with that.”

She had something she didn’t mention; recently, one of the police officers who came for treatment inadvertently revealed to her that the case seemed to be related to Deputy Director Wang’s suicide. She had to ensure that the information from the police station didn’t spread, so she didn’t disclose it.

Professor Zhang’s expression, however, didn’t show surprise. “It seems there have been quite a few cases recently,” he said. “I was just thinking about confirming the time for our next supervision session. I’m only available on Wednesday, so let’s schedule our next supervision session for early next Wednesday at your clinic.”

In the main office of the bureau, Lu Junchi sat across from Xu Shuang, observing her intently.

Recording the proceedings was Qu Ming. They had already switched to another case file, and the notebook in front of them had a few numbers written on it: 372.

The current case was named after the research institute as the 372 case.

This was a marathon-style interrogation. In order to extract more information from Xu Shuang, they had been questioning her for over five hours.

At the beginning, Xu Shuang was unwilling to say too much.

Lu Junchi personally worked on her, starting with verifying the information, building a trust relationship, and then applying pressure, using the “good person” assumption.

Following this process, she finally began to admit her crimes.

The lighting in the interrogation room was dim, and Xu Shuang lowered her head and recalled for a moment. “I’ve been there many times, it’s on the west side of the city… I remember… the sign said 372 Research Institute, and the people inside referred to it as the 372 Mental Research Center.”

“Can you remember how you got there each time?”

“My father drove me there… My memories of that period are very blurry. I can only recall some fragmented segments, like individual dots.” As she spoke, Xu Shuang seemed somewhat restless, shaking her head in annoyance. She detested the feeling of having unclear memories, as if her brain were a cassette tape with erased magnetic properties.

“How old were you at that time?”

“Around twelve years old, no, maybe even younger… I was still in elementary school.”

“How did you initially discover your abnormalities?”

“I have liked watching war movies since I was young. I think I was about six years old when I saw Transformers, the scene where Optimus Prime, as the main character, was killed. It was pierced by a blade, disassembled into parts, and oil flowed out like blood. Its blue eyes dimmed in that moment, and something in my brain suddenly stirred. I realized that I liked it, and that I was abnormal.

“I enjoyed watching things being destroyed, especially explosions. I found them beautiful and satisfying. I watched many war movies repeatedly, and eventually, I started having fantasies. After my mom read one of my diary entries, she panicked and took me to a psychologist. I underwent psychological counseling for about a year, but there was no improvement. Later, I was sent to 372.”

Lu Junchi continued asking, “What was it like there? Can you describe it?”

“I remember it was a white building, and people nearby called it ‘Little White Tower.’ Every time I went there, I had to go downstairs and pass through a long underground corridor. It took several minutes to walk that stretch. There were many iron doors along the corridor, and strange sounds could be heard from behind those doors.”

“What kind of sounds?”

“It was like the roaring of beasts locked in cages, the shaking of iron doors, and the grating sound of nails rubbing against the doors. It felt like there were some monsters behind those doors, ready to burst out at any moment…”

“Are you sure those doors contained animals?”

Xu Shuang shook her head. “I feel like those sounds were made by humans, but I couldn’t imagine under what circumstances humans would make such sounds.”

Then she lowered her head and said, “I feel like they hypnotized me. They wanted me to forget the detailed experiences, the faces of those doctors, but those memories remained vivid in my mind. It led to me having nightmares for a long time, nightmares about those doors and the people behind them. Gradually, I started remembering some things. Now that I think about it, maybe the ones inside were visitors like me.”

“When you were there, what did they do to you?”

“At that time, I was locked in a room, and there was a person wearing a white coat who kept asking me various questions.”

“Was that person a man or a woman?”

“I can’t remember. I just remember they wore a mask.”

“What kind of questions did they ask you?”

“They were about my thoughts… thoughts about killing and explosions.” Xu Shuang paused for a moment, then looked puzzled as she raised her head. “They encouraged me to record and describe everything I imagined using words and drawings, for the purpose of research.”

“What did you draw?”

“They were very gruesome drawings… It seemed that after drawing and describing those things, I felt relieved and normal. So, in the beginning, my parents thought sending me there was effective. But later on, they started encouraging me to dissect small animals, from mice to rabbits.”

Xu Shuang knew that her dark thoughts were nourished and grew stronger.

“When did they contact you again?”

“It was about five years ago when a man called me. He said he wanted me to cooperate with them. If I cooperated, they would provide me with things that satisfied my fantasies and give me money. If I refused to cooperate, he would expose my secrets to others…”

Xu Shuang touched her hair. “I was naive back then. I thought I didn’t need money, and my parents already knew about my abnormality. I believed they couldn’t threaten me.”

Speaking up to this point, she smiled bitterly and said, “But later on, I got pregnant out of wedlock with my boyfriend, and we were preparing for our wedding. One day, that man suddenly left in a hurry.”

“He found out about those things?” Lu Junchi guessed and asked.

Xu Shuang nodded her head, “By that time, the child was already four months old. I gave birth to him, becoming an unwed mother. My parents thought I brought shame to the family and refused to help me. The child had a severe congenital heart disease, and I had to take care of him alone. I could hardly sleep through the night. I thought it was punishment from the heavens. After he passed away, those people found me again…”

The interrogation room fell silent for a few seconds.

Xu Shuang lifted her head, her gaze weary. “This time, I agreed…”

This was her continuous descent, turning into a devil.

Constant threats and temptations compelled her to join in.

Clearly, 372 had categorized and organized the data on the people who visited. After the children grew up, those people behind the scenes reappeared. They possessed the list of the research institute and could easily select individuals. They knew their weaknesses, their secrets, and would use money to entice them to obey commands.

Su Hui finished listening to the interrogation. During the data organizing stage, he picked up his cane and entered the adjacent office.

In the neighboring interrogation room, Yao Fei, who had finished the third round of questioning, caught up to him and followed inside. “I’m really thirsty. Don’t you even have a water dispenser in this temporary office?”

His nose twitched slightly as he looked at the cup on Su Hui’s desk. “What’s this smell?”

“Qiao Ze, pour him a glass of water,” Su Hui said and then picked up the thermos cup placed in the observation room, taking a sip.

The thermos cup contained pear water that Lu Junchi had brewed for him. It used fragrant pears from Xinjiang, mixed with a bit of coltsfoot powder, added rock sugar, and a few goji berries.

The water had been simmered for a long time, carrying the unique fragrance of pears and the slight bitterness of coltsfoot. It tasted mildly bitter with a touch of sweetness.

Although it couldn’t completely stop the coughing, it made him feel much more comfortable.

Qiao Ze sighed and fetched a disposable paper cup, pouring Yao Fei a glass of lukewarm water.

“At least, have some coffee…” Yao Fei took it and looked disdainfully at the plain water in his hand, then glanced at the thermos cup that Su Hui was drinking from. Afterwards, he took a look at the statement, “This is pretty much the same information I obtained. Your investigation efficiency is truly sluggish.”

After Yao Fei finished speaking, he emptied the water in the cup and handed the empty paper cup to Qiao Ze. “One more, please.”

Qiao Ze looked up, took the empty cup, and noticed the slight fear in Yao Fei’s eyes. He turned to look at Su Hui, and upon Su Hui’s nod, he stood up and poured another glass for him.

To be honest, Qiao Ze was still unsure how to properly handle his attitude towards Yao Fei. This former colleague of his seemed both like a suspect and an informant for the police.

Director Tan and Professor Su unexpectedly approved it, providing him with a temporary access pass. During the investigation of the 372 case, they gave him a temporary office and allowed him to roam around the entire compound, even entering the offices of the Major Crimes Unit.

The way Qiao Ze looked at him still carried a sense of caution, constantly guarding against him.

Su Hui also lowered his head, looking at the dossier.

With further questioning of Xu Shuang, Dai Yuansheng, and Bi Shanyu, combined with the information Yao Fei brought them, the police now had some understanding of 372.

It was a mysterious institution.

The entire facility was transformed from an old abandoned factory and located in the outskirts of Huadu. Now, that area had become a public green space.

The institution was highly secretive, leaving hardly any information behind.

They searched the internet thoroughly but couldn’t find any clear responsible person or registration information for this organization, let alone tax and financial records, not to mention employee information or patient data.

Consequently, the police were unable to determine the specific duration of the organization’s existence, its scale, or the total number of people involved.

Although they obtained some testimonies, they couldn’t effectively organize the information.

After finishing the interrogation of Xu Shuang, Lu Junchi came out of the interrogation room and took all the newly obtained data from the Major Crimes Unit, handing it over to Su Hui to examine.

Qiao Ze pointed and said, “I also conducted relevant internet searches, but the only thing I found was a recruitment post from over a decade ago. That was a time when the internet was not well-developed, and the information was posted on a local forum.”

It was an old message with very simple content:

“Hiring a large number of university students for a psychology experiment during the summer, lasting forty-five days, providing food, accommodation, and compensation. If interested, you can add me for further contact and interview.”

Many people inquired about the details and requirements of the experiment, but the person who posted it didn’t provide much response.

The term “372” appeared only once in the replies.

Someone expressed interest and asked about the location of the interview, and that account replied with, “No. 372, Changyuan Road.”

“The roads have been redesigned now, but when we compare it with the map from twenty years ago, it should have been on Changyuan Road. It seems that ‘372’ was named after the location,” Lu Junchi furrowed his brows. “What kind of psychology experiment requires a large number of students? And it seems to be secretive, with no mention of the experiment’s content.”

Yao Fei looked at them and said, “If it’s a psychology experiment that requires multiple people, the scope could be wide, like utilizing the basement of that building…” He glanced at Su Hui.

Su Hui understood his implication and rubbed his forehead. “I also suspect that those people wanted to conduct the Stanford Prison Experiment.”

Qiao Ze asked, “The simulated prison experiment?”

Su Hui nodded.

Among various psychological experiments, the Stanford Prison Experiment was very famous. It simulated a real “prison” environment where students played the roles of guards and prisoners.

Based on the reports and available information from that time, the students became deeply immersed in their assigned roles and suffered severe physical and psychological harm.

The experiment took place in 1971 and has been highly controversial within the field of psychology ever since.

There has been significant interest in this experiment, with several books and even movies featuring it.

However, many people later expressed doubts about the validity of the experiment’s results.

People believe that short-term role exchanges wouldn’t have caused the results described in the original report, nor would it have disrupted people’s sanity.

Later, psychologists pointed out one after another that Professor Philip Zimbardo, who conducted the experiment, exaggerated the results to gain attention, and there was a possibility of fabrication.

There were even audio recordings proving that the “guards” behaved cruelly under the guidance of the supervising professor, and the screaming prisoners were also performing.

It was like a reality show, so its final presentation and conclusions were not as reliable.

To prove this point and clarify the true conclusion, perhaps the best way would be to repeat the experiment.

“But these are just my speculations…” Su Hui cautiously spoke up.

Lu Junchi said, “There must be people who knew about the events back then. We can gather relevant evidence.”

“Deputy Director Wang’s sudden suicide is likely an indication that the other side is already aware. It means our current investigative direction is correct, and they are forced into a corner, resorting to self-preservation,” Yao Fei smirked. “Their people are hiding and retreating. For us, now is the best time to pursue them while we have the advantage.”

What he said was true, but the rest of the Major Crimes Unit felt somewhat helpless.

Old Qu muttered, “It seems like there are plenty of leads, and those people provided a lot of information, but there’s nothing we can follow up on.”

This case was not going to be easy…

TN:

It’s the final showdown y’all. This whole premise of a psychologist influencing people to commit crimes is very similar to S.C.I. If you haven’t read it, are you even worthy of being a criminal investigations and psychology fan?!

EuphoriaT[Translator]

Certified member of the IIO(International Introverts Organization), PhD holder in Overthinking and Ghosting, Spokesperson for BOBAH(Benefits of Being a Homebody), Founder of SFA(Salted Fish Association), Brand Ambassador for Couch Potato fall line Pajama set.

2 Comments
  1. mephestophelesmuse has spoken 8 months ago

    I new wang was dirty. also during one of my abnormal psychology classes we had to watch the Stamford prison experiment hours and hours of footage it was rough.

    Reply
  2. mikmik has spoken 10 months ago

    So prof zhang is one. who is behind him??

    Reply

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