In the General Bureau Office at four o’clock in the afternoon.
They heard that Teacher Su was coming, so after lunch, Zheng Bai arranged Su Hui’s desk according to Lu Junchi’s instructions. Xia Mingxi cleaned the office, Qiao Ze helped Su Hui collect office supplies, and Qu Ming took the opportunity of an errand to go out and buy fruit.
Just yesterday, the Major Crimes Unit finally received the news that Teacher Su had agreed to come and serve as a consultant.
Su Hui helped them a lot in the last case, and those team members were all impressed by his abilities, so they were looking forward to his arrival.
The entire Major Crimes Unit occupied a medium-sized office. Lu Junchi had a glass partition with blinds, and outside the door was Su Hui’s desk, which was much larger than the others’.
Qiao Ze leaned over and said, “This doesn’t look like a consultant’s position.” He felt like he had seen this layout before.
“What does it look like, then?” Xia Mingxi walked over with a cup of water and asked.
“If Captain Lu looks up, he can see Teacher Su. It looks like a secretary’s position. Or the kind of position held by the CEO’s lover,” Qiao Ze thought for a moment and said.
When Xia Mingxi heard this, she almost spurted water out of her mouth.
A few people were talking when Qu Ming came back carrying things, besides a few packs of fruit, he also held a bouquet of flowers: “Don’t just stand there, help me out.”
Zheng Bai went to help wash the fruit, and the office became quiet.
After a while, Xia Mingxi walked over to look at the bouquet, “Oh, you also bought flowers? Did Captain Lu instruct you to do so?”
Qu Ming said, “No, it was my idea. It’s the first day of the new consultant, and it’s nice to give a bouquet of flowers.”
“What, are you trying to represent the people and give flowers to Teacher Su?” Qiao Ze looked carefully, “But you should have bought some carnations or sunflowers. With roses, lavenders, and baby’s breath, you could even confess your love with a heart-shaped arrangement. Captain Lu is particular about these things. Don’t try too hard to please him and end up being ridiculed.”
Qu Ming didn’t know much about flowers, he just thought they looked pretty and didn’t see anything wrong with it. He said, “Then I’ll go hide it.”
As they were speaking, Zheng Bai came over after finishing washing the fruit and warned, “They’re here, they’ve already come upstairs.”
Qu Ming saw that it was too late, so he had a quick idea and handed the flowers to the only girl on the team, Xia Mingxi, “Xiao Xia, take it. Uncle will take you out to eat later.”
“Huh?” Xia Mingxi hadn’t caught the bouquet that fell from the sky, and then Lu Junchi pushed open the door and walked in, followed by Su Hui with his staff in hand…
The atmosphere in the office suddenly became tense. It was Qiao Ze who first reacted and greeted them: “Captain Lu, Teacher Su…”
Xia Mingxi blinked her eyes, holding a large bouquet of flowers, trying to prepare herself to give away this hot potato.
She was about to give the flowers to Su Hui, when she suddenly looked up and saw Lu Junchi’s gaze sweep over the flowers, and his lips straightened into a line.
Then Xia Mingxi saw Qiao Ze desperately signaling to her with his eyes, blinking so much that his eyelids were twitching.
As a girl, although Xia Mingxi had a long reflex arc and was somewhat emotionally dull, she still had some sixth sense. She involuntarily shivered, sensing a dangerous atmosphere.
Xia Mingxi didn’t know exactly what was wrong, but she felt that if the flowers were handed from her to Su Hui’s hands, things would probably go awry. But her hand was already reaching out…
Xia Mingxi’s mind quickly came up with an idea. She swiftly turned her arm at a 90-degree angle and handed the flowers to Lu Junchi next to her, then smiled coyly and said, “Captain Lu, the flowers, why don’t you give them to Teacher Su?”
Lu Junchi reached out and took the flowers, confirming that they were a deep purple rose, a pink rose, and white baby’s breath. He then handed the flowers to Su Hui next to him and said, “Um, these were bought for you. Welcome to the team!”
The flowers passed from Qu Ming to Xia Mingxi to Lu Junchi and finally to Su Hui, all in a short amount of time, like a game of passing the hot potato.
“Thank you, everyone.” Su Hui took the flowers and lowered his head, he was only able to discern a blurry array of colors. However, he could smell the fragrance of the flowers and couldn’t help but reach out to touch the petals.
With the bouquet successfully presented to the beautiful person, everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
“Teacher Su recently injured his back and may not be able to run around the field frequently in the future. Please take care of him.” Lu Junchi added, “Xiao Xia, could you find a vase to put the flowers in?”
Xia Mingxi saw the crisis was averted and quickly left the scene, saying, “Sure, I’ll be right back!” She found a suitable transparent glass vase and hurried to the restroom.
Only a few male colleagues were left in the office. Qu Ming started clapping and said, “Welcome, Teacher Su! Let’s have some fruit, which Captain Lu specially bought.”
Su Hui said, “Let’s all eat together, and I hope you will take good care of me in the future.”
“Captain Lu is wise and with the addition of Teacher Su as an advisor, we will be able to achieve twice the results with half the effort,” Qiao Ze delivered a series of flattery without blushing or panting. “Besides, we will need Teacher Su to help us analyze the cases in the future, and it’s thanks to you for taking care of us.”
At this moment, Xia Mingxi returned with the glass vase and some water, she inserted the flowers and placed them on Su Hui’s desk.
The whole office became more vibrant.
After some small talk, Qiao Ze brought up the main topic, “By the way, Captain Lu, there’s been a major case in Huadu recently, the sub-bureau hasn’t finished organizing yet, and they’ve scheduled a formal handover tomorrow…”
Although they often joked around, when it came to work, the atmosphere in the entire Major Crimes Unit became serious.
Lu Junchi asked, “What kind of case is it?”
Qiao Ze replied, “It’s a home invasion and murder case, reported by the sub-bureau and approved by the Review Committee.”
The Review Committee was a special organization set up by the Huadu General Bureau. During the first few years of Director Tan’s tenure, public security in Huadu was still a big problem. One reason was that the sub-bureau had a lot of power, with one sub-bureau director in charge of one area. The sub-bureaus acted independently, passing the buck to each other and only responsible for their own areas. When they encountered a case, they only investigated their own parts, and the reports they submitted were all written separately. It was like peering at the world through a narrow tube, making it impossible to see the whole picture.
One issue was that the criminal investigators and leaders at the sub-bureaus were fixed, while the quality of the grassroots investigators was not high. Due to technical limitations and limited ability, it was inevitable that there would be errors and hasty judgments in cases, and even wrongful convictions that involved impersonation and loss of life.
To change these chaotic situations, Director Tan established the Review Committee two years ago.
Usually, when a case is received, the sub-bureau’s investigation is not enough. The information must be handed over to the Review Committee of the General Bureau for them to check for omissions and fill in gaps.
Since the establishment of the Review Committee, they have actually identified several mistakes made by the sub-bureaus, catching them in their wrongdoings and bringing their leaders to heel.
Since then, the Review Committee’s authority has expanded. They are responsible not only for reviewing and closing cases but also for reviewing suspicious cases and merging them with related cases.
Each sub-bureau can also apply to the Review Committee for help in judging cases and then transfer them to the appropriate department.
The two cases this time were assigned by the Review Committee, marked with a star and a question mark. The star indicates a major case, while the question mark suggests that there are common points in the investigative process, and it is suspected that they should be combined, but further verification is needed.
Lu Junchi has met the leader of the Review Committee several times, and the leader of the group is a capable woman, with a beautiful name, Tao Lizhi. This sister does things efficiently, and she has made a name for herself in this male-dominated General Bureau, with many supporters.
A gang committing home invasion, murders, and robberies would be considered a major case anywhere, let alone when they have committed multiple offenses. Upon hearing this, Lu Junchi immediately became serious and said, “Do we have the case files? Show them to me.”
“The previous cases occurred across multiple cities and we haven’t gathered all the files yet. Right now, we only have the crime scene investigation reports and haven’t received the forensic and physical evidence results,” said Qiao Ze, handing over the files.
Having already looked over the two reports, Qu Ming walked over and introduced the case, “This is a case of a roaming gang committing home invasions, robberies, and murders. They have previously committed multiple crimes across the country, operated as a gang, and used brutal methods, but there has always been little evidence. About a week ago, my senior in Qin City said that he found some clues and predicted they would be heading south soon, so he warned me to be cautious. And now, as soon as we arrived in Huadu, they committed two crimes within a week.”
These two cases occurred just a few days ago, on the same day they returned from Lincheng.
A newlywed couple was killed by someone who broke into their home, with both husband and wife being stabbed multiple times.
What was strange was that the perpetrators did not seem to be in a hurry to escape, even resting in the victim’s home for a while and even eating the fruit and ice cream from the refrigerator.
The couple’s phones were left on the dining table, with fingerprints wiped off.
After committing the crime, the perpetrators leisurely cleaned up the scene, carefully wiping the fingerprints off the knives and mopping the floor without leaving any footprints. Some of the robbers smoked, leaving some cigarette ash traces inside the house, but no cigarette butts were found.
After the incident, ten thousand yuan was withdrawn from the wife’s bank card. The police retrieved surveillance footage of the withdrawal, and the money was taken by a man wearing a hood and a mask.
The other case was even more bizarre. It happened last night, and the perpetrators broke into a small duplex where not only the couple but also the parents-in-law and their child were present, making a total of five people in the house.
After breaking in, the perpetrator quickly used a baseball bat to kill the wife in the living room, then encountered the mother-in-law who came downstairs to check and stabbed her with a knife.
The husband and father-in-law rushed down after hearing the commotion and fought with the perpetrator, who then fled.
This time, the killer didn’t have time to clean up the scene and left behind eyewitnesses.
It was reported that there were three perpetrators, one male with a hood and mask who fought with the victim, and a woman and a teenager who were outside the door keeping watch and providing assistance.
Their descriptions of the perpetrator matched the man seen in the surveillance footage of the first case.
The police followed the clues and retrieved more surveillance footage, eventually locating all three perpetrators. It was confirmed that there was indeed a woman and a teenager with the man.
The case file also included witness testimony and photo evidence.
A home is supposed to be a warm place, but these two cases turned homes into crime scenes.
The two neighborhoods are not far apart and belong to the same area.
Within a short period of time, two cases of home invasion and murder occurred in the same police station. The criminal investigation team of the station submitted an application for review to the review team, which then transferred the cases to the heavy crime team of the central bureau.
Xia Mingxi flipped through the file and asked, “Targeting young couples? Are we going after ‘The Monster of Florence’?”
Although it had been many years, the name of the Florence Killer still echoed in people’s ears. The killer had murdered eight couples in Italy.
“We can’t conclude that yet,” said Lu Junchi, frowning as he looked through the file.
Su Hui reached out and said, “Let me take a look too.”
“The killer robbed the victims and murdered them…,” Lu Junchi handed over the case file and continued, “There were three perpetrators in total, and the combination looks a bit like a family of three…”
Su Hui murmured in agreement and patiently continued reading.
Lu Junchi turned to Qiao Ze and instructed, “This case is not small. If it’s confirmed to be a serial crime, be prepared to work hard when we officially take over the case.”
His subordinates nodded in response. This kind of case was a major one no matter where it occurred.
After discussing the new case, Xia Mingxi brought over several stacks of documents summarizing the previous case for review by Lu Junchi.
The suspect in the previous case, Fu Yunchu, was still detained in Ancheng due to his injuries and was scheduled to be transferred at a later time.
Lu Junchi signed off on each document and completed the necessary paperwork.
The investigation files for both cases were already quite thick, and Su Hui’s eyesight was not great, so he couldn’t read for too long. After reading a few pages, he focused on pressing his eyebrows, feeling that there was something wrong with the case, but he hadn’t figured out exactly what it was yet.
After a moment, Su Hui looked up and asked, “Where are the bodies of the couple who were stabbed to death in the first case?”
Lu Junchi had asked Qiao Ze to inquire about it beforehand and replied, “They are currently with the forensic doctor.”
“And what about the dead wife in the other case?” Su Hui asked.
“She’s still at the funeral home and hasn’t been transferred yet,” Lu Junchi replied.
“I want to go see the bodies of the couple,” Su Hui said.
Lu Junchi put down the documents in his hand and asked, “Aren’t you afraid?” In his mind, Su Hui was always an academic, who looked fragile and lonely.
Seeing a real body and looking at photos gave people completely different feelings.
Those bodies were once living people, but now they lay on the dissecting table, cold, covered in lividity and scars, and the air was filled with the putrid smell of decay.
Many people, even if they are not afraid of seeing pictures of corpses, would still have trouble sleeping for several days after seeing real bodies.
Su Hui lowered his eyes and said calmly, “I’ve seen bodies before, you don’t have to worry about me.”
Lan Junchi suddenly felt that he didn’t know Su Hui well enough.
“I’m almost done here, let’s go together,” Lu Junchi said, picking up Su Hui’s backpack, and they walked out of the door of the Major Crimes Unit, with several subordinates saluting them as they left.
The first official case begins. Woowoo that’s the sound of the police! Follow the clues to see if you can guess what the killers’ motives are and who they are!
The Monster of Florence – An unidentified Italian serial killer that murdered 8 couples. His M.O. involved creeping up on unsuspecting couples who were either sleeping or making love in parked cars or camper vans and shooting them with his trademark weapon, a .22-caliber pistol. He usually killed the male with multiple gunshots, while the female was subjected to post-mortem mutilation that was always sexual in nature. Sick fact, in the first murder where he killed Antonio Lo Bianco and Barbara Locci, Barbara’s 6 years old son was sleeping in the backseat and was awakened by the sound of the gunshots. The killer carried him away and dropped him off at a nearby farmhouse. (At least he wasn’t evil enough to kill an innocent child.) There were several men who were suspected of the murders including Barbara’s husband who was even convicted but was later released since the crimes continued while he was already in prison, but up until the end, no one was conclusively identified as the ‘Monster of Florence’. There was even a theory that it was the work of multiple men as part of a Satanic cult. The Monster of Florence inspired the 1999 novel Hannibal, written by Thomas Harris. It was also featured in Season 2 of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders and Criminal Minds.
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PS: For those who were asking me to take on Criminal Investigation Files, I was planning to start on it this week but I went on NU to check and someone has already picked it up so you can head on here for the latest updates. It’s a shared universe with Criminal Investigation Notes so for those who haven’t read it, you can also check it out, it’s really good. <