Criminal Investigation Notes
Criminal Investigation Notes: Chapter 40
“It’s almost twelve o’clock,” said Lu Junchi as he looked at his watch. He felt like they had gathered enough information and ended the conversation with, “Ms. Li, thank you for your help. Your information has been very useful, and we will do our best to catch these robbers. If you remember anything else or need anything, feel free to call me.”

Lu Junchi and Su Hui left the flower shop, and Lu Junchi asked Su Hui, “Why weren’t you talking earlier?”

Su Hui coughed a few times and said, “You asked good questions. I didn’t have much to say.”

The fragrance of the flowers in the shop was too strong, and he was having trouble breathing. It felt like his old injuries were recurring, and every breath felt like there were tiny shards of glass in his body, from his chest to his throat.

He didn’t want Lu Junchi to worry, so he paused and said, “Plus, the story seemed intriguing, and I didn’t want to interrupt.”

In any case, they had obtained a lot of valuable information, and they now had a better understanding of the robbers’ modus operandi.

Lu Junchi made a call to the Major Crimes Unit and asked them to continue investigating the testimony of Li Yawen’s ex-husband. He also asked Qu Ming to compare the suspect’s features with the list of survivors of recent fires in China.

Qu Ming promptly agreed to the task.

After hanging up the phone, Lu Junchi said to Su Hui, “We won’t make it back for lunch. Let’s grab something to eat.”

Su Hui replied, “I’m not really hungry.” He had just finished drinking a carton of milk, and his mind was still preoccupied with what Li Yawen had said earlier.

Lu Junchi said, “Even if you’re not hungry, you should eat a little something. Is there anything you want to eat?”

Su Hui was too lazy to think, “Anything is fine.”

Anything, isn’t that the most difficult dish to choose…

Lu Junchi was a bit helpless, so he searched online and led Su Hui to a nearby Chinese restaurant.

When the dishes arrived, Su Hui smelled them and found that they were very fragrant. He lowered his head to examine them carefully and realized that they were all dishes he liked.

Su Hui didn’t know when Lu Junchi took note of his preferences.

He had just said he wasn’t hungry, but when he saw his favorite food, he couldn’t help but start eating quietly with his chopsticks.

To Lu Junchi, Su Hui seemed like an iceberg, with only a small peak showing above the surface, making it difficult to see the shape beneath the water. It was only by getting closer that one could enter his inner world and understand what kind of person he was.

After quickly finishing lunch, Lu Junchi took Su Hui back on the road.

Once Su Hui got into the car, he said he was a bit sleepy and lay down on the passenger seat. He fell asleep soon after, and although Lu Junchi didn’t wake him up, he knew that Su Hui was not sleeping well. He was wearing an eye mask and kept moving around, clearly not sleeping soundly.

The return journey was smoother than the trip there. At 4 pm, Lu Junchi’s car finally left the highway and entered the urban area of Huadu.

Su Hui had been sleeping the whole way, he rubbed his eyes for a while and finally sat up, making his eyes red.

Looking at Su Hui’s messy hair, Lu Junchi couldn’t help but reach out and tidy it up a bit. He asked, “After listening to the previous testimony from Li Yawen, have you thought of anything?”

Su Hui said, “The murderers are killing to *destroy their victims’ hearts and kill their spirit.”

Just now, Su Hui was in a meditative state rather than sleeping. The cases, the details, and the events kept rolling over in his mind as he tried to make sense of everything.

The murderers were too cruel. This cruelty was not just about the number of people they killed, the cases they created were mostly mass murders, and they chose to commit these crimes in people’s homes. It was more about destroying their victims’ hearts.

They dissected the little secrets in each person’s life and tore apart their seemingly harmonious families in front of the victims, making their worlds crumble bit by bit. After the victims were left in despair, the murderer would take away their lives.

Love and family are the most beautiful things in the world. Betrayal, life and death – these things are like hidden mines, and what the murderers do is to set them off one by one.

They destroy the beautiful things for people to see.

How desperate the victims must have been before they died.

As they entered the city, the car slowed down, and there were many traffic lights.

The slow speed of the car finally allowed Lu Junchi to ask without distraction, “Based on what we know now, can you analyze the killer’s psychology?” After asking this question, Lu Junchi immediately added, “I know we will definitely find actual evidence, but this is just for reference…”

Su Hui saw that what he wanted to remind Lu Junchi of had already been said, so he began to analyze, “When I heard the robber’s question, I thought of a game theory model – the volunteer’s dilemma.”

This was the first time Lu Junchi had heard of the volunteer’s dilemma.

“What is the volunteer dilemma?”

“The so-called volunteer dilemma refers to a situation in which among a group of people, one person needs to step forward and sacrifice themselves so that others can be safe. But how many people are willing to be the volunteer? For many years, people have tried to use mathematics and psychological factors to explain and solve this problem, but there is no effective solution to this dilemma.”

Everyone hopes that there will be a hero to protect them in times of crisis, but not everyone can protect others in sudden situations.

Human nature is the hardest thing to predict and control.

This game has spawned many experiments, but many experimental results contradict the predictions of standard game theory.

Lu Junchi realized: “The robber framed this problem in the context of a family and added many conditions.”

“In fact, the core of the problem is, when the family is in danger, as a family member, are you willing to sacrifice yourself to save your family?” Su Hui continued to analyze calmly, “The perpetrator treated entering the victim’s home as a murder game, which is divided into multiple rounds. The question in each round is whether you are willing to sacrifice yourself for your family.”

“Assuming that there are only a husband and wife as victims, after the first round, there will be three situations. The first situation is that the husband and wife each suffer one knife. The second situation is that the husband says he is willing to die for his wife, and the wife also wishes the husband to die, so the husband suffers two knives. The third situation is that the wife says she is willing to die for her husband, and the husband wishes the wife to die, so the wife suffers two knives. The first situation is relatively stable, while in the latter two situations, people’s inner world will be imbalanced. Willingness to sacrifice oneself and someone else’s wish for you to die are two different concepts. If there are more people in this family, the process will be even more complicated.”

When one learns that their loved ones are going to be killed, it is the greatest harm to the victim, and many people’s beliefs will collapse at this moment.

“If the first round maintains balance, the killer will begin to reveal secrets between the couple. In the course of their family life, there will inevitably be money issues and friction in life. They will find the points of contradiction and amplify them, causing the love between the victims to gradually collapse. With pain and emotional breakdown, they will proceed to the second round, third round… Once one person in the couple insists on giving up and says they want the other to die, the balance will be broken.”

Lu Junchi thought for a moment and said, “So, it’s a cycle. If the balance is not broken, they will continue to enter the next round. Once the balance is broken and both people say they want the other to die, they will be killed…”

It sounds like no matter how one chooses, they will ultimately be sent to their death.

Su Hui thought about it and added, “The operating rules of this game are like the Centipede Game, where two participants take turns choosing between cooperation and betrayal. If they choose cooperation, the game continues endlessly. Once they choose betrayal, the relationship will break down.”

Lu Junchi had heard of this theory before because the data model is similar to a centipede, hence its name. He then asked, “Why would those robbers do such a thing?”

Su Hui lowered his head and focused, placing his sharp chin on his scepter. “I feel that one or more of those robbers may have experienced betrayal, which has caused them constant pain. The experience of being betrayed has traumatized their hearts, causing them to hate the betrayer. As a result, they try to find more examples to prove that love and family are unreliable. They watch others follow in their footsteps and execute the betrayer, deriving pleasure from revenge. Therefore, they choose supposedly loving families as their victims to test and then kill them.”

After listening to Li Yawen’s account, Su Hui finally understood what those robbers were looking for. They were using death to compensate for their emotional trauma.

There was an interesting pattern as well – the male robber targeted female victims, while the female robber targeted male victims.

Suddenly, Su Hui thought of something and said to Lu Junchi, “Remind Qu Ming and the others that they not only need to investigate people with criminal records, but also those who may have been victims in the past.”

Lu Junchi responded with a sound and sent a voice message to Qu Ming.

Su Hui continued, “There is a psychological phenomenon called projection, where people attribute their own traits onto others. When those people experience trauma, they seek psychological balance by hoping that others will think and act like them, in the hopes that the same thing will happen to them.”

Lu Junchi asked, “So do you think there’s no way to break this cycle?”

Su Hui frowned and thought for a moment. “In fact, once you give up on your family, you give up on yourself.”

Lu Junchi asked, “Are you saying that if a victim cannot bear the pressure and says they want to kill the other person, they have essentially sentenced themselves to death?”

“That is one of the conditions for the bandits’ slaughter,” Su Hui replied. “You can find that at the beginning, the wounds on the couple’s bodies were not severe. They persisted till the end, believing in each other, willing to sacrifice for each other. The robbers might hate the victims, threaten them, but they would not kill them because at that time, the victims still had hope in their hearts, and what happened did not match the bandits’ experiences. The robbers couldn’t project themselves onto the victims, their desires weren’t satisfied, and they wouldn’t get the pleasure of killing.”

“The robbers might rage and become extremely impatient, but they might ultimately give up.”

So far, except for Li Yawen and her ex-husband who luckily escaped, none of the other victims have survived, meaning that no one persisted till the end. Most families had their balance broken in the second round, either the wife or the husband retreated, and only a few persisted until the third round.

The longest persistence might be a couple from another city. They were stabbed four times each before the fifth fatal blow, which means their balance was broken in the fifth round. The longer the persistence, the greater the chance of being saved… but they eventually died by the knife. Perhaps their relationship had broken, or perhaps they couldn’t bear the pain and despair and chose to give up. Only the robbers knew the truth.

Human nature cannot withstand the test, even when facing loved ones. Those panicked victims wouldn’t think that the answer and the final truth were the opposite. Under high pressure, people would consider practical results more and wouldn’t dare to gamble with their lives.

But one must risk death to gain life, and seeking life may lead to death. The tested family must be as firm as steel, with everyone having the determination to go all-out, to have a chance of persisting to the end and obtaining the hope of survival.

Su Hui said, “The police currently have access to too little testimony to make a judgment, so we can only rely on the many details at the crime scenes.”

“Regardless, we’re closer to the answer than before. Although your analysis is all on a psychological level,” said Lu Junchi. “I think that by pursuing these directions, we can find concrete evidence.”

The brutal killers were no longer vague figures; they had now been outlined by Su Hui.

Finally, they arrived at the General Bureau, where Lu Junchi’s car stopped outside the gate. Su Hui got out of the car and stretched his stiff waist. Even with the waist support, he still felt the exhaustion of the journey.

Lu Junchi walked ahead, with Su Hui following him. They passed through the front hall of the General Bureau and made their way to the back office area, to the third floor where the Major Crimes Unit was located.

The team members were all busy, but they greeted Lu Junchi when he entered.

Lu Junchi told them about the progress they had made during their investigation that day, and Su Hui described the psychological profile of the suspect, which helped all the team members gain a deeper understanding of the criminals.

Then Lu Junchi asked them, “How is everyone’s work progressing?”

Qu Ming said, “I’ve already reviewed all the domestic fire accident files from the past three years, and I’m working with Zheng Bai to investigate them one by one. We currently have three suspects, and I’ll compile a list later.”

“Good. Please report any news to me at any time,” said Lu Junchi.

Xia Mingxi said, “Captain Lu, I’m analyzing the victims and gathering all their information to find commonalities between them.”

“Great, keep up the good work,” replied Lu Junchi.

Afterward came various summary information, signatures, organizing documents, and they kept busy until the end of the afternoon.

Su Hui lay on the table, greatly admiring Lu Junchi’s energetic state. They got up before 6 am in the morning and rushed around all day. Su Hui had slept in the car for a long time but still felt exhausted. Perhaps only “superhumans” like Lu Junchi could maintain such a working state.

In the evening, Lu Junchi drove the car back to Su Hui’s neighborhood. Su Hui looked at the elevator, which had four characters written on it: “Under maintenance.” There was a notice posted by the property next to it, saying that it was closed until 9 pm.

After a long day of work, Su Hui supported his forehead and collapsed completely. He deeply regretted buying a home on the tenth floor.

Lu Junchi grabbed him and said, “Come on, let’s take it as exercise.”

To set an example, Lu Junchi took the lead in climbing the stairs, walking in front all the way.

Su Hui could keep up at first, but gradually lost strength and fell behind.

Lu Junchi suggested carrying him up.

Su Hui waved his hand and said, “You go up first, don’t worry about me.”

When they reached the seventh floor, Su Hui counted the twenty-four steps on each floor clearly. But due to lack of oxygen in the brain, his limbs were sore, and his legs felt like they were filled with lead and could not move.

Su Hui rested with his cane for a moment, looked up, and saw the endless staircase spiraling upwards. He felt like everything was twisting around him, and the hallway seemed to be soft and would collapse with a little force.

He dared not look up anymore, and the sense of unease deepened further. Su Hui leaned against the wall to prevent himself from falling. It felt as though there was an endless abyss behind him.

He felt suffocated, as if the air around him was mixed with icy blades, forcing him to cough. It was an inward cough, as if his lungs had lost their normal breathing function.

“Su Hui.” Suddenly a voice sounded in his ear, and Su Hui looked up but couldn’t see the person clearly. Judging from the voice, it should be Lu Junchi. Judging by the time, he should have climbed up already, but he returned for some reason.

In fact, Lu Junchi hadn’t been walking too fast. He had climbed one more floor than Su Hui, and occasionally looked back at him. When they reached the sixth floor, he suddenly found that Su Hui had stopped. He was worried, so he turned back and found that Su Hui was not in a good state. His eyes were unfocused, his face turned pale, and he kept coughing.

Su Hui finally caught his breath and stopped coughing. He still felt something was strange around him, but it was much better than before. He explained to Lu Junchi, “I’m just a bit tired. Let me rest for a while.”

“I know you’re tired today.” Lu Junchi looked at Su Hui and knew he was not okay. But he still pretended to be tough and held him, saying, “We only have a few more floors to go. I can carry you up.”

Su Hui became nervous and coughed a few more times, “No, it’s okay. I’ll rest for a while, and I’ll be fine later. It’s not a big deal.”

Lu Junchi knew that he had become accustomed to this work rhythm, but it was too demanding for Su Hui. Rather than saying that he was protecting him, it was Su Hui who was helping the criminal investigation team with all his might. When he thought of this, his heart softened, and he said to Su Hui, “There’s no one else here right now, and no one will know. Besides, I’ll only carry you this once.”

Su Hui looked at him and hesitated for a few seconds before finally making a decision.

Lu Junchi said again, “If you go up as soon as possible, you can rest well.”

Su Hui was persuaded and hesitated for a moment before handing his scepter to Lu Junchi, no longer stubborn.

Lu Junchi turned around and placed his hands on Su Hui’s shoulders, leaning on his back.

Completely different from Su Hui, Lu Junchi was definitely the type of person who looked thin in clothes but had muscles when undressed. He was tall and insisted on exercising, with perfect muscle lines, like a natural clothes hanger. His shoulders were so broad that leaning on them felt secure.

Su Hui closed his eyes and relied on his senses to feel the world.

He could feel the temperature on Lu Junchi’s body, touch the muscle lines around his neck, and as Lu Junchi’s steps moved, his body lightly swayed and surrounded him, gradually easing his sense of suspension.

Su Hui remembered that after this period of time, he was almost done with his moon puzzle. The black and white fragments constantly came together under his fingertips, forming a complete image of the universe, bringing a sense of shock to people.

In the midst of the unknown, it seemed that his world had become more complete.

TN:

Show/Hide Notes
 I was a bit confused about whether the author wanted to talk about the Prisoner’s Dilemma or the Volunteer’s Dilemma in regards to this case. Because the explanation given was on Volunteer’s Dilemma but what the robbers put the couples through is more in line with Prisoner’s Dilemma. That’s according to my personal opinion. The volunteer’s dilemma and the prisoner’s dilemma are both examples of game theory concepts that illustrate situations where individual incentives can lead to suboptimal outcomes for the group as a whole. However, there are some key differences between the two concepts.

The volunteer’s dilemma is a situation where a group of people could all benefit if someone were to volunteer for a task or action, but no one wants to be the one to do it because it may require more effort or time than they are willing to invest. As a result, the task may not get done or may not be done as well as it could be, even though everyone in the group would benefit from it being completed.

On the other hand, the prisoner’s dilemma is a situation where two individuals are faced with a decision of whether to cooperate or not. Each individual has an incentive to defect and not cooperate, even though the best outcome for both is if they were to cooperate. The dilemma arises because if one person cooperates and the other does not, the non-cooperating individual will receive a better outcome.

I think I need to do a little more reading on the connection between the two concepts. What’s your take on this?

Show/Hide Note
I also had a problem with accurately translating 诛心. The literal translation is: to criticize somebody for what one believes to be their ulterior motive. 

From a forum post I got the below explanation: 


So, literally, there can be two interpretations (perhaps a bit confusing when interpreted literally): killing intent or attacking the mind. It can be understood as breaking down one’s spirit and crushing their psychological defenses, where attacking the mind is superior to physical destruction, corresponding to the literal meaning.

The accusation of motive, that is, motive theory, has a negative connotation and generally refers to a person criticizing another person without focusing on the facts, instead accusing their motives. In reality, motives are purely subjective, and only the person involved knows their own motives. This kind of accusation can leave people speechless. Most people would consider attacking the mind to be a more malicious approach. (Representative words: attacking the mind, motive theory)

In conclusion:
The term “诛心” can be translated to “kill the heart” or “exterminate the heart.” However, the meaning of this phrase is quite complex and can vary depending on the context. It can refer to a deep emotional pain or a desire to get rid of negative feelings such as jealousy or hatred. In some cases, it can also mean to eliminate someone’s willpower or motivation.
LMAO Feels like I just wrote an essay with the intro, body and conclusion. All that to explain how I don’t understand something. 

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. SL has spoken 5 months ago

    Thank you for your hardwork. Love your intro,footnote and explaination.

    Reply
  2. qyura has spoken 8 months ago

    Thank you so much for your hard work!

    Reply

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