Criminal Investigation Notes
Criminal Investigation Notes: Chapter 41
The next morning, as soon as Xia Mingxi arrived at the Major Crimes Unit, she noticed that the layout of the office had changed. There was a large, long sofa added to the left side of the room. The sofa was dark gray in color and had a few pillows and backrests on it.

It was more like a bed than a sofa, as it was over two meters long and could easily accommodate an adult lying down.

Curious, Xia Mingxi looked at Qiao Ze and pointed to the sofa, “What is this?”

Qiao Ze explained, “Oh, the sofa was requested by the Captain from the logistics team for us to use when we work overtime. It was just delivered this morning.”

The team had worked overtime until midnight the day before, and today they were all sporting dark circles under their eyes. Fortunately, there had been a major breakthrough in the case.

At that moment, several team members took advantage of the fact that Lu Junchi had not yet arrived and began gossiping.

Zheng Bai walked over and sat on the sofa. The springs were good, and it was just soft enough. “Ah, Captain Lu is being kind to us. He knows how to take care of his subordinates. I’ve been envious of the beds in the Criminal Investigation Division for a long time. They’re useful for duty and now we have the equipment too. We can at least take a nap during overtime.”

Qiao Ze took a bite of his breakfast bun and said, “We’re so busy we don’t even have much time to lie down. Besides, you used to go over to the Criminal Investigation Division and sleep on their beds during duty.”

Their team was small and the office was not very spacious, so it wasn’t really necessary to apply for a bed. However, the significance of the sofa was different.

Qu Ming whispered, “Captain Lu is showing favoritism…”

Zheng Bai suddenly realized, “Oh, I remember that Professor Su is not in good health. So we’re benefiting from him ah…”

Xia Mingxi leaned against her hand and said, “I wonder if Captain Lu is so attentive and considerate to his girlfriend.”

Everyone turned to look at Xia Mingxi upon hearing this.

The attention made Xia Mingxi nervous. “Ah, what’s wrong? Did I say something wrong?”

Just then, Zheng Bai looked towards the door and said, “Captain Lu is here, shh…”

The gossiping voices immediately stopped.

Lu Junchi walked in quickly with Su Hui following behind him. He sat down at his desk while Su Hui’s gaze fell on the sofa. He put down his staff, walked over to the sofa, sat down, and grabbed a pillow to hold in his arms. His movements were so skilled that it was as if he was holding a cat.

TN: This imagery is too cute🥺

Lu Junchi looked at Su Hui and felt that he was also like a cat, just like Aristotle. He would treat any sofa as his cat bed.

With everyone present, Lu Junchi said, “Let’s get to work and gather all the information we have on the suspects in this case.”

As soon as he spoke, the lively atmosphere in the office disappeared, and everyone became nervous. Lu Junchi called out, “Qu Ming, please tell us about yesterday’s comparison results.”

“Sure.” Qu Ming quickly brought forward several stacks of documents and said, “We have already confirmed the identities of three robbers. First, let’s talk about the male robber. Based on the information we obtained from Li Yawen and her ex-husband yesterday, we compared the list of survivors of major domestic fires in the past three years and found a person who matched the robber’s appearance. As a result, we confirmed the identity of the male robber.”

As he spoke, Qu Ming pinned a male photo on the whiteboard in the office. It was an enlarged standard ID photo, and the person in the photo had dark skin, a furrowed brow, and a hint of gloominess, looking very similar to the man captured on the surveillance footage.

“Qin Yongchen, male, 34 years old, 1.82 meters tall, with a college degree. He used to be a coach at a fitness center before being burned in the 4.17 Decheng Supermarket fire two years ago.”

“I remember now, I think I know this person…” Xia Mingxi exclaimed.

Qu Ming nodded and continued, “I think many people must have seen that news. When the fire broke out, Qin Yongchen and his girlfriend of five years were on the fourth floor where the fire was most severe. They got separated in the fire, and after Qin Yongchen managed to escape, he found that his girlfriend was still inside. Despite people’s dissuasion, he went back into the fire to search for her.”

Hearing this, Qiao Ze suddenly remembered something and interjected, “I’ve seen that too. Many media outlets reported it at the time…”

“Before the firefighters arrived, Qin Yongchen rescued his girlfriend, but he was overcome by smoke and passed out. His girlfriend chose to escape on her own at that time and made it out of the fire unscathed. Qin Yongchen, however, suffered severe burns all over his body, with 60% of his skin burned and was admitted to the ICU. Qin Yongchen’s heroic act of saving his girlfriend from the fire became a hot topic of discussion. His girlfriend was condemned by many for abandoning him,” Qu Ming explained.

Su Hui couldn’t see the photo clearly on the whiteboard, so he listened attentively with a pillow in his arms. He hadn’t paid attention to these social news during that time, or if he did, he didn’t remember it. However, this experience was consistent with his psychological profile of the criminal.

Xia Mingxi said, “I remember at that time his girlfriend said that if she stayed, she would likely be burned too. It’s human nature to escape before danger, but she was criticized harshly for it. Later, I remember they crowdfunded to save Qian Yongchen.”

As Qu Ming spoke, he posted some information on the whiteboard. “At that time, Qian Yongchen was severely injured and was critically ill several times. He stayed in the ICU for a long time and repeatedly suffered from infections. Some kind-hearted people heard about Qian Yongchen’s situation and donated money to crowdfund his medical expenses. Some people also came to visit him, but the heat of this matter did not last long and was soon overshadowed by other news.”

Lu Junchi urged, “What happened later?”

Qu Ming continued, “Qian Yongchen’s parents had already passed away, and his brother and sister-in-law did not think that he did a good thing by saving others. Instead, they felt that he was blinded by love and refused to pay his medical expenses and wanted to sever ties with him. At this time, the girlfriend’s family, who was originally considering marriage, changed their minds and no longer agreed to the marriage. Later, the girlfriend and her family moved away. The funds raised through crowdfunding were just a drop in the bucket. Qian Yongchen faced a huge debt alone and lost his job. He underwent treatment for a long time before slowly recovering, but his body suffered from extensive burns, and he had no money for skin grafting, so he had to stop treatment.”

Qiao Ze heard this and said, “No wonder Qian Yongchen wore all black clothes, covered himself tightly, and wore gloves every time he was caught on the surveillance camera. It turns out that he was burned…”

“After being discharged from the hospital, Qian Yongchen tried to contact his ex-girlfriend in many ways and eventually found her. He stopped her outside her workplace and interrogated her. The two of them had some physical altercation at the time, which was recorded by passersby and later circulated on the internet.”

Zheng Baida said, “I recognize this person. I watched that video clip… He was threatening his ex-girlfriend. I think I also commented on it online at that time.”

Qu Ming nodded and said, “This time, the people who initially supported Qian Yongchen one by one turned against him. Most people believed that he should not continue to harass the girl and was already causing her serious harm. The mainstream opinion online was that it’s natural for a boyfriend to save his girlfriend, right? It was his own decision to go back and save his girlfriend, and as an adult, he should bear the consequences of his actions. They have broken up, so he should not continue to harass her. Some people even said that Qian Yongchen has already ruined his appearance, and the girl shouldn’t be forced to accept him. Even though a few people accused the girl of being ungrateful to her savior and cold-hearted to her ex-boyfriend, their voices were soon drowned out by others.”

“Netizens used very harsh words to criticize him, even saying why he wasn’t burned to death at the time. Qian Yongchen also started to argue with them. He argued with people online for a long time, and later even began to insult some neutral or even sympathetic netizens. Many people thought he had gone crazy. Later on, Qian Yongchen once brought a knife to find his ex-girlfriend, but was stopped by security guards and passersby. The girlfriend called the police, and he was incarcerated for a period of time. After being released from prison, no one has seen him again, and he disappeared from public view.”

Upon hearing this, Su Hui spoke up, “Can you show me the posts he argued with others at that time?”

Qu Ming had already prepared a pile of materials, and handed them to Su Hui. He frowned and looked at them, hoping to find Qian Yongchen’s psychological trajectory from those comments.

Su Hui found that at the beginning, the main point of his argument with others was about the rightness or wrongness of his behavior in going back to save his girlfriend.

Is it right or wrong for his girlfriend to abandon him?

Qin Yongchen believed that his own actions were just, and his girlfriend’s actions should be condemned and punished. All his injuries were caused by his girlfriend. If he hadn’t gone back to save her, she would have died long ago.

The girlfriend’s escape on the scene was the first harm to him, and her abandonment afterwards was the second harm to him.

She should be punished, or make compensation to him.

But obviously, the girlfriend and most netizens do not think so.

In the end, Qin Yongchen was overwhelmed by these discussions, full of resentment, and began to attack and curse indiscriminately.

Qin Yongchen even proposed that people who betray and abandon their loved ones in times of crisis deserve to die.

Under such circumstances, no one supported him even more.

Later, Qu Ming posted a photo of a short-haired woman on the whiteboard: “This woman is called Mi Shu, 32 years old, 1.65 meters tall. Mi Shu used to be a female programmer at an Internet company. Before Qin Yongchen disappeared, she had visited him in the hospital and had given him some help. We compared the recent surveillance footage and she should be the woman among the robbers.”

The woman in the photo had short hair, was very thin and weak, and looked gentle and beautiful, able and efficient.

“After being reminded by Professor Su, we looked up some information and found that Mi Shu was a victim of a case three years ago. On a night in August that year, Mi Shu and her ex-husband were taking a walk on the street when they encountered three thugs. The thugs first whistled at Mi Shu, and then there was some friction and argument between the group. Mi Shu’s husband abandoned her and fled, while Mi Shu was then raped by the three men on the roadside.”

“This is a somewhat sad story. Men who should provide protection for women are the first to run away.”

Zheng Bai couldn’t help but say, “This kind of man is too useless.”

Qu Ming continued, “Even afterwards, it was Mi Shu who reported to the police. Later, some netizens criticized Mi Shu’s husband online, but he said that if he had stayed, he would most likely have been killed. Running away is a common reaction when one’s life is in danger.”

Qiao Ze indignantly said, “Is running away a common reaction? But he shouldn’t have just left his wife behind like that…I think this man who abandoned his wife should indeed be sent to prison.” Then he exclaimed, “This seems to be related to the mindset that Qian Yongchen had before. No wonder these two people ended up together…”

Xia Mingxi pursed her lips and, as the only girl present, spoke up: “Morally, you can criticize her husband, but legally, you can only say that he failed to fulfill his duties as a husband, constituting civil infringement. Whether or not he has violated criminal law depends on the specific circumstances. In situations like this, we have to be objective. As the saying goes, husband and wife are like birds of the same forest, facing a calamity together but each flying off in a different direction.”

Su Hui listened to this and remained silent.

Lu Junchi asked, “Qu Ming, have you contacted her family?”

Qu Ming nodded. “I contacted Mi Shu’s family early this morning. Her family said that after the incident, she divorced her husband firmly and resigned from her job. She said she wanted to be alone and cut off contact with all her friends and family. As for how she ended up with Qin Yongchen, it is still under investigation.”

“Regarding the third robber…” Qu Ming spoke and pulled out a photo.

The photo showed a young man with a few dyed strands of hair and a lingering hint of youthfulness.

“Zhang Xiaocai, male, eighteen years old. His parents divorced when he was young, and after his mother remarried, he became part of a new family. His father also saw him as a burden and often beat and scolded him, so he ran away from home and lived on the streets, making a living by collecting and selling scrap. Since he was fourteen, Zhang Xiaocai had been sent to juvenile detention several times. He learned how to pick locks from other petty thieves and was called Zhang the Locksmith. He could unlock an ordinary household lock in just a few seconds. Although he was young, he was an experienced thief.”

With someone like Zhang Xiaocai, the three robbers could break into homes at any time.

A man, a woman, and a teenager corresponded to a husband, wife, and child.

They came from different families and had suffered different traumas, but they banded together and formed a temporary family.

It was these three people who raised their knives against ordinary people, making every family shudder.

But no matter how tragic their experiences were, they should not be used as an excuse for evil.

Lu Junchi looked at Su Hui, who had finished reading the information about Qian Yongchen’s argument with netizens. He sat on the sofa, crossed his legs, and concentrated on thinking about the case.

Now, the identities of the three robbers have been verified, and their life experiences have many similarities with what he predicted yesterday.

Abandonment.

These three people were all abandoned by their families or so-called lovers.

Mi Shu was hurt by her husband’s abandonment, Qian Yongchen was also abandoned by his girlfriend and family, and Zhang Xiaocai was abandoned by his parents since childhood.

They regarded each other as family.

In their minds, those who abandon their lovers or family in times of crisis deserve to die.

They are using slaughter to vent their depression.

After reading all the information and confirming its accuracy, Lu Junchi nodded and said, “Xia Mingxi, prepare a wanted order. We must catch these three people before they commit another crime.”

Xia Mingxi said, “Okay.”

Now the identities of the robbers have finally been clarified, which can be considered as completing the most critical part.

However, there is still some distance to go before they can catch the robbers.

These people are definitely using fake ID cards now, and it’s not easy to track them down as they’re hiding in a huge city.

“Set up a citizen reporting hotline and offer a certain amount of money as a reward for clues,” said Lu Junchi after thinking for a moment, “these three people should be working together and are likely living together in an old residential area or a hostel. Distribute notices to all the local police stations.”

Then he turned to ask, “Qiao Ze, do you have any results on gathering information about the victims?”

Qiao Ze replied, “We’ve made some discoveries. It seems that all the victims have one thing in common.”

“What is it?” asked Lu Junchi.

“Several of the victims had a ‘Happy Family’ account, and they posted on it. Some of them were active users and had multiple premium posts. I checked several victims’ internet records, and they logged in to the forum almost every day. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”

“Happy Family?” Su Hui hadn’t visited the website before, and he repeated it with a frown, afraid that he had misheard.

Xia Mingxi explained, “Happy Family is a very large community with up to 100 million registered users, mainly targeting women aged 18 to 50. The platform has numerous sections for matchmaking, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationships, gossip, and mother-infant relationships. These victims’ families have all posted on it.”

“More importantly…” Qiao Ze said, pulling out a document, “Happy Family suffered a severe data loss last year, including user data. In particular, the website requires real-name authentication when registering, and there are many activities where users can win physical prizes by filling in their home addresses and phone numbers.”

“Mi Shu used to be an excellent female programmer, according to her former colleagues, her technical skills were better than many male colleagues. She may have obtained forum data through some channels.

After the data loss, users felt safe wearing their masks, but in the eyes of hackers, the data of those users was as transparent as glass.

They can access their specific location, phone number, real name, and even ID number. Coupled with the photos they posted themselves, these people’s privacy was completely exposed unintentionally.

Qu Ming exclaimed, “So the culprit may have obtained the victim’s information through this forum?”

Su Hui heard this and put down her pillow, sat up straight, and whispered, “Organized premeditated crime…”

The selection of victims by the murderer was not random but purposeful and screened. Each murder seemed intricate but had hidden secrets.

The reason why the families of those victims drew attention was because of the bragging posts.

They showed off their happy and harmonious family life to netizens.

But jealousy crept through the screen into reality.

These three people not only had their respective roles in the crime but also cooperated with each other in the early stages. They traveled to many places and killed multiple people.

These people were using killing to tell the world that the so-called happiness was all an illusion, and the love in the family was so vulnerable in the face of life and death.

Qiao Ze said again, “But according to the forum data we have obtained so far, there are millions of registered users in the entire Huadu on this forum, and several victims have posted in the daily section before. Even if we limit ourselves to the active users in the daily section, there are probably tens of thousands of people.”

Everyone fell silent for a moment.

The office was quiet, and only the faint rustling of the air conditioning vents could be heard.

Since the Major Crimes Unit took over the case, it had only been a few days, but they had gradually approached the robbers, learned their real identities, and understood their motives.

Such a fast breakthrough was already very fast and other criminal investigation teams could not compare.

However, this speed was not enough. The robbers were still at large, and new victims could appear at any time.

Behind these tens of thousands of users were tens of thousands of families. Among these potential victims, who would be the next?

If this was a battle, they urgently needed a breakthrough.

Lu Junchi said, “Further analyze the characteristics of past victims and try to narrow down the range using big data screening.”

Su Hui thought for a moment and said, “Although we cannot determine who the next victim will be, I think we can try to have a remote conversation with our potential victims through the forum.”

Everyone turned their heads in unison, and their eyes were focused on Su Hui.

TN:
Nothing justifies what these robbers are doing but damn their back stories are heartbreaking. They gave so much to their loved ones but were ultimately tossed aside because the others didn’t want to suffer a loss. They’re allowed to feel bitter about what they went through but they had no right to do this kind of thing to others. I might not agree with what they’re doing but I do understand where they’re coming from. It’s too pitiful they couldn’t get the justice they deserved and ended up having to take matters into their own hands.

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.

4 Comments
  1. Ketkai has spoken 8 months ago

    situations and human hearts makes monsters out of others 😞 Those perpetrators always be having sad past and triggers. It be them against the world. But yess :’) still not an excuse to murder innocent people. Revenge, could be, but to totally innocent people, it’s a no 😭

    Reply
  2. mikmik has spoken 9 months ago

    This is why knowing the back story of the villain is bad for my heart… but it does not lessen my wants for them to get jailed and suffer COZ BRO ALL THOSE VICTIMS ARE INNOCENT PEOPLE TRYING TO LIVE A HAPPY LIFE AS BEST AS THEY COULD 😭

    Reply
    • EuphoriaT has spoken 9 months ago

      It’s giving Demon Slayer vibes😭. Those back stories had me crying over the demons’ deaths.

      Reply
  3. qyura has spoken 10 months ago

    So Mi Shu was stupid enough to tell her real name?
    Yes, their background doesn’t excuse their current actions, I even find it dumb. If you have the means to kill, then wouldn’t it make more sense to kill your family (or those who caused your trauma) and make your revenge? I just don’t understand why would they go after random people, when the real people who made them miserable are alive & kicking? And I don’t mean to go to your ex-girlfriend’s workplace in broad daylight with a knife, because who in his sanity would do this? I see you all have quite developed and gotten swift in your moves, so it doesn’t really make sense to not take revenge instead of attacking random families?
    I have a hunch that could make a bit of sense in their chosen victims, that is, those people were part of the ‘bad’ netizens that posted negative comments about them. But still, this doesn’t make them a priority to attack. YOU ALL GO KILL THOSE WHO YOU’RE REALLY HOSTILE TO, NOT SOME RANDOM STRANGERS! Because this is dumb & doesn’t make sense.
    Thank you for the chapter!

    Reply

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