Officers and residents fill the tiny Hongyun Village. The officers are listening to Bo Jinyan’s briefing. The residences are standing near the crime scene, discussing amongst themselves.
Bo Jinyan takes off his jacket. He stands on front of the crowd, like he is about to present an academic paper. He takes a quick look at the crowd and starts:
“The suspect is a male, between the age of 25-35, thin….”
The officers are impressed. This matches the opinions from the forensic team. The forensic team also said that the killer is between 165 to 175cm.
“… He may look like he suffers from malnutrition. He is dirty, probably has not had a shower or bath for days. You should be able to identify him from a crowd quite easily. He is a history of mental illness, even possibly been diagnosed to have paranoid schizophrenia and delusions. In the past year, he would have stayed at a mental institution. You should match your DNA samples with hospital records first.
Education level: Junior or senior high school. He doesn't have a job. He might be doing contract work or is dependant on family or the state for financial assistance. He most probably lives alone. But there is a small possibility that he lives with other family members. He is withdrawn, with not much contact with the neighbours. But the neighbours should recognise him because of his strange behaviours.
He doesn’t drive. And since there’s no traces of any bicycle tracks or other vehicles tracks, he probably walked here. So he lives quite close to this village. His house is very messy, probably full of rubbish. That’s all. You should leave now.”
His speech is fast and concise. He almost finished the whole briefing in one breath. All the officers are stunned.
Jian Yao is used to seeing him in ‘work’ mode. After hearing the briefing, she knows it’s not going to take long for the killer to arrested. And in her mind, a picture of what the killer looks like begins to form - like a tramp you might occasionally see on a street; dirty, with messy hair; mental unstable, might looks a little scary, may even flash his body in front of strangers….
Even though Bo Jinyan asked the officers to ‘leave now’, nobody is moving.
“Why?” Some officers are asking.
“There is no time to explain!” Bo Jinyan interrupts them. “He is most likely wandering nearby, or has gone home to sleep. We must catch him before he kills again. My assistant will email you a more detailed report soon. Now, go!”
Suddenly everyone sense the urgency of the matter. They quickly leave.
Bo Jinyan turns to says to Jian Yao: “Back to the car.”
They are inside the car, separated with the noise and action outside by the thick tinted glass windows.
Jian Yao has her notebook ready.
After the briefing, Bo Jinyan is not as hurried as he was before. He leans back and picks up a bottle of water. He opens the lids and drinks some. Then he passes it to Jian Yao: “Here, have some.”
Jian Yao realises then, that her throat is very dry too. She let Bo Jinyan hold the bottle for her and drinks a few mouthfuls.
Bo Jinyan has a smile on her face. When she has finished drinking the water, he throws the bottle to the back of the car: “Can you handle the report yourself?”
Jian Yao: “…. not yet.”
Bo Jinyan looks at her, and says: “I am still feeling uncomfortable.”
His sudden swap from ‘professor’ to ‘her man’ mode. Jian Yao blushes and laughs at the same time.
She gently holds his hand: “I have some thoughts, but I am not entirely certain. Please help me out .”
He is obviously less grumpy now: “It’s a simple case.”
Jian Yao keeps quiet. She waits for him to continue. Besides, my boyfriend. It’s for your own good. Something to distract you from your ‘uncomfortableness’.
“Today, today’s lesson is: Criminal psychology is not always a logical deduction. Details are important, of course, but if you can grasp the big picture, it will help speed up the investigation. Criminal psychology is an art, not science. When we can link their unusual behaviours with their characteristics/personalities, then we can successfully profile them.
These clues might be buried in a seemingly complicated crime scene. And what you need to do is to discover them. I wrote a thesis on this in 2010, published in the annual report of the Federal Association for Behavior Analysis.” He looks at her: “If you need it, I can give you my original copy.”
Jian Yao smiles: “Oh, thanks.”
- Of course she will be happy to keep it. It’s monument of his wisdom.
- Of course she will be happy to keep it. It’s monument of his wisdom.
“For example. In the killer machine case, what behaviours best reveal the killers’ psychological characteristics?”
Jian Yao: “…. cutting up the bodies?”
Bo Jinyan gives a small smile: “Correct!”
Jian Yao remembers what Bo Jinyan said before: “…the desires of his heart will be ‘written’ on the bodies…” After finding the bodies, they realised the killer did not torture or harm them in any other ways. Therefore ‘cutting the body’ helped them to sketch the picture of a serial killer dreamed of being a killer, hiding amongst the crowds, preying…
“What about Huo Xiao Lu?” Bo Jinyan asks.
A lot of elements in the case comes to her mind: successfully slitting her throat with just one try, the multiple stab wounds, the love triangle…
“Don’t contemplate for too long.” He says: “What is the first thing that comes to your mind?”
“Jealousy.” Jian Yao quickly says: “the deep wounds on the victim’s face.” That’s the distinctive element, which led them to profile the killer as a girl that is emotional unstable, rather than a boy in need of money.
Bo Jinyan’s long finger is tapping on the bottle of mineral water, making ‘tonk’ sounds. She notices his hand actions. He must be in a better mood now.
He looks at her: “You should thank me. See, you have become wiser.”
Jian Yao tries hard not to laugh. She squeezes his hand: “Please continue.”
He looks down at her hand squeezing his, he says slowly: “For this case, what’s the distinguished elements?”
Jian Yao answers: “Mmm… Chaos, brutality.”
Bo Jinyan lifts up his head to look at her: “See, it’s not a hard question at all.”
He lifts his brows and starts composing his ‘written’ report:
“The more appropriate phrases for describing the crime scene is: No logic, uncontrollable desires.”
I mentioned in the killer machine case. Psychopaths can be divided into two types: organised and unorganised. Sung Yu belongs to the former - carefully planned, fixed way of luring and killing his victims. But this killer - messy crime scene, no logic.. from the evidence, he probably ate the leftover food and changed his clothes. He didn’t not consider if he would be exposed. Even a primary school kid knows it’s important to wipe off the fingerprints. So whether he knew this family or not, whether they had some arguments between them or not, he is a typical ‘unorganised’ psychopath.
Murderers like him usually has mental illness. I said he is thin and suffer from malnutrition because most longterm mental patients don’t have a good appetite. And studies show that those who are thin are more likely to develop schizophrenia.
These people are exposed to mental pressure for a long period of time. They don’t care about their appearance and tidiness.
Aged between 25-35 years old. This point, I have mentioned before during the killer machine case. Their illness is developed during adolescence. There’s a gestation period of around ten years before it gets to this stage. He is not any older as he would have done other crimes by now due to the development of his mental state. This is the first time this area encounters these type of cases, which means this is his first killing.
Because of his mental capabilities, the chances of him getting into university is very low. He can’t stay at a job, and of course, won’t be able to find a girlfriend easily.
Driving is a dangerous activity for him. Besides, the neighbour did not hear any automobile sounds. He walked to the house. Because he has lost his ability to organise, and is living in a state of fantasy, he will not consider the danger of crime. There is no planning, his killing is a spontaneous decision. And I believe he lives nearby.
Lastly. The physical abuse. Beheading the owner, and inflicting injury on his wife’s private parts, is a sign of releasing his desires and suppressions. We do not know currently what he is fantasising about, but I think it is to do with revenge and sexual desires.”
It is hard to digest all the things he said in a short period of time. And he is speaking very quickly today. Why is this?
“That’s great.” It is still important to give him some praise.
Bo Jinyan smiles.
- Huh….. of course.
Male likes to display their strength in front of female. Peacocks arch into magnificent fans, high school boys will play a better basketball game when the girls are watching…
And Mr.Bo Jinyan feels the need to show off his superior abilities in criminal psychology to make up for the criticism he received regarding his bedroom skill.
Seeing that she is still stunned, Bo Jinyan taps her and says: “What are you waiting for? Write it down for the police.”
Jian Yao: “There’s too much information in one go. Speak slowly. I didn’t get all of it just now.” Then she adds: “Next time, can you please slow down as you speak.”
Bo Jinyan: “…”
Jian Yao completes the report and passes it to one of the officers.
She is standing next to wall in the courtyard. A staff is taking out a black bag with one of the bodies in it.
Even though she was keeping calm just now, she was controlling herself to focus and calm down. Now that all the work has been done, there is ‘space’ in her mind. The gruesome scenes reappeared in her mind. Suddenly, she feels there is a nauseating feeling in her chest.
She bents over and starts vomiting.
Most of the people have left the crime scene by now. One can still hear the footsteps and voices of a few officers nearby.
The position of where she is standing faces a forest. She thought she saw a black shadow going past. It’s dark. The leaves rustle as the wind blows. She looks more closely, but it seems there is nothing.
She remembers Bo Jinyan’s words. The killer may be nearby. Suddenly she tenses up. Chills are running down her spines.
“What are you afraid of?” A familiar voice from her back: “Vomit. It will make you feel better.”
Such a condesending tone.
Suddenly, she feels fine. The fear and the sick feeling is gone. She rinses her mouth with water, then she turns round and look at him: “I am ok now.”
Bo Jinyan nods. They walk back to the car together. Jian Yao asks: “When you were working for the FBI, did you throw up?”
She remembers Fu Ziyu told her that when Bo Jinyan first started working with the FBI, he did.
Bo Jinyan pauses and answers: “The first time.”
Then he frowns and adds: “That morning, I had some fish that was not fresh. It took me a whole day to get over it.”
Jian Yao: “Oh….”
So, it’s nothing to do with the case? This man is born to work in this field.
They get back into the car.
“What are we doing next?” Jian Yao asks.
Bo Jinyan adjusts their seats so they can lie down straight. “Sleep.” He says.
Jian Yao understands his work system now. Arresting criminals is the job of the police. They are there to provide in depth analysis. So it’s time to rest and recuperate. Then when the police needs them, they can give their best.
She nods and says goodnight.
Bo Jinyan looks at her. “Goodnight.”
Jian Yao takes a look at him. Her handsome and capable boyfriend. She smiles and closes her eyes.
Then she hears his steady and evenly breathing sounds…
“I will make the necessary adjustments. You don’t have to worry.” He says.
Jian Yao is puzzled by the statement. She turns around and see him wearing the sleep mask.
He opens his mouth again: “But of course, I will need a bit of time.”
Jian Yao is so confused: “Adjustments… for what?”
Bo Jinyan bites his bottom lips.
“Sleep.” He says. Then he turns his head to the side facing away from her, and pulls up the blanket to wrap around himself.
Jian Yao thinks about what he just said. Ah…. she told him he was speaking too fast when they were doing the report for the officers.
- Oh, such trivial matters. Yet he remembers and even give her a promise that he will improve. He is … so sweet to her.
Bo Jinyan, on the other hand, has different ideas in his head.
He knows he lacks experience in bed. And he has no knowledge in the area. That’s why she feels its ‘unreal’.
But up-skilling is one of his strength.
Don’t worry, he will prove it to her in action after the case is solved.
They are woken up by a phone call.
She grabs her mobile phone. Bo Jinyan takes off his sleep mask. They are both sitting up straight.
The sky is still dark. The roads are quiet and empty. Except for two officers that are left to guard the crime scene, the rest have gone to find the killer.
The call is from one of the officers. Jian Yao presses the speaker button.
“Jian Yao, please let Professor Bo know. We have just received reports of another killing. It’s approximately 8kms away from where you are now. Again, the whole family is killed. We are not sure of the details yet. We are on our way there. The police officer at the scene tells us that it has many similarity with our case, including what happened to the couple that owns the house. All the killings are done by just one person. Time of death is approximately two hours after our case.”
Jian Yao’s heart sinks. This means after the first murders, the killer went on to the second house, even before they arrived the first crime scene.
Bo Jinyan is enraged. He starts the car and makes a quick U turn and onto the highway. He does not say anything for minutes, then lets out a loud swear: “Fxxx!”