A distance of 8km should take less than 5 minutes to reach.
Bo Jinyan is driving with a stern face. Jian Yao looks out the window - houses, police cars, more fields… they fade away quickly by as Bo Jinyan speeds to their next destination.
Jian Yao is trying to analyse the facts: “After killing the first family, the killer stayed at the crime scene - he ate some food and changed his clothes. It takes time to get to the second house, which means he was only on the road for about thirty minutes. He couldn’t have walked there. There’s not enough time, and it would attract people’s attention. Besides we don’t have any eye witness yet.
The second family he killed lived in a quiet road too. Is that part of his criteria? But then, it would imply there is some planning towards his killing. Is our initial deductions wrong?”
This is the first time she doubts Bo Jinyan’s reasonings. It’s a strange feeling, but looking at him, she feels it’s a valid question. Because there is an obvious contradiction.
Bo Jinyan calmly relies: “I cannot be wrong.”
Jian Yao: “…..ok.”
They arrives the next crime scene. Another farmhouse. The place is cordoned off. A group of police officer stands outside the house. Bo Jinyan says mildly: “Though we did not want to see more killings, the new deaths have help us determine his identity and what he looks like.”
Jian Yao is stunned.
Obviously, they are not thinking at the same level. When she felt they have taken a step back in the investigation, Bo Jinyan has in fact taken a huge step forward.
He opens the door, and says to her before he hops off: “Stay close to me.”
The second crime scene has many similarities to the first one. The killer is even more vicious in his assaults. Jian Yao takes a look and wait outside.
After a while, Bo Jinyan comes out. He takes off the gloves that is soaked with blood. He looks at the pale Jian Yao: “If you are still shaken by what you’ve seen, come into my arms.”
There’s people surrounding them. Jian Yao hesitates and declines his offer. He looks around and grabs her cold hand: “Are you embarrassed again? Who doesn’t know that you are my woman?” He says.
Jian Yao blushes.
Bo Jinyan is obviously very upset at the moment. The killer has caused over ten deaths. He needs to focus on the case, but he is concerned for her at the same time. So even when he speaking about their relationship, his tone is still cold and moody….
She taps his shoulder gently: “Just focus on the case. Don’t worry about me. I can take care of myself. I’ll be right behind you all the time.”
It’s supposed to be a considerate statement from a girlfriend.
Bo Jinyan turns to her, and says in his cold voice: “Do you think I am not capable of handling both roles at the same time?” The two roles obviously means ‘detective’ and ‘boyfriend’.
Jian Yao: “…….”
He must be angered by this killer. He has been in a bad mood since he left the bedroom. Now it’s even worse. Nothing she says can soothe him.
- Never mind. Just leave it. Jian Yao thought to herself. He is probably more efficient when he is grumpy.
A young officer comes up to them: “We found him. Professor Bo, we found him.”
Jian Yao heart tightens. Bo Jinyan quickly walks up to a vehicle parked on the side of the road.
It’s a vehicle equipped with surveillance equipment. There are a few computers. Technical staff and s few officers crowd around the screens. A young technician points at a paused frame of a video.
Like Bo Jinyan says, they now know his identity and what he looks like.
When reality and deduction don’t match, the truth seems to hide under the fog. Some people will start to doubt themselves, making it hard to progress.
But for Bo Jinyan, this is not a problem. He is so confident of himself. He is not affected by emotions such as doubt. Deduction and reasoning, for him, is simple and clear: the killer doesn’t drive. There are no traces of transport vehicles (eg. tyre marks etc.). No witnesses. There is only one way of getting to the second crime scene.
So, he found the killer.
Bo Jinyan leans down and examines the man on the screen.
Even though the image is not very clear, one can tell he is a thin average height man. He is wearing a commonly found black jacket. His hair is messy and he looks a little sluggish.
A young officer says: “Around 10pm, he board the bus in a stop close to the first crime scene. He came off the bus around 10:15am at a stop that’s next to the second crime scene.”
Another officer adds: “This is a farming village. There’s hardly anyone on the bus. Therefore no one saw him.”
“Yes, it’s him,” Bo Jinyan says.
The officers feel more confident after Bo Jinyan confirm their findings.
“Found another image.” says an officer.
Everyone looks to where he is pointing at. On another monitor, the same man appears.
The police looks at the data: “11:00pm. Location is the Li Yu Transit Station. Not far from the second crime scene.”
Everyone is quiet. That’s after killing the second family. Where is the killer going next?
It’s hard to see from the small image whether his clothes have blood stains on them or not. He stood at the platform and waited. Next to him, there’s a sign with all the numbers of the buses that stops at that transit station.
Two buses came his way: 928, 900. He didn’t move.
Then 910 appears, he slowly boarded the bus.
It’s only been a few hours, but the police now knows who they are looking for. And they know where he is heading next. This is a huge breakthrough. Everyone is getting exited. The young officer who found the first image of the man said in a loud voice: “We will be able to get him soon.”
All in agreement. Jian Yao is glad to see the officers so fired up.
“Don’t be too happy too soon.” Bo Jinyan interrupts them. He does not sound as enthusiastic as the rest of the group.
“This bus route heads to the city.” He says faintly. “Our killer has entered into a high density area. There will be people all over the place. Even pedestrians may become his victims. What’s there to be excited about?”
In the east the sky was turning white, and the last stars were disappearing over the horizon. A layer of fog hovers on the roads of the farming village.
After leaving the surveillance vehicle, Jian Yao pulls Bo Jinyan’s sleeves and says: “Don’t you think your words were a little harsh?”
The group of young officers were stirred up until he spoke. After that, they all became quiet. They were still going about their tasks, but they are noticeably discouraged.
“Is that right? But I am only telling the truth. As an officer, they need to be conscious of this.”
“But they are still young. Not every is so quick on the feet like you.” Jian Yao explains. “You are their senior. Give a word of encouragement at time, like the way I encourage you.”
Bo Jinyan sweeps her a look. He doesn’t say anything more.
The two of them returns to the car. Once again, it’s time to wait.
Jian Yao: “Is there anything you need me to do?”
Bo Jinyan looks at her: “Sleep.” But he opens the map and starts studying it.
Jian Yao asks: “What are you looking for?’
Bo Jinyan marks a few locations with a ballpoint pen. He says: “When he got off the bus near the second crime scene, he was walking towards the transit station. And the house of the second crime scene happens to be on his route.”
Jian Yao’s mind is starting to string the pieces together.
Bo Jinyan lifts his head and looks out of the window. He has the answer: “When he killed the first two family, it could be just random acts, or there could be some sort of connections between these families and him. But what we can be sure of, is that, he has totally departed from reality and is now living on his own fantasy world. A world filled with blood and murder.”
Jian Yao is quiet.
Because Jian Yao is leaning towards his side to see the map, when Bo Jinyan puts down the map and lifts his head, the cheeks touched. He looks into her eyes: “Give me a kiss.”
Jian Yao takes a quick peep around. There is nobody near. She puts her hands around his neck and pecks him gently on the lips: “Keep up the good work.”
Bo Jinyan: “Why are you encouraging me? I have been exceeding everyone’s expectations right from the start.”
Jian Yao: “…. Just pretend that I didn’t say a thing.”
After a short wait. There’s news.
Bad news, though.
Jian Yao turns her phone to speaker mode: “Professor Bo, according to the CCTV footages provided by the bus company, our suspect got off the bus around 4:30am. We have lost track of him since.” He pauses “We are looking at the video footages from the businesses nearby, and we have sent officers to search in the area. But so far, we have nothing.”
They have lost him.
Like Bo Jinyan says, when he enters into a big city, it like finding a needle in the haystack.
Bo Jinyan looks at Jian Yao. He recalls what she says earlier.
“Professor Bo, do you have any new instructions for us?” The officer asks.
Bo Jinyan answers: “No. You are doing well. Keep up the good work.”
The officer: “…..”
After they finish the call. Jian Yao looks at him with a smile.
Not bad, he is learning fast.
But…. hopefully, the officers don’t think he is mocking them…
Jian Yao asks: What should we do now?”
Bo Jinyan picks up the map again: “He is heading towards a destination.”
Jian Yao asks: “How do you know? What makes you think he is not wandering aimlessly?”
Bo Jinyan: “Though he might not be thinking straight anymore, his instincts and subconsciousness still affects his actions. When he was taking the bus, he didn’t look at the bus signs. He didn’t board the first bus that came past his way. He used the shortest route to walk from one bus stop to the other. This shows he’s been on this route before. Now, he is heading to place with vengeance, to seek liberation and to conquer.”
“But how do we know where he is going?
Her phone rings again.
Finally some good news.
“We have the man’s identity. His name is Zhang Cheng. 28 years old. He lives in Huang Yun village, where the first crime scene is.” The officer gives them an address.
Bo Jinyan quickly starts the car and drives to his house.
“Home. a place where the deepest secrets are kept.” He says “This holds true for everyone, whether you are normal or you are a psychopath.”