Chapter 73 - Huge Reward #2
The man stared at the doll with adoring eyes. In the dark room, the doll’s’ eyes stared back from where they were sitting. Its flesh was milky white, and its glistening hair gently swayed in the air.
"Don't worry, I'll fix all the broken parts.”
The man unknowingly brought his nose to the doll’s hair and deeply inhaled.
“Hah... Smells good...”
In particular, it was the doll’s large black eyes that caught the man’s heart. It was shimmering with a deep light that was charming enough to suck him in.
The man touched the doll’s chin as it tried to speak.
"It seems that I need more tools to fix you properly.”
The man exited his studio and started the car, a big van for a single man. He had purchased this a while ago for some hidden uses. No matter how crazy for dolls the man was, he had to be careful about other people’s eyes.
On the surface, the dolls looked exactly like humans, and strange misunderstandings could occur. The man went to the nearest store and bought sunglasses before roaming around to a store in order to find a suitable tool.
At that moment, a salesperson came up to him and asked,
“Customer-nim. Are you looking for something?”
"I’m looking for a stainless steel saw. It should be a big one.”
"It will be in the F-10 section.”
"Ah, that's right. Thank you.”
With the help of the salesperson, he could easily buy what he wanted. Along with the stainless steel saw, he bought iron pipes. In addition, he bought a tarp large enough to cover a small room and a plastic container large enough for someone to enter. Finally, he also purchased a travel bag.
Then he went up to the counter to pay.
“How will you pay?”
When combined, the cash was over 400,000 won.
“Do you have a points card?”
"Would you like a cash receipt?"
“There is no need.”
The man replied bluntly,
"Are you planning to travel somewhere? Do you want me to deliver it?”
The man spoke with an expression that seemed to warn the cashier to not interfere.
“I will move it. I brought a car.”
“Yes, I understand.”
The cashier at the checkout looked at the man with a strange glance. However, there was no need to worry. In order to buy this, he had deliberately headed to another city that was several hundred kilometres away. If there was a problem, then his whereabouts wouldn’t be easily found.
The man loaded the things onto his van with a satisfied expression. He drove the car thinking about how to fix the doll.
"First of all, cut off the legs so that it can’t escape. In order to prevent the hands from doing anything bad...”
The man returned to his workplace with a smile on his face at the pleasant thought. The doll he wanted so much was waiting for him.
Kang-suk arrived at the scene where the mutilated bodies were found.
"I'm sorry, but you can’t come in here.”
A man in a police uniform blocked the road. Kang-suk pulled out his police badge and showed it to the officer.
“I am Detective Cho Kang-suk from Kangdong Police Station.”
“Ah, thank you for your trouble.”
“Is Investigator Joo Hyun-ho inside?”
“Yes. Please come this way.”
After entering the restaurant with the police officer, he saw Joo Hyun-ho talking to a staff member.
"Ah! Sunbae! This is a big hit, it is quite brilliant.”
Joo Hyun-ho greeted him with a cheerful face that was unsuitable for the crime scene.
"Hey. It is wrong to say such a thing here.”
“Haha. What about you? Anyway, we aren’t the only ones here. Hurry and listen to the explanation. By the way, what is that doing there?”
Joo Hyun-ho tapped his head with his fingers and Kang-suk realized what it meant as he reached for his head. He had failed to remove the Santa hat.
"You seemed to be having a good time.”
"At any rate, describe the case. What's going on?"
"By the way, why did Sunbae suddenly come? I asked Coroner Park for support because of a lack of manpower. Sunbae didn’t need to come.”
"Aish. I am just a little anxious about something.”
Kang-suk caught Hyun-ho in a headlock.
"Kek, kek! I-I surrender!”
At this point, Kang-suk thought that this guy might be enjoying it.
Joo Hyun-ho gave a simple overview of the case.
No, the first one who found it was a staff member at the restaurant where they were gathered. He went to work at dawn to clean up. He said he had been cleaning the overnight snow when he found a Christmas tree that was decorated with arms and legs.
Kang-suk’s expression changed as he listened to Joo Hyun-ho’s story.
“Crazy... How many were killed?”
"There were five arms and seven legs... There are at least four people.”
Kang-suk’s mouth twitched.
"What do you mean at least four people?”
“That... The explanation is a bit long. Is it okay?”
“Yes, tell me.”
"There are seven legs, so there are at least four people. What does Sunbae think is the psychology of a person who commits a mutilation murder?”
“…They are making it smaller so the body is easier to handle?”
"Something like that. First of all, people often go mad for a while when committing murder. However, when a body is mutilated, the mental state stays extremely rational.”
“Crazy. Then the person who did this is sane?”
“Yes. Even if someone kills a person accidentally, they can’t accidentally cut people up.”
Joo Hyun-ho said in a casual voice like he was exchanging small talk.
Kang-suk couldn’t help sighing.
"At any rate, the psychology of a person who kills and then mutilates is quite simple. They want to return to a normal life in some way.”
“Um... They killed a person.”
Kang-suk licked his lips. He suddenly felt like a gangster. He felt wrong today.
"They want to get rid of the body in front of them, so they throw it into the sea or bury it on a mountain. In short, they want it to go unnoticed in society.”
A question popped into Kang-suk’s head.
"So why cut it off? You can get rid of the body without doing that. Rather, it would take more time.”
Joo Hyun-ho used his fingers to make gestures of his arms and legs being cut off.
"The reason for a mutilation murder is very simple. They think that cutting that the body into smaller pieces is easier to carry and less noticeable.”
Kang-suk didn’t want to know this about the psychology of criminals.
"But this case is unusual."
"Because they were used to decorate a tree?”
“Yes. It isn’t typical for a normal mutilation killer. It’s like he is boasting of his crime... Did you hear about the person who cut off and kept the body parts of the people that they killed in the war?”
“What...? There are also such people.”
"It seems like this killer is proud that he murdered so many people. Ah, that is why I said there were at least four victims. That...”
"He ran out of space to decorate the Christmas tree.”
"Either way, this isn’t an ordinary murderer. I'll try a simple profile. He is probably a fairly educated professional in his early to mid 30s. He cares a lot about his appearance, and in addition, he has a large desire to show off. Did I talk about the loot? He thinks what he does is a work of art. That is why he made a sculpture to show off to others. It is similar to an avant-garde performer using dolls... I don’t remember exactly but I saw it in a magazine. Haha!”
“Yes. Doing strange things like cutting off the arms and legs of the dolls and switching them around. There was a surprisingly good response to it. The exhibition wasn’t long ago.”
Kang-suk’s eyes sharpened.
"Can you find out more about that?”
“Hrmm... I don’t think it would have anything to do with this incident.”
"Well, if Sunbae says so then I’ll try.”
"Have the identities of any of the victims been discovered yet?”
"The coroner Park Min-soo is in charge of that. It looks like the results haven’t come out yet. You call him, as I am a little uncomfortable.”
"You just don’t fit with him. Anyway, I will call...”
Kang-suk called Park Min-soo to see if he confirmed any of the identities.
“...Uh, yes. Thank you. Work hard.”
The conversation didn’t last long. Hyun-ho asked Kang-suk with an expression similar to a child receiving a gift.
"Were the identities of the victims revealed?"
"Min-soo says that it will be difficult to accurately identify them.”
Kang-suk scratched his head with a rough hand.
"Putting aside the legs, won’t the hands have fingerprints? I don’t think he erased the fingerprints with something like hydrochloric acid.”
Korean citizens had all 10 fingerprints registered as data which was used to determine the identity of the victim, as well as to arrest the criminal. It was often a tremendous help in the investigation.
However, Kang-suk didn’t say anything.
“Eh? Sunbae? Are you crying?”
“...What? Dust just entered my eyes.”
"At any rate, please tell me. Otherwise I can’t do my job.”
Kang-suk looked at Joo Hyun-ho with red eyes. His expression was a mixture of many emotions.
"Unfortunately, all the fingerprints weren’t registered.”
“Whoa! Then perhaps...”
Kang-suk punched the wall with an angry expression.
“...Fuck. Yes. It means that all the victims were underage.”
At that moment, Hyun-ho could know what it was like to be able to kill someone with sheer force. If the criminal in the case appeared in front of Kang-suk right now, he would die instantly.
'First of all, let’s think about why I was notified of Doll Play just now.’
Tae-hyuk started to slowly analyze the situation. The first thing that happened was Kim Soo-bin’s disappearance, who lived at St. Mary’s Orphanage. After gathering to listen to the details of the story, Kang-suk suddenly received news that a murder had happened. After that, Tae-hyuk received the notification to resolve the Doll Play situation.
In other words, Kim Soo-bin’s disappearance had to do with the mutilation murder case. It was right to interpret the two things as being related.
Anyway, Kang-suk would soon find out more about the mutilation murders. Then he would focus on solving Kim Soo-bin’s disappearance. In short, it was a division of labor.
Tae-hyuk decided to get some clues from Hye-mi.
“Are you called Hye-mi? Hello. I am Tae-hyuk.”
He was ignored, but that wasn’t enough to make Tae-hyuk give up.
"Um. In fact, I also care about the missing Soo-bin. I want you to help me find her. Can you tell me anything?”
Tae-hyuk knew how to persuade this type of girl. To this end, he created a poor atmosphere. He whistled and shook,
"Hwii~ if Hye-mi doesn’t help then I guess I have to look for myself. But if I find her myself, why don’t I ask for a kiss? Why are girls attracted to bad guys? Who knows what I will suggest.”
Hye-mi’s face turned white at my words.
“S-Stop. I understand. I’ll help you find Unni. Just please, no kiss...”
Tae-hyuk felt a lump in his chest at that moment. Was he such a bad person? So far, the only magic that he used...
Hye-mi fidgeted with her fingers and started talking.
"I’ll tell you first. I live with Soo-bin unni at this orphanage, but we aren’t orphans. Don’t be mistaken.”
"I met Unni for the first time at the Emergency Relief Centre.”
Hye-mi and Soo-bin, two victims of domestic violence. These victims had the nickname of DV.
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