We found a restaurant to have lunch. As soon as I was seated, I looked at the notebook I had stolen from Nie Yalong. More than half of it contained newspaper clippings about Grandpa. Of course, Grandpa was just a low-key consultant so the protagonist in these reports was Sun Tiger. It seemed Sun Tiger had a good time in the 1990s, like a star in the field of law enforcement.
Raising her glass, Xiaotao said, "Every generation has its giants. It used to be Sun Tiger and your grandfather’s era, and now it’s ours."
Upon noticing my silence, Xiaotao pinched my face, squeezing out a smile. "Song Yang, you’ve been sullen ever since we arrived. Are you still the Song Yang I know?"
"I’m sorry!" I rubbed my face, "I won't put on a bitter expression anymore. As compensation, here’s a smile for you."
Perhaps due to the fact I had worries on my mind, my smile was somewhat ugly to look at since I was holding something in my heart, and I couldn't look good. Xiaotao chuckled in amusement.
Upon second thought, what was I doing upset and questioning myself? Did I trust my grandfather? Of course. I believed he was an upright and just man who would never betray his own principles even if his life was at stake. Thus, he must have had a reason for doing this; perhaps he was compelled.
I continued to peruse his notebook. Apart from the newspaper clippings, there were a number of diary entries Nie Yalong wrote after his retirement. Most of them were complaints that denounced the darkness of the world and the absence of justice.
In fact, I could empathize with his feelings. With his point of view and experiences, he must be quite desperate.
One page read: “That man just came back as if nothing happened. But he forgot one thing. Behind those dead girls are their broken families. They will never spare him!”
The entry was clearly about the suspect. "Yes, this time, the murderer must be one of the victim’s family members," I mused.
"The murderer wasn’t punished by the law, so they took matters into their own hands?" remarked Xiaotao.
There was another entry in the back: “I heard some good news this morning. He got what he deserved. He deserves it! Although the child's life is ruined, and although I’m a father, I can’t help but say that he deserves it. This is the curse he inflicted upon his family. His children and grandchildren won’t have any peace. I only hate that I can't stand up to avenge Lao Xiao myself!”
Reading this brought a chill up my spine. Hatred only bred more hatred.
After dinner, we returned to the station. Throughout the afternoon, I waited anxiously till around five in the evening when the fat officer walked in with his team and reported having found some information. The fat officer moved the computer and projector to the conference room. It turned out they found a video from a cafe near the second crime scene. The victim was sitting at the same table with a man. Unfortunately, the video was taken from the man's back. Though the victim’s face was clear, the man never showed his face.
Halfway through the meal, the man emptied a bottle of liquid into the victim’s coffee cup. When they settled the bill, the man’s face was faintly visible from the side, though still unclear. Perhaps we could process his face through technical means.
The man must have added sedatives into the victim’s cup. I recalled finding cake, coffee, and fruit in the victim’s stomach. The degree of digestion suggested they had been ingested less than two hours before death, indicating that this video was taken shortly before that.
The fat officer reported that the victim had been divorced for almost two years, and friends around her had been trying to introduce her to the right man. It seemed the murderer was pretending to be a blind date!
Additionally, a bundle of ropes and a knife were found in a trash can near the scene. The blood on the ropes and knife was still being tested, and the source of sedatives hadn’t been determined yet. Over the last month, no one in the entire county had purchased chlorpromazine hydrochloride in large quantities.
Right then, Wang Yuanchao returned in his usual style, without a word of greeting and got straight to the point, "I found it."
"Let's hear it!"
Dragging a whiteboard over, Wang Yuangchao took out a small notebook filled with notes, and drew a tree diagram of a large family, marking the names and occupations of each member, including two dead, who were originally aunt and nephew. Among these people, I noticed a man named Ma Sanyou who sold electrical appliances. Wang Yuanchao wrote "missing" in brackets after the name.
"Do you have any photos of Ma Sanyou?" I asked.
Wang Yuanchao turned to the fat officer who said, "I’ll get someone to search for them."
"Thank you," I nodded.
When Wang Yuanchao was done with all the writing, I couldn’t help but wonder if this large family had been cursed. Ma Sanyou himself disappeared. His father died in a car accident and his mother died of cancer. His ex-wife was pushed down the stairs at work and broke her leg. His eldest son was killed by a truck during a trip to purchase goods while his second son was paralyzed after being stabbed in the kidney at school. His younger brother was beaten into a vegetative state during a fight in the vegetable market. One of his nephews committed suicide, and his niece Xiao Feng and sister Ma Li were murdered.
Xiaotao covered her mouth in shock, "What a terrible end to the entire family!"
I noticed several older officers had ugly expressions plastered on their faces. "You must know something after working here for so many years. Even if you don't know, you probably heard some rumors. Please share what you know!"
"Consultant Song,” said an older officer. “Since you have discovered this, then we won’t hide it from you. Ma Sanyou was a key suspect in the serial murder case that happened twenty years ago."
I pointed to the whiteboard, "So, he escaped the law, but his entire family suffered retaliation?"
Several old officers spoke noisily. In fact, they all knew that every time such a thing happened to the Ma family, the entire town would be applauding in glee. Their investigations would go nowhere because everyone spontaneously shielded the perpetrators.
Ma Sanyou's relatives had no way to live in town. They couldn't find a job, couldn't rent a house, and couldn't go to school. Everywhere they went, they ran into a wall, and so they had to try to make a living elsewhere. Otherwise, why would Xiao Feng become a prostitute?
With the passage of time, people gradually forgot about this matter. However, what they didn't expect was that even after twenty years, there were still people who were retaliating against Ma Sanyou's relatives.
"Does Ma Sanyou have any living relatives? I mean, any potential victims?" I asked.
"He doesn’t have any relatives in the county,” replied Wang Yuanchao.
Xiaotao shook her head and sighed, "This is a real destruction of an entire family. How tragic! If he knew this would happen, perhaps he wouldn't have committed all those crimes."
"But Ma Sanyou is only a suspect,” I argued. “We can’t be sure he was the murderer."Previous Chapter Next Chapter