In the office with the lights off, Lin Dongxue touched the laptop with her finger and projected a photo onto the white screen. The photo showed a girl in a bright red dress, with a slender figure. Her hands were crossed under her navel and she wore a calm expression. She was covered in snow-like white powder, especially around the neck. Her blood seeped through the white powder accumulated on her body and spread around, gradually changing from dark red to light red.
"The deceased, Yan Qilin, died at about 10:00PM on August 13th, 2013. The place of death was an empty house scheduled for demolition near Shengli Street. There weren’t security cameras around and there weren’t many streetlights. The people who reported it to the police were a young couple who had stumbled upon the scene. The deceased’s throat had been slashed with a knife from the front and she had died of suffocation. There were signs of violent struggle on the floor. The deceased’s body had been sprinkled with about 500 grams of salt. The amount was equivalent to a big bag that can be found at the supermarket."
Lin Dongxue continued her briefing while advancing through the photos, allowing Chen Shi to see more details.
Chen Shi tapped his fingers on the table and thought about the case. He said, "The deceased looks very peaceful!"
"It may have been arranged to look that way by the murderer after the fact."
Lin Dongxue switched to the next photo, which was a close-up of the deceased’s hand. "There is a string of letters and numbers on the right hand of the deceased. From the direction and the handwriting, it should have been written on her by someone else. As for the meaning, so far nobody knows what it could mean."
Chen Shi read it out. "hp6527963665... I don't understand. Deciphering code is my weakness! Is the second team responsible for this case?"
"In the beginning, the A branch was investigating this case. It was transferred to the head bureau three years ago, and Captain Lin took over."
Chen Shi nodded for them to continue.
The photos projected on the white screen kept changing. Lin Dongxue continued, "In the second case, the deceased, Cai Tingting, died on August 2nd, 2014 sometime around 8:00 to 9:00PM, and was found underneath a bridge south of Limin Road…"
In the photo, the second corpse looked almost exactly the same as the first. The same short hair, slender body, and the age should be about the same as well. She was also wearing a red dress. Her hands were crossed under the navel, and she was covered with salt. The cause of death was also exactly the same. She had the front of her throat slit.
Chen Shi pondered over why the murderer wanted to slash the throats of victims from the front. This method of murder wasn’t very efficient. The people, time and place were ever-changing. It would be very difficult for the murderer to completely follow the previous method of murder, unless
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