Chapter 22 - Is it really just an Eyewitness?

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A few days later, Team One of the Violent Crimes Unit made a fuss. It was because an informant called saying that they witnessed an arsonist.

The news immediately reached the CIF. Team Leader Lee Jae-woo said that he would go and get the witness statement today. He then proudly said that Team One of the Violent Crimes Unit is better than CIF.

“CIF is nothing great. You haven't forgotten that, right?”

Team Leader Woo-jin was furious. Profiler Im Hansol and Inspector Jung Yu-mi were traveling together these days, and the rest of the team had no way of knowing what the two were investigating. This made everyone out of their minds.

“I’ll flatten the nose of the Violent Crimes Unit. Just wait!”

“Ah, but where did they go? If possible, I would like Doctor Im to go and write the witness statement.”

“Hmm… I’ll call and tell him to come if he is out.”

While Team Leader Woo-jin was a little nervous, one of Team One’s members shouted, “team leader, we have identified the suspect!”

“How? Could it have been from the other’s borrowed ID?”

For shared bikes, even if a person uses someone else’s ID, its payment will still be in the holder’s name. The youngest member of Team One dug into such a loophole.

“It was done by using a bankbook deposit. It was confirmed that the stolen bankbook was used.”

“Oh. So who did this come from?”

“It has been identified as Kim Jiyeon, a part time worker at a convenience store located between the two neighborhoods.”

“How could a stolen bankbook be held so loosely?”

“Part time student Kim Jiyeon has secured the bankbook we found with CCTVs. At the same time, the bankbook was also used in her name.”

The CIF team present immediately received this news. Hansol and Inspector Jung, both still outside, also received the information about Kim Jiyeon.

After receiving the call from Team Leader Woo-jin, Hansol tilted his head when he saw the picture of Kim Jiyeon.

This was a completely different face from the person he had looked at as the culprit.

“I think there is a high chance that Kim Jiyeon was used in this case. The bankbook cannot be traced so easily, and did the criminal decide to openly show their face?”

Inspector Jung nodded at Hansol’s question.

Team Leader Woo-jin urged the team members with a slightly annoyed look, probably because Team One caught a whiff of the criminal.

“Now, everyone. Let’s do an investigation. Before the Violent Crimes Unit’s Team One comes out as a winner.”

“Team Leader Woo-jin?”

Hansol called in a soft voice.

“Um, Doctor Im.”

“The person here isn’t the culprit.”

“Do you have any proof for it?”

“For now it is just a word, I will take initiative to obtain physical evidence. Just one day, give me one day.”

“Hmm… then take Woo-cheol with you. He is constantly grumbling, and all but is worth being used.”

“No. I will go!”

Inspector Jung Yu-mi immediately objected.

For Hansol, being with Inspector Jung is better as he is comfortable with her. Rather than Detective Kang, she wasn’t someone who constantly growls or grumbles.

“Ah, yes. Then, Inspector Jung, take care.”

Team Leader Woo-jin motioned for them to move.


“Ah, Kim Jiyeon? We gave no such name among our full-time or part-time students….” the convenience store clerk answered in shock.

Hansol’s eyes lit up for a moment and then disappeared.

‘… it’s true.’

“Hmm… then, please cooperate with further investigation. Can we see the list of part-timers?”

“Ah, yes… please wait.”

The owner brought a list of part-time students.

None of them appeared to be female.

“Doctor, no matter how much we look at it, there is no woman’s name in here, right?”

“The name doesn’t matter. Owner, among these, are there any female part-timers?”

The convenience store owner pointed to the two names.

It was Kim Jun-myeon and Kim Jiyo.

“They look like genderless names. To be precise, they seem more like male names.”

The owner nodded at Inspector Jung’s words.

‘Wait. Then Kim Jiyeon didn’t work as a part-timer here?’

Hansol and Jung Yu-mi looked at each other.

“According to our investigation, it was confirmed that Kim Jiyeon was a part timer in this place. Giving false testimony can cause more problems for you.”

Hansol spoke in a calm voice.

Then the owner brought in another ledger with a look of disappointment.

“We can look at the kids who played substitute workers or first-time part-timers.”

Hansol and Inspector Jung confirmed the list. Among them, the name wasn’t there.

“T-that… maybe Jiyo introduced Kim Jiyeon, I think. Anyway, it isn’t important… no, so they first applied through a message with Jun-myeon and a friend named Jiyo. I actually thought they were boys, and when I met them they turned out to be girls.”

“What time of the day did those two work? Did the two use bikes?”

As the question by Yu-mi, the owner thought for a second as if looking back into the memory.

“I know that Jiyo lives next door and rides a bike up here, and Jun-myeon lives nearby and just walks over. Both were students of Gohan University.”

“Alright. We need to go and meet these two. Any contact information would be appreciated.”

“Hmm… did the kids do something? Theft? Or what?”

“It isn’t like that. It’s an arson charge.”

“Huh? Arson?”

As Inspector Jung answered the question, Hansol looked at the owner.

One of the girls lives close by and rides a bike, and the other walks over to the store.

Which of the two are more likely to be involved?

Assuming that they are a student at Gohan University, they must have had excellent grades for entering it. In the case of part-timers who came from the countryside, there is a high probability of them living in a neighborhood where the cost of living is cheap.

However, even those who live in far-off places are more likely to move around the area and get close to the university.

So, both were likely to be employed in some form.

“First let’s ask the two of them for questioning as witnesses. And today, there is an eyewitness too, so let’s go.”


Hansol arrived at the National Police Agency and organized the case file.

First, there was no part-timer named Kim Jiyeon.

There were two part-timers named Kim Jun-myeon and Kim Jiyo. These two were somehow related. What kind of relationship did they have? The CIF team immediately launched an investigation.

Team One said they had a suspect, but it didn’t seem correct.

In this case, the culprit is an arsonist.

Hansol thought of everything he could. The witness could be the culprit here. Arsonists who are close to being sociopaths and beyond habitual arson often pretend to have witnessed the crime scene.

That said, the witness who decided to visit the National Police Agency today could be the culprit.

“Detective Kang. Contact Kim Jiyo, a part-timer at the convenience store, and summon her as a witness for now.”

“Yes!”

“Oh… Doctor Im. Did you get something when you went out?”

Team Leader Woo-jin asked in a stern voice.

“It isn’t certain yet, but first I would like to listen to the witness testimony.”

Hansol prepared the questionnaire. Actually, he didn’t even need that, all he had to do was look in the eye to know the truth, but he wrote something on the page to identify the witness who could be a sociopath.

A detective from the Violent Crimes Unit’s Team One approached Hansol and said, “the witness is here!”

Hansol was ready as he sat opposite to the witness.

“Name?”

“Kim Jiyo.”

‘…Kim Jiyo, a convenience store part timer. A student who lives near Gohan University.’

“I heard that you work part-time at a convenience store, what time do you start and end your duties?”

“I work from 7 am to 1pm, and in the afternoon I head to university.”

‘… truth.’

“You said you saw an arsonist, can you tell me what you remember?”

“Well… not long ago, after university, I had drinks with my friends. Then I was about to head home when I found someone squatting in the alley. I guess that's why, I concentrated and heard the sound of a lighter. Something felt strange so when I turned around to see I saw a garbage bag on fire.”

“I see. You said not long ago. Do you remember exactly when this was? A time, maybe?”

At Hansols’ question, Kim Jiyo seemed like she was thinking and recalling it.

Then, she answered, “it was around 11pm on the 13th of May.”

“Wait. I have to check the records.”

Hansol looked at the incident log file and checked if there was a fire around that time.

‘… truth.’

“I have something to ask. Can you tell me the details of the attire this person had?”

“It was all black even a black hat. Ah, there were even black overshoes on the feet.”

‘She remembers it in such detail? Still, she had no intention of putting off the fire?’

“You have a good memory.”

“Hehe… I hear that a lot. I am good at my grades in school too.”

Kim Jiyo took that as a compliment.

Hansol’s eyes turned bitter, but he didn’t show it.

He kept a gentle smile and asked, “How about your relationship with your family?”

“I have an unnie1.”

“Are you living together right now?”

“Yes. I am with my unnie right now. But… is this necessary for the questioning?”

“I am asking it hoping it would be helpful. What is the name of your unnie?”

Displeasure was clearly displayed on her face. However, Hansol wasn’t going to back down.

“Kim Jiyeon.”

“Thank you. Finally, let me ask you one more thing about your family. Are you and Kim Jiyeon fraternal twins? Similar but not similar.”

Hansol received the data surveyed by CIF before Kim Jiyo arrived. As a result, it was found that Kim Jiyeon and Kim Jiyo were born on the same day. Hansol made a guess and asked her that.

“Uh? How did you know? She was born a bit earlier than me, so she is my unnie, but we are fraternal twins.”

‘… blood relationship with Kim Jiyeon who used the bankbook. A stolen one.’

“Thank you for the answer. Have you ever witnessed an arsonist starting a fire before?”

“No. When I first saw that I was scared, so I kept walking. What should I do? What if I did something and the person decided to hit me back?”

“Did you not plan to report it to the police or fire department?”

“It rained a little that day, so I thought the fire would be out….”

At that moment, Hansol’s eyes shone blue.

‘… lie. From what I remember it didn’t rain on May 13th’

“I see. Alright. Thank you for taking the time to do this.”

“The questions end here?”

“Let’s meet again and ask more detailed questions.”

“I am busy with university… I am preparing for my graduation project, so I don’t have much time left.”

“Arts side?”

“Right. Painting.”

“That must be troublesome. I understand. Please head back safely.”

“Never! Never let anyone know I came and talked! Okay?”

Hansol smiled and nodded, and seeing that Kim Jiyo smiled and moved.

After Kim Jiyo left, Team One and CIF entered the room. Hansol was ready to brief.

“We have completed the witness statement. One thing I learned along the way, Kim Jiyeon is her fraternal twin who used this stolen passbook.”

“… then, are you saying that Kim Jiyo must be in on this?”

“Right. Above all, she made a false statement.”

Team Leader Lee Jae-woo sat in the front and had a curious expression.

“… What kind?”

“Miss Kim Jiyo said she saw the arsonist light a garbage bag with a lighter around 11pm on May 13th. She also described the details of the attire the person had. When asked about the weather, she said that it was raining. Look here.”

Hansol showed the weather forecast of the Korea Meteorological Administration, which was on the screen. Seeing that, everyone frowned.

“…! It didn’t rain?”

“The chance of rain was only 10% that too a drizzle. And it rained? That is a lie. Among sociopaths, arsonists sometimes pretend to lie and come as witnesses. Because the pleasure of pretending to be a witness is unique. What about you people? Do you think Kim Jiyo is really a witness?”

  1. Is used by women in calling their elder sister or any woman who’s slightly older than them. ↩️

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