Chapter 7 - Isn’t that person the only one left?

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The accused are presumed innocent until a judgment of guilt has been pronounced.1


“Ah, no!”

’… lie.’

The man was obviously lying.

As soon as the dispatched police arrived, the man Hansol caught was arrested.

“Doctor, we need you with us for referencing the investigation.”

“Let’s do that.”

After arriving at the station, a background search on the man’s identity was conducted, and a few things came to light.

He is 39 years old, and his name is Kim Chul-gyu. His current job—well—he’s unemployed. He is unmarried and has no criminal record. He lives in the Jeonghwa region, about 10 km away from Hwajong.

“But he has no previous criminal records!” Kang Woo-cheol, who was in charge of the investigation of Kim Chul-gyu, reported.

“Check again. Check whether he changed his name or not, and look for even the smallest troubles created by him. Look into the people who were in contact with him.”

“Yes, senior!”

Hansol, who was being investigated as a reference, was a few steps away from them, listening to their conversation.

“Doctor, why did you visit the site again?”

This time, Lieutenant Jung Yu-mi began to question him. Hansol decided that an honest answer would be the best.

“As a profiler, I wanted to see the scene. I wondered if there was something I was missing out on.”

“And so, when you arrived Kim Chul-gyu came in?”

“Correct. As if… nothing.”

“As if? Please continue what you were trying to say.”

Lieutenant Jung Yu-mi didn’t seem to back down. No, this was how every investigation was conducted; every answer was needed. The same applied to Hansol, who was working inside the police agency.

‘I need to come up with something simple.’

“Like he waited for me to come… this was what I wanted to say.”

“So, does this Kim Chul-gyu know you?”

“Yes. That was the conclusion I came to.”

“Then I will ask you one more thing. How could Kim Chul-gyu know you?”

“One thing I am certain of is that someone from the police is committing this crime alongside Kim Chul-gyu.”

“Why would you think that?”

Lieutenant Jung’s eyes turned serious.

Lieutenant Jung was wary of Hansol, who was still on the suspect list. It would be that Hansol’s words would dig his own grave. However, Hansol spoke each word with utter care.

It looked like Hansol, who was on top of the suspect list, was trying to get out. If not, he was simply profiling.

“There are many reasons, but… firstly, the murder in the abandoned house wasn’t the first murder.”

“How can you be so sure of that?”

“The real suspect must have been helping Kim Chul-gyu with the murders.”

Lieutenant Jung couldn’t understand what Hansol was trying to say. It was as if Hansol was speaking some other language.

“Firstly, Kim Chul-gyu is unemployed, but he seems to have worked in places that handle knives, such as slaughter houses or hospitals. If you look into that, we will know soon, right? And with the way he was using the knife, he seemed to know the human body pretty well too.”

When Hansol was speaking with a blunt expression, Lieutenant Jung titled her head. “On what ground can you—”

“Yah! This shithead! Look here! You changed your bloody name! So, you were working in forensics?”

The angry voice of Kang Woo-cheol could be heard by Lieutenant Jung and Hansol.

“…!”

Hansol’s deduction was correct.

Someone who helped him, aka J, may be related to Kim Chul-gyu. In particular, if he did work in forensics, there is no way the police wouldn’t know him.

’… this J knows me, and he manipulated Kim Chul-gu? Or did he ask Kim Chul-gyu to visit the site at that time? If I was the killer… I wouldn’t be interested in that one house alone. I wouldn’t be able to feel any pleasure from it. In the records, my mom died, my father got stabbed in the back with a knife, and the son tried to help. That’s all. And the suspect was—’

“Doctor…”

Lieutenant Jung spoke with a stern expression.

Inspector Jung was puzzled. The person on the suspect list was just sitting and peacefully reasoning about the scene he witnessed.

Seeing Hansol’s tired eyes, the inspector couldn’t help but feel bad.

“This is what I learned after personally conducting an investigation on you, and it is said that you are suffering from a mental illness. The illness is….”

“Even if you don’t spill it, I am aware of it. I even know that I will be at a disadvantage for this case because of that illness.”

“I don’t understand the things that you’ve said, Doctor. Firstly, you visited the site right after the investigation. Then, Kim Chul-gyu visits. Isn’t this a perfect setting to get yourself out of the suspect list?”

Lieutenant Jung cornered Hansol.

Of course, that is how any ‘normal’ person would think.

At that moment, a detective came over and whispered something in Lieutenant Jung’s ears. After hearing what the detective had whispered, she could hold her poker face any longer.

“Doctor? I have another question. Why didn’t you go out the front door? We secured the CCTV.”

“In a situation where I was being held as the main suspect, I decided that it would be best to go over to the crime scene unnoticed. By the way… you guys got it pretty fast this time?”

Each time Hansol spoke, Jung Yu-mi got more confused. Was the person sitting in front of her a monster, or does he want to become one? Or was he really someone who knew nothing?

Ugh… 5 minutes—after 5 minutes we will continue.” Lieutenant Jung left, and Hansol resumed his thoughts.

‘The suspect’s first murder wasn’t actually his first.’

The suspect is aware of Hansol and his illness and clearly knows what happened 10 years ago inside the house. Maybe he was someone who directly investigated the scene. The awareness of what happened inside seemed strong, and he would continue to aim for his prey. Then, how did the suspect end up exposing himself?

It was confirmed that the first and the second bodies found weren’t too far from each other.

And Hansol’s disease was only known by his father, mother, the suspect at that time. And now, J and Jung Yu-mi as well. His mother is dead, so she is off the list. So there are 4 people left.

‘Father lacks the skills—wait, how much do I even know about my father?’

Ten years had passed since they lived together. Hansol had no idea how much his father had changed. Professor Im and J could be of the same age.

‘Maybe after his wife died, the instincts inherent in him awakened. So, my dad might not have grown up with ‘education’. Furthermore, he cooperated with police on several occasions, so he witnessed many murder scenes.’

A paper also states that antisocial personality disorder is inherent by nature. Although it was just a theory and was never proven.

He sees his father’s friendly face whenever he talks with neighbors. However, Hansol would see his father’s sanity drift away from time to time. That was just an old memory embedded into his brain. Furthermore, His father also knows everything that happened 10 years ago.

“… Doctor? We are starting now.”

“Yes.”

Lieutenant Jung called Hansol while seriously looking into his eyes.

“Ordinary criminals avoid eye contact whenever they are being investigated as they are busy trying to build up alibi to lower their sentences. However, you are unusual. The people who commit murders, especially serial murders as such, don’t avoid eye contact, but rather glance right into others and give out an eerie feeling.”

“Are my eyes like that?”

“They are similar to that. The illness the doctor is associated with could have contributed to murder.”

“You are talking like I am the suspect. Then, I’ll let you know a few things. Remember that I am a profiler, and I need to let the police know what is happening without letting my emotions get the best of me.”

After taking a deep breath, Hansol opened his mouth. “First, the suspects are two not one.”

“Yes, you’ve said that.”

“Second, one of the suspects would be a police officer or someone who is working in the related agency. And they are very well aware that I, Dr. Im Hansol, am mentally ill.”

“How many know about that? Since I am aware of you and your personality, I am not the type to draw conclusions.”

“Only 4 people. Lieutenant Jung, my father, the incident 10 years ago… if you investigated me, you must know it, right? What happened to me? The suspect of that case. And… National Forensic Lab’s Jung Min-seob.”

“Speaking of Jung Min-seob… you are referring to the team leader Jung Min-seob of the National Forensic Lab, right?”

“Correct. There is only one Jung Min-seob in the National Forensic Lab.”

“So, out of the four people, including me, you are thinking the culprit is present?”

“… of course, I have 2 people on the list for suspects. The suspect of that incident 10 years ago was given a life sentence, that makes it impossible for him to come. Inspector Jung knows what happened to him today, right? Ah, since it passed midnight, it was yesterday. He passed away yesterday. Then, the only other one left is my father and Jung Min-seob.”

The lieutenant felt a little weird from Hansol’s words. Maybe pronouns such as ‘that’ and ‘him’. As she thought during investigations, the more pronouns used the more intimate the people were supposed to be. However, when Hansol talked, it seemed utterly opposite. Instead, it was like he didn’t even want to mention a few names and ended up using those pronouns.

Something gave her an impression that they weren’t so important to Hansol.

“Then, shall I go on with the third reason? The suspect has a very strong desire to exhibit.”

“Are you a person with a strong desire to exhibit? If you look at the bodies which have been discovered till now, especially the first one, it seemed like—”

“I told you that the first isn’t the actual first murder. Apparently, it was one of the things left behind and ended up creating this unprecedented beginning.

If I was committing murder with Kim Chul-gyu, we both must have been pretty inexperienced. This means that there is undoubtedly another one on the loose. Ah, can’t you catch me even if I do this? Can’t you catch Kim Chul-gyu? Like that, numerous murders were committed, and this just ended up being the first body we found.“

“That means that he knew that you, Doctor, would visit there?”

Hansol leaned a little forward and looked at Jung Yu-mi. It was as if he was very relaxed despite what was happening around him, both mentally and physically.

“… so, there is only one suspect.”

“No… are you trying to say that your father is the other murderer?”

Lieutenant couldn’t even hide how flabbergasted she felt at his statement.

Nevertheless, Hansol’s expression didn’t change as he whispered in a soft voice, “Isn’t that person the only one left?”

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