Chapter 12 - Shall we start over again?

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“Okay, that is it. Let’s head back now.”

Everyone looked at Hansol with confusion over his words. “What? I thought that we should look around a little more?”

“No. This is more than enough. The three people who lived in Pyeongmi and were in contact with Woo Jin-hyung—we need to investigate them to find out more. And for the rest, we need to go over the autopsy results in detail.”

Hansol and the rest of the CIF team returned to the Police Agency.


As soon as they returned to the Police Agency, they heard unexpected news.

Prosecutor Seo Jae-dong of the 1st team of the Southern Prosecutor’s office in Seoul was seated in the chair at the CIF office with a pen and flipping a sheet of paper.

“From this moment on, the prosecution will take over this case.”

“… huh? This case was given to us. What is all this?”

Team Leader Woojin was visibly flustered.

Seo Jae-dang of Team 1 responded with a smile.

“Can you handle this case? The suspect is too detailed for you to handle. It is only right for the prosecution to take this up.”

“Ah, look at this! Prosecutor Seo, we got all the profiling ready. You can’t just barge in here and say such nonsense! We just got the autopsy results to look over.”

“Ah! Right, thank you for that! Three possible suspects were drawn out. Surely Dr. Im is skilled. You are Professor Im’s son for a reason.”

When Professor Im was mentioned, the CIF team looked over at Hansol at the same time.

However, Hansol’s expression didn’t change. Hansol moved over and sat down in his seat.

“Prosecutor Seo, would you like to make a bet?” Hansol spoke in his usual tone.

“What kind of bet?”

“All you need to do is give us a chance to verify these three people. And the prosecution can take over from there. Whether you investigate or not, we won’t interfere from there.”

“… what are you planning?”

Neither Seo nor the rest of the CIF team could understand Hansol’s reasoning. Catch a criminal with a simple interrogation? Everyone was dumbfounded at Hansol’s overflowing confidence. As the evidence wasn’t clear, they would have to rely on the statements and for Hansol to think that he could find the killer in just one interrogation. It was a reckless bet.

Whoever saw this, Prosecutor Seo had the advantage.

“No. There is no plan behind this. However, as this case first came to us, I would like to interrogate them once as suspects. We just can’t hand the case over. We are being called a team dedicated to the special cases at Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. We need to play our part, right?”

Kang Woo-cheol, who was watching this all, was shocked. When working with Hansol at Hwajong Police Station, he thought of Hansol as a numb, emotionless, and dull human. Those were the main reason that he didn’t like Hansol.

However, after Professor Im’s case. Hansol was displaying a different personality. In particular, he seemed more self-confident, like he could solve everything. It’s as if he fell into devil’s temptation.

Prosecutor Seo thought for a moment and answered, “Then, I’ll give you three days to conduct your interviews or whatever.”

“A day is enough.”

Hansol’s eyes shone.


“Now, now, senior! And Doctor! The details of the three are here!”

Kang Woo-cheol didn’t even take an hour to bring in the suspect details for investigation. Kang Woo-cheol had immediately decided to move over here from Hwajong Police Station because he didn’t want to follow the old ways of working, do physical acts, stay good to the seniors, and stay behind the seniors, never being given a chance to investigate a suspect.

Hansol was the first to receive the documents.

[ First suspect: Shin Jong-tae (40)

Has no stable job and has reached out to psychiatric help. Although asked for data, the Department of Psychiatry stated that they wouldn’t give a patient details unless a warrant has been presented.

Went to jail in his 20s because of gambling, fraud, and theft. Lived in the redevelopment area of Pyeongmi and received compensation, but nothing specific came out for results on property inquiries. ]

[ Second suspect: Lee Man-soo (34)

He is an exceptionally skilled person with outstanding grades, which made him be referred to as the ‘Dragon from Gaecheon’ in the Pyeongmi. It has been confirmed that he worked at the Yeouido Securities, but he quit for not being able to match the aptitude and for relaying the company’s details to Nertube and others. It has been confirmed that he had a good relationship with the deceased victim, Woo Jin-hyung, and the two were senior – junior in the same college. ]

[ Third suspect: Lee Yunseok (37)

Before Pyeongmi was tagged for the redevelopment area, he was the chairman of the Redevelopment Association and took the lead in convincing and encouraging the local residents into signing up for the redevelopment. When the redevelopment was confirmed, it was assumed that he had been given the most compensation amount. Like Shin Jong-tae, Lee Yuneok has a criminal record of going to prison for repeated gambling and fraud, and his relationship with his wife isn’t great. He and his wife have two sons. Both of the sons are unemployed and have invested most of the redevelopment compensation in stocks. ]

“Doctor, do you have any idea?”

Kang Woo-cheol asked while putting down a cup of iced americano he bought on Hansol’s desk.

“Hmm…”

“I’ll tell you what I see. For me, Lee Yunseok seems most likely to be our suspect. He was the chairman of the redevelopment association and used the money from compensation in stocks. Isn’t he the most likely one?”

“No. We need to do more research, but… there are some things which aren’t that clear, and trying to find a suspect right at the beginning of an investigation isn’t a nice idea.”

Kang Woo-cheol’s face flushed red at those words. What Hansol said struck him. He did try to solve the past case by recklessly placing Hansol as the suspect, not giving him a chance to prove his innocence.

It hasn’t even been a year since Kang Woo-cheol became a detective. He was bound to be embarrassed when he pushed Hansol as the suspect while the real suspect was Professor Im. Even if he changed his attitude, it was still a recent issue.

Lieutenant Jung asked Kang Woo-cheol.

“Is it possible to investigate these three today?”

Ugh, not all three today. There is a small problem. How can we investigate three people in one hour? So, I asked one person a day for an entire hour, which gave us three days. In that way, the prosecution won’t have any more ideas on how we are working unless there is a leak from us. That disgusting jerk…”

“Detective Kang, be careful with your words.”

At Lieutenant Jung’s words, Kang Woo-cheol went silent.

Kang Woo-cheol had a temper, and it often came out that way, and it only troubled the team he was in. for example, he was asked to enter the crime scene for possible teamwork between two teams, but he believed in his own skills and rushes off to catch the suspect.

Lieutenant Jung only thought she should teach Kang Woo-cheol by holding onto his collar tightly since they are both on the same CIF team. Team Leader Woojin didn’t seem to think too much about Woo-cheol’s attitude.

“Who is the person we are visiting today?”

“Shin Jong-tae. He’ll be here soon. 5 minutes more till he comes here.” Kang Woo-cheol went to the outside of the agency to get him.

Hansol went over the details of the three suspects.

It wasn’t possible to determine who the definite culprit was with the current information. Even taking a guess was difficult.

But he had power, the ability to discern truth and lies.

‘If Shin Jong-tae is the culprit, he must have used force to get things done. Maybe it’s a psychological trick for him to stray away from reality. Two people have criminal records of gambling and fraud, so they could be considered suspicious…. The most difficult one would be Shin Jong-tae. I need to take a close look at him and see how he will try to play this out.’

A few minutes later, Kang Woo-cheol appeared with Shin Jong-tae.

Shin Jong-tae looked around the police station. He seemed to be nervous and scared.

“Shin Jong-tae, you don’t have to panic. You have been called here only for the investigation. Nothing has been confirmed yet.”

“Ah…! I met an elephant on the way, and that elephant brought me. And then the giraffe greeted me and then played on the lion’s back.”

“… Shin Jong-tae?”

Hansol smiled as he approached Shin Jong-tae.

“Hello. I am Dr. Im Hansol. I’m cooperating with the CIF of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency for profiling. Please come with me.”

“Wah! Doctor! The doctor’s back has butterfly wings on the back… all the wings are torn down! You won’t be able to fly!”

“…”

Team Leader Woojin, Lieutenant Jung, and Kang Woo-cheol all frowned at Shin Jong-tae’s speaking manner, but Hansol seemed calm as ever. Not a single speck of change in his emotion was found.

Hansol and Shin Jong-tae sat face to face as the investigation started.

“Shin Jong-tae, I would like to ask you one thing. Where were you at 22pm on April 23rd?”

“Mom! Mom was sick, and she asked me to buy medicine, but then suddenly a tiger appeared and told me to give it the medicine and follow. Still, there was nothing in the place I followed so I went back home and my mom was shocked but told me it was okay, I went out again, but this time a turtle waited for me, it came all the way from the underwater…”

From a distance, Hansol heard Woojin and Kang Woo-cheol sigh. “Shin Jong-tae, do you usually go to the hospital?”

“Mom gives me something weird, the pill is the size of my thumb, and if I take that pill, I get sick, and my head always splits open, and then mom will….”

That was when Kang Woo-cheol approached Hansol and whispered in his ear. “… it has been confirmed that Shin Jong-tae’s mother is dead.”

Hansol didn’t even nod. He just continued with the investigation.

Shin Jong-tae was showing symptoms close to schizophrenia. He was using destructive language and was not able to form proper sentences.

However…

’… lie…’

It was a lie that Shin Jong-tae went out on an errand at 22:00 on April 23rd and that his mother provided him with medicines. Hansol’s left eye shone blue and then back to brown.

“Shin Jong-tae, I was told you were married. How is your marriage doing?”

“That… that… I married because this woman—a witch caught me and forced me to do it and dried up my mom. This woman suddenly told me I had to take a witch’s medicine and live…”

“I’ll ask you one more thing. You have experience in gambling, theft, and fraud in your 20s. How are you holding onto stocks? How did you fall into the stocks?”

“The witch gave me money and told me to buy them!”

Speaking like a toddler. A face that wasn’t giving out any hints. He was clearly displaying himself as a schizophrenic patient, but in Hansol’s eyes, he knew that the man in front of him was making up stories.

“I will ask you once again. On 23rd April, around 22:00, what was Shin Jong-tae doing? That day, the stock market was closed… there should be something else you were doing. It is a time when the pharmacies are closed. Even the hospitals are closed at that time, and last one.”

“…?”

Suddenly, Shin Jong-tae, which acted like a toddler earlier, turned his face dark.

“It says that it has been a few months since you paid a visit to the hospital. You must have thought that you were cured or could lead a decent life without taking those medicines. What was your diagnosis? According to my report, it says….”

Hansol threw the bait.

That was when Shin Jong-tae put his hands together and said.

“I am sorry! Sorry! I have been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder! I wasn’t going to the hospital because I didn’t want to take medicine anymore….”

Bipolar disorder refers to a patient who goes back and forth between their so-called mood extremes. The patients have mania and depression at certain times. This meant that the schizophrenic act that Shin Jong-tae played until a moment ago was entirely false.

It could also be said that Shin Jong-tae’s acting turned into a waste. Hansol didn’t bother asking why he was acting.

Hansol looked at him and then spoke in a soft voice. “Then, shall we start from scratch all over again?”

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