Chapter 13 - Sinners will be judged

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“Mr. Shin Jong-tae, on April 23rd at 22:00, do you remember what you did?”

“That day… I can’t remember… maybe I drank too much that day.”

“Do you usually spend your time drinking?”

“I don’t have any work these days, so I just drink. During the day, I pick up waste cans and papers and sell them….”

“The report says that you have a criminal record of gambling, fraud, and theft. Have you quit gambling these days? It’s usually hard to stop something like that.”

Shin Jong-tae shook his hand to refute Hansol’s words.

“I need money to gamble. Sir, even if I try to gamble, people don’t let me join as I have no money.”

“… then, let’s move on to the next question. That day, you, Mr. Shin Jong-tae, didn’t gamble. You worked in the morning by collecting the paper and waste cans and drank with the money you earned from that?”

“Yes, yes, that is right, Sir. Even if I have a record for fraud, I’m not the kind to lie about such a thing.”

As Hansol watched Shin Jong-tae speak, he noticed something on the man. The index finger of Shin Jong-tae’s right hand had a scar as if it had been cut by something sharp.

“Mr. Shin Jong-tae, I see that you have a scar over there. How did you injure yourself?”

“Ah… I cut it while I was picking up a can.”

The cut should be sleek if he really did get cut by the can’s mouth. There shouldn’t be any rough marks.

However, Shin Jong-tae’s index finger was roughed up.

’… lie…’

“If you got cut because of holding the can from its mouth, the wound shouldn’t be like that, Mr. Shin Jong-tae.”

That was when Shin Jong-tae’s expression changed. His eyes began to wander as if he got caught for something. Hansol kept looking at him, while Shin Jong-tae avoided his gaze.

“How was the murder? Did it make you excited? Was it thrilling?”

“… that—what are you!”

“I think the cut on your right hand came from cutting the victim, but it must have been fun cutting through him. Oh, just thinking about it must give you a thrill.”

“I-I don’t saw!”

“When did I ever say anything about sawing? I didn’t even use the word ‘saw.’

“Th-that is why I am saying. Sir… no, please let me go. I sawed, but… would my sentence be reduced if I spoke honestly in court? I am sorry. I did something terrible.”

Shin Jong-tae looked frightened as he tried to confide. Hansol watched him whisper.

“Mr. Shin Jong-tae, what did you saw?”

“That… that was… the dog of the neighbor was constantly barking.”

“You thought of sawing a dog because of that?”

“Ri-right… I was looking for the dog… Can…can I tell you a secret? I’ll tell you a secret, Sir….”

“Mr. Shin Jong-tae. Firstly, the neighbor’s dog belongs to a private property. If you killed a neighbor’s dog, you touched something from a private property. You will be punished for it. This usually ends with fines, but….”

Shin Jong-tae clasped his hands, pleading.

“Pl-please… I only killed one dog, and fine for that… He was the one who barked at me….”

‘Hmm… this is truth….’

“If you secretly broke into a neighbor’s house, that is a residential intrusion. We will be investigating it separately. It isn’t under the jurisdiction of our team. This case will get transferred to another team.”

“… Sir, please… I can’t get kicked out of the house I earned from hard work again….”

Hansol looked at his watch. One hour was done.

“We will end the questioning here.”

Hansol told Kang Woo-cheol that Shin Jong-tae’s actions should be handed over to another team.

Kang Woo-cheol helped Shin Jong-tae get up and told him to go straight home. Lieutenant Jung Yu-mi approached Hansol and gave him a glass of water.

“… I heard it all, so Shin Jong-tae killed a dog around 22:00 on April 23rd?”

“That is right. In fact, we need to check how long that dog has disappeared, and if we manage to find the dog’s body, his alibi can be established.”

“It wasn’t killed by force, but sawing? Just like the suspect… how is this possible, Doctor?”

“In the case of Shin Jong-tae, there could be an alibi, but the fact that he was acting schizophrenic is suspicious. I think we need to look at his medical records from the hospital. And even though he said a dog from next door, it might not be the next door dog. It would be better to keep an open mind and continue the investigation.”

“Okay. I will bring in the psychiatry records of Shin Jong-tae from his hospital.”

“And criminal charges need to be placed on him from intrusion and theft, and convey the message to the team.”

Kang Woo-cheol ran in and handed Hansol a paper bag.

“Doctor! This was found on the crime scene. There are records of blood marks on the site, luminol, and more.”

“A copy of them?”

That was when Team Leader Woojin shook the USB in his hand, showing Hansol.

“Don’t worry, Dr. Im. I have been backing up the entire data of this case.”

It was essential to handle the data in advance and make sure to check what needed to be removed as the prosecution team could enter anytime and ask for the case and its files to be transferred to them.

“But Woo-cheol, when did you bring all that data?”

“Ah! Who do you think I am, Team Leader! Even in Hwajong police station, I was recognized for my ability to acquire this kind of information.”

“Yes, you are good at this. Anyway, you made sure that the prosecution isn’t aware of the data we are bringing in secretly?”

“Of course. Ever since the prosecution got involved, I have been extra cautious.”

“Everyone is doing a good job. Dr. Im, are you leaving?”

“I want to analyze the data. It is my job to be prepared to question the other suspects.”

Hansol put the materials into his briefcase and bid from work.

Upon returning home, Hansol took out the data from his briefcase.

Luminol is a fluorescent substance that reacts to bloodstains. What could it do with this investigation?

’… what I am most curious about is how the criminal managed to clear the bloodstain. The site was way too clean, but if he used Luminol, then I guess we might discover something.’

Hansol turned on the music. His favorite song, Mozart <Lacrimosa>, played.1

Lacrimosa Dies Illa,

When the day of tears comes, Qua resurgent ex favilla

Resurrect from the dust Judicandus homo reus.

The sinner will be judged. Huic ergo parce, Deus.

I beg you to treat that person, Lord. Pie Jesu Domine,

Lord Jesus, show mercy, Dona eis requiem, Amen.

Let them rest, Amen.

Hansol recollected the crime scene as he saw the luminol photo.

’…? This.’

Something was written on the wall. When he visited the site, he couldn’t find any trace of something being written in blood and then erased.

[ Judicandus homo reus. The sinner will be judged. ]

The lyrics of Mozart’s <Lacrimosa>, which was being played in his house.

‘Judge the sinner….’

Listening to the words of <Lacrimosa>, Hansol was able to guess something.

The suspect is thinking of himself as the Judge. He was convinced that he, as the Judge, should take care of the sinner.

However, Hansol wondered why the suspect erased the words.

If he genuinely believed himself to be the Judge, he should have left the words on the wall. What was the reason for erasing it?

Hansol closed his eyes and began to think of himself as the killer. The saw in the right hand. In front of him is the victim, Jin-hyung, lying down. He nailed his hands and feet. He couldn’t stop the laughter which was escaping from his mouth. And the sinner was going to get judged.

My God, who is merciful, accept my judgment. A man sleeping in front, not knowing what he is being judged for.

Slowly approaching, one step, two steps closer.

Heeeing! The chainsaw began to run. His first target was the fingers. The man lying opens his hands when he cuts off the thumb finger. The man slowly begins to notice what’s happening and falls to the floor with his hand, which had all its fingers cut off, and the other hand intact.

Unable to walk as his feet were penetrated with long nails, he tried to move them but only felt pain.

The killer watches him. At that site… music flows as if it is a necessity for the Holy Judgment he is about to give. The killer looks at the victim as his appetite begins to rise. He watches the victim bleeding in the corner. There was no other way to escape.

He pleads to be pardoned, but the killer doesn’t respond. The killer brings in a shot. The victim, forcefully given the shot, was unable to struggle.

The victim thinks about seeing his surroundings, but his eyes start to turn heavy with the music playing around, and he slowly loses consciousness.

Hansol opens his eyes.

He reviewed the luminol photo once again.

As he thought, the bloodstains on the corner of the room must have come from one hand.

And continued all the war to the other corner.

The peculiar thing was that there were no blood spots in the place where the victim was lying down.

’… the killer committed a planned murder. Plastic was laid underneath it to not let the blood touch the floor. As a judge, he thought he had the right to watch him suffer.’

A few drops of blood on the other wall. It was clearly distinguishable because of the fluorescent light shining on it.

Hansol assumed the table was placed where the blood spots were visible more.

‘One thing worked as expected.’

Until all the blood was drained from the body, the killer would have left the plastic to keep the blood from running onto the floor.

Then what about that large plastic wrap?

There was no way he would have dumped it in the same area where the victim was found.

It would be easy for Hansol if the suspect did, but the suspect, who came up with such determination to punish the sinner as the Lord’s judge, would act as cautious as possible. In simple terms, the plastic wrap couldn’t be found.

Not just the plastic, the table, and chainsaws used in the crime would also be hard to find.

Hints about the subject increased. He is, at least, religious and a ‘psychopath’ who believes that he can judge others and stands above the rights of others.

Hansol had clearly hidden his innate instincts. However, this case brought out something.

Hansol’s beating heart could understand.

‘He is my kind.’

The thought that the killer may not appear in the three listed suspects suddenly passed through Hansol’s mind.

  1. Lacrimosa is a Latin word for weeping/tearful. It is a song composed by Mozart and is often used in funerals. t is also a part of the text in Requiem (mass of the dead, also mass for the dead) ↩️

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