Korean National Police Agency (KNPA)
- also known as Korean National Police (KNP), is one of the national police organizations in South Korea. It is run under the Ministry of the Interior and Safety. The agency is divided into 18 local police agencies, including the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.1
Lieutenant Jung Yu-mi visited the scene of the crime.
Jung Yu-mi had already checked the first autopsy result sent in by the National Forensic Lab before interrogating Hansol.
When they arrived, the team that had gotten there first greeted them from behind the police line.
“Lieutenant, you should apply this under your nose.”
The investigation team suggested everyone pass around the menthol essential oil before entering the crime scene. The odor hanging around the scene differed depending on when the victim had died but were all equally gruesome. The nauseating stench would be a little more bearable if menthol was dabbed right under the nose. The 3rd team stepped across the line after each applying some.
“Senior, just like the last site….”
When Kang Woo-cheol was about to speak, the senior detective nodded.
“The details can only be known after a full autopsy and an examination of traces on the site, but… it looks the same as the one before. The state of the body is the same but an important thing to verify is the time of death… hand in an autopsy request to the National Forensic Lab as soon as possible.”
Lieutenant Jung Yu-mi was looking around.
Nothing in the house seemed to be damaged, and there were no signs of resistance.
The state of the body looked very much the same as the one Hansol was brought in for. Blood splashed across the floor with the neck twisted onto the wounded side. The victim was still wearing her clothes neatly.
With such observations, it was plausible that there was no additional assault on her, and therefore, the victim was acquainted with the perpetrator.
Lieutenant Jung Yu-mi fell into deep thought.
‘Well, Dr. Hansol has no alibi. We need to wait and see the digital forensic results of his cell phone… If they don’t find anything on it… no, we need to check whether he possessed any other phones. When conducting an investigation, nothing should be left out.’
Organizing her thoughts, Jung Yu-mi retreated from the site that reeked of the smell of decay and headed out.
When she walked out, Lieutenant Jung understood one thing: the criminal was someone who committed the crime skillfully and not an amateur.
The murder scene was too clean.
After all, could it be that Hansol’s cold air of dignity’s only the surface of something far more sinister?
Hansol, who was heading home, roughly grasped the situation.
The reason the interrogation ended so quickly was that another victim had surfaced.
And he was smart enough to guess from there it wouldn’t just be one or two bodies left to be discovered.
Clear of fingerprints and footprints, as if the slaughter had never happened, but with the neck neatly snapped and a powerful slash of a knife.
If it was confirmed that the detectives had discovered another victim and had been dispatched to the crime scene… the culprit would probably be laughing at the confusion he’d caused within the station. Hansol knew that the culprit was one of his kind.
“… Yah, one more body came in?”
[Wah, that shocked me. How did you know that? I spoke with detective Kang earlier, and he said you were on the suspect list, under interrogation.]
Hansol’s helper, who works at National Forensic Lab, told him in surprise.
“The killer probably enjoys killing. He must have already murdered several people in undetected cases. He is no amateur, that is for sure. Waited for his skills to become efficient and now he wants attention. He must have a delusion that he’s like god, capable of controlling their life or death. A vicious monster.”
[… It’s been a while since I’ve heard you talk so much. Anyway, another body did come in. I’m calculating the time of death right now… and well, there’s something off.]
“Is it possible that the victim was killed on the same day as the first victim?”
[Crazy… how did you know that? Be honest with me. Are you sure you aren’t really the culprit?]
“I can tell without looking. You know my ‘secret’.”
[Uh… uh… hmm. Well, the killer used the same method.] “That’s the one. I’ll figure out the rest on my own now.”
[Do you need anything more?]
“No. This is all I need.”
Hansol remained deep in thought after he ended the call.
Now, the police station and the Nation Forensic Lab must have lost their interest in the first site. They must be eager to investigate the new victim as thoroughly as possible.
Which meant he could go to the first site.
However, one thing he had to be aware of was he shouldn’t go out the front door. If he went out through the front door, being on the suspect list, he would end up on the CCTV footage, which would only lead the police to treat him as a suspect who revisited the crime scene later on.
Hansol’s flat was on the second floor, so it was low enough to jump out the window. Hansol jumped down and looked around for CCTVs. Even though CCTVs were installed throughout the building, none were on the road.
’… this is a relief.’
The time was 23:03.
A week ago at this hour, the suspect must have just enjoyed his act of murder, then headed elsewhere. And that would be the second victim’s house.
Information flooded into Hansol’s mind.
If it were him, where would his third destination be? A third murder wouldn’t have taken place. The suspect would commit the murder and display it where it could be easily discovered.
Hold on… the fact that the first murder took place at a site where no one would find it doesn’t seem right. It was in an abandoned redevelopment area.
At that moment, Hansol realized something.
The first body he found might not have been the first one. There had to be a ‘real’ first victim somewhere out there. Hansol, who thought so, summarized things as such.
- The culprit’s first murder wasn’t the one that was first found.
- The culprit wanted to put into display the person he killed. Therefore, he committed the same kind of murder as though it was a work of art. He’s flaunting his desire and his ability to kill. He is someone who takes pleasure in it.
- He’s someone whom the victims knew in advance. However, he wouldn’t have left behind any personal information such as a phone number. The victims would have trusted the suspect, so he must’ve acted friendly toward them.
- The other bodies might not be far from where the two bodies were found. The culprit must have purposefully chosen his neighborhood. They wouldn’t find anything else around that place.
- The culprit is aware of what happened in his home ten years ago. He could be aware of my personality disorder. He could be similar to me.
Hansol paid particular attention to the last line.
Once again, he put his thoughts together. The suspect could be someone Hansol personally knows, and the murder was definitely not the first one. No, it could end up being the first. And the culprit is a man who’s extremely handy with knives.
The reason for targeting the redevelopment area had to be because he could get Hansol on the spot that way.
’… someone who is aware of my disorder.’
Upon arriving at the redevelopment area, Hansol carefully looked around before entering.
As expected, no one was there.
The body had been removed, but the odor remained. Hansol could only make a mental note to pack menthol next time.
Hansol could vividly reimagine how the body was found. The angle at which the body was lying.
’… it was similar to Mother’s angle. So, it means that the person had information on it. No, it is suspicious on how he got the information. Maybe the suspect had been manipulated by someone to recreate a precedent case. The suspect is skillful, and the man who controls him… he has to be an insider.’
Hansol took a look inside the house. There didn’t seem to be any trace of another person living there since Hansol’s family had moved.
Word must have spread that a murder had occurred there, so the house couldn’t sell.
Hansol took one step at a time and saw the traces of dried blood.
Once again, his heart pounded.
Just as it did ten years ago. And now, once more.
’… my kind.’
No fingerprints were left or footprints. It wasn’t possible to leave a trace on the scene. Even if everything had been taken away as evidence, they must have left something crucial.
The sound of the ungreased front door being pushed open. Hansol turned his head.
There stood a man who was dressed in black from head to toe. It was difficult to guess his age because of the dark of the night, but Hansol felt like he had made eye contact with the man and a mysterious exhilaration rushed through him.
The man walked in, overshoes on his feet. In one hand was a latex glove and a knife in the other.
The knife shone in the moonlight that was streaming into the house. Hansol grinned as he greeted him.
“Hello. I guess today was the day of the party. Even though you didn’t invite me, it seems like you waited for me to come?”
“Uhm. Someone who’s not fond of talking? Then I can’t help but feel disappointed.”
The man raised his knife and then charged at Hansol.
Hansol moved aside to avoid it, grabbed the man’s wrist, and snapped it up.
From the moment when he made up his mind to become a professional profiler, he’d learned all kinds of martial arts.
“Based on your voice, late 30’s.”
Hansol twisted the broken wrist once more. As the wrist bones jiggled with a distinct feeling of displaced joints, a tingling sensation ran through Hansol’s body.
“You are weaker than I thought? I was expecting something more from you.”
“… you sneaky bastard!”
The man took the knife to another hand and tried to attack Hansol, but Hansol grabbed that hand and repeated his movements.
The knife fell to the floor as the man’s hands lost their use.
“A very common knife which can be found anywhere. Maybe you brought a new one here? So you bought a new one each time. That way, you were able to make sure another person’s DNA wasn’t detected from each individual site. I already guessed that too.”
“Th-this bastard! How dare you!”
“Ah… right. You wanted to show off your status as a hidden culprit in unsolved cases, right? Sorry. Did I end up knowing too much? I’ll start acknowledging your skills from now on so you can feel better now.”
Hansol jabbed the man’s abdomen with his knee. The man grunted as he fell face first.
As soon as the man fell over, Hansol pulled his hands to his back and held them firmly. The man had completely lost his ability to fight back.
“Just as expected, you are left-handed. That was why your right hand was weak and ended up getting easily overpowered by me, right?” Hansol’s voice resonated in the empty room.
“There’s a lot I want to ask… but first, I need to report you. Let’s report this now.” Hansol immediately reported it to the police.
At the same time, the detectives would take some time to drive over from the Hwajong Police station. Until then, he had to hold onto the suspect.
The man struggled as he couldn’t escape Hansol’s grip.
On the other hand, Hansol was completely fine. His muscles that were trained through athleticism worked great. His desire to become a profiler after watching a TV show ten years ago had made Hansol who he was today.
“Ah! There is something I’m curious about,” Hansol spoke as his lips curled to the sides.
The man felt terrified listening to his voice. Hansol’s body was warm, and even though his voice was soft, he somehow didn’t seem like a living person. Like the soul inside belonged to something else.
Hansol leaned over and whispered into the man’s ear, “… you didn’t do all of this on your own, right?”
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