Criminal Psychology Ch36

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 36

The traffic police came very quickly. It was a small-time traffic cop driving a motorcycle.

“What’s going on?” The small-time traffic cop stopped his motorcycle and saw the driver stuck in the front seat of a Buick while another was handcuffed to the ground.

Xing Conglian saluted him and flashed his credentials.

The small-time traffic cop looked at his ID and, probably thinking about the hostage situation and the timebomb case, quickly saluted Xing Conglian and handed back the credentials. “Oh, oh, it’s Captain Xing. Are you going to the scene over there?”

Xing Conglian gave a noncommittal response.

Lin Chen was standing by the car when he suddenly turned his head and said to the two of them, “This gentleman may have a cervical spine injury. It shouldn’t be serious, but we should call first responders just in case.”

“Wait a moment. The ambulance should be here soon.” The young traffic cop came over to look at the car. He saw that the driver was conscious and didn’t look seriously injured, but he didn’t dare move him. He walked around the car and went to the hot-tempered middle-aged driver who was handcuffed by Xing Conglian. “Is that your handcuffs?” he asked quietly.

Xing Conglian nodded. “Let him calm down first, and I’ll uncuff him later.”

“Fuck, he hit laozi. This is police brutality. Laozi wants to file a complaint!” The driver twisted and squirmed on the ground when he heard this.

“Hey, sir. It’s obvious your car is changing lanes. If you’re changing lanes and can’t get through all the way, you’re fully responsible for the accident.”

Seeing that the traffic cop began to educate the driver, Lin Chen interrupted him, “Have you called an ambulance?” Xing Conglian felt indescribable at that moment. Lin Chen had asked the same question he wanted to ask, because this whole time, while the traffic cop was inspecting the area, he had not once taken out his radio.

“Wait, let me see.”

The traffic cop ran onto the bus that caused the accident, took out a silver-gray tablet from the dashboard, then ran back out and tapped on it a few times. Soon, the tablet clearly showed the vehicles’ driving records and a series of parameters after the impact.

Lin Chen and Xing Conglian looked at each other tacitly, then came to the side of the traffic cop.

“Well, the police were automatically called,” The traffic cop said while showing them the screen. Lin Chen clearly saw the words “Highway Patrol and the 120* emergency center have been automatically called” on the screen.

*Clarity: In China, 120 is the number to call for ambulance services.

At that moment, the radio on the traffic cop’s chest rang.

The person on the other end of the radio asked, “Xiao Cao, is there another accident again?”

“Two cars collided. It’s not serious, but someone’s injured. Is the ambulance on its way?”

“Let me see…” There was a pause for a moment. “It’s already been dispatched.”

The traffic cop, Xiao Cao, nodded.

“How efficient.” Xing Conglian felt that he had faintly grasped an important key.

“Yes, we have replaced the new system. Now, anything with more than 7 passengers or freight vehicles carrying dangerous goods—anyway, vehicles that are prone to accidents are equipped with the latest tracking and call-for-help systems. The command center will evaluate through the system and comprehensively deploy police and ambulance resources from that evaluation.”

“This system you’re talking about, is it based on… MEMS speed agent or something?”

“It’s an autonomous call-for-help system based on a MEMS accelerometer, but this is only the name of the on-board terminal. The full name is the ‘Highway Safety Classification Warning System’.” The traffic cop spoke very quickly. “This system is very good, especially in places like the highway. When the road is empty and the driver is injured or unconscious and they can’t call the police, the vehicle can automatically do it. Many foreign countries also use this system.”

“In other words, after a vehicle is hit, a vehicle equipped with this kind of call-for-help system will automatically assess the degree of damage to the vehicle, comprehensively analyze a series of factors, such as the road conditions of the vehicle, and issue a signal for help. The command center will receive an alarm and will use this as a basis to send the police and ambulance to the scene. The more serious the accident, the higher the system rating, so more police and ambulance resources can be quickly allocated to a serious accident, right?” Xing Conglian’s brow frowned while he was in contemplation, and his tone was gruff. “Then, what about the opposite?”

“What opposite?” The traffic cop didn’t quite understand what Xing Conglian meant.

Xing Conglian patted the little brother on the shoulder gratefully. “What else do you know about this system?”

“What…. What’s the matter?” The traffic cop looked at Xing Conglian’s solemn face and suddenly became timid.

“Answer my question.”

“The system seems to have been introduced by the Tu’an Transportation Corp. It has been tried out since the previous year. The effect is good, so it slowly gained traction throughout the province and even the whole country. Anyway, all trucks, buses, especially dangerous freight vehicles—basically anything accident prone—must have this system installed on their vehicles.”

It was as if there was a thread connecting everything together.

“Tu’an Corp. This system was introduced by them… Why?”

“Why? The system was introduced by them. It was an agreement signed by Tu’An that had the Transportation Bureau responsible for installation, promotion, and maintenance of the system…”

Xing Conglian didn’t speak anymore and dragged Lin Chen to the side of the road.

“What’s the matter?” Lin Chen asked.

“Do you remember what time it was when we got the news that the school bus was hijacked?”

“About 12:15?”

“Yes.” Xing Conglian’s voice was low and solemn. “But the time when the bus was hijacked should be around 8:30-9:00…”

“There’s a three-hour difference.” Lin Chen quickly realized the key point. “We were too slow when we reacted.”

In a small car accident just now, the traffic police were able to arrive at the scene within a few minutes, but a bus full of children taken hostage took more than three hours from when the incident occurred to when the police were notified. This was simply appalling!

“The answer that kid wants us to find about the car accident should be very similar to this hijacking case he’s operating.”

“A car accident with serious consequences due to an untimely rescue response.”

“So, the thing he’s targeting is the Highway Safety Classification Warning System?” Lin Chen stood beside the guardrail and felt that the spring breeze was getting colder.

“Or someone with direct access to the system.”

Xing Conglian called Wang Chao again. “Did you get off yet? Is Yang Dianfeng still with you?”

“Huang Ze crossed the river and demolished the bridge. He said he didn’t need me anymore and asked me to lie down in the reeds. What’s wrong?”

“You stay away from Yang Dianfeng. I have a few questions for you.”

There was a voice from the other end of the line. After a while, Wang Chao said, “Okay, I left quietly. Very quietly!”

“Is there any result from the thing I asked you to look up?”

“Just finished the comparison. You don’t know how difficult my working conditions are… I checked. Only two students from Fengjing were injured in a car accident on the Hongjing Highway, but the injuries weren’t serious.”

“Have any relatives of the students died in a car accident?”

“To be honest, Captain, do you think the hijacker case was done by a little bastard from Fengjing?”

“A child of his age is of course a student and it is of course most convenient to start from his own school. It’s also the easiest to find people willing to help him,” Xing Conglian replied.

“Oh, I see,” Wang Chao said as he opened another file. “Then, there are 3 immediate family members of students in Fengjing that died in a traffic accident.”

Xing Conglian remembered the words of the traffic cop just now. If the system was still in the process of being promoted, then not all vehicles had it installed. “Can you find out whether any of the vehicles involved in these three accidents had the MEMS autonomous call system installed? The focus should be on passenger or freight vehicles.”

“Ah,” Wang Chao replied in a low voice that sounded a bit hesitant. “It’s not quite right, Captain?”

“Any clues?”

“In the early morning of May 11, 2014, a medium-sized long bus with a Hong A license plate was traveling along the Yongchuan River. Due to a problem with the vehicle’s brake system and the driver’s error, the entire vehicle rolled into the river. None of the 23 passengers on board survived…” Wang Chao took a deep breath. He read very slowly. Seeing the next words, he only felt his cheeks getting cold. “In this accident, Fang Zhiming, a 40-year-old drug enforcement officer, died on duty…”

To find an answer in thousands of stories was, of course, like finding a needle in a haystack. However, to find the most special one among the three car accidents was a bit too simple.

Xing Conglian had also thought that the case might be heavy. Lin Chen did give him a precaution, but he never thought this matter might be related to a fallen comrade. It took him a long time before he finally spoke. “Send me the details of the case.” After he said it, he even held a subtle sense of luck and thought it was possible the car accident wasn’t related to the “Candy Bandit” and the teenager who hijacked the bus may not be the child of a drug enforcement officer.

The email arrived quickly. Xing Conglian’s finger quickly swiped across the phone screen and then stiffened.

The shock and sorrow in Xing Conglian’s green eyes made Lin Chen have an ominous feeling in his heart. He moved his gaze to the phone screen and saw Xing Conglian’s long, well-proportioned hands tremble slightly.

Following Xing Conglian’s fingertips, his gaze fell on a line in small print on the screen.

[Two of the passengers died of severe craniocerebral injuries. One died of lung puncture, and the remaining 20 passengers drowned. The list is as follows…]

The sun was fading, and the spring breeze suddenly got cold.

Lin Chen raised his head and said slowly, “This is the story he wants to tell.”


Xing Conglian drove at such a deadly speed that the sun’s fading light chasing after the car was quickly thrown off.

The story was simple. The passengers drowned, which meant that they were still alive when the bus fell into the water. They could have been injured and crying but were still alive. The car wouldn’t sink into the river quickly. They were waiting in the water, looking forward to the hope that someone would come save them. Perhaps in five minutes, maybe ten, maybe longer. They waited in despair until the cold river quickly submerged them.

Xing Conglian drove extremely intently, but his expression was so solemn that the small-time traffic cop who was forcibly taken into the car before he had time to deal with the accident didn’t even dare take a deep breath.

“Don’t worry. We just have something to ask you,” Lin Chen said in a low voice, perceiving the panic of the cop.

“Me? How can I help?”

“How long have you been on duty?”

“Two years.”

“In the course of two years of duty, have there been any car accidents that make you feel strange…”


“For example, because of the untimely rescue, there were heavy casualties from the accident.”

“What do you mean by that? What does it mean the rescue isn’t timely?!” Hearing this, the small-time traffic cop became a bit angry. “I’m only responsible for a section of the road. If the car accident occur in an area not under my control, coupled with traffic jams and other factors, even if I want to get to the scene as soon as possible, I would have to get a plane and fly over!”

“But did you know that the Highway Safety Classification Warning System has its own loopholes?”

“What loopholes?”

“The graded alarm is based on the vehicle impact parameters, right? The system classifies early warnings according to the severity of the car accident. If the vehicle is severely damaged, the command center will receive the highest level of alarm, but if the vehicle isn’t damage, but a more dangerous event occurred… For example, an entire bus being overturned into a river…”

“What you said is a special case. Besides, the bus fell into a river. How could it not be damaged at all? We could have received an alarm. You—You… can’t deny the role of the Highway Safety Classification Warning System!” The traffic cop shook his head when he heard this.

“It didn’t happen?” Xing Conglian honked his horn fiercely. “The May 11th accident where an entire bus rolled into the Yongchuan River didn’t happen?” He looked at the rearview mirror with cold eyes.

The traffic cop frowned slightly, as if he didn’t know why Xing Conglian suddenly mentioned the accident. “I remember… The May 11th accident was caused by the driver’s error. The driver had pressed the button before the bus rolled into the river. The alarm was pressed, and the medical team rushed to the scene as soon as possible.”

“If rescue was timely, then why did all 20 passengers drown?”

“The Yongchuan River is deep, and its flow is rapid. It was also late in the day, making rescue more difficult. When the rescue team arrived, many of the passengers were already dead.”

“In this case, the casualties are indeed very heavy, but you’re saying the police and medical staff didn’t respond timely. You can check the system’s data. You’ll see that the driver hit the alarm in time, and we arrived at the scene as soon as possible. Is there a problem with that, huh?”

The words of the small-time traffic cop didn’t make Lin Chen feel at ease.

Indeed, just because his father didn’t get rescued in time, the kidnapper would hijack buses and kidnap children? This seemed a bit too extreme and unreasonable. There was no way he could convince the driver to lie to the police and all those who may have been secretly helping him.

But if this wasn’t the case, then what was the terrible truth behind the incident?

Without any hesitation, he once again asked for the help of the technical genius.

Wang Chao was lying in the reeds. His whole body was half-dry, half-wet. When he heard Lin Chen’s voice, he suddenly became energetic. “Sir, how can I help you?”

“Captain Xing and I suspect there’s a loophole in the Highway Safety Classification Warning System. Can you find out the time when the on-board system sends out a signal for help in the event of the major car accident on May 11th, and also the specific time when the traffic police and rescue department arrive at the scene?”

“Oh, that’s easy to check. It’s in the traffic police file. Let me take a look… He put the laptop on his lap and sat on the ground. “On May 11th, the time the traffic police arrived at the scene was 21:20.”

“What about the automatic vehicle alarm time the vehicle sent out from the warning system?”

“This… This data can only be viewed by the Transportation Bureau, which is a bit troublesome.”

“Is something wrong?”

“Because, I, ah, am going to do… things that are illegal and disorderly… again,” Wang Chao said as he looked at Huang Ze’s proudly standing figure not far away. “When is the Captain coming?” As he said it, he was carefully hacking into the Transportation Bureau’s system.

“What’s the situation at the scene?”

“Shit, it’s Inspector Huang, don’t you know? If he can attack him, he won’t negotiate. The snipers from the special forces are already in position. Too scary. I’m seeing real life CS* for the first time.” After Wang Chao finished speaking, he tapped the back button. “Bingo, 21:12:”

*Counter-strike. First-person tactical shooter game in which teams of terrorists battle to perpetrate an act of terror (bombing, hostage-taking, assassination) while counter-terrorists try to prevent it (bomb defusal, hostage rescue, escort mission).

“In other words, it only took 8 minutes for the traffic police department to arrive at the scene?”

“Yeah, no problem.”

Lin Chen pressed the phone to his ear, but for a moment he didn’t know what to say.

“No, there must be a problem with this.” Xing Conglian was honking as he swerved to avoid the vehicle in front of him.

“Eh, let me just say that you guys are thinking too much. If the rescue is not timely, no matter how late it is on the highway, there will be cars coming and going. Even if the car itself didn’t call the police, passing drivers would if they saw it.”

Hearing these words, Lin Chen suddenly thought of something. The captain of the criminal police division, who was driving, was the first to speak. “You’re right. So what if this is more than just an accident?”

“Wang Chao, did the police system receive a manual alarm on the night of the May 11th accident? I mean, in addition to the automatic alarm on the on-board system,” Lin Chen asked.

“This…” Wang Chao checked the records, eagerly hoping he would grow eight more hands. “It doesn’t seem to be there.”

“In other words, the road was very dark and empty at that time, and no one witnessed how the accident happened.” Xing Conglian paused, and asked rhetorically, “Why is this such a coincidence?”

“Wang Chao, if someone has modified the background record, can you find it?”

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