146 Poisoning Case!
Su Bai returned to his own seat and sat down. He took up a glass of orange juice and drank it all by himself. Chu Zhao and Aroma had already communicated earlier and were not really talking at that moment as they continued eating their own food.
Not long after, Chu Zhao's phone rang.
Chu Zhao answered: "Huh? Not feeling well? You want to rest? Alright, I'll help you to apply for a leave."
Now long afterwards, Xiao Hui walked in and Chu Zhao stood up. He looked at his own girlfriend anxiously.
"Sorry, I'm not feeling too well and wish to return and rest, neglecting sister Aroma and brother Bai." Xiao Hui bowed in apology to Aroma and Su Bai respectfully. This was a well-mannered girl, and it could be said that her upbringing was not bad.
"It's alright. Let Chu Zhao send you home and have a good rest." Aroma said.
"Have a good rest." Su Bai placed his orange juice down and gently tapped the edge of the glass.
Xiao Hui lowered her head, turned around and left. Chu Zhao waved at Su Bai and Aroma and chased after his girlfriend, preparing to send her home.
Su Bai and Aroma sat a while longer facing each other. Aroma was preparing to leave, there was no meaning to continue on dining.
"Do you plan to go for a spin with me or do you want me to send you home now?"
"I have a house in Shanghai, but it isn't my home. I think I'll stay in a hotel."
"Up to you." Aroma took out her phone: "I'm settling the bill."
"Hold on, have a seat a while longer. There's something I need your help with."
Aroma glanced at Su Bai suspiciously and sat back down.
Su Bai gave the information he received from Xiao Hui to Aroma.
"Help me to check this out.
Year 1994, Hushang University, hostel block C, 5th Floor, dorm number 103."
Aroma slightly furrowed her brows and said in surprise, "Why would you be interested in this?"
"Oh, looks like I found the right person. You know about this incident?"
Knowing the incident by just relying on this information proved Aroma was familiar with this case even though she might be just born around that time. As for Su Bai, he spent most of his childhood in Chengdu with his parents and never stayed long in Shanghai. That's why he had no impression with these clues.
"You should ask Chu Zhao regarding this incident. His father was involved with this case at that time. This is a "Student Poisoning" case which happened in Hushang University. As for the year 1994, it should have been that year. At that time, because of this case, Chu Zhao's father was facing a lot of pressure. He even had no time to visit the hospital when Chu Zhao was born. My mother told me about this previously."
"Student poisoning case?"
Su Bai gently tapped the table with his fingers: "Did this case cause a sensation?"
Aroma nodded her head: "It was indeed a sensation but it was covered up later on. The media were warned and the news reports were put to a halt."
"I wish to look at the details of this case. Could you find it?"
"I'm in the army, not the police. Why don't you find Chu Zhao? He just got promoted. Wouldn't it be more convenient for him to find the files in the archives?"
"Not convenient. You can't let him know about this." Su Bai crossed his arms. "It's not that I can't tell you the reason, but you must help me keep this secret from him."
"I'm all ears." Aroma gave off a ready-to-listen-carefully attitude.
"Chu Zhao's girlfriend and the victim of the 'student poisoning case' you mentioned might be relatives."
Aroma's eyes instantly turned incisive. She started to spin the cutlery on the dining table with one hand. "Then, that woman must have an ulterior motive to approach Chu Zhao."
Su Bai revealed a funny expression: "Did Uncle Chu do anything at that time?"
"You're not an outsider." Aroma nodded her head. "During the time of that incident, Uncle Chu really was facing a lot of pressure." Aroma pointed towards the sky with her finger. This meant the pressure came from the higher-ups. Everything else went without saying.
Su Bai was silent for a moment. "Why are you so clear about the details? You yourself said that you are in the army, not the police."
"Hey, are you investigating me with this tone?" Aroma wasn't annoyed and continued talking. "I have an uncle who was a lawyer. He was meticulous about this case and even purposely came to my father. He wanted to rely on my father's influence to open up this case. Of course, my uncle planned to make a name for himself with this opportunity."
"But in the end, he still failed, right?"
"Yeah, he failed." Aroma pouted. "You know, in this world, it is a great thing doing righteous acts, but one must do it within his own means."
"I understand." Su Bai really did understand.
"Since the girl called Xiao Hui is related to the victim of the student poisoning case, we can't take this incident lightly. I remember that the case file is still in the cabinet of my father's study. Come home with me if you wish to see it."
"Okay. However, I need to settle the child down first."
Su Bai checked in a room of a hotel in this building and left the little fella and Lucky in the room. He even patted Lucky's head before he left. Lucky meowed impatiently. It knew what Su Bai wanted it to do, but taking care of the little fella was not something it needed reminding of. The little fella did not make a fuss when he knew Su Bai was going out, he crawled on Lucky and watched cartoons.
After leaving the building, Aroma said smilingly: "You're leaving the child all alone in the hotel?"
"Don't worry. It's alright." Su Bai got into Aroma's car. "Let's go."
Aroma got into the car, started the engine and said for the final time, "That child is really cute."
Aroma sighed and started driving. The car entered a not-so-bustling but extremely stylish district twenty minutes later. The district sentry area was not guarded by security guards but by soldiers.
The car passed the security checkpoint and stopped under one of the buildings.
This was Aroma's home. Her parents were no longer residing in Shanghai, and it could be considered one of her previous homes. Based on Aroma's gesture, those case files should not have been moved.
After entering the house and going upstairs, Aroma entered her father's study, squatted down and started searching one of the drawers. Soon after, a yellowing folder was taken out and passed to Su Bai.
Su Bai automatically pulled over a chair and sat down. He opened the folder and started to check out the information in the files.
"I'll make you a cup of tea."
Aroma closed the door when she left. Su Bai continued reading the information. Most of the information was handwritten.
"From 24th November 1994 onwards, Wang Xue started to display weird symptoms of poisoning: It started with a stomach ache, loss of appetite; Following (5th December) acute stomach pain; Finally (8th December) Her hair started falling off and was completely baled in a few days. 23rd December, Wang Xue was admitted into Shanghai Tongren Hospital's Gastroenterology Ward. Even though the cause of the sickness was not found, Wang Xue's condition improved after staying for a month and her hair grew back. She was discharged on 23rd January 1995.
20th February 1995, the winter holidays ended and a new semester started. Wang Xue returned to school.
6th March 1995, Wang Xue's sickness worsened. Her feet were in great pain and she was experiencing giddiness. Wang Xue's parents sent her to Peking University Third Hospital to seek aid.
9th March 1995, Wang Xue's parents took Wang Xue to Peking Union Medical College Hospital's neurology department. After diagnosing, Dr. Li told Wang Xue's mother it was too similar to a thallium poisoning case in Tsinghua University in the 1960s. Wang Xue denied ever being in contact with thallium and PUMC did not fulfill conditions to conduct the test, PUMC did not conduct the test for thallium poisoning.
15th March 1995, her condition worsened. She experienced partial facial paralysis, loss of muscular eye control and was placed on a respirator. Wang Xue was warded into PUMC's neurology department. PUMC treated her for acute disseminated encephalomyelitis.
PUMC conducted various test (including HIV/AIDS, Thecal puncture, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, chemical poisoning, antibodies, antinuclear antibodies, Lyme disease… etc). Other than Lyme disease, all the other test results came out negative.
10th April 1995, Wang Xue's classmates of middle high, Shanghai University Department of Mechanical Automation class of 92 student translated the symptoms to English and posted a letter requesting help from Usenet groups. Responses poured in from 18 countries and they received 1635 replies. Roughly one-third of the replies proposed that it was thallium poisoning.
Due to the response from the internet suspecting thallium poisoning, when Wang Xue's parents found out Shanghai Institute Of Occupational Disease For Chemical Industry could conduct the test for thallium poisoning, with a kind-hearted doctor from PUMC helping in secret, they collected Wang Xue's urine sample, cerebrospinal fluid, blood, fingernails and hair and sent it on 28th April 1995 to Shanghai Institute Of Occupational Disease For Chemical Industry for testing. The test report came out on the same day believing Wang Xue was poisoned twice. The second time, Wang Xue's body contained exceedingly high levels of thallium. They suspected someone had intentionally poisoned her and suggested she be administered the antidote, Prussian blue.
Wang Xue started administering Prussian blue. On the day she started administering, the concentration of thallium in her blood began to decrease. One month later, the thallium in her body was completely discharged.
However, because the thallium was in her body for too long, Wang Xue sustained serious permanent neurological damage. She was almost blind, she was largely paralyzed and passed away not long after."
There was still other information but Su Bai furrowed his brows as he continued reading. He suddenly recalled the Fudan poisoning case which occurred a few years ago and the details of this case were quite similar. Both cases relied on hazardous chemical substances as the poisoning agent, the deceased were students and the assailant never mentioned the poison to the authorities or hospital staff, causing the victims to miss the best time for treatment and eventually passing away.
The perpetrator of Fudan poisoning case was overboard. The perpetrator was his dorm mate. Even though he visited his victim in the hospital several times, he did not reveal any news. Which meant that he oversaw the step by step death of his victim.
Su Bai circled the names of the key people listed in the document and continued flipping through. A photograph fell out of the file, it was the picture of the deceased Wang Xue.
After seeing this old photograph, Su Bai's hand went stiff.
Why was the person in the picture Xiao Hui?