Bo Xilai May Be Put to Death If Rumors Confirmed

Bo Xilai was behind the murders of seven people, including Neil Heywood, according to the latest rumors published by US-based Chinese media. If the rumors prove true — as earlier rumors appeared to be borne out by Tuesday’s official announcements — Bo will likely be sentenced to death.

Bo’s wife Gu Kailai is suspected of having ordered family aide Zhang Xiaojun to kill Heywood according to the central government’s official announcement, but according to Boxun, a US-based site that publishes items mostly from anonymous sources, Bo himself ordered Zhang to carry out the murder.

Bo is also reported to have murdered six others in Dalian and Chongqing, according to an article in the New York-based site Mingjing News. The site claims the information was obtained from Communist Party sources and that details will be provided later in External Reference magazine. While no other source has yet confirmed the report, if they are confirmed Bo will likely be sentenced to death say observers.

Xia Deliang, arrested party secretary of Chongqing Na’an district, confessed to central government investigators that he prepared the potassium hydrogen solution that poisoned Heywood and that he had paid Bo’s wife Gu Kailai 30 million yuan ($4.8 million) to be promoted to vice mayor, according to Boxun. The initial investigation found that through his wife Bo received 1 billion yuan ($158 million) in bribes from Chongqing officials seeking promotions, reports Boxun.

Gu herself is likely to receive the death penalty because she is believed to have murdered four others besides Heywood and has admitted transferring 8 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) overseas, according to Boxun.

Boxun portrays Bo as a power-drunk narcissist who saw himself as placing just below first emperor Qin Shihuang and Mao Zedong as the greatest man in Chinese history.

Investigators found that Bo fell into a decadent lifestyle since his days as party boss of Dalian in the 1990s, according to Boxun. About a quarter of the 100 women with whom Bo has slept are models and CCTV presenters. He is also rumored to have kept movie stars and singers as mistresses. The details of Bo’s lifestyle had been secretly logged by Wang Lijun, Bo’s onetime righthand man who tried to seek political asylum at the US consulate in Chengdu in February, triggering Bo’s downfall. Dalian Shide chairman Xu Ming — a tycoon closely tied to Bo and currently under probe — has admitted to seeking out young women for trysts with Bo.

Gu Kailai, who has worked as a high-profile lawyer, is portrayed as a shrewd and clever woman with the weakness of having to brag about her achievements. She had been described as the Jackie Kennedy of China in a Wall Street Journal interview given by Ed Byrne, a lawyer from Denver who had worked with Gu several years ago.

Gu is also said to have been experiencing depression in recent years and had distanced herself from Bo to avoid the pain of constant betrayal, according to friends of the family. She is said to have had an affair with Heywood. When it ended he became concerned for his safety because of Gu’s bitter complaints of having been betrayed by all her close friends and family.

The fact that many of the rumors reported earlier in sites like Boxun have been substantiated by Tuesday’s official announcement has made China’s netizens start to expect all rumors about Bo and Gu too to be confirmed by official announcements.

That being the case, some observers believe that top Communist Party leaders themselves may be slyly using overseas Chinese media to leak negative information about the couple to help quash the support Bo continues to enjoy from admirers of his leftist rhetoric. This would be especially true if they plan to execute Bo to rid themselves of a potential rallying symbol for an uprising by those unhappy with the growing wealth gap.