Billionaire dead at 39 – poisoning suspected

It’s a wild story of intrigue and foul play. And like most murder stories, it starts with a body.

Chinese billionaire Lin Qi, a Netflix producer and billionaire CEO of a Chinese video-game company died at 39 on Christmas Day. The suspected cause? Poisoning.

Variety reports:

The China Economic Weekly, a magazine with ties to the People’s Daily, mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, said that Xu is suspected of having poisoned Lin due to “work disputes” that resulted in the former’s salary being cut. He may have administered the poison via medication, it added.

A doctor surnamed Zhou who attended to Lin was cited by other outlets on Saturday as saying the executive had eaten blueberries the day he fell ill, but it remains unclear whether they were a source of poison. Zhou speculated that based on his symptoms, Lin may have encountered a neurotoxin like the deadly tetrodotoxin found in puffer fish. At least two other outlets said he may have been hit with a cocktail of different poisons.

According to Variety: “He arrived at hospital on Dec. 16 barely able to walk with a ‘very painful expression of acute illness’ on his face, the doctor Zhou said, was taken immediately to the ICU, where he had to be resuscitated after his heart stopped.”

“He was transferred to a second hospital but already appeared to exhibit signs of brain death as early as Dec. 17, although a formal diagnosis was not yet made, Zhou added….Although police had managed to quickly detain the suspect, Xu did not name the exact type of poison or poisons used in time to help in Lin’s recovery.”

It’s a strange case, made stranger by the opaque nature of Chinese media, controlled by the Communist Party.