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Chilling murder behind Netflix’s 3 Body Problem as killer sentenced to death for plot hatched in ‘Breaking Bad’ lab

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IT’S the new Netflix adventure which sci-fi fans have been baying for since the channel snapped up the rights four years ago.

But the dystopian world of 3 Body Problem, which dropped yesterday, has nothing on the dark drama behind the show – which saw Chinese game creator Lin Qi die in a sinister poison plot on Christmas Day in 2020.

Netflix's 3 Body Problem co-creator Lin Qi was poisoned in 2020

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Netflix’s 3 Body Problem co-creator Lin Qi was poisoned in 2020Credit: Youzu
The sci-fi adaptation dropped on Netflix this week

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The sci-fi adaptation dropped on Netflix this weekCredit: ED MILLER/NETFLIX

The death of 39-year-old Lin at the hands of jealous colleague Xu Yao sent shockwaves through the TV and gaming industry.

Lin was the founder of gaming company Yoozoo – which owns the film rights to the bestselling Chinese trilogy and also produced Game Of Thrones: Winter is Coming – and had a net worth of around £960million (6.8billion yuan).

But disgruntled TV exec Xu, who was obsessed with Breaking Bad, hatched a plot to kill him after he signed a big money deal with Netflix.

He set up his own lab where he experimented with over 100 toxins – testing them on pet dogs and cats, many of which died – before lacing Lin’s tea with a “cocktail of poison”.

Earlier today, Xu was sentenced to death in China after he was found guilty of poisoning the billionaire producer and four other colleagues.

Plot ‘inspired by Breaking Bad’

Xu, a Michigan Law School graduate, was head of Yoozoo’ s subsiduary the Three-Body Universe, which owned the film rights to the Cixin Lui sci-fi books, when the Netflix deal was announced in September 2020.

While Lin was named as executive producer, Xu was furious his name was left off the announcement.

Xu had reportedly become obsessed with HBO series Breaking Bad, which follows a high school chemistry teacher who cooks up crystal meth and becomes a drug lord.

Inspired by the series, he set up his own lab in Shanghai where he manufactured and tested poisons that he bought off the dark web – testing them defenceless pets.

Initially it was though the poison was served in deadly cups of pu’erh Chinese tea, but according to news outlet Caixin, twisted Xu put poisoned pills in a bottle of 30 probiotic tablets which were then taken by Lin, his secretary and other colleagues.

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Lin and Xu's relationship reportedly fractured over executive decisions at Yoozoo

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Lin and Xu’s relationship reportedly fractured over executive decisions at YoozooCredit: Getty
Xu was reportedly obsessed with HBO series Breaking Bad, pictured

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Xu was reportedly obsessed with HBO series Breaking Bad, picturedCredit: Alamy

Lin fell ill and admitted himself to hospital on December 16, 2020.

Four others fell ill but recovered and Xu was detained by cops not long after.

According to court documents, Lin was treated for mercury poisoning but was found to have been killed by a neurotoxin found in puffer fish.

Despite been given 40 litres of blood transfusions, he died ten days later on Christmas Day.

Yoozoo later released a statement, which read: “Goodbye youth.

“We will be together, continue to be kind, continue to believe in goodness, and continue the fight against all that is bad.”

Timeline to Murder

2008 – The first of the Three Body Problem trilogy published

2009 – Lin founded Yoozoo in China’s Shenzen Province  

2015 – Gaming company Yoozoo acquires the film rights

Sept 2020 – Netflix announces it will go into production on the series after deal with Yoozoo 

December 16 2020 – Lin Qi falls ill after swallowing poison pills. Yau Xu arrested.

December 25 2020 – Lin Qi dies

March 21 2024 – Netflix series 3 Body Problem released

March 22 2024 – Yau Xu sentenced to death Shanghai First Intermediate People’s Court

‘Genocide’ scandal

Lin Qi was 39 when he died in 2020

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Lin Qi was 39 when he died in 2020Credit: Youzu
A scene from Netflix's Three Body Problem

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A scene from Netflix’s Three Body ProblemCredit: ED MILLER/NETFLIX

Despite Lin’s tragic passing, Netflix’s new hit 3 Body Problem was released this week.

Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss continued to pursue the project and produced the eight-part adaptation, which began airing on Thursday.

However, converting Liu Cixin’s three books – Remembrance of Earth’s Past, The Dark Forest and Death’s End – into film was not without controversy.

Author Liu was a former computer engineer and was born in Beijing in 1963 – just three years before Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution began in China.

During that time, intellectuals were denounced as counter-revolutionaries and were sent to labour camps.

It is believed millions died as a result and Liu’s novel falls against this backdrop.

The eight-part series begins in Communist China during the height of Chairman Mao’s genocide in the 1960s.

The adaptation then leaps forward to present day Britain where scientists are being driven out of their senses by an unexplained phenomena and are killed.

However, even before production began, the film received backlash from a group of US Republican Senators who accused Liu of “parroting dangerous CCP propaganda”.

They were referencing a 2019 New York Times interview with the author in which he responded to a question about China’s mass internment of Uyghur Muslims.

Liu said: “Would you rather that they be hacking away at bodies at train stations and schools in terrorist attacks? If anything, the government is helping their economy and trying to lift them out of poverty.”

As a result senators Marsha Blackburn, Rick Scott, Martha McSally, Kevin Cramer and Thom Tillis responded by writing a letter to Netflix and claimed it ‘normalised’ the Chinese government’s brutal incarceration of millions of Uyghur Muslims.

It read: “These crimes are committed systemically and at a scale which may warrant a distinction of genocide.

“Sadly, a number of US companies continue to either actively or tacitly allow the normalisation of, or apologism for, these crimes.

“The decision to produce an adaptation of Mr Liu’s work can be viewed as such normalisation.

“While Congress seriously considers the systemic crimes carried out against the Uyghurs, we have significant concerns with Netflix’s decision to do business with an individual who is parroting dangerous CCP propaganda.”

Netflix responded to the letter and rejected the criticism.

They said the comment was “entirely unrelated to his book or this Netflix show” and that the company “judges individual projects on their merits”.

The 3 Body Problem can be streamed on Netflix now.

The Three-Body problem is based on Liu Cixin's trilogy

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The Three-Body problem is based on Liu Cixin’s trilogy

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