On January 2, 2019, a 14-year-old boy and two other juveniles in a GMC SUV were tossing eggs at passing motorists from their vehicle on a Houston, Texas street. A driver of one of the egged vehicles responded by flashing a handgun and chasing the SUV. …
In the movie, “Natural Born Killers,” Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis)–fall in love, engage in a bloody killing spree in public places like convenience stores and restaurants, and gain fame as a result. The fil…
To date, the most deadly school shooting in America by a teen was influenced by "Natural Born Killers." Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed thirteen people and wounded twenty-four others on April 20, 1999, in Littleton, Colorado. The two disturbed teens were fascinated with Nazi beliefs, weapons, and pipe bombs, and were heavily involved in violent video games such as "Doom" and mussic like KMFDM. They watched "Natural Born Killers" more than fifty times and even named their killing spree in the film's honor--"the holy April morning of NBK" [Natural Born Killers].
Phil Chalmers, Inside the Mind of a Teen Killer, 2009
Our criminal justice system isn’t equipped or designed to deal with kids who haven’t reached the ninth grade. This is particularly true when pint-sized offenders commit felonies. In the good old days, students got in trouble for che…
On February 7, 2013, kids on a school bus saw a 10-year-old boy playing with a knife. The bus was en route to the Fort Colville Elementary School in Colville, Washington 75 miles north of Spokane. A search of this boy's backpack at the school produced the knife and a weapon even more shocking--a .45-caliber, fully loaded pistol.
When asked by a police officer what he was doing with the gun, the kid said that he and his 11-year-old buddy were going to "get" one of the girls in their class. Pressed for details, the boy revealed what they had intended to accomplish. According to the plan, the 11-year-old friend would stab the girl to death while the 10-year-old would use the gun to hold-off other kids and any interfering teachers.
The Stevens County prosecutor, presented with the unusual and difficult facts of this case, decided to charge the fourth graders with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, tampering with a witness (holding off the crowd), and conspiracy to possess a firearm. (This gave these elementary school kids rap sheets that would impress gang members and Mafia types. Not bad for boys several years away from shaving.)
In the state of Washington, individuals under the age of twelve are presumed incapable of distinguishing right from wrong. Under the law, they are essentially insane. This meant that the state not only had to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor had to establish the capacity to form specific criminal intent. If convicted, the young defendants faced incarceration at a juvenile facility until they reached the age of eighteen.
In speaking to the press, prosecutor Tim Rasmussen, in referring to what these boys had been thinking, said, "It's the kind of thing everyone would know is wrong. It gives me no pleasure to prosecute a kid."
In May 2013, the younger defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. The judge sentenced him to three to five years in juvenile detention.
On October 16, 2013, following a bench trial (no jury), Judge Allen Nielson found the 11-year-old defendant guilty of the same offense. On November 20, 2013, Judge Nielson sentenced him to three to four years detention in a juvenile facility.
Judge Neilson called the older boy's actions a "brazen crime." According to the judge, the kid had made a "shrewd effort" to pin the entire plot on his co-defendant, the 10-year-old who had earlier pleaded guilty.
Ginger Gover disappeared in July 2018 after leaving a Puyallup, Washington gas station. Her remains were found a little over a month later. So far, no arrests have been made. About the Case On July 29, 2018, 41-year-old Ginger Gover left her home in Olympia, Washington and drove to a friend’s house in Tacoma. She […]
Ginger Gover disappeared in July 2018 after leaving a Puyallup, Washington gas station. Her remains were found a little over a month later. So far, no arrests have been made. About the Case On July 29, 2018, 41-year-old Ginger Gover left her home in Olympia, Washington and drove to a friend’s house in Tacoma. She […]
One would think that stealing a large sum of money from an armored truck–a bullet-proof vault on wheels protected by at least two armed security officers–would be extremely difficult, and rare. They are not. While some armored car…
The Brinks case robbers had carefully planned the heist, but had been careless with the money, calling attention to themselves by wildly spending it. The first suspects taken into custody, to make deals for lighter sentences, informed on the others. To have any chance of getting away with an armored car heist, the robbery crew has to have a get-a-way plan, a way to handle the cash, and a place to hide out for months. Fake identification is also helpful. And the fewer the accomplices, the better. All of this criminal preparation and planning is necessary because the police and the FBI put a lot of effort into these investigations.
An armored van or truck makes between ten and twenty pickups and deliveries a day. The most secure vehicles are equipped with tracking devices, and are staffed by a crew of three armed officers. The driver never leaves the truck. At the delivery and pickup stops, the guard is positioned near the vehicle, and the messenger handles the cargo. Occasionally the guard will accompany the messenger to and from the truck. To cut costs, armored car companies often use 2-person crews in which the driver is also the messenger.
To reduce the risk of an inside job, Armored car firms should thoroughly investigate all employees, and subject them to periodic polygraph testing. No one should be hired with financial problems, or histories of drug use. Because of the stiff competition for clients, armored car companies take shortcuts, and only pay guards, messengers, and drivers $10 to $15 per hour. And there are no job benefits. Compared to police officers, prison guards, and parole agents, armored car positions, while just as dangerous, are extremely low pay. All of this contributes to the risk of an inside job.
The Pittsburgh Armored Truck Robbery/Murder Case
Kenneth John Konias Jr., a 2008 graduate of Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, lived in nearby Dravosburg, a town of 2,000 on the Monongahela River. The 22-year-old, an only child, lived in his parents' house. Upon graduation, Konias began work as a security guard in a shopping mall. After a year with the Dravosburg Voluntary Fire Department, Konias joined the volunteer fire department in Duquesne. Six months later, the Duquesne fire chief dismissed him because he "didn't fit in." He had failed the test to become an Allegheny County police officer.
Early in 2011, following a background check, some psychological testing, and a little firearms training, Kenneth Konias became a driver-messenger with the Garda Cash Logistics Armored Transport Company. Several months later Konias' fellow employees found lottery tickets from a grocery store on his route, in the back of the truck. Konias said he must have carried the tickets out of the store on the bottom of his cash satchel. His supervisor accepted the explanation, and the matte was closed.
On February 28, 2012, Konias was paired with 31-year-old Michael Haines, a guard who had been on the job a few months. After graduating from Pittsburgh's Robert Morris University with a degree in communications, Haines, from East McKeesport, had previously sold Verizon cell phones. Until getting the job with Garda, Haines had struggled finding full time work. On this Tuesday, with Konias behind the wheel, and Haines in the cargo area of the truck, the men pulled away from the Garda office in downtown Pittsburgh a few minutes before eight o'clock in the morning.
Just before one in the afternoon, after making a pickup at the Home Depot store north of town in Ross Township, Home Depot employees thought they heard a gun go off inside the Garda truck. Thirty minutes later, Konias parked the armored vehicle under a bridge two blocks from the Garda office. He climbed out of the truck, walked to the employee parking lot, and drove off in his tan Ford Explorer.
After stopping at places where he had stashed bags of cash, Konias drove to his parents' house in Dravosburg where he greeted his father. After putting his bloody Garda jacket on a hanger, and stashing $200,000 in cash in the house, Konias left the dwelling in his Ford Explorer.
At 3:45 that afternoon, a Garda employee came upon the idling truck under the bridge. Blood seeped from the back of the vehicle, and inside Michael Haines lay dead from a bullet fired into the back of his head. The guard's 9 mm Glock semiautomatic pistol was missing along with $2.3 million in cash. (This is enough money to fill two trash bags.)
Konias, after leaving Dravosburg that afternoon, called several people on his cell phone. He spoke to his mother Renee, telling her that he had stashed $25,000 at his grandmother's grave site at St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery in Munhall. (Mr. Konias retrieved the money, and a relative notified the police.) Konias called a friend and asked him to run off with him. He said he would never have to work again. To another friend he said he had messed up, and that his life was over. The friend asked him if he had killed someone. Konias paused, then said yes. In one of the conversations Konias asked about extradition laws in Canada and Mexico. After making these calls, Konias tossed his cell phone out his car window. It was found along Route 51 south of downtown Pittsburgh.
On Tuesday night, Police searched the Konias house in Dravosburg. They recovered the bloody Garda jacket, and the $200,000. Hoping to catch Konias before he got too far, the police alerted U.S. border authorities, airports, bus depots, and train stations.
On March 1, the Allegheny County district attorney charged Kenneth Konia with criminal homicide, robbery, and theft. The FBI issued a wanted poster, and added Konias to the FBI's Most Wanted List. The bureau also posted information regarding the fugitive on its Facebook page.
On Friday, March 16, the police-hunt for the 6 foot one, 165 pound fugitive was featured on Lifetime TV's "America's Most Wanted" show.
On April 25, 2012, FBI agents arrested Konias without incident at a house in Pompano Beach, Florida. Based on information from the suspect himself, agents recovered most of the stolen money from the Pompano Beach house and a storage locker nearby. At the time of his arrest, Konias still had possession of the handgun he had carried when he worked for Garda Cash Logistics.
On November 13, 2013, at the conclusion of the 7-day bench trial, Allegheny County Judge David Cashman found Konias guilty of first-degree murder, robbery, and theft. At the sentencing hearing on February 18, 2014, Judge Cashman, in advance of announcing Konias' fate, said that Konias had put greed before human life. Konias interrupted the judge by saying, "I was going to suggest you not lecture me and give me my sentence so we can proceed." Unfazed, the judge continued, pointing out that Konia had plotted the assassination for months. The judge noted also noted that the Haines family had shown mercy by not requesting the death penalty.
Judge Cashman sentenced the 24-year-old murderer to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Roger Alles, the head of the Fox New Channel, recently said that Vice President Joe Biden, a man he knows, is as stupid as an ashtray. I consider this accurate reporting. In a February 2013 interview for Field &am…
In a February 2013 interview for Field & Steam Magazine, the Vice President touted the shotgun as the best weapon for self-defense. "If you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door," he said. This is bad advice that crosses the stupidity line deep into irresponsible territory. If you don't believe me, ask Oscar Pistorius, the Blade Runner on bail who says he shot his girlfriend to death through his bathroom door because he thought she was an intruder.
There are hundreds of men serving time in prison for firing blindly through closed doors. In so doing, they killed police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other people who were not intruders. While some of these homicide defendants panicked and killed by honest mistake, they still went to prison for criminal recklessness.
But pursuant to the Joe Biden doctrine of shooting first and asking questions later, such through-the-door killings would involve specific, homicidal intent. Know this: There is no such thing in murder law as the Joe Biden Defense. The Vice President of the United States was telling people to commit criminal homicide.
Over the past few years there have been several spree-shootings involving elderly white men. Generally, this is not a demographic associated with criminal homicide. Are these cases an anomaly, or is there something driving older men…
At nine-thirty in the morning of Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 64-year-old Kurt Myers started a fire in his apartment building in the upstate New York village of Mohawk 65 miles east of Syracuse. The tense, jittery loner with the full white beard was not married, and seldom spoke to his neighbors. Other than an old DUI arrest, he did not have a history with the police.
After starting the fire, Myers walked around the corner to John's Barber Shop. He entered the place carrying a shotgun. Speaking to the owner, John Seymour, Myers said, "Hi John, do you remember me?"
Yes, Kurt, how are you?"
Without saying more, Myers raised his shotgun and shot the barber, wounding him severely but not killing him. Myers then fired on the three customers in the shop. Harry Montgomery, 68, and Michael Ransear, 57, were killed on the spot. Ransear had been a retired corrections officer. Dan Haslauer, the third customer, was shot in the hand and hip. He survived the shotgun blasts.
Having murdered two men and injuring two others, Myers climbed into his red Jeep and drove to Herkimer, a town of 7,770 one mile from Mohawk. At Gaffey's Fast Lube, he shot and killed employee Thomas Stefka, and a 23-year veteran of the state Department of Corrections named Michael Renshaw. All of the shootings appeared random.
By Wednesday afternoon, a small army of police officers had Myers trapped inside an abandoned building in downtown Herkimer. At one point Myers fired at the police from a window. The stand-off dragged on through Wednesday and into Thursday. Joseph Malone, the chief of police of both Mohawk Valley towns, told reporters that Myers "...had come out of nowhere. He was not on our radar and hasn't caused any problems." A woman who for the past ten years has waited on Myers at a local bar said that "He wasn't a people person, and he would never talk to anyone."
Myers worked as a machine operator in the early 1980s at Waterbury Felt, a manufacturer of industrial textiles. The Waterbury Felt executive who had hired him, Steve Copperwheat, ran into Myers three months ago in a Walmart parking lot. The two men had not seen each other in ten years. Copperwheat described the encounter to a reporter with The Washington Post: "I yelled over to him, and he looked at me and said my name, said he was retired and just went booking away. It was almost like he didn't want anybody to know where he was. He was trying to be very distant, which surprised me." According to Copperwheat, Myers, who had never married, had been an exemplary employee who worked twice as fast as he fellow workers.
Late Thursday morning, March 14, police officers stormed the abandoned building on Main Street. As the SWAT team entered the structure, Myers fired on the officers. The police returned fire, killing the 64-year-old mass murderer. An FBI dog was shot and killed in the exchange.
While things are quiet again in Herkimer and Mohawk, citizens of these communities are left with six shooting victims, and the mystery of what turned Kurt Myers into a mass murderer at the age of sixty-four.
In 1985, Lance T. Mason graduated from Shaker Heights High School in upscale suburban Cleveland, Ohio. After earning his B.A. from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, Mason received a law degree from the University of Michigan….
Lance Mason, in 2007, advanced his political career by being elected to Ohio's 25th State Senate District. A year later, Ohio governor Ted Strickland appointed him to fill a judicial vacancy on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. After seven years on the bench, the arc of Judge Mason's career in law took a sudden downward turn.
On August 2, 2014, police officers took the judge into custody after he punched his wife Aisha Fraser twenty times and bashed her head five times against the dashboard of their vehicle. During the attack, he also bit her and threatened to kill her. The couple's children, four and six, witnessed the prolonged assault.
Aisha Fraser, a sixth grade teacher in the Shaker Heights School District, was so badly injured she had to undergo reconstructive surgery on her face. Following Judge Mason's arrest, detectives searched his home and found an array of handguns, 2,500 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, smoke grenades, semi-automatic rifles, and a sword.
Two days after the assault, Aisha Fraser filed for divorce. (She later sued her ex-husband and won $150,000 in damages.)
On August 13, 2015, Lance Mason was allowed to plead guilty to attempted felonious assault and domestic violence in return for a sentence of just two years. Following his sentencing, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty told reporters that "I am confident he [Mason] will leave prison rehabilitated and will again be an asset to our community." (I wonder how many times the prosecutor said the same thing about other wife beaters on their way to prison.)
On September 3, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended Lance Mason from practicing law. The convicted felon, a couple of weeks later, resigned from his seat on the bench.
While sentenced lightly for two years, the man who severely beat his wife walked out of prison after serving only nine months behind bars. As a condition of his early release, Mason was ordered to write his ex-wife a letter of apology.
Shortly following the ex-judge's early--most would say premature--release from prison, Cleveland Mayor Frank Johnson hired the convicted wife beater as a minority business development director.
On Saturday, November 17, 2018, the dispatcher with the Shaker Heights Police Department received a frantic call from Lance Mason's sister who reported that her brother had just stabbed his ex-wife Aisha Fraser to death in his home. The victim had arrived at Mason's house to drop off their children for a visit.
As police officers rolled up to the murder scene, Mason, in his attempt to avoid custody, stole his ex-wife's car and drove into a police vehicle, seriously injuring the officer. Police arrested Mason after he ran back to his house after crashing into the police car. The injured officer was rushed to the hospital.
On November 29, 2018, a grand jury sitting in Cleveland indicted Lance Mason on charges of felonious assault, violating a protection order, and grand theft of his 45-year-old ex-wife's car. A week later, the grand jury indicted the 51-year-old former judge on the charge of aggravated murder. At his arraignment hearing, Lance Mason pleaded not guilty to all charges. He was being held in the Cuyahoga County Jail on $5 million bond.
Reggie Tuttle and his wife Kim lived in Rye, a southern Colorado town not far from Pueblo. The 51-year-old owner of a trucking company and his wife had three children at home and a 33-year-old daughter, Dawn Roderick, who lived with…
Henry Carl Mapps, a former long distance truck driver, resided in the Tuttle's mountainside home where he worked as an in-house handyman. The 59-year-old had once lived in Dimmitt, a town of 4,000 in the Texas panhandle. Prior to being taken in by the Tuttles, Mapps had lived out of his 2004 Chrysler Town & Country minivan.
On November 27, 2013, a fire broke out at the Tuttle house. After extinguishing the blaze firefighters discovered the bodies of three adults in the fire-damaged dwelling. According to the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsies, the three victims--Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle and their adult daughter Dawn Roderick--had been shot to death.
Investigators determined that the killer had set the fire after committing the triple murder.
When the killings occurred, three of the Tuttle children were visiting a relative. Handyman Mapps and his minivan had disappeared.
A few days after the murders, investigators learned that Henry Mapps had passed checks drawn on the Tuttle's bank account. This made him a prime suspect in the case. A Pueblo County prosecutor charged Mapps with three counts of first-degree murder as well as arson, identify theft, and forgery.
After the U.S. Marshals Office acquired a federal warrant for Mapp's arrest, police launched a nationwide manhunt for the six foot tall, 125 pound fugitive with red hair.
On Saturday night, December 28, 2013, 700 miles from Rye, Colorado, U.S. Marshals and police officers arrested Mapps at a motel in Roland, Oklahoma. When taken into custody the suspect was not in possession of a gun. (The murder weapon had not been recovered.)
Homicide investigators believed that Mapps murdered Reggie and Kim Tuttle for financial gain. They suspected he had killed Dawn Roderick simply because she happened to be in the house. If this were true, it was one of those instances in which decent, successful people brought a degenerate lowlife into their lives, a loser who secretly hated them and resented their material wealth.
It was also possible that Mapps killed these three innocent victims out of a sense of entitlement to their money. If this were the case, Mapps was fortunate that the authorities in Colorado had only executed one person since 1977.
In May 2014, following his guilty plea to triple murder and arson after the death penalty had been taken off the table, District Court Judge William Alexander sentenced Mapps to three consecutive life sentences.
In the Republic of China, a socialist nation of 1.4 billion run by the Communist Party, crime is often inseparable from politics. With about 30,000 criminal homicides a year (if you can trust their statistics), China has a much lowe…
Although the Chinese legislature recently reformed China's criminal procedure code to provide legal representation, and protection against forced confessions, the police routinely ignore these civil rights protections. Political dissidents can be detained indefinitely on vague charges of endangering national security (Critics of the recent passage of America's National Defense Authorization Act think we are, in this regard, impersonating China.), and in criminal cases, the militaristic police still use torture as a means of acquiring confessions. (Citizens of China, due to traditional Chinese values, tend to tolerate the torture of criminal suspects. Chinese crime fiction is mostly about catching the bad guy, then torturing the hell out of him.) Unlike in the United States and other western democracies, criminal suspects in China are not presumed innocent, and have no protection against self-incrimination or unreasonable searches and seizures. There is no due process, freedom of the press, or human rights in the Republic of China.
The top law enforcement agency in China is the National Police Agency (NPA) which is under the Ministry of the Interior. Departments within the NPA include the National Highway Police, the Harbor Police, and the Criminal Investigation Bureau. Subunits within the Criminal Investigation Bureau include the investigation section, the anti-hoodlum unit, the criminal records office, and the forensic science center. On the city and county level, day-to-day law enforcement is carried out by local authorities who answer to the NPA whose leaders appoint the local police chiefs.
The Bo Xilai Case (The Chinese place the surname first.)
On November 15, 2011, 41-year-old Neil Heywood, a British businessman who worked and lived in Beijing with his Chinese wife Lulu and their two children, was found dead in a hotel room in the southwestern city of Chonquing. According to Heywood's death certificate, he had died of cardiac arrest from the overconsumption of alcohol. This cause of death stunned his family and friends because he was known as a teetotler. Shortly after his death, Chinese officials cremated his body without his family's consent. (Heywood's wife had initially been told that her husband had simply died of a heart attack.)
In early April 2012, Chinese police arrested Gu Kailai, a prominent Chinese attorney and businesswoman married to Bo Xilai, a high-ranking Chinese leader with a seat on the 25-member Politburo. Mr. Bo's wife was in police custody under suspicion that she and an accomplice had poisoned Mr. Heywood to death (potassium cyanide) over a business dispute. Following Ms. Gu's arrest, ranking members of the Communist Party removed Mr. Bo from the Politburo on grounds he had interfered with the criminal investigation of his wife.
The Bo family/Heywood case has created the biggest political scandal and shakeup in China since the 1989 protests and massacre in Beijing. Since the ruling elite in China control the news, it was hard to know how much the Chinese people know about the scandal. Back in Great Britain, the story was headline news. In the United States, most of the in-depth reporting was by journalists with The New York Times.
Neil Heywood, the British businessman found dead in the Chongquing hotel room, attended Harrow, the exclusive boarding school in London before enrolling at Oxford University. Fancying himself as a dashing young adventurer, Heywood, in the late 1980s, crossed the Atlantic in a yacht, and spent a year working for wages along the Florida coast. In the early 1990s, he moved to Dalian, China where he established himself as a business consultant, advising U.S. and British clients on how to do business in China.
After meeting Bo Xilai and his wife Gu Kalai, Heywood moved to Beijing where he took up residence at Le Leman Lake, one of the capital's suburban gated communities. His children, George and Oliva, attended school on the Chinese campus of Britain's Dulwich College.
Heywood, who drove a S-type Jaguar with a Union Jack bumper sticker, was proud of his native country's empirical history, monarchy, and culture. And he didn't hide his contempt for socialism. To his friends and business associates, he liked to hint that he was a spy in the British Secret Intelligence Service (M-16). (The Foreign Office in London denied any connection to Heywood.) The consensus among those who knew Heywood, on the issue of him being a spy, believed he was a dilettante living a fantasy life.
Heywood had ingratiated himself with Bo Xilai and his wife by getting their son, Bo Guagua, into Harrow, the $55,000 a year boarding school in London. The now 24-year-old, who has lived more than half his life outside of China, was a graduate student at Harvard University in the United States.
Bo Xilai, the charismatic 62-year-old son of the legendary revolutionary leader Bo Yibo, had been the party chief of Chongquing, the sprawling metropolitan region in southwest China. Mr. Bo rose to national prominence by successfully cracking down on organized crime. A member of the Central Committee Politburo, Mr. Bo, at the time of his fall from grace, was angling for a promotion to the 9-member Standing Committee, the Communist Party's highest ranking body.
While Mr. Bo was an extremely popular politician, he had powerful enemies among China's ruling elite who objected to his favoring a larger governmental role in guiding China's growing economy. Certain party leaders were also questioning the source of Bo Xilai's wealth, and suspected he was, through false identities, friends, and relatives (he had an older, very wealthy brother) transferring money to banks and investment houses in Britain and the U.S. When asked how he could afford to sent his son to an expensive school like Harrow, Mr. Bo claimed that his son had been granted a full scholarship. (Bo Guagua's playboy antics at Harrow and Oxford had caused a certain amount of resentment, and embarrassment for his parents.)
In the Communist Party's upcoming 18th Congress, Bo Xilia had expected to be in the middle of a power struggle over the leadership and control of the Communist Party. Mr. Bo's supporters suspect that the arrest of his wife, and Bo's alleged role in the attempted cover-up, was nothing more than hardball politics, China style.
Bo Xilai's wife, Gu Kalai, through a firm called Horas Consultancy & Investment, advised foreign clients how to do business in China. She had also been director of eight privately held companies in Hong Kong, and worked closely with Neil Heywood. According to some of her colleagues, Ms. Gu had recently become depressed, neurotic, and paranoid, accusing close business associates of betrayal. She had come under investigation for corruption in 2007, and had allegedly asked Neil Heywood to divorce his wife to show his loyalty to the Bo family. In 2010, she and her husband had a falling-out with Heywood over some business deal. (According to sources close to the Chinese investigation, Heywood had threatened to expose Gu's plan to move large sums of money oversees after a dispute over his cut from the transaction.) Heywood told a few friends that he was concerned for his life, and considered leaving China. The day before he died, Heywood told a friend that he was "in trouble," and had been summoned by the Bo family to Chongquing.
Wang Lijun, handpicked by Bo Xilia, was Chongquing's chief of police. Following Neil Heywood's death, under pressure from the British government, Wang launched an investigation that revealed how the British businessman had really died. According to Chief Wang, Gu Kailai and a household employee named Zhang Xiaojun, had poisoned Mr. Heywood to death. In February 2012, party leaders in Beijing summoned Chief Wang to give evidence against Gu Kalai. Later, when the chief of police informed Bo Xilai that his wife was under suspicion of murder, Mr. Bo became angry and demoted Mr. Wang.
In mid-March, high-ranking communist leaders, accusing Bo Xilia of "serious disciplinary violations," removed him from the Politburo, and confined him to house arrest. Fearing for his life, former chief Wang Lijun sought asylum at the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, a city 200 miles from Chongquing. During his 36-hour stay inside the consulate, Mr. Wang told American officials that Ms. Gu had plotted to poison Mr. Heywood. He turned the entire police file over to the Americans, and gave them a treasure trove of information regarding the internal Chinese power struggle. Denied asylum, Mr. Wang, after leaving the consulate, was taken into custody. He was under investigation for treason. (According to Chongquing officials, Mr. Wang was suffering from stress, and was receiving "holiday-style medical treatment.")
In early April 2012, the Chinese police arrested Gu Kailai on the charge of "intentional homicide." According to Chinese homicide investigators, Ms. Gu had poisoned the victim over "a conflict over economic interest."
On April 12, 2012, the 24-year-old Bo Guagua was seen being escorted out of his luxury apartment near the Harvard University campus by FBI agents.
The former police chief, Wang Jijun, was convicted in September 2012 on charges of abuse of power, bribery, and defection. The judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison on the promise he would testify against Bo Xilai.
In November 2012, Gu Kailai was convicted of murdering Neil Heywood. The judge sentenced her to death.
In July 2013, the Chinese authorities charged Bo Xilai with corruption, bribery, and abuse of power. In September of that year a jury found Bo guilty as charged. The judge sentenced him to life behind bars.
A judge, in December 2015, commuted Gu Kailai's death sentence to life in prison.