3 Body Problem: How the trending Netflix show was derailed by a real-life murder case.

Just months after securing the Netflix deal, he was murdered.

Xu Yao, a distinguished lawyer and business partner to Lin, became consumed by professional rivalry.

The Shanghai First Intermediate People’s Court said there had been a dispute over the running of the business, and as a result, Lin sidelined Xu shortly after Xu helped him land the Netflix deal in 2020.

When Netflix announced its adaptation project of 3 Body Problem in September 2020, Lin was listed as an executive producer, with Xu’s name visibly missing.

After falling out with his boss, Xu gifted Lin a bottle of what he said were probiotic pills. Instead, it contained a cocktail of lethal toxins he had bought off the dark web. The court said Xu tested the poisons on small animals in a makeshift lab in preparation. 

Xu poisoned beverages in the Yoozoo Games office between September and December of that year, the poisonings leaving four others seriously ill. Xu had spiked various beverages at the headquarters, including coffee, whiskey and jugs of water. 

In Decemeber 2020, Lin was driving home from the Yoozoo Games headquarters in Shanghai when he suddenly feeling unwell. He presented at hospital, but died from complications associated with the poisoning 10 days later, on Christmas Day. He was 39 years old.

Police would detain Xu, Chinese news outlets describing the murder plot “as bizarre as a Hollywood blockbuster” filled with deadly corporate ambition. Xu reportedly declined to confess to the crime and did not disclose what poison he had used.