Now another chapter has ended. Gu Kailai, a woman described as the Jackie Kennedy of China, waits for the court to hand down its verdict. Her trial lasted just a few hours on Thursday.
An official says Gu did not dispute charges that she murdered Neil Heywood. Prosecutors alleged she fought with her former friend "over economic interests" and killed the Briton out of fears for her son's safety.
Big questions remain about Gu's husband, Bo Xilai. He has not been seen in public since March, when he was dismissed as Chongqing party chief. Bo has not been linked to Heywood's death. Instead, he is accused of "serious discipline violations."
The fate of whistle blower Wang is even murkier. It's believed he faces a treason charge for taking his concerns about the Heywood case to the U.S. consulate. Four of his policemen will stand trial Friday for allegedly covering up the Briton's murder.
All of this is playing out at a bad time for Beijing. The scandal comes ahead of an important leadership transition set for later this year. As a China analyst told us back in April, political rifts have already been laid bare.
International lawyer Jerome Cohen says it would be in the best interest of the Communist Party to come clean and publicize these cases. He spoke to us about China's legal system and Gu's "carefully staged" trial.