The meat that the younger Bo brought back from Africa for his dad was supposed to be eaten raw, but now Bo senior himself is finally toast.
The life sentence isn't a surprise. I was betting that they'd give him a suspended death sentence on top of that, but seemingly they didn't feel the need to warn of any more serious consequences for rogue Politburo members. And now they can put the whole thing to bed without even the theoretical basis for further action.
Tania Branigan has a good rundown over here. Shortly before the verdict was announced, a directive was issued to Chinese media that they should only use copy issued by Xinhua. So here, in translation, is the official version and summary of the whole affair. Parsing this, the account of his activities in Dalian and Laioning reads a lot like throat clearing. There's nothing especially unremarkable in these activities though they do provide a useful guide in how to get ahead in the CPC.
The gravamen seems to lie in the spectacular family implosion in Chongqing. In other words, his basic crime was the fundamental Communist one of 'indiscipline'. This is normally just taken as a pretext for corruption etc, but in this context it's more like the crime of aggression as set out at Nuremburg, the crime from which all other crimes spring. The sentence, too, broadly answers the question What Would Lenin Do.
Of course, Bo's demagoguery, flamboyance and autocratic behaviour made him a lot of personal enemies over the years, as did his tactical swerve into left-populism. By the time his wife had a dead English businessman on her hands and his trutsty sidekick was sheltering in the US consulate he had far too many enemies to allow a spectacular fuck up like that to go unpunished. But everything here can be interpreted as the same fundamental crime of indiscipline: in other words, disloyalty to the collective leadership is exactly the same crime as corruption, murder, and other forms of actual malfeasance committed by Bo.
You can see the same strain of thinking in the leadership's ongoing campaign against rumours and those who monger them, in its intensified crackdown against overt dissidence and in its attempts to reform the Party through Mass Line techniques. Xi Jinping isn't a Maoist, as is sometimes alleged: he's a disciplinarian, fighting an elemental struggle against chaos. Whether he's fighting it in the name of anything other than CPC rule is an open question.