UK police ruled today that the death of a British spy who was found dead and naked inside a gym bag was an accident.
The death of 31-year-old Gareth Williams has been a mystery ever since his body was discovered in a bathtub in his Central London flat three years ago.
After a year-long investigation by Scotland Yard, officers announced today that, while they haven’t reached a definite verdict on the the case, his death is currently being ruled as an accident with no one else involved.
The ruling contradicts the verdict of a coroner who last year speculated that Williams was “probably” murdered, Express Co reports.
But Scotland Yard concluded that, since it was possible for Williams to climb into the bag and lock it himself, it is not necessary to pursue outside involvement.
Yet if Williams locked the bag himself, why wasn’t any of his DNA found on the lock inside the bag or any of his palm prints found on the rim of the tub?
There is also no evidence of anyone else being inside his flat at the time of death, nor are there are any signs the home had been cleaned or altered by a third party to avoid incrimination.
Police did, however, find traces of DNA in the flat from 10 to 15 people, none of whom were able to be identified.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said:
“With the conclusion of the investigation, the Metropolitan Police’s position is that, on balance, it is a more probable conclusion that there was no other person present when Gareth died.
“But the reality is that for both hypotheses, there exist evidential contradictions and gaps in our understanding.”
Williams’ family disagrees with the accidental verdict and supports the coroner’s theory that he was killed.
They said in a statement:
“We are naturally disappointed that it is still not possible to state with certainty how Gareth died and the fact that the circumstances of his death are still unknown adds to our grief. We consider that on the basis of the facts known at present the coroner’s verdict accurately reflects the circumstances of Gareth’s death.”
After police dug through Williams’ private files, they found “no evidence to support the theory that Gareth’s death was in any way related to his work.”
“Three years of extensive investigative activity have developed a very clear profile of Gareth. He was, without doubt, a private person who was very close to his family and had few other close friends.
“That said, the universal view of colleagues was of a conscientious and decent man with a few well-known hobbies such as his cycling and climbing. There is no evidence of any animosity towards Gareth, and it has not been possible to identify anyone with a motive for causing him harm.”
Williams, who was found dead inside the bag in August of 2010, was known to have an interest in escapology.
According to Express Co, he once had to be rescued by his landlady after tying himself to his bed wearing only boxer shorts, and then was unable to free himself.
Even stranger is the fact that MI6, the agency Gareth worked for, didn’t notify the police of the agent’s disappearance until more than a week after he failed to turn up to work.
His family said:
“We still remain very disappointed over the failure of his employers at MI6 to take even the most basic inquiries concerning Gareth’s welfare when he failed to attend for work on August 16 2010.
“We believe that if proper steps had been taken in the same manner as any reasonable employer would have undertaken, further information relating to the cause of his death might have become apparent and not have been lost due to the length of time before Gareth’s body was found. This lack of concern for Gareth’s well-being remains an overriding feature of our thoughts following the death of a dear son and brother.”
In May of last year, coroner Fiona Wilcox determined that Williams couldn’t have locked himself in the bag and therefore must have died at someone else’s hands.
But days after Wilcox announced her verdict, Express Co reports, investigators claimed that it was indeed possible for a skilled escapologist to climb into the red North Face bag and lock it from within.
Other theories blame foreign agents or even the Russian mob for the death in a bid to stop Williams from exposing money-laundering networks.
Some even suspect Williams’ death might have been caused by a sex game gone wrong since he was proven to have connections to London’s drag and bondage scenes.
Today’s ruling has sparked outrage from those who cannot understand how Williams could have locked himself inside the bag without leaving any traces of DNA on the padlock.
Via: Express Co, Top Photo Courtesy: North Face