MI6 spy found dead in a bag: Toxicology tests on body spy prove negative
By Martin Evans and Duncan Gardham | October 28, 2010
Tests on the body of MI6 spy Gareth Williams have revealed no traces of drugs, alcohol, poisons or any other substances that may have led to his death, sources said today.
The 30-year-old GCHQ codebreaker's naked and decomposing body was found in a padlocked holdall in the bath of his Pimlico flat on August 23.
Toxicologists carried out a battery of tests looking for any trace of drugs, alcohol or poisons, but sources close to the inquiry have revealed all have proved negative.
No further tests are planned at this stage and therefore it remains likely that Mr Williams died as a result of a sadomasochistic sex game gone wrong.
Having ruled out almost every other possibility, officers believe he probably died after climbing into the bag which was then locked by another person.
It is unclear whether he did so on instructions from the other person or was locked in at his own request, but detectives believe that he was probably involved in some sadomasochistic game in which he got a kick from being helpless.
It is likely that once locked and left in the bag, he died from a combination of causes including suffocation and dehydration, which have been difficult to identify in a post-mortem.
The red North Face holdall was made from a laminate material and had reinforced seams, making it both hot and almost impossible to escape from. The top floor flat is likely to have heated up in the August weather, causing Mr Williams to pass out.
The bag was padlocked from the outside and officers believe the other person was supposed to return to the flat to release him but when they did so, they found him dead.
Scotland Yard is still seeking a Mediterranean couple aged between 20 and 30, who were let into the spy’s flat in Alderney Street, Pimlico, central London, late one evening in June or July.
“They haven’t come forward and we have to ask ourselves why that would be,” one source said.
Officers have been unwilling to ascribe motives to the killing before investigating all the options, which included the possibility that Mr Williams was murdered to prevent him continuing vital work into intercepting and decrypting messages sent by foreign powers.
Detectives from Scotland Yard’s Homicide Task Force investigating the case say they did not find any other signs of a sexual fetish at Mr Williams’s flat, although investigations continue into his internet and telephone use.
They have been keen not to jump to conclusions in the interests of pursuing all possible leads but they now believe he took off his own clothes and see a sex game as the most likely scenario.
So far investigators have failed to positively identify whether someone else was in the flat around the time of the death but further fingerprint and DNA analysis is being conducted.
One source close to the inquiry told the Daily Telegraph: “We began with a variety of less probable scenarios, eliminating each one until we ended up with the most likely. “Human beings are funny things and they have all kinds of predilections. These bags have warnings about keeping them away from children because they can cause suffocation.”
Mr Williams, 31, a keen cyclist and maths prodigy from Anglesey, North Wales, was found dead in the MI6 flat where he lived while he was on secondment from GCHQ.
He had returned from a holiday in the US on August 11 and was last seen alive on CCTV footage at Holland Park tube station on August 14 and shopping in Harrods in Knightsbridge the following day.
The post mortem results suggest he died soon afterwards but his body was not found until eight days later when colleagues raised the alarm.
CCTV cameras are not routinely fitted to the homes of the 2,200 spies employed by MI6, sources said.