Montreal Gazette : Dead male, British spy owned wardrobe of women's clothes

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dead male, British spy owned wardrobe of women's clothes

By Duncan Gardham, Daily Telegraph | December 23, 2010

A British spy whose naked body was found padlocked in a sports bag had been visiting bondage websites and drag clubs and had $25,000 collection of women's clothing, police have disclosed.

Officers investigating the death of Gareth Williams, a code-breaker who was on secondment to MI6, have released details of his unusual private life and explained the extraordinary riddle that surrounds his death.

While the death is officially described as "suspicious" rather than murder, officers also released photos of a Mediterranean couple who visited the apartment a few weeks later and let themselves in with a key.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, the head of Scotland Yard's murder squad, said he was aware that the details would be "embarrassing, hurtful and distressing" for Williams's family but said they supported the appeal for anyone who had encountered him in the nightclubs, online or at women's clothing shops to come forward.

"We are very sure that someone else was in that flat.

"We want to know the circumstances when you would leave somebody in that position, by accident or design," he said.

Detective Chief Inspector Jacqueline Sebire, who is leading the inquiry, described Williams, 31, from Anglesey in Wales, as an "intensely private person" who kept his way of life hidden from friends and family.

His body was found in a red North Face bag on Aug. 23 after he failed to turn up to work at MI6's headquarters in London.

Inside his flat in central London, police found half a dozen boxes with neatly folded, apparently unused women's designer clothing and shoes, along with a number of wigs.

The clothing had been bought online and in London's West End, starting in 2008 and up until a few weeks before Williams died.

They were in small sizes that would have fit Williams, who was five-foot-eight and weighed around 126 pounds.

The labels included Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane and Christian Louboutin shoes, and the collection came to around $25,000.

Williams was not in debt, police said, and there were no signs that unaccounted for sums of money had been paid in to or left his bank account.

Unknown to his family and colleagues, Williams had attended two short courses in fashion design, one in 2010 and one in 2009.

Examination of his personal laptop and personal mobile phone showed that he had visited five separate bondage websites, beginning with a search on the online encyclopedia site Wikipedia and followed up with specialist bondage websites.

Keys to the padlock on the sports bag in which Williams was discovered were lying underneath the spy's naked body, police say.

An expert on rescuing people from confined spaces told investigators it would be impossible to lock the North Face bag from the inside.

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