Sydney Morning Herald : MI6 spy's death may have been linked to interest in bondage

Friday, December 24, 2010

MI6 spy's death may have been linked to interest in bondage

Vikram Dodd | December 24, 2010

LONDON: British detectives believe the death of the MI6 spy Gareth Williams will be solved by getting an insight into his private life after they revealed he had visited bondage websites and a drag club and had £15,000 ($23,000) worth of unworn designer womenswear in his wardrobe.

Mr Williams's decomposed body was discovered in a padlocked bag in his apartment, about a kilometre from MI6 headquarters in London where he was a senior analyst.

Police believe he died a week earlier, early on August 16, and that someone else was present. Tests have shown no signs of a struggle or forced entry and no sign that he was drugged.

Scotland Yard's detectives gave their best account of Mr Williams's death. They revealed:

He used his iPhone to visit websites on bondage and escaping from bondage.

He must have been padlocked into the bag by someone else as it was impossible for him to have locked himself inside.

Once in the bag, with the keys inside, he could have survived for only 30 minutes.

Four days before his death, he went to a drag club called Bistrotheque in east London to see an act called Jimmy Woo, and had tickets for two similar performances at a pub in Vauxhall, near MI6 headquarters.

When Mr Williams's remains were found by police on August 23, they also discovered £15,000 of unworn women's clothing, wigs and shoes in his wardrobe.

Speculation has been rife that Mr Williams's highly secretive work might explain his death. He worked as an expert on codes at the government's eavesdropping centre in Cheltenham, in the west of England, before moving to MI6 on a secondment.

But Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, the head of homicide at Scotland Yard, said: ''This is not linked to his work - it's his private life.''

He said police had been reluctant to make public details of Mr Williams's private life, knowing it could prove distressing to his family, but were doing so now because his lifestyle could be important to solving whether his death was a sex game gone wrong, manslaughter or murder.

Superintendent Campbell said: ''Somebody must have been there to secure him in the bag on a voluntary or involuntary basis. If someone was there and it was a voluntary activity gone wrong, why not cut him free or call an ambulance?

''The alternative scenario is there is maybe something more sinister to it. We just don't know.''