Mirror : Spy Gareth Wyn Williams: 10 unanswered questions about the spy's mysterious death

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spy Gareth Wyn Williams: 10 unanswered questions about the spy's mysterious death

Three years since the codebreaker's body was found decomposing inside a bag, we are no closer to knowing the truth behind his death

November 13, 2013

The death of MI6 spy Gareth Wyn Williams is a mystery that will probably never be solved.

The top codebreaker - who had been seconded to the secret service from Britain's listening station GCHQ - was found dead inside a holdall bag at his flat in Pimlico, central London, in 2010.

A string of post-mortem tests failed to determine how he died and police originally found it would have been impossible for him to have locked himself inside.

An inquest ruled that his death was "unnatural and likely to have been criminally mediated."

But today, the Met police said their investigation into Gareth's death has concluded and they believe he probably died alone, as a result of an accident.

However, even the senior officer investigating the case Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt admitted "no evidence has been identified to establish the full circumstances of Gareth's death beyond all reasonable doubt."

His family said in a statement they remain "naturally disappointed" with the conclusions of the investigation.

Here MirrorOnline poses ten questions which are still unanswered more than three years after Gareth's death:

1. Why did MI6 fail to raise the alarm about his disappearance for more than a week? Gareth failed to turn up for work on August 16. Police were not alerted by colleagues until Monday August 23. When turned up to check at his flat they found his body. Gareth's family have hit out at MI6 claiming they failed to make "basic inquiries concerning Gareth's welfare".

2. What was Gareth doing for the intelligence services? The 31-year-old was considered a maths genius - having gained O levels aged ten before graduating from university seven years later. He had been working for GCHQ in Cheltenham since 2001 but had been seconded to MI6 shortly before his death. However, according to his family, Gareth did not enjoy London and was about to be moved back to Cheltenham when he died.

3. How did his body come to be in a bag padlocked from the outside? Despite asserting that Gareth died as a result of an accident - police have been able to satisfactorily explain how he was able to lock himself inside the holdall. Some reports suggested that an escapologist of similar build was able to get in the bag and lock it from the inside, but these have since been dismissed.

4. Why were there no fingerprints around the bath? If Gareth got into the bag voluntarily, it begs the question why no fingerprints were found in the immediate area. Some reports have suggested the scene had been "deep cleaned" to destroy any possible forensic evidence, but police have dismissed this possibility.

5. What is the truth of Gareth's personal life? The spy's family and friends had known him to be a cyclist, fitness enthusiast and private individual. But during the investigation, another side of Gareth's personality emerged which shocked and surprised them. Around £20,000 of women's clothing and shoes were found in his flat. However, most were left untouched and an inquest found no evidence to suggest he was a cross-dresser. There was also evidence Gareth had visited bondage and festish sites - but again, this was infrequent and a coroner did not consider it significant in his death.

6. Was someone trying to smear Gareth? For a period of time, stories frequently appeared, attributed to unnamed sources, which pushed the theory that Gareth was gay, interested in S&M and may have been murdered by a gay lover. Such assertions were angrily denied by both police and his family - were they prompted by genuine evidence or was it an attempt to cover-up the real story behind his death?

7. Why was one of Gareth's phones returned to a factory setting before he died? The coroner was particularly concerned by this piece of evidence. When police first entered Gareth's flat, two iPhones, some sim cards and an Apple notebook were laid out neatly on the table.

8. Why was the heating left on? When officer's found Gareth's body, the contorted position of his arms and legs led them to believe they had been chopped up. The heating was also on, which increased the speed of decomposition giving investigators very little clue as to his true cause of death.

9. Why was his front door locked from the outside? This is regarded as further proof that someone else was certainly present when Gareth died.

10. Why did the Met's Counter Terrorism officers fail to tell the inquest about nine memory sticks found at his SIS office? This led the coroner to conclude that the involvement of SIS colleague's in Gareth's death was a legitimate line of enquiry.