Gareth Williams; a British spy found dead. His naked body was badly decomposed and stuffed inside a duffel bag. Whispers of assassination and sexual fetishes gone wrong filled the city of London. Remember this stranger-than-fiction story from August 2010? Well, it seems that police have found this case unsolvable after three years of investigation. He was a code breaker for the Government Communications Headquarters under the branch of the M16, the UK’s center for foreign espionage and tragically became known as the “spy in a bag.” After three years, his death is still a mystery.
In the summer of 2010, the body of 31-year-old Williams was found stuffed inside a zipped and padlocked duffel bag in his bathtub where he had been living in a so-called M16 safe house. His body had been there for a week before it was discovered.
Police never found DNA or fingerprints to link any suspects to the scene of the crime. There were no signs of alcohol or drugs in his body. What the police did find, however, led to a new wave of speculation. More than $32,000 worth of new women’s clothes, a wig, an internet history full of S&M, and a nude photo of Williams were found in his home. While the clues captivated the public, they didn’t shed any light onto the mysterious circumstances of Gareth Williams’ death. The investigation dragged on for years for no clear leads.
On top of not finding any leads through DNA and crime scene analysis, investigators were surprised to see that no fingerprints were left around the bathtub or on the lock. Even Williams’ own fingerprints were never found near his body.
His former landlord claimed that Williams had previously become trapped in an attempt to tie himself to his bed. Investigators continued to look into the possibility of an accidental death. Journalists and experts attempted to recreate the circumstances of his death. They tried hundreds of times to lock themselves into replicas of Williams’ bag. Not a single man of Williams’ size was able to close and lock the bag.
Last year, the coroner’s office concluded that Gareth Williams had “probably” been murdered. They called his death “unnatural and likely to have been criminally mediated.” Williams’ family accused the police of a cover-up. With no conclusive evidence, however, the speculation continued.
Scotland Yard has finally released a new statement on the 2010 crime. While they say that there is no evidence to support any one theory “beyond all reasonable doubt,” the Metropolitan Police’s re-investigation has concluded that his death was likely to have been an accident. The have now closed the case. After three years of investigation, they have found no reason to believe that he would have been murdered in connection with his work nor have they found any evidence that he had been planning to take his own life.
It seems the Williams’ family may never have the answers that they have been anxiously awaiting for all of these years. Even Coroner Fiona Wilcox admits that “most of the fundamental questions in relation to how Gareth died remain unanswered.” The death of Gareth Williams, the “spy in a bag,” remains a mystery. Now, the investigation has been closed, and his family has no answers.
By: Nicci Mende