Thursday, May 24, 2012

Who Killed the Spy Gareth Williams?

Gareth Williams was a British spy who worked for MI6. He was found dead in his London apartment on August 23, 2010. Williams’ body was discovered naked inside a locked North Face bag placed in his bathtub. Many news stories have speculated on how he died, and the exact cause is still hotly debated.

3 plausible explanations:

  1. Killed Himself Accidentally
  2. Killed by a Personal Friend
  3. Killed by a Foreign Intelligence Agency

Theory 1: Killed Himself Accidentally

It has been proven that Williams could have locked himself in the bag, despite contrary beliefs expressed by escapology experts. Williams supposedly attended an Escapology presentation at a conference shortly before his death. Was he testing his skills?

We know that he previously tied himself to his bed and couldn't escape. His landlord had to free him. But in that case, he survived because suffocation wasn't a possibility. Did he know he would suffocate in the closed bag and not be able to breathe through the material? Wouldn't the average person assume that breathing through the enclosed bag would be possible?

Why would he do this in the bathtub? It may have been part of a sex game, rather than an Escapology test. And he may have needed the sides of the bathtub to help him enclose himself. The coroner said he would have left hand and footprints if he had entered the bag while it was in the bath, but not if he had used the bag to walk himself into the tub. Anyone could demonstrate that, I'm sure. The word "impossible" is being thrown around in this case far too frequently.

His landlord said Williams never had anyone in his flat, so it seems improbable that he wasn't alone when he died. But why would he turn the flat's heater up all the way in August?

Theory 2: Killed by a Personal Friend

Williams was said to be passionate about cycling. He also took a fashion class. Did he invite a friend up to his flat who then took part in a game and abandoned him to die? Did a "friend" kill him on purpose? But according to his landlord, he wasn't really friendly with anyone and a close friendship would have been noticed. The Psycho Theory can't be dismissed: an acquaintance just wanted to kill him on a lark.

Theory 3: Killed by an Intelligence Agency

The MI6 Mole Theory: is there a mole inside MI6 secretly working for a foreign power, such as Russia? The role of the mole wouldn't be to pass along classified documents to Moscow, because he could get caught in a number of ways. His job would be to take note of who inside MI6 was in a critical position on a project aimed against Russia or Iran and the elimination of that one critical person would significantly damage the project. Was Williams that person? Only MI6 knows the answer to the question if he held that kind of position.

And if the mole existed and his DNA was taken, to possibly match up with DNA found in the flat, wouldn't the mole need to run away to avoid capture and life in prison? If no one runs away, therefore there is no mole and the entire theory is discredited. Only MI6 knows if anyone has "run away" lately.

It is possible the foreign agent could be another kind of person, not a mole in MI6. Perhaps a cycling or fashion buddy.

The Dead Spy Equation can never be discounted:

Dead Spy + London = Russia

This equation oftentimes comes in handy, but it isn't foolproof.

It's within the realm of possibility that MI6 decided to snuff out one of their own agents, but we are in Robert Ludlum territory with this theory.

The North Face Bag

The bag is an extremely unlikely means for murdering Williams, or anyone else. Would a killer know for sure that a person would suffocate in the bag? The killer would have to know about the existence of the bag, as it is implausible that he would use it "on the spot" as a part of his murder plot. A similar bag was found at Williams' workplace, which seems to tie the killer to MI6 or to Williams himself, a reason against a non-work solution. The coroner said a "third party" must have placed the bag in the bathtub, but that seems highly debatable. But consider how unlikely it is that the bag would be used in any kind of a murder plot!

Conclusion

My conclusion is that Gareth Williams' death was accidental, caused by himself. He locked himself in the bag either to test his Escapology skills or as part of a sex game. That is the likeliest explanation. He tried to escape but couldn't, just like he couldn't escape from being tied to his bed.

Without question, mistakes have been made by the authorities during the investigation, and some of the actions of MI6 personnel are rather odd, but despite all that I don't see how we can get away from the solution I suggest here.

The MI6 Mole Theory is the most sensationalistic, but the more I think about this case, the less I am convinced of it. It is too wildly improbable. Nothing will surprise me more than if the DNA results point an accusing finger at someone in MI6. I eagerly await more details of the ongoing investigation as they are revealed.