The case of Gareth Williams is a confusing and distressing one. If a person was found dead with their body locked inside a duffel bag, the initial reaction would naturally be that the individual had been killed. Now, assume that the man is also an MI-6 spy, and that the Russian Mafia might have been blackmailing him. Again, the natural assumption is that someone has killed this guy. However, in the case of Gareth Williams, who was a British spy found in a North Face bag in a London apartment in August of 2010, the ruling was shockingly not murder. Instead, police said his death was somehow an accident.
This all seems absurd and naturally leaves us wondering what really happened to Gareth Williams? Was it some sort of sex act gone wrong, a planned assassination, a performance art piece that went awry, or something even weirder than all that? No matter where we turn, no one is finding any solid answers.
The case of the spy in the bag has fascinated and perplexed conspiracy theorists and experts alike for years. In the end, we may never know what really happened, though there is one former KGB spy who might finally have some answers... Read on to learn more about this mind-boggling case.
He Was Found Padlocked In A North Face Bag
In August of 2010, police went to perform a wellness check on a man named Gareth Williams. He was living in a flat in Pimlico, in central London, and had been working nearby in Gloucester, but hadn't been seen in some time. In fact, it had been about a week since anyone had seen or heard from him, and friends and family were getting concerned. When they showed up, the apartment was cluttered, but nothing initially seemed to be wrong... that is until they reached the bathroom.
There, they found a red North Face duffel bag, padlocked shut. Inside was Gareth Williams, now partially decomposed and very much dead. He was naked, but was otherwise unharmed, and appeared to have died while he was in the duffel bag. While all this was very mysterious, it was only the beginning of a much larger, and much more distressing mystery.
Gareth Williams Was A Genius
So, who was this man in the duffel bag? Williams had gotten off to a very fortuitous start in life, one that indicated he was destined for greatness. He was born in Anglesey, Wales, and spoke Welsh as his first language. He began taking classes at Bangor University at a young age, and by the time he was just 17, he had graduated with a first class degree in maths. His teachers acknowledged him to be an exceptional student who possessed one of the brightest minds they had ever seen. One teacher, Geraint Williams (no relation) said that "...He was probably not the best mathematician I have seen, but the best logician." He was also a talented cyclist.
In the year 2000, he began a postgraduate certificate in mathematics at Saint Catharine's College, Cambridge. However, he dropped out in favor of picking up a very important and very high-risk career.
He Worked As An MI-6 Spy And Codebreaker
This special career concerned secrets, and not just any old secrets, either - these were government secrets. He got a job as a communications officer at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Gloucestershire, where he excelled at his work. He worked with code breaking, traveled frequently, and even had been on a secondment with MI-6. To put things very simply: Gareth was a spy. According to his family, he never discussed his work with others, and was a fiercely private man. He didn't go out to pubs, and didn't have a party lifestyle, even in his 20s. By the time he was 31 he had few close friends, but was seen at his work as a decent and hardworking man with no known social enemies.
At the time of his death, he was only a short walk away from MI-6 headquarters, in what should have been a safe house.
His Death Was Ruled An Accident
The more authorities looked into Gareth's death, the more perplexing everything became. The key to the lock was found inside the duffel bag with him, underneath his body. Upon inspection of the flat, there was no forensic evidence of any blood, and there was no sign that anyone else had even been there. Although there was surveillance footage of a few people coming and going in the complex, nothing seemed to be amiss. Although coroners could not identify a cause of death, they suggested suffocation due to being locked in the bag. Initially, a coroner said the death was probably a result of a criminal act, but that soon changed. When the dust had cleared and all was said and done, the death was ruled an accident. Authorities said that Gareth had locked himself inside the duffel bag and died by mistake.
As unlikely as that seemed, it also begged one looming question: Why?