Great British Mystery

April 25, 2012

I love mysteries. Sherlock Holmes, Poirot and Precious Ramotswe are fictional detectives with whom I have spent many a happy hour; ‘Sherlock’, ‘CSI’, ‘The Mentalist’ and similar shows form the bulk of my television viewing. Therefore it’s no surprise that I’ve been following the real-life mystery of the death of Gareth Williams with close attention.

Here’s what happened. On the 23rd August 2010 a locked red sports bag was found in the bath at Gareth Williams’ flat in London. Inside was his naked, decomposing body, and under the body–inside the bag–was the key to the lock. It transpired that Mr Williams was employed by MI6, but not in a James Bondish role; he was a mathematical boffin who worked in the cipher department, and, apparently, under secondment to GCHQ, the NSA at Fort Meade, the CIA and the FBI. There were no signs of a break-in or struggle on the premises; there was no forensic evidence to link anyone to the crime; and the coroner could not determine the cause of death. Because it was determined that Mr Williams could not possibly have locked the bag whilst he was inside it, they labelled the death ‘suspicious and unexplained’.
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