WTF happened with the death of Gareth Williams?

“Probably an accident” doesn’t seem like the right description when your body is found padlocked in a duffel bag and, oh, you were a spy.  But that’s the latest word from investigators.

There are numerous theories on what could have happened, most involving some kind of cover-up. Some believe it could be a suicide — although the logistics of locking yourself in said bag, in a tub, are challenging — while some claim he was either (a) a transvestite or (b) somehow involved with Al-Qaeda.  There’s a blog entitled ‘The Spy Who Knew Too Much’ that runs down basically every theory, including ties to oil money, mystery hits, and the like. There are claims that Williams was “really a high-flier” and that state secrets were stolen in the process.  This TruTV post runs down most of the timeline and theories, as does this thread and, of course, the Wiki.

This is some odd shite, to be sure. I have no background in any type of police work, and there have been demos where it seems one could fit themselves into a bag — challenging, but possible — so I’ll go ahead and ride with the theory here: it was a suicide, or an accident. Maybe he was gay or a transvestite and this had some connection to sex? I have no idea. Point is: if it involved something bigger, and something that could make Britain or MI6 look bad, do you think we’d really know the truth? Similarly, I believe Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy — so, by the definition of murder, he killed JFK — but I do think bigger stuff was going on at the time that we’ll likely never know about. I suppose there’s some stuff that benefits the public for us to not know. Oh, and it benefits the film industry too. If you add a few dramatic tweaks to this Gareth Williams story, it’s a solid hit — or at least a good episode of a procedural TV show.

Some Internet reactions are a bit skeptical:

Williams’ family is obviously quite pissed; they’re standing by the original coroner report that the death likely involved a third party. (Today, British officials are saying it’s “probable” and “likely” that Williams’ death was accidental, but they can’t 100 percent rule out the idea that a third party was involved. In that last link, they dismiss the conspiracy ideas, claiming no one “pulled the wool” over their eyes.)

This story will fade from the headlines within 24-36 hours and while it will always be an interesting Wiki to read through or topic to Google, we’ll likely never know conclusively what happened in this case (if it did involve MI6 in some capacity, those files have long since been micro-shredded or torched; one would assume if it involved Al-Qaeda, there’d be more than a few government orgs willing to toss them under the bus, but who knows for sure?).

In the meantime, take a gander at this for a solid rundown of the case and its mystifying elements:

Ted Bauer