|Gareth Williams |
Metropolitan Police, via Associated Press
Published: April 27, 2012
LONDON — Britain, home to the MI6 spy agency that inspired the James Bond stories and the billion-dollar film franchise, has been wrestling this week with one of the country’s strangest real-life spy mysteries in a generation, one that has become known popularly as the case of the spy in the bag.
An inquest held just across the Thames from MI6’s headquarters here has brought forth details of the bizarre and lonely death in August 2010 of Gareth Williams, a 31-year-old rising star in supersecret counterterrorism work. He was found in a fetal position, arms crossed on his chest, locked inside a duffel bag resting in an unfilled bathtub at the government flat assigned to him in the upscale Pimlico district of London.
His naked body had been in the bag for a week before it was discovered, so badly decomposed that the police and pathologists have been unable to determine whether he was murdered in what his family’s lawyer has suggested to the court was a plot by others skilled in the “dark arts” of spy work.