Details surrounding the death of British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) employee Gareth Williams seem lifted from a le Carré novel. Williams didn’t seem to be a James Bond-style swashbuckling spy in a tuxedo, yet he was brutally murdered in his Central London flat, his body packed in a large duffel bag, then placed in a bathtub. Investigators say Williams had been dead for up to two weeks when he was found. Details about him are few, but Williams was reportedly a “communications worker” at a British Intelligence listening post and neighbors say he kept to himself. He attended Cambridge 10 years ago to do postgraduate work in math but dropped out of the program. About his work, Williams only told a landlord he did something with codes.
Gareth Williams’s murder could have been personal and unrelated to his work, but British press outlets reporting on the crime are hyper-alert to the MI6 connection as well as the strangeness of the few publicly-known details, such as finding the victim’s cell phone and sim cards “carefully laid out elsewhere in the flat.” Due to the intelligence connection, another spy-related homicide has received renewed attention as well: the 2006 polonium-210 poisoning death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.
Scotland Yard is investigating, with assistance from other agencies. British Intelligence will neither confirm nor deny that Gareth Williams was their employee.