Has the 'spy in the bag' mystery been solved? Gareth Williams 'was likely alone when he died,' say police

5 February 2024, 08:10 | Updated: 5 February 2024, 13:13

DNA tests were taken around the spy's flat.
DNA tests were taken around the spy's flat. Picture: PA
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

The MI6 agent whose naked body was found in a padlocked holdall in his bathtub likely died alone, as "no new DNA" was found by a forensic review.

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Gareth Williams' nude corpse was discovered at his safe house in Pimlico, London, on August 23, 2010.

Police found his body during a routine welfare check after colleagues informed the force that they had not heard back from Mr Williams in many days.

The bag the agent was locked in was shut from the outside - and the keys were inside with his body.

His death was shrouded in mystery. Conclusions varied, ranging from accidental death to concerns about potential involvement of international enemies, and even speculation about his passing being linked to a sex game gone wrong.

Read more: 'Spy in the bag' Gareth Williams was murdered says investigator who tried to lock himself in holdall more than 300 times

Read more: Forty Bibby Stockholm migrants converting to Christianity - same loophole used by Clapham suspect

New lab tests were carried out on certain items around the flat.
New lab tests were carried out on certain items around the flat. Picture: PA

However, it seems that the mystery has been solved by a forensic review, published last week by Scotland Yard, which said that "no new DNA" was found.

New lab tests were carried out on certain items around the flat and modern techniques allowed detectives to investigate new DNA on a green towel in the kitchen.

However, this DNA also belonged to Mr Williams.

The holdall, padlock, key, and zip toggle were also tested but there were no further discoveries.

The Met police concluded he was likely alone when he died.

Inquest into death of MI6 spy.
Inquest into death of MI6 spy. Picture: Alamy

Detective Chief Inspector Neil John, who is part of the Met’s specialist crime command said: "In February 2021, a forensic assessment was undertaken, which was also peer-reviewed by a forensic manager in respect of all exhibits seized during this investigation.

"This resulted in a resubmission of exhibits to the forensic laboratory and additional examinations being sought."