The death of a British spy whose body was found locked inside a duffle bag was "probably an accident," according to London police. The announcement contradicts the findings of a coroner, who last year said the MI6 agent was "probably" killed unlawfully.
According to Metropolitan Police, "it was more probable" that the agent, Gareth Williams, was alone at the time of his death, though, obviously, some questions about his death remain unanswered.
Chief among them: How exactly did Williams lock himself inside the bag? Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt of the Metropolitan Police Department said it was "theoretically possible" that Williams padlocked the bag himself, adding that it was "beyond credibility" that he or his team had been deceived.
"I do not believe that I have had the wool pulled over my eyes. I believe that what we are dealing with is a tragic unexplained death," he said, according to the BBC.
For what it's worth, at the time of Williams' death, there were reports that his apartment contained woman's wigs and a collection of woman's footwear. Dr. Fiona Wilcox, the coroner, acknowledged the collection, noting Williams' "sexual interest in ladies' footwear, but," she added, "there I suspect he is not alone."
As for Dr. Wilcox's findings, Hewitt said they were based on what, at the time, was the best available information, which "indicated it was more likely someone else was involved in Gareth's death."
"However, she also recognised that there has been endless speculation but little real evidence and it was her view [that] 'it is unlikely that his death will ever be satisfactorily explained'," he said.
"Now at the end of our investigation, based on the evidence, or where we have been unable to find positive evidence, we believe that it is a more probable conclusion that there was no other person present when Gareth died."
Of course, "a more probable conclusion" isn't a satisfying ending to a case the department has spent three years investigating, least of all to Williams's family, who are standing by the coroner's findings.
"We are naturally disappointed that it is still not possible to state with certainty how Gareth died and the fact that the circumstances of his death are still unknown adds to our grief," the family said in a statement. "We consider that on the basis of the facts at present known, the coroner's verdict accurately reflects the circumstances of Gareth's death."
[Images via AP]