Thursday, 26 August 2010

Gareth Williams Murder: Secret Agent Man

The Sun was first out of the box with the speculation that the murder of MI6 employee Gareth Williams could be connected to the fact that he was gay.
They were also the first to mention the fact that Williams was gay.
Or is it just speculation?
Like all the earlier speculation that Williams had been assassinated in some John Le Carre-style Cold War hit by al-Qaeda or someone.
The Sun's tasteful headline: 'Murdered Spook Was A Cross Dresser'.
And that's not all; "Murdered MI6 worker Gareth Williams was a secret transvestite who may have been killed by a gay lover, detectives said yesterday."
For why? "Cops found women's clothing that would fit him at his Pimlico flat in central London... And Mr Williams, 31 - found murdered at his central London home - was known to meet men in the capital's gay mecca of Vauxhall Cross and Soho in the West End."
Blimey. Although having some womens' clothes in your flat isn't quite the same as being "a secret transvestite".
"Senior Government figures were concerned that anyone with a private life as sensitive as his could hold a post in which he could be vulnerable to blackmail."
Were they? Which ones? And why would they be?
This isn't the 1950s, the buggers are legal now.
MI6 lifted its ban on gay staff in 2007.
Its sister secret service, MI5 has worked with Stonewall to recruit lesbians and gay men.
The other paper's initially all missed the possible gay angle.
Though The Daily Mail mused; "Officers from Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad, with assistance from their counter-terrorist and security service colleagues, are delving into the private life of Mr Williams, seeking to discover whether he had relationship or money problems."
"Another possibility is that he was the victim of a dangerous sex game gone wrong."
Well, people do say "anything is possible..."
The Mail also interviewed "his landlady for a decade", Jenny Elliott; "yesterday [she] recalled how the 31-year-old bachelor lived without a TV in the annexe of her home."
No TV, eh? What a spooky spook he sounds.
"Mrs Elliott said she did not remember him ever bringing a girlfriend back to the self-contained flat, comprising a bathroom, bedroom and kitchen, above her garage."
"That’s not to say he didn’t meet girls. But if he did, he certainly didn’t talk about them to me.
"Gareth occasionally said he was meeting some of the guys from work for a quiet drink but he wouldn’t tell me who they were or where they were going and I never pried."
Good for you, landlady lady.
The Daily Telegraph thundered; 'Murdered British Spy "May Have Been Killed By Jealous Lover".'
"Gareth Williams, 31, had been working for MI6 on a one-year posting but was due to return to his regular job at the GCHQ listening station in Cheltenham at the start of next month.
"Detectives believe Mr Williams, whose body lay undiscovered for up to two weeks in the bathroom of his top floor flat, might have had a violent row with a lover over his decision to return to Gloucestershire."
The Telegraph quoted one of those handy anonymous sources; "Inquiries are focusing on his lifestyle."
As indeed now are the media.
Maybe one of the newspaper's professional information gatherers will eventually discover another photo of Gareth Williams besides the one of him cycling above.

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