Experts vary on Brit spy's cause of death

April 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM
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LONDON, April 30 (UPI) -- Three pathologists gave varying opinions about the cause of death of British spy Gareth Williams, whose naked body was found in a locked sports equipment bag.

Williams was a 31-year-old math prodigy and code breaker for Britain's Military Intelligence Service, known as MI6, which supplies the British government with foreign intelligence. He was found dead in 2010 in his home in Pimlico, a neighborhood on London. His decomposing body was in a padlocked bag normally used to hold large sports equipment.

At the inquest in Westminster Coroners' Court in London, Dr. Benjamin Swift, a pathologist, estimated the body had been in the bag for 10 days, and had deteriorated to the point the cause of death could not be ascertained, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

Another pathologist, Dr. Ian Calder, said death was likely from carbon dioxide poisoning, citing the limited breathing space in the bag, and a third, Dr. Richard Shepherd, suggested poisoning or suffocation, the British newspaper said.

Peter Faulding, a military veteran and expert on confined spaces, said he concluded early 19th century escape artists Harry Houdini himself could not have padlocked himself into the bag, adding speculation to theories Williams was killed.

The hearing also examined Williams' telephone and computer records, indicating visits to bondage and fetish Web sites, the newspaper said.

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