Anorak News | Gareth Williams: All The Facts And Fiction On The Murdered Spy Buried By the Media

Gareth Williams: All The Facts And Fiction On The Murdered Spy Buried By the Media

by | 27th, August 2010

GARETH Williams is the “murdered Spook” from Anglesey, who “helped foil terror raids” and took “secret trips to US spy base”.

Well, so says the Daily Mirror, which knows all about secret missions undertaken by “spies” because they, er, aren’t all that secret. Mr Williams, apparently used to flay to Baltimore to meet US National Security Agency officials at their Fort Meade HQ – “dubbed the Puzzle Palace.”

We know this because the Mirror has a well-placed source called Michael Hughes. He was Mr Williams’ uncle:

“The trips were very hush-hush. They were so secret that I only recently found out about them – and we’re a very close family. It had become part of his job in the past few years. His last trip out there was a few weeks ago, but he was regularly back and forth.”

Or as William Hughes, a cousin of Mr William’s mother Ellen, tells the Guardian:

“I knew he worked at GCHQ and he had been working in London but I didn’t know what he did. It wasn’t said that we shouldn’t talk about it, I simply never asked and he never told me.”

Secret stuff, eh, readers. A “Western intelligence source” then offers the Mirror a wonderful generalisation it passes off as insider knowledge:

“He will have had crucial high-level meetings with American intelligence officers… Although not particularly high up the GCHQ ladder, the importance of his role should not be underestimated.”

So. Mr Williams was killed as a result of his job? In the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland suggests as much as he writes “the tale of a man who lived a lonely life and died a lonely death”:

The degree of interest is hardly surprising. When, nearly four years ago, Russian journalist Alexander Litvinenko lay dying in a London hospital, poisoned, perhaps at a sushi restaurant, that too became the tale du jour, with readers clamouring for details amid a widespread assumption that the culprits were agents of Moscow’s security services. A generation earlier, in 1978, the focus was Georgi Markov, the Bulgarian dissident slain on a London street, who, it was believed, had fallen victim to an ingeniously customised umbrella wielded by a passerby – probably an agent of the Bulgarian secret police – who had used it to fire a ricin-containing pellet into Markov’s leg.

And lest you forget, a man’s death is entertaining stuff:

As purveyors of popular entertainment from John Buchan to the producers of Spooks have understood, there are few more surefire subjects than spies and spying.

The difference is that Mr Williams was a real person and not a work of fiction. Although the press and police are doing their best to blend fact with fiction.

So far the message is that Mr Williams’ death was related to his job. But the Guardian then tells us:

One source said: “The suggestion there is terrorism or national security links is pretty low down the list of probabilities.”

Let’s pause and reconsider the facts we have learnt via the media:

The decomposing body of codes expert Gareth Williams, 30, was found stuffed into a bag in the bath of his London Government flat – Daily Mail

While police and MI6 officers do not believe the 31-year-old’s murder had anything to do with his work as a codes and ciphers expert… – Independent

The media can’t agree on the man’s age, let alone why he died.

What about Mr William’s private life then, which he kept private. The Express reports:

Scotland Yard detectives are trying to build up a picture of his private life and his movements in the month before he was killed. They are convinced the key to the mystery lies in his personal not his professional life.

Why are they convinced?

The Star blends fact with fiction and introduces sex:

REAL-LIFE James Bond found murdered in his bath could have fallen prey to a modern day Mata Hari. Police found a SIM card containing telephone numbers of escort agencies in the flat where 31-year-old spy Gareth Williams was discovered stuffed inside a giant sports bag. Porn was also recovered from the £500,000 top floor apartment.

A giant sports bag? The Sun tells its readers:

The decomposed body of keen cyclist Mr Williams, 31, was found in a suitcase

Never mind the facts. The Mail picks up the sex angle:

Police sources believe another theory is the spy’s killer may have planted a trail of clues to make it seem as though he was murdered by a gay lover.

They said gay magazines and the phone numbers of gay escort men were found in the apartment near the agent’s body.

The paper then, presumably to help it to set up an interview with the dead man’s parents, tells readers, cynically:

Mr Williams’s devastated parents Ian and Ellen have faced speculation over their son’s private life.

And you read that speculation in the Mail.

But if you want real sensation, you turn to the Sun. Having labelled Mr Williams a transvestite (apparently one dress was found in his flat), we today learn:

SPY chiefs launched a probe yesterday into their security vetting of murdered spook Gareth Williams as it emerged bondage gear was found in his flat.

Detectives are believed to have discovered porn films and sado-masochistic equipment.

Believed… Believed by whom? You..?

Posted: 27th, August 2010 | In: Reviews Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink