If you picked up a copy of a tabloid this time last year, it was the perfect page lead: the MI6 worker found dead in strange circumstances. From rural North Wales into the world of secrecy. Child prodigy: code breaker genius. Hints about his private life. Questions about just what exactly he did once the security pass had admitted him into the corridors of MI6 at Vauxhall. It read more like a John Le Carre novel, the circumstances surrounding the man’s death living up to the level of mystery you’d expect from a life in espionage.
Only it wasn’t fiction. It was reality. Gareth Williams, an Anglesey boy, was found dead in horrendous circumstances. His family, had watched and helped the arc of a talented schoolboy – a prodigy at mathematics, who embarked on his degree aged just 15 – then seen him embark on a career in the security services. His parents and friends were, and are, really grieving. No fiction there. And one year after the day when his body was discovered in his London flat, there are still far more questions than answers about his death.
Trace back over the past year and you can read a catalogue of mights: in the press, the mights of what he did – whether Gareth’s job was in any way connected to his death. For the Met’s investigation, the mights of their search so far – the couple they produced an identikit picture of and were chasing as a vital link in pursuing their investigation.
For the people who knew him on Anglesey, the questions are more simple: how can so much speculation lead to so little in terms of an answer.
Gareth’s inquest was opened and adjourned. A security expert who spoke to Wales Tonight expressed his opinion that Gareth’s friends and family have been let down by the small amount of progress into finding out how he died versus the large scale amount of speculation into his death.
One local councillor – Holyhead’s John Chorlton, who knows the family, say so many people on the island want the investigation to unliock something so that Gareth Williams’ family can find begin to find a sort of peace with what’s happened. With things like this you realise how small the big island can be.
The Metropolitan Police – who have many murders and the huge matter of the majority of riot cases to deal with – gave us at Wales Tonight a four word statement: the case is active. And that, so far, is the last word.