Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,185 covers and 55,435 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Heroes Among Us: Crusading Against Autism
- Read the Cover Story: Growing Up Kennedy!
Exclusive Family Photos from White House Nanny
- Taylor Kitsch Talks Thrill-Seeking with Navy SEAL Friends
- FROM EW: Disney Princes Get a Magic Mike Makeover
- Here's Why Back to the Future's Soundtrack Still Rocks 30 Years Later
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- May 21, 2012
- Vol. 77
- No. 21
Gareth Williams: Death of a Spy
A British Code Breaker Is Found in a Gym Bag, and the Mystery of How He Got There May Never Be Solved
The shocking death cast an unwanted spotlight on the shadowy world of British spies, but what became public over the course of an eight-day inquest into Williams's cause of death was far more disturbing. Indisputably, the mountains of evidence concluded that Britain's assorted spy and police agencies had bollixed their 21-month investigation of Williams's death from start to finish. "Many agencies fell short," said Dr. Fiona Wilcox, the coroner. In her dramatic narrative on May 2, she ruled that while it was impossible to know exactly what happened to Williams, she said he probably died "unlawfully," either by poisoning or suffocation. Most shocking of all, the coroner said "it was a legitimate line of inquiry," that the code breaker might have been killed by another member of MI6, also known as the British Secret Intelligence Service. "The cause of death was unnatural and likely to be criminally mediated," she said.
The ins and outs of investigative incompetence particularly upset Williams's mother, father (an engineer) and sister (a doctor). His parents still live in North Wales, where Williams grew up focusing on cycling and math.
"To lose a son and brother in such circumstances as have been outlined here," the family said in a statement, "only compounds the tragedy." Offering no excuses, the spy agency apologized for not acting more swiftly when Williams didn't show up for work and for the family's "suffering." Meanwhile, police plan to take DNA samples from up to 50 agents, and Scotland Yard vowed to continue the investigation.
Despite all the female paraphernalia, coroner Wilcox noted that Williams was "not cross-dressed" when he was found, and concluded there was no evidence either that Williams had been a transvestite or that his personal life had anything to do with his death. As for being the target of foreign spies, tantalizing testimony established both that Williams had conducted unauthorized searches of secret files, which could have put him at risk from "hostile and malign" forces, and that he had nine memory sticks in his office-an uncommon device in a workplace where information can't leave the building. Will the public ever know how the spy died? "It is unlikely," Wilcox said, "the death will ever be satisfactorily explained."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!