British spy Gareth Williams was “dead or unconscious” and was almost certainly placed in a sports bag by another person, an inquiry into his death in London was told Friday, it is reported.
Expert Peter Faulding tried to re-create the code-breaker’s bizarre death by trying to climb into a bag inside a bathtub and lock it himself 300 times. He failed every time, according to a report of the day’s inquest evidence in the Daily Telegraph.
Faulding said the task would have eluded even escapologist Harry Houdini.
He said he believed a third party was present, describing theories that Williams got inside the bag unaided as "unbelievable."
Video footage of Faulding attempting to re-create the death was shown to the inquest.
Police discovered the naked decomposing body of the 31-year-old spy padlocked inside a red sports bag in the bathtub of his flat in London in August 2010.
The strange circumstances surrounding Williams’ death have prompted a number of theories, and police eventually concluded he had been playing an auto-erotic sex game that went badly wrong.
Earlier this week, the inquest heard from Williams’ former landlady, who once found the spy in bed with his hands tied to the headboard wearing nothing except boxer shorts.
Faulding, a former Parachute Regiment reservist who specializes in rescuing people from confined spaces, was unable to lock himself inside an identical bag in the bath, according to a Press Association report.
"I couldn't say it's impossible, but I think even Houdini would have struggled with this one," he said, according to the PA. The expert added: "My conclusion is that Mr. Williams was either placed in the bag unconscious, or he was dead before he was in the bag."
He also raised the idea the bag was deliberately placed in the bath so “bodily fluids” could drain away.
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