Chapter 125: A Very Odd Statement

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The Mediterranean couple
November faded into December, and the change in the weather -- colder and darker -- mirrored the state of our investigation into the death of Gareth Williams. Nothing concerning the case appeared in the press. The source Sherlock Holmes had cultivated in the coroner's office was saying, "Wait," and not much else. Holmes said he had been probing, gently, but none of his contacts among the police knew anything, other than what they had seen in the papers. Or else they were unwilling to talk. And the great detective's mood grew as gloomy as the wind that beat upon our windows.

And then, suddenly, just a few days before Christmas, Scotland Yard broke the silence with a very odd statement, which I reproduce in its entirety below.
Bulletin 0000002137
December 22, 2010

OFFICERS from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command investigating the circumstances into the death of Gareth Williams (date of birth 26.09.78) in August continue to appeal for information.

The Mediterranean man
Police have issued two e-fits of a man and a woman they wish to speak with in connection with the enquiry.

They are described as of Mediterranean appearance, aged between 20-30 years-old.

They called at 36 Alderney Street, Pimlico, SW1 late one evening in June or July, 2010.

Having gained access to the communal area of the building, they intimated that they had a key to Gareth's flat, number 4, and were last seen walking towards it. It is believed they said they had been given the key by a 'Pier Paulo', or something similar.

At this stage, officers are making a further appeal and are urging this man and woman to come forward and assist, so that they can be eliminated from our enquiries.

There are also a number of other points on which officers are asking the public for their help.

Gareth was attending Central St Martins College, Clerkenwell, on a fashion course for beginners - police are urging anyone who knew or met him through the course to come forward if they have any information.

The Mediterranean woman
In addition, Gareth's wardrobe contained a collection of female attire, such as dresses and shoes, which were new, and seemingly unused, worth in the region of £15,000, as well as a collection of wigs. If anyone knows where, or when he might have bought such clothing, officers would very much like to speak to them.

Police would also like to hear from anyone who met Gareth on a visit he made to a drag cabaret - 'Bistroteque' in Mile End on 13 August 2010. Gareth had bought tickets for two other shows at the same venue. They also want to speak to anyone who saw Gareth in May 2010, at the 'Barcode' gay bar in Vauxhall, south London, when there was an unconfirmed sighting of him.

Routine forensic examination of Gareth's phones has revealed a limited number of occasions when access was made from them to websites relating to bondage and escape from bondage. Officers would like to talk to anyone who had contact with Gareth via one or more of those sites, who may be able to assist in understanding the circumstances of his death.

Police strongly believe Gareth was not alone in his flat at or before the time of his death and are strongly urging any person, or persons who were there, or knows anything in relation to this, to come forward.

DCI Jacqueline Sebire,
the investigating officer
DCI Jacqueline Sebire, the investigating officer, said today: "Gareth was a very private individual, and we know he would not have given his keys to anyone other than close family. I am asking this man or woman, or anyone who recognizes them, to encourage them to come forward and assist us with this enquiry.

"Gareth's death remains suspicious and unexplained, and enquiries into the circumstances continue."

Anyone with information should call the Incident Room in Hendon on 020 8358 0200 or, if they wish to remain anonymous, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The Williams family said today: "Gareth's family are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of their son and brother, they urge anybody to come forward with any information that can assist the police investigation."

The Inquest into Gareth's death will be heard before Westminster Coroner's Court on 15 February 2011.

Gareth Williams returned to the UK from a planned holiday in the US, on Wednesday, 11 August 2010. CCTV enquiries established that on a number of occasions on his return, he was shopping in the West End and Knightsbridge areas.

CCTV images issued by officers (6 September 2010) showed Gareth on Saturday 14 August 2010 at approx 15:00hrs, entering Holland Park underground station.

On Sunday 15 August 2010 Gareth was shopping in Brompton Road, SW7. He went to a cash machine, and then into Harrods. At approx 14:30hrs, CCTV images show him in Hans Crescent, SW1 heading towards Sloane Street, near to the Dolce and Gabbana store.

He was wearing a red t-shirt, beige trousers, and white trainers. Gareth was approx 5ft 7inches tall, with short hair and of a muscular build.

On 23 August 2010, Gareth was found in his flat at Flat 4, 36 Alderney Street, Pimlico, SW1 by uniformed officers. There was no sign of any forced entry to the property, and no signs of disturbance inside.

Gareth was found unclothed, in a zipped and padlocked red 'North Face' holdall which was in an empty bath in the en suite bathroom. Officers do not believe any property was missing from the flat and there was no suggestion the items within the flat were specifically posed. No drugs, or indications of drug usage, were recovered.

The first post mortem on 25 August 2010 established no cause of death. Further examinations of the body were held and results from comprehensive further toxicology tests carried out came back negative, showing no trace of any drugs, alcohol, poisons or any other substances that would indicate cause of death.