Thursday, September 16, 2010

MI6, a Body in a Bag and the Transvestite Prosititute !

MI6 Headquarters

As rumours swirl around the bizarre case of the MI6 officer whose body was found stuffed into a sport's bag, the tale brings back memories of other strange deaths with Britain's Secret Intelligence Service ( MI6) always close in the background.

After MI6 officer Gareth William's ( right) body was discovered nearly 3 weeks ago, odd reports have appeared in the media with no-one apparently any closer to the truth of how he died. First reports seemed to indicate his death was some sort of sex game gone wrong but after an outcry from William's relatives who claimed the spy service was sending out mis-information authorities have been quick to scotch the story.

But even today MI6 investigators are claiming that Williams could have padlocked himself into the sports bag where his decomposing body was found. Pathologists have said that he was not strangled, stabbed or shot and they are yet to discover how the spy died.

It's not the first mysterious death in spy circles. The most recent is of course the famous Iraqi weapons inspector David Kelly's purported suicide in 2003. Few people are willing to accept the official version given in the Hutton Inquiry especially after the post mortem report was classified for 70 years.

In 2009 a group of British doctors including Michael Powers, a physician, barrister, and former coroner; and Julian Blon, a professor of intensive care medicine and many MPs have challenged the cause of death and said the manner of death described in the official version could not have happened the way it's claimed.

Who would want to kill Kelly ?. He had certainly embarrassed the British government and there are said to be remnants of Saddam Husein's former government who may have been gunning for him.

The Social Shuttle encountered something similar when we approached the former UN weapons inspector Richard Butler at a Sydney film festival. As we tapped him on the shoulder the poor man jumped out of skin. "Please never do that again" he pleaded. Apparently Saddam had threatened to have him bumped off and Butler was living in fear.

The respected writer Richard Webster however is having none of this conspiracy stuff and believes the Kelly theory is a beat-up.

One of the oddest spy murders was in 1978 when the Bulgarian dissident and writer Georgi Markov (left) was killed in London apparently by a tiny pellet of the poison Sarin being pumped into his leg from an umbrella gun as he waited to cross a street.

Markov had fled the then Stalinist Bulgarian state in 1971 and became a broadcaster on the BBC World Service and was a fierce critic of his homeland. But sources claimed after his death he was also an MI6 informant and may have been uncovered as a double agent.

In 2006 Alexander Litvinenko (pictured right) an ex-KGB officer living in London was poisoned by radioactive material and died shortly after being admitted to hospital. British authorities accused Russian agents of killing Litvinenko but it was discovered that he was also an MI6 informant and again, it was claimed he was a double agent.

Possibly the strangest death was that of the person known as Vikki De Lambray , a transvestite male prostitute whose body was discovered in 1986.

De Lambray was born David Gibbon and claimed to be the illegitimate son of an aristocrat. A part time actor and entertainer he was well known in London social circles and a regular at high society parties.

He also had a job on the side as a prostitute operating from London's Shepherd's Market. Vikki had a particular knack of lifting his client's wallets and credit cards after he had serviced them. He had been arrested several times for theft.

Vikki's life unravelled when he lifted the wallet of a civil servant, Sir James Dunnett after an encounter. De Lambray was busted in Harrods while on a spending spree with Dunnet's credit cards. At his trial the media got wind of the case and it was soon on the front pages.

Unfortunately for Vikki, Sir James Dunnett was a retired head of MI6.

The story had all the right elements to send Britain's Fleet Street tabloids into a frenzy. Spies, male prostitutes, transvestites and it was soon discovered-a Russian naval attache Captain Anatoli Zotov,who was also a client of de Lambray's.

Soon a well spoken young lady named Caroline Clark was on the phone to the tabloids claiming to be an acquaintance of de Lambray's and willing to sell the true story of the former David Gibbon's life. Ms Clark found plenty of takers and was pulling in the pounds before she was discovered to be de Lambray, in one of his finest acting roles.

Friends of de Lambray's warned him had gone too far and that embarrassing the secret services like MI6 just wasn't a healthy game. They warned him to expect recriminations.

When de Lambray announced he had written a 900 page book detailing the names of his famous clients, the nervousness increased.

In 1986 the Press Association received a frantic phone call :
"a group of men have broken into my flat and injected me with heroin or something". It was Vikki de Lambray. Many reporters were used to Vikki's odd and dramatic phone calls and the reporter who answered the call took little notice.

But the following day Vikki's fully clothed body was found, slumped in an arm chair. A post mortem found no marks on his body and could not ascertain how he died. His body still lies in a London morgue.
Missing from de Lambray's flat was the manuscript detailing his affairs with famous names, which a friend said had been there when he visited the hapless Vikki earlier that day.