The day Dr David Kelly took a short walk to his death in the Oxfordshire countryside, an unopened letter lay on the desk of his book-lined study.
Sent from the heart of the British Government, the pages were marked 'personal' and threatened the world-renowned microbiologist with the sack if he ever publicly opened his mouth again.
The letter remained unopened for the seven days during the drama that would pitch Dr Kelly into the spotlight and end in his death at just 59.
Tony Blair ordered an inquiry by Lord Hutton. It heard evidence from 74 witnesses and concluded that Dr Kelly killed himself by slashing the ulnar artery of his left wrist with a garden knife after swallowing painkillers - although none had been prescribed by his GP.
A detailed medical dossier by the 13 British doctors, however, rejects the Hutton conclusion on the grounds that a cut to the small ulnar artery is not deadly.
The gardening knife that Lord Hutton said killed him was blunt
The level of painkillers in his blood was a third of what is required to cause death.
Dr Kelly was also right-handed - which meant he would have to slash awkwardly from left to right on his opposite wrist to have cut into the ulnar artery to any depth
After Dr Kelly's corpse was found at 8.30am by the volunteer searchers, the senior policeman made his last Operation Mason entry. It simply states: '9.00am. 18.07.03. Body recovered'.
Most intriguingly, at 8am, half an hour before Dr Kelly's body was discovered under the tree, three officers in dark suits from MI5's Technical Assessment Unit were at his house.