The killer was waiting there, amid the trees near the hilltop. As Kelly arrived he moved into plain sight, pretending to admire the view while reading a map.
He casually asked Dr. Kelly for directions. But once he got close, he sprayed a mist in the scientist's face. Kelly collapsed and was instantly unconscious.
With a fast deft movement, he slit Kelly's left wrist, standing well clear to avoid bloodstains on his own clothing. While the still unconscious Dr. Kelly bled to death, he pressed a packet of Co-proxamol, a prescription painkiller, into Kelly's right hand, then shook it onto the grass nearby.
The tablets were mere window dressing designed to enhance the suicide scenario. As the post mortem would later confirm, Kelly died as a result of the massive hemorrhage.
It had taken only minutes to create a sacrificial lamb who could be the spur for overthrowing Blair's leadership of the British Labour Party. An outcome which could eventually have explosive effects on the US political system too.
There was no other choice.
In Washington, Blair had just made a tactical appeal to the judgment of history for his action in invading Iraq, as US politicians cheered him on.
Meanwhile, the BBC Board was living on borrowed time:
"Dr Kelly was supposed to have been the joker in the pack that would end the long-running battle with the BBC. He was supposed to have knocked down Andrew Gilligan’s claims once and for all, allowing Mr Blair to head off to Washington with the affair all but finished."
The Scotsman, 19 July, 2003,
Prime Minister faces his biggest challenge
Kelly was clearly the BBC source for Gilligan's story on the "sexing-up" of evidence of Iraqi WMD. Soon Alistair Campbell would no doubt claim Gilligan exaggerated Kelly's comments and the BBC had backed him in a lie by claiming their source was in the intelligence services.
Tony Blair would then piously condemn sloppy journalism and insist his Iraq dossier was soundly based overall. As he had done in Washington, he would appeal again to the court of history to judge of his actions. The campaign to oust Blair would be over.
That outcome was preventable. By murdering Dr. Kelly.