|7th Earl of Lucan|
Sir James Goldsmith and Lord Lucan
|Born||Richard John Bingham|
18 December 1934
|Member of||Clermont Set|
Lord Lucan (born 18 December 1934, presumed dead), a British peer suspected of murder, disappeared without trace early on 8 November 1974.
Lord Lucan is now presumed to be dead, a High Court judge ruled on 3 February 2016. A death certificate has been issued 42 years after the peer vanished when his children's nanny Sandra Rivett was bludgeoned to death in London. He was declared dead in 1999, despite dozens of unverified sightings, but the new ruling gives his son the right to inherit the family title.
Lord Lucan speaks
Speaking outside the court, his son, George Bingham, 8th Earl of Lucan, said: "I am very happy with the judgment of the court in this matter. It has been a very long time coming."
Armada of writs
A dedicated website (www.lordlucan.com) states:
- I believe Lord Lucan is alive and living in either South America or Africa, possibly Canada or the USA. I also believe he remained in the UK for 2 days after the murder of his children's nanny before being flown out of the country from Headcorn Kent, arranged by James Goldsmith and John Aspinall who were such good and true friends to Lord Lucan. The plane was headed for the South of France where arrangements were then made for the next stage to Africa in December 1974. His first visit back to UK was in 1985.
In 1976, when Private Eye suggested that Sir James Goldsmith had some part in Lucan’s escape from justice, Goldsmith responded with an armada of writs which threatened to bankrupt not only the magazine but also its then-editor Richard Ingrams.
No sign of the murderer
At 9.45pm on the night of 7th November 1974, a distressed and bloodstained woman burst into the bar of The Plumber’s Arms, Lower Belgrave Street, crying out:
- "Help me, help me, help me. I’ve just escaped from being murdered. He’s in the house. He’s murdered the Nanny!"
She was the Countess of Lucan, who had fled from her home at number 46, leaving behind her three children. She was obviously the victim of a serious assault, and the police and an ambulance were called to the scene. The police officers who arrived to investigate found a substantial house with a ground floor, a basement and four upper floors. Forcing open the front door, they searched the premises, and found the children in their bedrooms, unharmed. The door to the basement was open. There was no light in the hall, so they fetched a flashlight. They descended the stairs to the breakfast room, and found the walls splashed with blood, a pool of blood on the floor, with some male footprints in it, and, near the door connecting the breakfast room to the kitchen, a bloodstained sack. The top of the sack was folded over but not fastened. Inside was the corpse of Sandra Rivett, the children’s nanny. She had been battered to death with a blunt instrument. In the hallway was a length of lead piping, covered in surgical tape, very bent out of shape and heavily bloodstained. The back door was unlocked.
When Lady Lucan was able to make a statement to the police she named her husband as her attacker and the murderer of Sandra Rivett. Of Lord Lucan, there was no sign.