View Full Version: Bingham,Richard [Earl Of Lucan]11-7-1974

Porchlight International for the Missing & Unidentified > Missing Persons 1974 > Bingham,Richard [Earl Of Lucan]11-7-1974

Title: Bingham,Richard [Earl Of Lucan]11-7-1974
Description: United Kingdom-England

oldies4mari2004 - March 27, 2008 01:48 AM (GMT)
Lord Lucan, a professional gambler and socialite whose nickname was "Lucky", has not been seen since November 8, 1974.

He went missing hours after his family's nanny was battered to death and his estranged wife was assaulted in their London home. There have been dozens of supposed sightings around the world.
IP: ----------
oldies4mari2004 Posted: Mar 25 2008, 09:06 PM

Advanced Member

Group: Admin
Posts: 725
Member No.: 12
Joined: 16-July 06

Warn: (0%)

Richard John Bingham
The Seventh Earl of Lucan – AKA Lord Lucan
Missing since November 7, 1974 from London, England, United Kingdom
Classification: Missing


Vital Statistics

Date Of Birth: December 18, 1934
Age at Time of Disappearance: 39 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 6'2"-6’4”.
Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. He loved to gamble and drink at the time of his disappearance.


Circumstances of Disappearance
Bingham was last seen in London, England on November 7, 1974.
On that night, his children's nanny, Sandra Rivett, was murdered at the home of his estragned wife, the Countess Lucan. The following evening, police visited the hospital bed of Mrs. Bingham. She had suffered from shock, loss of blood and seven severe scalp wounds. She told them that she had been watching television with her daughter that evening in the second-floor bedroom. The nanny went downstairs to make some tea. After about 15 minutes, Lady Lucan began to wonder what was taking Sandra so long. She told investigators that she went downstairs to find the nanny and was then attacked. She was certain that the assailant was her husband, and that he had mistaken the nanny for his estranged wife.
Almost one week following the attacks, police issued a warrant for the arrest of Lucan. Police mounted an extensive search for Lucan, but to no avail. He was never found.
On November 10, police found the Ford Corsair Lord Lucan was driving the night of the murder, abandoned some 16 miles away near the docks of Newhaven. Following the discovery of the car, police searched extensively for Lucan. He had disappeared.
In October 1999, Lucan was ruled officially dead, even though his body had not been found.


If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Westminster Borough Police
(020) 7730 1212

Source Information:
Crime Library
Lord Lucan
Official Website of the Countess of Lucan

Attached Image (Click thumbnail to expand)

IP: ----------

oldies4mari2004 - March 27, 2008 01:49 AM (GMT)

oldies4mari2004 - March 27, 2008 01:50 AM (GMT)

oldies4mari2004 - March 27, 2008 01:51 AM (GMT)

monkalup - April 5, 2009 01:43 AM (GMT)
On the evening of November 8, 1974, Lady Veronica Lucan (wife of Richard, 7th Earl of Lucan) ran into a local pub, covered in blood and screaming that her husband had tried to kill her. When the police went to the Lucan home, they found the children’s nanny, Sandra Rivett, dead of head trauma in the basement and a bloodstained length of lead pipe. That night, several phone calls to friends were made by a very agitated Lord Lucan, who stated he had been at the house, but had interrupted the real attacker. A few days later, Lord Lucan’s Ford Corsair was discovered in Newhaven. There were bloodstains in the car and a pipe matching the one found at the scene, but Lord Lucan was nowhere to be found. If he is still alive, he would be 74 years old.
user posted image

monkalup - April 5, 2009 01:46 AM (GMT)

Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan

(person) by aneurin Tue Apr 11 2006 at 19:10:52

7th Earl of Lucan (1964-1974?)
Professional gambler and alleged murderer
Born 1934 Died 1974?

Known as John to his friends and Lucky Lucan to his many gambling acquaintances, Richard John Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan is of course the infamous 'Lord Lucan' who disappeared without apparent trace in the early hours of Wednesday the 8th November 1974.

Born on the 18th December 1934, Richard John Bingham was the son of George Charles Patrick Bingham, 6th Earl of Lucan and Kaitilin Elizabeth Anne Dawson. He spent some time in Florida during his childhood avoiding the worst aspects of World War II, but returned to Britain to enter Eton College and later served in the Coldstream Guards before working for a merchant bank. However he spent most of his free time gambling at the Claremont Club in Berkley Square, and after winning more than £26,000 in two days during 1960, he decided to quit his job and become a professional gambler.

On the 28 November 1963 he married Veronica Duncan, and with the death of his father some two months later on the 21st January 1964, he inherited the earldom together with a sum of around £250,000, the bulk of which he later blew gambling at the Clermont Club. His wife Victoria suffered from post-natal depression and this, together with her concerns regarding her husband's addiction to gambling and his continuing losses, led to a gradual deterioration in their relationship. There are also suggestions, arising from the testimony of their former nanny Stefanja Sawicka, that Lucan was violent towards his wife and that he had beaten her on more than one occasion.

In any event, shortly after Christmas 1972 the couple separated and during the course of 1973 fought a bitter dispute over the custody of their children. The Earl appears to have believed that his wife was mentally ill, and was thus incapable of properly caring for his children. However much to the Earl's surprise and disappointment, in June 1973 the Court awarded custody of their three children to his wife. Thus whilst Lucan entertained hopes that he would one day regain custody, and even attempted to buy off his wife with a sum of money, he was left nursing the grievance that he had been deprived of his children.

The murder of Sandra Rivett

At around 8.30pm on the evening of Tuesday 7th November 1974, Sandra Rivett (the Lucans' nanny) put the two younger children to bed at the family home in 46 Lower Belgrave Street, and went down to the basement kitchen to prepare tea. Sometime later around 9.15 pm Veronica wondered what had happened to her employee and descended the stairs to the ground floor, peered down into the basement and called Sandra's name. She heard a noise, and then a voice which told her to "shut up", which she recognised as her husband's voice. Veronica was then attacked and there was a struggle during which her assailant stuck his gloved hand down her throat and struck her twice with a blunt instrument. Victoria fought back and grabbed her attacker by the testicles. The attack ceased and an exhausted Lucan and his battered wife collapsed together on the stairs.

Bizarrely the two then struck up a conversation. Lucan admitted that he had killed Sandra Rivett and then sought to persuade his wife to take an overdose of sleeping tablets. To buy time she agreed, and allowed him to take her upstairs to her bedroom. Lucan then went into the bathroom to get a cloth to clean her face (bloodied from the earlier attack) and she took the opportunity to escape from the house and run to the nearby public house, The Plumber's Arms, where she cried out "Help me, help me, help me. I've just escaped from being murdered. He's in the house. He's murdered the Nanny!"

The alarm was raised and the corpse of Sandra Rivett was soon discovered lying in a sack in the basement of the house. The subsequent post-mortem examination revealed that she had been struck four times with a length of lead piping covered in surgical tape, but the cause of death was suffocation by choking on her own blood.

Lucan's own version of events

According to the testimony of Susan Maxwell-Scott, who spoke to the 7th Earl later on the evening of the 7th November, and further expounded in a letter the Earl himself had afterwards written to William Shand Kydd, his explanation was as follows.

He happened to be passing by the house when he peeped in through the basement window and saw his wife struggling with an intruder. He then rushed to her assistance, the intruder ran off, but his wife then became hysterical, telling him that the nanny was dead and accusing him of hiring a hitman. He went into the bathroom for a few minutes, only to find that his wife had rushed out into the street and was crying 'murder'. He then decided to make his escape as the "circumstantial evidence against me is strong in that V will say it was all my doing" with the intention to "lie doggo for a bit".

As far as Lucan was concerned this was simply "a traumatic night of unbelievable coincidences".
Did the Earl do it?

Very probably. Certainly the inquest jury of the Coroner's Court held in June 1975 thought so; they delivered a unanimous verdict of "Murder By Lord Lucan". (Incidentally the last occasion on which a British inquest jury was permitted to name anyone as a murderer. The right was abolished by the Criminal Law Act 1977)

Lucan's own account of events doesn't really stand up to scrutiny. Subsequent investigations showed that the very little of the basement was actually visible from the street outside the house (and only then after considerable physical contortions). Furthermore the forensic evidence showed that his wife had been attacked at the top of the stairs leading down to the basement (confirming his wife's story), rather than in the basement itself; a location that wasn't visible from the outside. Neither does it seem credible that an intruder would have entered the house equipped with a length of lead piping bound in surgical tape (head, for the bashing in of), and a large sack (body, for the disposal of) given that such items are not generally carried around by the average burglar in pursuit of his profession.

Lucan's motivation for the killing appears to have been his belief that with his wife out of the way, he could sell the house in Lower Belgrave Street and thus raise funds to clear his debts. His friend Greville Howard later testified that he'd had a conversation with Lucan in which he had suggested that a way out of his troubles was to kill Lady Lucan, and had even discussed the idea of dumping her body in the Solent. The writer Taki Theodoracopoulos has also claimed that Lucan had bought a 20ft speedboat which he kept moored on the South Coast, and had already made two dummy runs carrying a weighted sack.

As to why Lucan killed the nanny and not his wife as intended the answer is simple. Tuesday was Sandra Rivett's usual night off, the earl was not to know that she had swapped it for a Wednesday that particular week; she was the same height as his wife and in the darkened basement he had simply struck out at what he expected to see.

Some have attempted to prove the Earl's innocence, whilst some have claimed that Lucan hired a hitman to carry out the murder, whilst retaining the responsibility to dispose of a body. This latter theory seem particularly unlikely given that half the point of hiring a hitman is to ensure that the hirer is elsewhere at the time and thus establish a good alibi.

The disappearing earl

Sometime around 10.30 that evening, Lucan telephoned his mother who lived in St John's Wood. He told her that that there had been an unspecified catastrophe at the house and asked her to collect the children. Then using a borrowed Ford Corsair (his own Mercedes had battery problems) he drove to the home of his friends Ian and Susan Maxwell-Scott at Uckfield in Sussex. He arrived there at about 11.30pm looking very disheveled, spoke to Susan Maxwell-Scott, made a number of calls and wrote two letters, both addressed to Bill Shand Kydd. Then at about 1.15 a.m., he said that he had to "get back" and drove away in the Ford Corsair, never to be seen again.

On Sunday, 10th November the Ford Corsair was found abandoned near the docks at Newhaven some sixteen miles away. Bloodstains were found inside the car, together with a piece of of bandaged lead piping similar to the one that had been used in the attacks at Belgrave Street. There was also a notepad with one sheet torn out, matching the paper used to write a letter received by Michael Stoop.

It was widely believed at the time that some of the Earl's rich friends such as James Goldsmith or John Aspinall (the owner of the Claremont Club) had helped him escape and establish a new life somewhwere under an assumed name. (There were also other more lurid suggestions including the one that Lucan had been fed to the tigers at Aspinall's zoo.) Various sightings of the missing aristocrat have since been reported at sundry locations across the world including in South Africa, Australia, the Netherlands, Ireland and Sicily. However none of these sightings have ever been substantiated. Over the course of the years other notable runaways such as Ronald Briggs and John Stonehouse were mis-identified as the missing Lord Lucan, but as to Lucan himself there has been no sign.

At one time Scotland Yard belived that Lucan was living in Johannesburg, based on the frequency of his children's choice of South Africa as a holiday destination, but nothing came of their investigations. A former Scotland Yard detective by the name of Duncan MacLaughlin and author of Dead Lucky: Lord Lucan The Final Truth, claimed that Lucan had fled to India and lived in Goa under the name of Barry Halpin until his death in 1996. However this 'Barry Halpin' turned out to be none other than Barry Halpin, a folk musician and banjo player from Merseyside, who took to the hippy trail to the subcontinent in the 1970s.

The fate of the 7th Earl

Whatever the Earl of Lucan's original plan was for the evening of the 7th February 1974, it is clear that fleeing the country wasn't part of it. He seems to have imagined that it was possible to kill his wife and escape conviction so long as he made the body disappear. This seems unlikely even in the pre-DNA age of forensic science. The obvious conclusion is that the 7th Earl was in a disturbed mental state and that once the consequences of his actions had sunk in decided to end his life. John Aspinall believed that Lucan simply "tied a stone around his body and scuttled the powerboat he kept at Newhaven and down he went" and that he ended up "250ft under the Channel". However John Wodehouse, 4th Earl of Kimberley, who was gambling with Lord Lucan on the night before he vanished, was of a different opinion, and believed that Aspinall did indeed help Lucan escape, but later hired a contract killer to finish him off after he later tried to return to Britain.

Veronica Lucan believes him to be dead and consistently refers to her 'late husband' and herself as the 'dowager countess', as indeed does her son who has been reported as saying: "If anyone buys the official story then they have to explain why a man who murdered out of obsession for his children has made absolutely no contact with them for 24 years". The Earl was declared legally dead on the 11th December 1992 and probate was later granted on his estate on the 11th August 1999, despite which there are many who belive that he is still alive, indeed he still appears in the 2006 Edition of Who's Who.

In 1999 George Bingham declared that it was his intention to assume the title and start calling himself the 8th Earl of Lucan, taking his seat in the Lords. His petition was however rejected by the Lord Chancellor as "he was not satisfied that his case had been made out".

In 2004 the Metroplitan Police announced that it was re-opening the case. This was however nothing more than a fairly standard 'cold case' review where the police apply modern DNA testing techniques to old evidence on open investigations in the hope that something will turn up. Nothing further has been reported regarding this investigation and it therefore seems that it has thrown no new light on the events of the 7th November 1974.



The Official web site of the Countess of Lucan: Setting the Record Straight.
Rachael Bell, Lord Where Art Thou? The Mystery Of Lord Lucan from
Other information from and
From BBC News at
Lord Lucan murder case reopened, 16 October, 2004
Lord Lucan mystery 'solved' Sunday, 7 September, 2003
Lucan 'committed suicide' 13 February, 2000
Lord Lucan 'officially dead' October 27, 1999
Lucan's son barred from Lords, July 31, 1999
Lucan is dead, says son, August 8, 1998
Further Reading;

Norman Lucas, The Lucan Mystery (WH Allen, London 1975)
Sally Moore, Lucan: Not Guilty (Sidgwick and Jackson, London 1987).
Patrick Marnham, Trail of Havoc (Guild Publishing, London 1988).
Roy Ranson and Robert Strange, Looking for Lucan: The Final Verdict (Smith Gryphon, London 1994)

monkalup - April 5, 2009 01:49 AM (GMT)

By Rachael Bell
Thou Shall Not Kill

Lucan house at 46 Lower Belgrave
Something was amiss on the evening of Thursday, November 7, 1974, at the imposing, six-story brick house at 46 Lower Belgrave Street, one of London's most fashionable neighborhoods. At about 8:55 p.m., 29-year-old nanny Sandra Rivett went downstairs to the basement kitchen to make some tea for her employer, Countess Veronica Lucan, wife of the Seventh Earl of Lucan. About 15 minutes later when Sandra had not returned, Lady Lucan became concerned. She left her three children upstairs and went down to the main level to look for Sandra.

The six stories of the house included a basement, where the breakfast room and kitchen were located. The ground floor held the dining and living areas of the house, as well as a cloakroom. Above the main level were four more upper floors with various other rooms, most of which were bedrooms.

While on the main floor, Lady Lucan noticed that the basement light was not on. When she tried the light switch, it did not work. Lady Lucan then called Sandra's name. There was no reply.

Lady Lucan walked toward the cloakroom on the main floor, believing that the faint noises she heard coming from the small room were probably Sandra's. Suddenly, she was brutally attacked and bludgeoned repeatedly on the head by a heavy object. When she screamed, a forceful voice commanded her to shut up.

Lady Lucan, barely 5 feet 2 and 100 pounds, struggled fiercely with the large menacing figure. Before she could make sense of what was happening, the attacker forced three gloved fingers down her throat. Then he tried to strangle her and gouge out one of her eyes, but the countess was not a woman easily defeated. She grabbed the man's testicles and squeezed them, temporarily incapacitating her attacker and making possible her eventual escape. The events that followed have created a mystery that spanned almost three decades and resulted in the disappearance of one of Britain's most famous royal figures.

"Murder, murder! I think my neck has been broken! He's tried to kill me!" Lady Lucan said as she burst through the doors of the local pub in her blood-soaked night dress. The Plumber's Arms was just 30 yards from the Lucans' home. "I've just escaped from being murdered. He's in the house. He's murdered the nanny!" The children were still in the house with the murderer, she managed to convey to her audience, but nobody rushed over to save them. Instead, someone at the pub called the police, who rushed to the Lucan home. Lady Lucan, who had collapsed unconscious on the floor, was taken to a nearby hospital.

The police forced open the door to the stately home and began a search. They noticed a lot of blood on the ground floor stairwell. Concerned about the children's safety, they immediately searched the upper floors. The three Lucan children were found unharmed. Two of the youngest children, Lord Bingham, 7, and Lady Camilla, 4, were asleep in their rooms. Lady Frances, 10, was watching television in a second-floor bedroom.

Police noticed on further inspection of the ground level that the basement door was open. Near the door they found on the floor a twisted, bloody 9-inch piece of lead pipe, wrapped with tape. As police continued their search, they found more blood in the basement breakfast room. Within the blood lay pieces of smashed china. There was an unscrewed light bulb on one of the chairs in the basement, which police suspected the intruder had taken out so that his victim could not see him.

Sandra Rivett, the murdered
nannyPolice also found in the basement a canvas mailbag, lying in a large pool of blood. Inside the bag they found the bloody body of the nanny, Sandra Rivett. She had severe skull injuries on the back of her head.

At about midnight, police went to Lord Lucan's Elizabeth Street apartment, where he had lived since separating from his wife more than a year earlier. But investigators could not find him.

By Rachael Bell
The Countess' Story
The following evening, police visited the hospital bed of Lady Lucan. She had suffered from shock, loss of blood and seven severe scalp wounds.

She told them that she had been watching television with her daughter that evening in the second-floor bedroom. Sandra had put the two younger children to bed earlier. As she and her daughter Frances watched television, Sandra knocked at the door. It was shortly before 9 p.m.

Lord Lucan next to portrait
of the First Earl of Lucan
(The Countess of Lucan)Sandra asked if they would like some tea, to which the Countess agreed. After about 15 minutes, Lady Lucan said she began to wonder what was keeping Sandra so long. She told investigators that she went downstairs to find the nanny and it was there, near the stairs on the ground floor, that she was brutally attacked. She discussed the struggle in great detail. She was certain that the assailant was her husband, Lord Lucan.

Lady Lucan said that after she grabbed his testicles, she and her husband fell to the ground in a state of exhaustion. According to Lady Lucan, her husband admitted to accidentally killing the nanny. She said that Lord Lucan had mistaken Sandra for his wife since Lady Lucan typically made the evening tea and Sandra usually had Thursday evenings off.

Linda Stratmann, author of Lord Lucan Mystery, writes that Lady Lucan tried to calm her husband down by persuading him that Sandra would not be missed. Lady Lucan told her husband that they could hide the body, and she could tell the police that a burglar was responsible for the attack, according to Stratmann. Fearing for her own life, she agreed to do whatever he wanted. Lord Lucan asked if she had any sleeping pills and suggested that she take some. She agreed to take the pills only if she could lie down for a while in her bed upstairs. The two rose from the floor and went up to the second level, dripping blood along the way. They entered the bedroom where Frances was still absorbed in the television program. In her statement to police, Frances said she noticed that her mother had blood on her face when her parents entered the room. Frances said she was sent to her room.

Lady Lucan stated that they went into the bathroom, where her husband inspected her wounds. She told police that Lord Lucan laid a towel down on the bed for her to rest on. When her husband went to the bathroom for more towels to clean her wounds, she seized that moment to escape. She ran out of the house to the Plumber's Arms pub nearby.

The Disappearance of Lord Lucan
Print Email
Smaller | LargerBy Rachael Bell
The Seventh Earl

Lord Lucan as a child
(The Countess of Lucan)Richard John Bingham was born on December 18, 1934, to George Bingham, the Sixth Earl of Lucan and Countess Kait Lucan. Richard John Bingham, referred to as John, was the second of four children, including a younger brother and two older sisters. The Lucan children spent most of their youth in the company of maids and nannies. During World War II, they were separated from their parents and initially sent with many other children to the safety of the countryside. Eventually, England was not considered safe enough and the Lucan children were sent to America. While in the United States, the children stayed in luxurious mansions in Florida and New York. War did not prevent them from living the life of royalty. The Lucan children were sent home to England following the war.

While in England, John attended Eton, where he developed an interest in gambling and racing speed boats. The towering young man, who stood 6 feet 4, was handsome and aristocratic looking. In 1953, he joined the National Service as an officer in the Coldsteam Guards. Following his stint in the army, he joined a merchant bank. However, John's passion for gambling exceeded his interests in business or anything else. He spent a great deal of his free time at the casino tables at the Claremont Club in Berkley Square. In 1960, after winning more than £26,000 in two days, John decided to devote himself full time to gambling. His closest friends referred to him from then on as "Lucky." Soon after his big win, he left the bank.

Lord and Lady Lucan in the
early years of their marriage
(AP/Wide World)In March 1963, John met Veronica Duncan at a golf tournament. She came from a middle-class background and was attractive and intelligent. They were married the following November. The newly married couple moved to a posh house on Lower Belgrave Street in the wealthy section of London, less than a mile from Buckingham Palace. Coincidentally, Veronica's sister was married to John's millionaire friend, Bill Shand Kydd.

Two months following the wedding, John's father, the Sixth Earl of Lucan died. John inherited the title of the Seventh Earl of Lucan, as well as a large sum of money. His wife Veronica was titled the Countess of Lucan. The new titles came with privileges, although the Lucan family was often associated with scandal, created by an earlier generation.

monkalup - April 5, 2009 01:51 AM (GMT)
The Disappearance of Lord Lucan
Print Email
Smaller | LargerBy Rachael Bell
Honor Thy Father

Lord and Lady Lucan, and Lady
Francis, their daughter
(The Countess of Lucan)
Less than a year after Lord and Lady Lucan were married, they had their first child. Lady Frances was born on October 24, 1964. Three years later, in September 1967, the couple had a son named George. The Lucan family continued to grow when another daughter, Camilla, was born in June 1970. Shortly after the birth of the children, Lady Lucan developed severe postnatal depression. When she sought treatment for the disorder, the problem was incorrectly diagnosed and treated. Her mental health began to deteriorate slowly. However, the countess was still able to properly care for her children and run the household.

Investigating MurderLord Lucan made some effort to help his wife during her battle with depression. He read up on the subject and tried to persuade her to seek help. He wanted to have her admitted to a psychiatric hospital in 1967 after the birth of George, but his wife did not approve of the medication being offered and refused treatment. Kirk Wilson in Investigating Murder writes that on another occasion in 1971 Lord Lucan tried again to have his wife admitted to the hospital after he said that she suffered from hallucinations. Once again, she refused and ran from the hospital before making it to the front door.

Between 1971 and 1972, pressure within the marriage began to peak. Lord Lucan became increasingly impatient with his wife's mental illness and sought solace at the card tables. He spent most of his time gambling at a private establishment named the Clermont Club, where he squandered away a large portion of his inheritance.

Looking for Lucan: The Final
VerdictAccording to Roy Ranson and Robert Strange in Looking for Lucan: The Final Verdict, Lord Lucan's anger and frustrations took a violent course, directed at his wife. Stefanja Sawicka, one of the nannies that previously worked for the Lucans, reported that Lord Lucan would beat his wife. She told of how he had once pushed her down the stairs and tried to strangle the countess. She feared for her life and told Sawicka, "Don't be surprised if he kills me one day." She admitted that her husband had violent tendencies and would at times beat her with a stick wrapped in tape.

In 1973, the marriage of Lord and Countess Lucan fell apart. Lord Lucan moved out of the family home and took up residence in a basement apartment on Elizabeth Street. He blamed the breakup on his wife's mental problems. During this time, he would confide in his friends that he was concerned about the well-being of the children. He believed Lady Lucan was mentally incapable of caring for them. He decided to wage a legal battle against his wife. A custody hearing was scheduled for May 1973.

Lady Lucan with daughter
(The Countess of Lucan)In March 1973, Lord Lucan decided he could wait no longer to be with his children. He followed his children and their nanny in a park and convinced them to go back with him to his apartment on Elizabeth Street to live. For weeks, the children stayed with their father and awaited the custody hearing. Lord Lucan was convinced that if he could prove that his wife was mentally unfit, he could gain permanent custody of the children. He hired a private investigator to follow his wife, hoping to obtain information to secure a future with his children. He would also tape Lady Lucan's violent outbursts to demonstrate the severity of his wife's mental disability.

Lord Lucan paid for his wife to receive in-home nursing care for three months. At one point, Lady Lucan had even checked herself into a psychiatric clinic for a brief stint, according to Linda Stratmann. However, although Lady Lucan knew she had a problem with depression, she did not believe that it incapacitated her or made her unable to care for her children. She also believed that her husband was using her depression as a ploy to take the children from her permanently. She intended to fight him for custody.

The custody hearing ended in June 1973 and so did Lucky Lucan's fortune. The judge found his behavior to be "lawless" and granted custody of the children to the Countess of Lucan. Lord Lucan was stuck with a debt exceeding £40,000. Most of the money was spent maintaining the house and family, private detectives, medical and legal bills. Lord Lucan became an insomniac and also began to drink heavily, following the loss of his custody battle. His life began a downward spiral which he blamed on his wife.

On several occasions, Lord Lucan expressed his hatred for her. The Lucan Review claims that, in a conversation with his good friend John Aspinall in October 1974, Lord Lucan said that he wanted to kill his wife. Several weeks before the murder, Lord Lucan told another friend that he wanted to kill his wife and dump her into the waters of the Solent. His threats were taken as drunken ramblings and disregarded — until November 7, 1974.

monkalup - April 5, 2009 02:04 AM (GMT)
The Disappearance of Lord Lucan
Print Email
Smaller | LargerBy Rachael Bell
The Investigation
When investigators searched for clues into the death of Sandra Rivett and the attempted murder of Lady Lucan, they found that Lord Lucan's car keys, passport, driving license, wallet and three address books were still in his apartment. The police used the address books as a starting point and called on many of the names Lord Lucan had listed. Among the dozens of people interviewed was Susan Maxwell-Scott, a friend of Lord Lucan. Her account of events of November 7 differed from that of Lady Lucan.

Susan Maxwell-Scott said that Lord Lucan knocked on her door at about 11:30 p.m. He looked disheveled. His pants had been recently scrubbed clean and were still wet. She offered him a drink and asked what was wrong. Lord Lucan told her that he was walking past the house where his wife lived on his way to his apartment to change his clothes for dinner. He said he peered into the basement window and saw his wife struggling with a man. He let himself into the house and made his way down to the basement. He then said that he slipped and fell into a pool of blood as he was rushing to help his wife. The man she was struggling with ran off when he saw Lord Lucan approaching.

Lord Lucan told Susan that his wife became hysterical and blamed him for hiring someone to kill her, wrote Kirk Wilson. He told her that he helped clean his wife's wounds but, when he was getting fresh towels, she ran from the house. He feared she would go to the police and tell them he was responsible for her injuries. He decided to leave the house and lay low for a while.

According to Susan's account of the story, Lord Lucan said he had made three phone calls after he left his wife's house. The first call was made to his friend Madeleine Floorman, then one to his mother and the last to his friend and sister-in-law's husband, Bill Shand Kydd.

Linda Stratmann wrote that he may also have paid a visit to Madeleine Floorman before his arrival at Susan's house. At 10 p.m., someone had awakened her by knocking insistently at the door. She did not answer. Shortly afterward, she received a phone call from someone she believed to be Lord Lucan. In Madeleine Floorman's statement to police, she said he seemed distressed and became increasingly incoherent. She eventually hung up on him and went back to sleep.

Bill Shand KyddThe first phone call Lord Lucan made to his mother was between 10 and 10:30 p.m. He told her there had been a "catastrophe" at 46 Lower Belgrave Street. He asked his mother to pick up the children and take them to her house. He also told her that his wife and Sandra had been injured. Investigators learned that the story Lord Lucan told his mother matched what he had told Susan with the exception of his slipping in the pool of blood. Before arriving at Susan Maxwell-Scott's house, Lord Lucan tried unsuccessfully to call Bill Shand Kydd.

While Lord Lucan was at Susan's house, he tried to call his brother-in-law a second time. Once again, there was no answer, so he called his mother again. He asked her about the children, who were already asleep at her home. The police were also at his mother's house and she asked her son if he wanted to speak with them. He told his mother that he would call them early the next morning.

Shortly after his conversation with his mother, he wrote two letters, both of which were addressed to Bill Shand Kydd. In the first, he gave a brief description of the evening's events. He also suggested that his wife was suffering from paranoid delusions. The second letter focused primarily on financial matters. The two blood-stained envelopes containing the letters were mailed on November 8.

Letter number 1:

Dear Bill,

The most ghastly circumstances arose tonight, which I briefly described to my mother, when I interrupted the fight at Lower Belgrave St and the man left.

V. (Veronica, his wife) accused me of having hired him. I took her upstairs and sent Frances up to bed and tried to clean her up. She lay doggo for a bit. I went into the bathroom left the house.

The circumstantial evidence against me is strong in that V. will say it was all my doing and I will lie doggo for a while, but I am only concerned about the children. If you can manage it I want them to live with you- Coutts St Martins Lane will handle school fees.

V. has demonstrated her hatred of me in the past and would do anything to see me accused.

For George & Frances to go through life knowing their father had stood in the dock for attempted murder would be too much. When they are old enough to understand, explain to them the dream of paranoia and look after them.

Yours ever,


Letter number 2:

There is a sale coming up at Christies Nov 27th, which will satisfy bank overdrafts. Please agree reserves with Tom Craig.

Proceeds to go to:

Lloyds, 6 Pall Mall
Coutts, 59 Strand
Nat West, Bloomsbury Branch

Who also hold an Eq. and Law Life Policy.The other creditors can get lost for the time being.


Police tried to recreate the events following Lord Lucan's visit to Susan's house. At about 1:15 a.m., Lord Lucan said his farewell to her and drove away in a Ford Corsair. She told police that he said he had to "get back." On Sunday, November 10, police found the Ford Corsair abandoned some 16 miles away near the docks of Newhaven. The car was heavily stained with blood. Lord Lucan had borrowed the car several weeks earlier from his friend Michael Stoop because the battery of his Mercedes was not working properly.

In the trunk, investigators found a lead pipe resembling the one at the crime scene. They also found a notepad in the car, which was missing a page. Michael Stoop had received a letter from Lord Lucan following the discovery of the car. The paper on which the letter was written matched that of the notepad.

My dear Michael,

I have had a traumatic night of unbelievable coincidences. However I won't bore you with anything or involve you except to say that when you come across my children, which I hope you will, please tell them that you knew me and that all I cared about was them.

The fact that a crooked solicitor and a rotten psychiatrist destroyed me between them will be of no importance to the children.

I gave Bill Shand Kydd an account of what actually happened but judging by my last effort in court no one, let alone a 67-year-old judge, would believe- and I no longer care, except that my children should be protected.

Yours ever,


Lord Lucans passport photo
(The Countess of Lucan)Following the discovery of the car, police searched extensively for Lord Lucan. They followed leads fromfisherman who thought they saw someone near the docks matching Lord Lucan's description in the early morning hours of November 8. However, the leads yielded no information into Lord Lucan's whereabouts. He had simply disappeared.

monkalup - April 5, 2009 02:07 AM (GMT)
By Rachael Bell
The Investigation
An inquest into the death of Sandra Rivett began after a delay of more than seven months on June 5, 1975, at Westminster Coroner's Court. During the inquest, Coroner Dr. Gavin Thurston and the coroner's jury listened to testimony and evidence surrounding both Rivett's death and Lady Lucan's attack.

English law at the time restricted a wife from presenting evidence against her husband unless he was charged with assault against her. There was a great deal of debate on whether Lady Lucan should testify since her husband had not been officially charged and the testimony was during an inquest and not a trial. Nonetheless, the coroner made an exception, and Lady Lucan told the coroner and his jury her account of what occurred on November 7, 1974.

Following her testimony, a statement by the Lucans' 10-year-old daughter Frances Bingham was read to the court. Frances said that at about 9 p.m. her mother went downstairs to see why Sandra was taking so long. She said that her mother left the door open and the hall light was not on. Shortly after her mother left, she said she heard her mother scream from what seemed to be far away. Frances was not afraid because she thought the cat had scratched her mother. When she called to her mother, there was no response.

Frances said that later her parents walked into the bedroom together. She said that her mother's face was bloody and that her father was wearing an overcoat. Frances was sent to bed, and shortly afterward she heard her father calling for her mother. She then saw her father looking for her mother before he went downstairs.

Dr. Keith Simpson, a pathologist who performed the postmortem on Sandra Rivett's body, testified at the inquest that she had suffocated to death by choking on her own blood. He told the court of her wounds and said that she likely died minutes after the attack. According to Patrick Marnham in Trail of Havoc, Dr. Simpson's testimony conflicted with Dr. Michael Smith's, the police surgeon who certified Sandra's death. Dr. Smith stated that Sandra most likely died shortly before being discovered.

Kait Lucan, the Dowager
CountessLord Lucan's mother, Dowager Countess Lucan, testified that her son had called her twice that evening and was incoherent. She said he mentioned the words "blood" and "mess," but did not go into detail after that. She said her son requested that she pick up the children, which she did at 10:45 p.m. She said he later called a second time to ask about the children and refrained from speaking with police at the house. Soon after her testimony, the court heard evidence given by Susan Maxwell-Scott, Bill Shand Kydd and Michael Stoop.

Michael Stoop was asked in detail about the Ford Corsair he loaned Lord Lucan and the letter he received from him after the attacks. Michael Stoop told the court that when he loaned his car to Lord Lucan several weeks before the attack there was no lead piping in the trunk. He also said that the paper on which the note was written was likely to have come from the notepaper he kept in his car. The envelope that held the letter was lost and never recovered.

Thirty-two witnesses testified at the inquest, the most compelling of whom were the police officers who delivered their forensic reports on the crime scene. The blood analyses were done before DNA techniques became a common forensic tool, but were quite revealing nonetheless.

Sandra Rivett's blood type B and Lady Lucan's blood type A were found in two main areas of the house. Sandra's blood type was concentrated mostly in the basement area, where police found her body. In contrast, Lady Lucan's blood was concentrated mostly in the hallway at the top of the basement stairs on the ground floor. Moreover, there were hairs found in that blood that matched Lady Lucan's, providing supporting evidence that she had been battered at the top of the stairs. However, there was no blood found in the area of the cloakroom.

Intriguingly, some of Lady Lucan's blood type was found on the canvas mailbag containing Sandra Rivett's body. One explanation is that the attacker could have had the same blood type as Lady Lucan. Lady Lucan's blood type was also found along with Sandra Rivett's blood type on the lead pipe and in the Ford Corsair found in Newhaven. The bent pipe, which was wrapped with tape and supposedly used to batter the women's heads, contained no hairs of the women. There were, however, hairs found in the Ford Corsair belonging to Lady Lucan.

On the envelopes which contained the letters written by Lord Lucan to Bill Shand Kydd type AB bloodstains were discovered. Forensic experts testified that a blood type of AB, can result from a mixing of two separate blood types, type A and type B. So the AB blood could have been a mixture of Lady Lucan's blood and Sandra Rivett's blood. The blood type AB was also discovered in the Ford Corsair and in the hallway of the ground floor, where Lady Lucan said she was attacked.

More bloodstains matching Sandra Rivett's blood type were found in the garden behind Lady Lucan's home. A bloody footprint was also found in the basement of the house, leading out to the garden. The police discovered it was made by a man's shoe, but they were unable to identify the person who left the print. The blood type in which the shoe impression was made matched that of Sandra Rivett's, type B.

Fibers found at the crime scene and in the Ford Corsair became one of the main focuses of the inquest. Grayish-blue-colored woolen fibers were found in the Ford Corsair, the basement, Lady Lucan's bathroom sink, on a blood-stained bath towel and on the lead pipe supposedly used in the attack on Sandra and Lady Lucan. These fibers were believed to have come from the attacker. The fiber and bloodstain evidence presented during the inquest provided a critical link between the victims and their attacker. It became clear that whoever attacked the women had also been in the Ford Corsair, the car that Lord Lucan was seen driving the night of the murder.

According to the story Lord Lucan told to his friend Susan Maxwell-Scott, he saw his wife struggling with someone in the basement. He said that he ran down to help her and in doing so, slipped in blood. After the attacker ran away, he noticed that his wife was covered in blood. The forensic investigation conducted at the crime scene and blood analysis discounts this scenario.

There was no evidence pointing to Lady Lucan having been attacked in the basement. She testified that the attack occurred on the ground level of the house and not the basement. Blood splatter matching Lady Lucan's blood type and hairs in the blood matching hers further confirmed her account of events. Moreover, there was a man's footprint in the basement, but no indication that he or anyone had slipped.

Investigators held several experiments trying to recreate what Lord Lucan claimed to have seen from the basement window. Results from the experiments showed that it was difficult to see anything, let alone a struggle, from a standing position outside the window. Visibility into the basement was almost nonexistent, unless one stooped low to the pavement while peering in. Even then, only the bottom four stairs into the basement were visible. With the light unscrewed as it was on the evening of the murder, visibility into the basement would have been even less.

The timing of the events the night of the murder became a critical issue during the inquest. Investigators testified that Lord Lucan had made reservations for four people at the Clermont Club for 8:30 that evening. At about 8:45, the Clermont doorman, Billy Edgson, said that Lord Lucan had pulled up in his Mercedes and asked if his friends had arrived. Sally Moore in Lucan not Guilty wrote that Edgson stated that Lord Lucan, "was wearing casual clothes, the kind he wore when he went out golfing" and that he didn't seem "perturbed in any way." Edgson believed that Lord Lucan was on his way home to change his clothes. If the doorman's account of the time had been correct, it would have made it difficult to place Lord Lucan at the scene of the murder, which occurred at about 9 p.m.

Lord Lucan would have had only 10 minutes to drive through two miles of city traffic to his apartment, park his Mercedes and make it to number 46 Lower Belgrave Street a half mile away. Moreover, he would have had to let himself into the house within that short period of time, walk into the basement and unscrew the light bulb before Sandra came down the stairs. However, if Edgson's timing had been off by just 10 minutes, it would have been possible for Lord Lucan to have made it to the basement of the house on Lower Belgrave Street at the time of the murder.

Coroner's courts exist to determine the cause of death. They are not criminal courts and do not determine the guilt or innocence of individuals. There is no mistaking that the testimony given at the inquest was slanted against Lord Lucan, but after four days of evidence the coroner decided that the hearing was complete and the jury was sent to deliberate. It took them only 31 minutes to return their verdict. The jury's verdict was that the cause of Sandra Rivett's death was murder by Lord Lucan, which is not the same as a criminal court verdict. It was the last time such a verdict would be made by a coroner's court. One month following the decision, a bill was passed as a direct result of the hearing, which stopped the coroner's courts from naming a murderer.

monkalup - April 5, 2009 02:08 AM (GMT)
By Rachael Bell

Patrick Marnham's Trail of HavocAlmost one week following the attacks at number 46 Belgrave Street, police issued a warrant for the arrest of Lord Lucan. By then it was too late. According to Patrick Marnham, "without a warrant, attempts to track Lord Lucan were severely hampered." Investigators were unable to search private property in direct relation to the case without a warrant and the time it took to obtain it allowed Lord Lucan ample time to disappear. Police mounted an extensive search for Lord Lucan, but to no avail. He was never found.

There were many theories about his whereabouts. Some believed that he committed suicide in the waters off Newhaven. Police sent 14 divers to search the water around the harbor, but no body was found. There was also a land search in which 14 sniffing dogs tracked Lord Lucan's scent. However, they were unable to find any trace of him.

It was also believed that Lord Lucan could have taken a ferry from Newhaven earlier that morning in an effort to escape the country. Two fishermen claimed to have seen a man resembling Lord Lucan walking along the pier in Newhaven the morning after the murder. Police speculated that he could have stowed away on the ferry since he had no passport or wallet in his possession to buy a ticket. Detectives traveled to France, where they interviewed immigration and security officials, but no one could recall seeing anyone who matched Lord Lucan's description.

Other information received by Interpol suggested that Lord Lucan was possibly staying in France. Roy Ranson told of the owner of a hotel in Cherbourg who in 1975 reported that a frequent guest of her hotel matched the description of Lord Lucan. When the staff members were shown photos of Lord Lucan, they confirmed that the man they had seen was the man in the pictures. They said that the man spoke fluent French. Sally Moore reported that Lord Lucan hired a French girl "for 45 minutes a day on as many weekdays as possible." The girl may have been employed to teach him French.

In the years that followed, police became inundated with thousands of Lord Lucan sightings from around the globe — Africa, Australia, the Netherlands, Ireland and Sicily.

Lord Lucan with relatives in
Zimbabwe before his
(The Countess of Lucan)Detectives became particularly interested in sightings in South Africa when they discovered that Lord Lucan's children spent considerable amounts of time vacationing there when they became adults. In September 1995, London's Observer newspaper reported that Scotland Yard detectives were "convinced" that Lord Lucan was alive and living in Johannesburg. They were so convinced that they began to monitor the children's travel in the country. However, there was nothing reported thereafter that supported this theory.

In October 1999, Britain's High Court ruled the Seventh Earl of Lucan officially dead even though his body had not been found. Lord Lucan's estate, valued at less than £15,000 was released to executors. Lady Lucan told The Times that she hoped that would, "put an end to it." Although the death was made official, the Seventh Earl of Lucan's son George Bingham was unable to become a member of the House of Lords because there was no "definitive proof" that his father was dead.

There continue to be sightings of the Seventh Earl of Lucan around the world, the most recent being in Australia in May 2000. But investigators have no new evidence of the elusive aristocrat.

monkalup - February 18, 2012 06:36 PM (GMT)
Lord Lucan 'lived a secret life in Africa after disappearance'

Shocking new claims come from a secretary working for one of the wealthy peer's friends which were unearthed in BBC documentary
Living in Africa?: Sensational new accounts claim Lord Lucan fled to Africa to live in secret Living in Africa?: Sensational new accounts claim Lord Lucan fled to Africa to live in secret Daily Record

Sensational new witness accounts have emerged claiming missing aristocrat Lord Lucan moved from the UK to Africa to start a new life following the murder of his children's nanny.

A secretary working for Lucan's friend John Aspinall has how she was involved in helping to set up his new life after Sandra Rivett was found dead at the home of his estranged wife, in Belgravia, London, in 1974.

Police said today they would consider any new evidence that emerges in the case.

The nanny's attacker turned on Lady Lucan, beating her severely before she managed to escape and raise the alarm at a nearby pub.

Lucan's car was later found abandoned and soaked in blood in Newhaven, East Sussex, and he was officially declared dead by the High Court in 1999.

The secretary, who has not been identified and uses the pseudonym Jill Findlay, said she arranged for the peer's children to fly to Africa where he could "view them from a distance".

She told the BBC South East Inside Out programme that she was invited into meetings where the earl, born Richard John Bingham, was discussed by her boss and Sir James Goldsmith, the multimillionaire businessman.

Lord Lucan Mystery: Lord Lucan disappeared after his children's nanny was found dead PA

She said: "Instructions were to make arrangements for John Bingham, also known as Lord Lucan, to see his children and to do that I had to book his two eldest children on flights to Africa.

"I don't know the exact dates, it was between 1979 and 1981 and it was on two occasions I booked the flights."

Ms Findlay told the BBC that the children would have visited Kenya and Gabon but that she had "no idea of the enormity" of the search for Lucan.

She said she believed Lucan had died in Africa when his death was announced in a statement to the press by Mr Aspinall in 2000.

Following his disappearance, there were reported sightings of Lucan in Australia, Ireland and South Africa, although in an interview in 2000, Mr Aspinall claimed his friend had probably killed himself by deliberately sinking his boat in the English Channel.

Ms Findlay told the BBC she had a clear conscience because she had not helped Lucan to escape, and that she was prepared to give Scotland Yard a statement.

Former detective inspector Bob Polkinghorne, from Kent, worked on the Lucan inquiry as a cold case in the 1980s.

He said: "Lady Lucan, I am quite convinced, didn't think he was dead. I think his gambling fraternity friends spirited him out the country."

He added that a reliable witness had confirmed Lucan was alive and in Africa in the early 1980s but that permission to pursue the lead had been refused by the Metropolitan Police.

He told the BBC: "I was then later told, a few days later, discontinue the inquiry. You haven't got approval to continue."

A Met Police spokesman said: "The inquiry into the death of Sandra Rivett is the subject of regular reviews, as is the case with all unsolved murders. It has never been closed.

"Any significant new information will always be considered. We keep an open mind in relation to this case and anyone with information should call the Met Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111."

Inside Out is on BBC One South East on Monday February 20, at 7.30pm.

monkalup - February 19, 2012 03:16 PM (GMT)
Lord Lucan 'was living in Africa after disappearance', new witnesses claim
The mysterious circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Lord Lucan have become a little clearer following the emergence of two new witnesses.

A woman who used to work for the aristocrat's friend John Aspinall and a former detective have both backed claims that he may have started a new life in Africa after going missing in 1974.
Lord Lucan Disappeared: Lord Lucan (Picture: PA)

Lord Lucan was not seen after his children's nanny Sandra Rivett was found dead at his home in Belgravia, London, although his blood-stained car was recovered in Newhaven, East Sussex.

Jill Findlay, who knew Lord Lucan through her work as Mr Aspinall's secretary, told the BBC that she had arranged for his children to travel to the continent on two occasions between 1979 and 1981.

The youngsters were flown to Kenya and Gabon, where Lord Lucan would arrange to see them from a distance.

Bob Polkinghorne, an ex-detective inspector who investigated the case in the 1980s, said there were reports he was in Africa.

A reliable witness came forward at the time with reports of a sighting of Mr Lucan and a confidante made while he holidayed.

'He was surprised to see this acquaintance standing on a bridge. After two to three minutes, he was joined by another man who he is adamant was Lord Lucan,' Mr Polkinghorne explained.

The Metropolitan Police denied permission for the lead to be followed up.

Read more:

monkalup - September 14, 2012 03:38 PM (GMT)
Lucan son speaks out on nanny death
(UKPA) – 6 days ago
Lord Lucan's son has spoken about the mysterious disappearance of his father and admitted he hoped the missing aristocrat was involved in the death of family nanny Sandra Rivett.

But in his first in-depth interview about the murder 38 years ago, George Bingham insisted he was certain his father was not the killer.

Ms Rivett, 29, was found dead at the home of the peer's estranged wife in Belgravia, London, in 1974, after being bludgeoned with a lead pipe.

The nanny's attacker turned on Lady Lucan, beating her severely before she managed to escape and raise the alarm at a nearby pub.

Lucan's car was later found abandoned and soaked in blood in Newhaven, East Sussex, and an inquest jury declared the wealthy aristocrat was the killer a year later. What happened to Lucan remains a mystery and he was officially declared dead by the High Court in 1999.

Mr Bingham, who was in the house with his siblings at the time of the attack, said it was "extraordinarily unlikely" that his father was the killer or paid somebody else to carry out the atrocity.

"People will question my judgment. Others will dispute it," he told The Daily Mirror. "But what I am certain of is dad was not the prime mover in the situation. Weirdly, however, I do hope he was partly culpable because it makes me feel better."

The former merchant banker added: "I would rather that than have my father leaving us for no apparent reason - meeting a horrible end, cold and alone, out of some misplaced sense of honour or pride that made him kill himself even if he hadn't been involved."

Mr Bingham, 45, added: "I've always thought it extraordinarily unlikely my father went into our family home, wandered down and killed anybody with a piece of lead piping for the love of his children, while those very children might well have come downstairs and witnessed this appalling carnage."

Speaking about the possibility of a contract killer being involved, he said: "Hiring a stranger, a killer no less, has to be even less likely. I've no idea of the extent of my father's involvement, guilt or otherwise, but I'm quite certain of that. Whether there was something else going on and he was involved in that, I don't know."

Hosted for free by zIFBoards