Best Known For
Lord Lucan is best known for being in the suspect in the murder of his children's nanny, Sandra Rivett, and then disappearing.
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Lord Lucan, born Richard Bingham on December 18, 1934 in England. He assumed his father's earldom upon his death in 1964. Lucan split with his wife in 1973 and approximately a year later would become the suspect in the murder of his children's nanny and the assault on his wife. Since the investigation, Lucan has never been seen again.
The aristocratic Lucan family were accustomed to a certain amount of ignominy on account of the actions of their ancestors. The Third Earl had been responsible for the massacre of 600 men. But when Richard John Bingham was born on December 18, 1934, to the Sixth Earl of Lucan, and his wife Kait, they had no idea that the actions of their son, known as John, would make previous misdeeds pale into insignificance.
Early life for John was nomadic, as a result of World War II, and the Lucan children spent time in the United States attended by servants and nannies. After the war they returned home, where John attended Eton and, a strapping 6 feet 4, excelled at speedboat racing, and also developed an interest in gambling that would prove his undoing.
A spell in the army was followed by a short-lived career in merchant banking and, in 1960, following a massive win of 26,000 pounds in 48 hours, after which he was known as "Lucky Lucan", he took up gambling as a career, usually at the Clermont Club in Berkeley Square, his favorite haunt.
He married Veronica Duncan in March 1963, and they moved to Lower Belgrave Street, in wealthy Mayfair, a short distance from the Clermont Club. John inherited the Lucan title, becoming the seventh Earl, when his father died two months later. Veronica, Countess of Lucan as she was then known, gave birth to three children between 1964 and 1970, but suffered severe postnatal depression after each delivery, which was treated with a variety of anti-depressants that compromised her mental well-being over subsequent years (although she continued to care for her children.)
Although initially sympathetic to his wife's condition, Lucan became increasingly dissatisfied with his wife's behavior and the marriage deteriorated. Mounting gambling debts also added pressure, and there were reports that he became violent towards his wife. The marriage disintegrated in 1973, and Lucan moved out of the family home in Lower Belgrave Street and into a garden flat, in Elizabeth Street, nearby.
He tried unsuccessfully to get custody of the children, by hiring private investigators to spy on his wife and goad her into violent exchanges on the telephone but, despite his best efforts, she was granted full custody in June 1973. By this stage his debts had mounted considerably, and his acrimony towards his wife was increased further by the fact that she resided in the family home that, if sold, would solve his financial problems immediately. He is reported to have told more than one person that he wanted to kill his wife, to get back his home and his children.
Lady Lucan had a live-in nanny, Sandra Rivett, to assist with the children, who was approximately the same height and build as Lady Lucan.
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