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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When he tried to help her, she ran off, and he realized that it would be best if he left the house.
He reinforced this version with a letter to his brother-in-law, Bill Shand-Kydd, whom he had been unable to reach on the phone, in which he emphasized his wife's mental condition, suggesting that she was suffering from paranoid delusions. He called his mother again, and she advised that the police were at her home,
asking to speak to him. He promised to be in touch the next day.
Recognizing the gravity of his position, Lucan left Maxwell-Scott's home at 1:15 a.m. in the borrowed car, and was never seen again. The car was recovered in Newhaven some days later, in which the police found a lead pipe similar to the murder weapon. The owner of the vehicle received a note from Lucan in the mail, protesting his innocence and putting events down to unfortunate coincidences, stating that his main concern was now to protect the welfare of his children.
An inquest into the death of Sandra Rivett began on June 5, 1975, and included evidence from all those who had witnessed that evening's events, including Lady Lucan, despite the fact that, at that time, a wife was not required to testify against her husband. Blood samples and fiber evidence were also introduced, despite forensic evidence having been in its infancy at that time.
Persuaded by the evidence presented, the jury returned after only a half hour's deliberation, to offer the verdict that Rivett's death was a result of murder by Lord Lucan. As a direct result of the outcry that followed, a parliamentary bill was passed later, restricting any coroner's court from naming a murderer in the future.
Although it is most likely that Lucan killed himself within a short time of the events that unfolded on November 7, 1974, it was widely rumored that he had managed to escape with the assistance of his wealthy friends, and there have been numerous sightings over the years in places as far apart as Australia and South Africa. More recently, there have been claims that his body is on the estate of the Maxwell-Scott's, and that his car was driven to Newhaven to mislead the police, but no proof of this allegation has ever been found.
Despite Lucan's claims to have the welfare of his children at heart, his attempts to save his name have only served to cause them grief in subsequent years. The absence of a body, and lack of a death certificate, is especially complicated for the aristocracy. The financial crisis, brought on by gambling debts, was made worse by huge legal fees resulting from attempts to wind up his estate. Although he was declared officially dead in 1999, an attempt by his son to claim his father's seat in the House of Lords was refused. He is forced to use the courtesy title, Lord Bingham.
Many of Lucan's aristocratic set maintain that his wife was responsible for his predicament, and her continuing mental health problems have also caused estrangement between Lady Lucan and her children. Their son, George, chose to be adopted by his aunt and uncle at the age of 15, when Lady Lucan was admitted to a psychiatric facility.
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