Some claim it to be one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th Century and when you dive into the story it really just begs the question – what in the world happened to Lucky Lord Lucan?
On November 7, 1974, Lord Richard John Bingham the Seventh Earl of Lucan murdered his wife’s nanny by mistake. From that day he has never been seen or heard of since. It is a fascinating story that once you hear it, makes it hard not to get caught up in the drama of the scandal. In fact over the past four decades, theories about Lord Lucan and whatever could have happened to the renowned gambler have popped up all over the internet. Some claim he successfully escaped and lives in South Africa – yet another swears he committed suicide and was fed to a tiger!
Are you swept up in the mad tale yet? Well of course like many mysteries this one starts by a terrible tragedy. Sandra Rivett, Lord Lucan’s nanny, was brutally bludgeoned to death by a lead pipe. At the time Lord Lucan’s wife had just won a court battle that gave her full custody of their three children – it is largely believed that he mistook the nanny for his wife. In fact after murdering Sandra, he did find Veronica and savagely beat her. Yet Veronica survived and was able to make it to a closeby pub where she was able to raise the alarm.
The next morning, Lord Lucan’s borrowed car was found abandoned covered in traces of Sandra’s blood at the quiet coastal town of Newhaven. Yet he was never officially sighted again, and this is what seems to mesmerise us more than the murder. How could such a well known aristocrat gambler seemingly disappear?
One theory is he simply drowned himself once realizing the consequences of his mistake. Lord Lucan was a gambler, and he had gambled to murder his wife but not the nanny. James Wilson a close friend is adamant that he was not cut out for life on the run or living outside of Britain. According to him Lord Lucan struggling with the guilt and panic decided to commit suicide by jumping off his boat in Newhaven Harbour. Perhaps a more outlandish theory is that Lucan drove to a zoo in Kent that was owned by one of his friends Aspinall. Here his group of friends convinced him that probate of his estate would not be granted to his wife if the proof of his death could not be confirmed. The probate would take years and by that time his children would be older and able to look after their own affairs. His friend Marcq, swears that a pistol was given to Lucan and he then shot himself. The body? Allegedly was fed to a tiger named Zorra!
Or was he able to escape capture? Another claim states that Lucan was able to flee Britain and lived out a secret life in South Africa. An assistant who worked for Aspinall has gone on record to state she regularly overheard him mentioning Lucan on the telephone and overheard him mention that he was in fact in South Africa!
As mysteries go this is one that we may never have an answer to, which for the family of Sandra Rivett is far from ideal, but it definitely is fascinating hearing the theories of what happened to Lucky Lord Lucan.