The Lord Lucan Case.
It was the mystery that gripped the UK. In November 1974, Lord Lucan disappeared from his London home after his nanny, Sandra Rivett was murdered and his wife was attacked. There are many theories about Lord Lucan’s disappearance. Some think that he escaped abroad with help from his friends. Others believe that he committed suicide or persuaded his friends to kill him before he was found by police. Over the last 39 years many people have claimed to have seen Lucky Lucan, whose body is yet to be found. Although there have been sightings all over the world, nine have been proven. A high-profile sighting in 2003 involved a bearded man bearing a striking resemblance to Lucan. However, the look-a-like turned out to be Barry Halpin, a well-known figure on the 1960’s folk circuit in the UK, who had been living in Goa and also like Lucan, was a keen gambler. In October 2004, Scotland Yard reopened the Lucan case so they could examine existing police evidence, using DNA profiling. Police prepared a computer-generated image of how Lord Lucan would look aged 71 years old, if he were still alive. However, the DNA testing failed to provide any evidence to solve the Lucan mystery. One theory is that Lucan committed suicide as the gentleman’s way out and to protect his family honour. As well as the murder charges, Lucan was also heavily in debt due to his gambling addiction - he was facing financial ruin. This is a theory supported by the late casino owner John Aspinall, on of the last people to see Lucan before he disappeared. His theory was that Lucan was guilty of the murder of his nanny, and that he killed himself out of shame. In his absence Lord Lucan was found guilty of the murder of Mrs Sandra Rivett by a coroners Jury in June 1975. A warrant committing Lord Lucan for trial at the Central Criminal Court was issued immediately after the decision. However, due to Lucan’s disappearance, the case has never been examined in a criminal trail. The law relating to murder cases changed shortly after the Coroner’s Jury’s decision. Lucan is still wanted for the murder of his nanny and the attempted murder of his wife. There are many theories about the night Sandra Rivett was murdered. Lord Lucan wrote three letters to close acquaintances before his disappearance, hinting of his innocence. Supporters of Lucan claim the coincidence was that Lucan had passed the house at the very same moment that Lady Lucan had been attacked. There are three possible scenarios to what could have happened on the night of November 7th 1974;
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1: Lord Lucan was guilty of the murder and the attack on his wife, and no one else was involved.
2: The murderer was unknown assailant and the attack was a bungled burglary. Lucan was passing by, saw a commotion and saved his wife from the attacker, but fled because he felt that he would not be believed. “My dear Michael, I have had a traumatic night of unbelievable consequences….yours ever, John” letter from Lucan 1974 3: Lucan hired a hit man to murder his wife but the murderer failed the job - it was mistaken identity. The hit man murdered the nanny by mistake - she would have looked similar to Lady Lucan in the dark and she was not supposed to be working in the house that night. Lucan arrived to discover the mistake and then attacked his wife, trying to kill her. Supporters of this theory claim that there is some evidence to suggest that Lord Lucan borrowed money a few weeks before the murder, perhaps to hire a hit man. However, this money borrowing might have been to pay off his mounting gambling debts.
There are also numerous theories about what happened to Lord Lucan after the murder of Sandra Rivett. The main possibilities are:
1: Lord Lucan committed suicide to save his honour and escape prosecution
2: Lucan fled abroad with the help of his well-connected friends and created a smokescreen to cover his tracks. He created a new identity and lived under a new name
3: Lord Lucan persuaded his friends to kill him and hide his body
Countess Lucan does not believe the conspiracy theories, and this is what she said “the killer of Mrs Sandra Rivett does not remain unknown. The inquest jury of the Coroner’s Court in June 1975, named the 7th Earl as the murderer of Mrs Sandra Rivett. They were the last inquest jury to name anyone as a murderer…their unanimous verdict was murder by Lord Lucan.” The countess of Lucan has also publicly stated since 1987 that her husband is not alive, and she sometimes uses the prefix “dowager” to make her position as a widow clear. Speculation continues as to what happened to Lord Lucan after that night. What really happened between 9pm and 9.45pm on that night? Why did Lady Lucan delay running out of the house to the pub to raise the alarm for 35 minutes? What happened to Lucan after he visited the Maxwell-Scotts in Uckfield? How did Lucan’s car appear in Newhaven three days later? This and answers to more questions are still unclear. Until further evidence is produced, the mystery of Lord Lucan’s disappearance and the murder of his nanny Sandra Rivett will continue to baffle police and the public.