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1974: Police hunt Lord Lucan after murder

Detectives are searching for British aristocrat Lord Lucan, following the murder last night of his children's nanny and an attack on his estranged wife.

The Seventh Earl of Lucan, aged 39, has not been seen since yesterday.

Late last night police were called to the family home in Lower Belgrave Street in London.

They found the body of 29-year-old Sandra Rivett, nurse to the couple's three children, tied up in a sack.

She had been beaten to death with what is believed to have been a piece of lead pipe.

Her killer is thought to have been dragging her out of the house when he was disturbed by Lord Lucan's estranged wife, 35-year-old Lady Veronica Lucan.


"Murder, murder, I think my neck has been broken - he tried to kill me."

Lady Veronica Lucan

The attacker then beat Lady Lucan about the head but she managed to escape and make her way to the nearest pub, the Plumbers' Arms.

She had blood pouring from several wounds on her head and was pleading for help.

She is reported to have said: "Murder, murder, I think my neck has been broken - he tried to kill me.

"I think I am dying. Please look after my children, my children."

She is now being treated in St George's Hospital and has given police a description of her attacker.

Her children - Lord George Bingham, aged seven, Lady Frances Bingham, aged 10 and Lady Camilla Bingham, aged four - are being looked after.

Police said the children, who were made wards of court earlier this year, were unaware of the attack on their mother last night.

After the body was found, police went to an address in Eaton Rd, where Lord Lucan has been living.

Neighbours saw them break down the door and burst in and one officer smashed a downstairs window.

Lord Lucan's car, a Datsun, was later found abandoned in Whitehall and taken away for examination.

Lord and Lady Lucan married in 1963. Lord Lucan succeeded to the earldom the following year.

Divorce proceedings began earlier this year and the couple had been living apart for some time.

In Context
A car believed to have been used by Lord Lucan, formerly Richard John Bingham, was found abandoned at the port of Newhaven three days later.

This prompted a fruitless search by police and speculation that he had drowned himself in the English Channel.

Seven months later an inquest jury declared Lord Lucan guilty of murder.

The earl's version of events - as told to friend Susan Maxwell-Davis before he disappeared - was that he intervened in a struggle between an unknown assailant and his wife.

Others contend he or a hired hitman intended to kill Lady Lucan but murdered Mrs Rivett by mistake.

In July 1999 the Lord Chancellor turned down the application from Lord Lucan's son, George Bingham, to take up his father's seat in the House of Lords because he couldn't provide proof that his father had died.

He was officially declared dead in October 1999 and his family was finally granted probate.

In October 2004, Scotland Yard re-opened the investigation into the murder, examining existing police evidence and using DNA profiling to try to solve the case.


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