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5220

Lord Lucan

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(1934 – ?) Midland Bank Limited Bank Cheque, written and signed, dated 20th February 1974 ( just 9 months before his disappearance ). Famously went missing in November 1974. Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, popularly known as Lord Lucan, a British peer and suspected murderer, disappeared without trace early on 8 November 1974. He was born in Marylebone, the elder son of George Bingham, 6th Earl of Lucan and Kaitlin Elizabeth Anne Dawson. Evacuated during the Second World War, he returned to study at Eton and from 1953 to 1955 served with the Coldstream Guards in West Germany. Lucan developed a taste for gambling and, skilled at backgammon and bridge, became an early member of the Clermont gaming club. Although his losses often outweighed his winnings, he left his job at a London-based merchant bank and became a professional gambler. Once considered for the role of James Bond, Lucan was a charismatic man with expensive tastes; he raced power boats and drove an Aston Martin. In 1963 he married Veronica Duncan, who bore him three children. When the marriage collapsed late in 1972, he moved out of the family home at 46 Lower Belgrave Street in London, to a property nearby. A bitter custody battle ensued, which Lucan lost. He began to spy on his wife and record their telephone conversations, apparently obsessed with regaining custody of the children. This fixation, combined with his gambling losses, had a dramatic effect on his general demeanour and personal finances. On the evening of 7 November 1974, the children’s nanny, Sandra Rivett, was bludgeoned to death in the basement of the Lucan family home. Lady Lucan was also attacked; she later identified Lucan as her assailant. As the police began their murder investigation he telephoned his mother, asking her to collect the children, and then drove a borrowed Ford Corsair to a friend’s house in Uckfield, Sussex. Hours later, he left the property and was never seen again. The Corsair was later found abandoned in Newhaven, its interior stained with blood and its boot containing a piece of bandaged lead pipe similar to one found at the crime scene. A warrant for his arrest was issued a few days later and in his absence, the inquest into Rivett’s death named him as her murderer, the last occasion in Britain a coroner’s court was allowed to do so. Lucan’s fate remains a fascinating mystery for the British public. Hundreds of reports of his presence in various countries around the world have been made since Rivett’s murder, although none have been substantiated. Despite a police investigation and huge press interest, Lucan has not been found and is presumed dead.

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