Lord at Heart of 1974 Murder Mystery Is Officially Dead

Lord Lucan allegedly killed his children's nanny
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2016 9:09 AM CST
Lord at Heart of 1974 Murder Mystery Is Officially Dead
George Bingham, the only son of missing peer Lord Lucan, speaks to the media outside the High Court in London, where he was granted a death certificate by a High Court judge on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016.   (Nick Ansell/PA via AP)

A decades-old murder mystery has finally come to some sort of an end. Following a judge's Wednesday ruling, a death certificate has been issued for Lord Lucan, who the New York Times recounts as "a dashing British aristocrat" last seen on Nov. 7, 1974—the day that his children's nanny was found dead, allegedly by his hand. The BBC recalls the crime: Sandra Rivett was beaten to death in the family's London home and her body left in the basement; Lord Lucan's estranged wife was also attacked but got away, fleeing to a neighboring pub and yelling "He’s in the house! He’s murdered the nanny!" per the Times. Lady Lucan named her then 39-year-old husband as the attacker, saying he had thought she was Rivett, reports USA Today.

A June 1975 inquest named him as Rivett's murderer, except the man born Richard John Bingham was never officially seen again after that night; a car he had borrowed from a friend was later found, blood-stained and abandoned. The sightings and theories kept flowing, though: in Melbourne, Australia, and France within the first year; employed as a waiter in San Francisco; backpacking on Mount Etna; dying in Goa in 1996. Just last Saturday came a story from an old gambling friend, who says he was told that the lord shot himself and had his body fed to a tiger. Lucan was declared dead in 1996, but the rub was that son George Bingham was unable to take on his title, preventing him from assuming his father's seat in the House of Lords. The death certificate now allows for that. (More unsolved mystery stories.)

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