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, 46 Lower Belgrave Street, London. Lady Lucan was also attacked; she later identified Lucan as her assailant. As the police began their murder investigation, Lucan telephoned his mother, asking her to collect the children, and then drove a borrowed Ford Corsair to a friend’s house in Uckfield, East Sussex.
Hours later, he left the property and vanished without trace. The car was 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 Lucan’s 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 did so.
Within Britain, there has been continuing interest in Lucan’s fate. Since Rivett’s murder, hundreds of reported sightings have been made in various countries around the world; none have been substantiated. Despite a police investigation and huge press interest, Lucan has not been found and is presumed dead; a death certificate was issued in 2016.