LUCAN MURDER MYSTERY
|Dead or alive? The mystery of Lord Lucan rages on.|
It was the mystery that gripped a nation. In November 1974 Lord
Lucan disappeared from his home in London under suspicious circumstances. Lucan
was never to be seen again.
Inside Out sheds new light on one of
Britain's greatest unsolved mysteries in an exclusive investigation of the case.
"I'd like him to be found as time's rolling on now - we've come to that
point of no return."
Derek Wilkinson, former Sussex Police detective.
Lucan is a name that still generates fascination and speculation, even though
it's over 30 years since the Earl's mysterious disappearance.
investigations and alleged sightings, the trail on Lord Lucan's whereabouts has
gone cold - until now.
Inside Out has exclusive evidence of mystery phone
calls to the Police that could provide new clues to the Lucan case.
retrace the story of Lord Lucan's last hours with the help of eye witnesses and
Our mystery starts in a mews house
in Belgravia, London at 9.45pm on Thursday November 7, 1974.
|"Murder, murder, I think my neck has been broken - he
|Lady Lucan, 1974|
The Lucan's nanny, 29-year-old Sandra Rivett, lay dead in the basement
of the family house, having been battered to death with a blunt instrument.
a bloodstained Lady Lucan burst into the Plumber's Arms pub crying out for help.
claimed that her estranged husband had murdered the nanny and had tried to kill
Lord Lucan was suspected of murder and attempting to bludgeon his own
wife to death. He fled Belgravia a wanted man.
Behind him, Lucan left a
scene of blood and mayhem. He then disappeared with barely a trace.
the trail of Lucan
What we do know is before vanishing off the face of
the earth, Lord Lucan drove 45 miles south to seek refuge with friends in Uckfield,
|Grants Hill House - last sighting of Lucan. Is his body here?|
Peter and Susan Maxwell-Scott were loyal members of Lord Lucan's inner
circle, people he could trust with his life.
They lived in Grants Hill House,
a large manor house set in acres of gardens, with a swimming pool and several
After being let into the house, Lucan was never seen again
- he simply vanished into thin air.
But Inside Out has discovered a fresh
angle on the story and what might have happened in the grounds of Grants Hill
House on that fateful night on November 7, 1974.
|Lucan's last days?|
6.30pm - Lucan at his flat in Elizabeth Street.
- Sandra Rivett puts children to bed at 46, Lower Belgrade Street.
and 9pm - two reported sightings of Lucan at his club.
9.15pm - Lady Lucan
claims she was attacked at this time.
9.45pm - Lady Lucan bursts into the
Plumber's Arms crying out that her husband has murdered the family nanny.
- Madeleine Floorman, a friend of the Lucans, is waken by her doorbell ringing,
but she does not answer it. She was later disturbed by a phone call from a man
sounding like Lucan. He sounded distressed. Later spots of blood were found at
Approx 10.30pm - Lucan calls his mother telling her that there
had been a catastrophe at the family house.
Approx 11.30pm - Lucan arrives
at the Maxwell-Scott's house in Uckfield. He looks dischevelled and his flannels
look as if they had been sponged down.
12.15 - Lucan rings his mother from
1am - Susan Maxwell-Scott claims Lucan left her house.
Next day - two letters written by Lucan posted to close friends.
Three days later - Lucan's Ford Corsair found abandoned in Newhaven.
Sources: BBC News and Lord Lucan.com
years ago in May 1998 Sussex police received several anonymous phone calls - all
were from the same man who repeated the same story.
The mystery caller
claims that he was in the grounds of Grants Hill House on the night of the murder.
He claims that he witnessed three men walking from the house to the bottom
of the grounds.
Taken by surprise the caller says he retreated into the
undergrowth from where he witnessed two gun shots.
Moments later he heard
the sound of a splash.
Two men, not three, returned to the house. That
was his story.
Inside Out spoke with two police sources who have confirmed
the mystery caller existed, although they refused to appear on camera.
January 2005, Inside Out applied, under the Freedom of Information Act, to see
Sussex Police's files on the case.
Their response was that all the information
relating to the calls in 1998 had either been destroyed or passed on up to the
So we called Scotland Yard and this is what they had
"The Metropolitan Police are aware of this allegation but do
not consider it to be a strong line of inquiry.
The Lucan case is currently
under review and will be for some months to come".
Both Sussex and
the Metropolitan Police refused to talk any further, so we decided to do some
detective work of our own.
Dead and buried?
The witness who claims
to have seen Lucan being murdered claimed that the body was pushed into a cess
pit in the grounds of Grants Hill House.
Inside Out decided to check if
there was indeed a cess pit on the site of the now-demolished house, using old
A cess pit did exist although it's very hard to know if
Lucan's body lies at the bottom of it.
Lucy Sideburn is a forensic archaeologist
and a specialist in the recovery of human remains.
Technology has leapt
forward in the last 10 years with advances in underground x-rays and sounding
Lucy finds some evidence of ground disturbance, but it's quite
But to be sure of any body, she'd have to come back and do a much
more detailed analysis.
|Lucy Sideburn found evidence of some ground disturbance|
"We'd need to do it accurately with grids and take regular, spaced
out readings to get the full picture, but there does seem to be something there."
do it properly, it would probably take two or three days," says Lucy.
need to pinpoint the location and, then, if it wasn't too large, we could start
"We'd need to find the outskirts of it and start taking
it down systematically to see if there's anything inside."
the Police are in a difficult position, because the mystery caller and eyewitness
refused to meet with them at the time of the calls.
Unless fresh information
comes in, then the only digging round here will be the gardener.
it is suspected that there's something there, chances are that we'd be called
in to help the police in a search.
"Without any definite evidence,
it probably wouldn't get that far," says Lucy.
But she believes that
it is possible that Lucan could be under the ground at Uckfield, "I would
say bodies generally turn up close to where they were last seen".
On the night Lucan vanished, Derek Wilkinson was a Sussex police
detective on duty at the Port of Newhaven. He has never spoken before.
Sussex police found Lucan's Ford Corsair abandoned in Newhaven, dozens of officers
scoured surrounding countryside and checked ferry passenger lists for any trace
"I remember there were only three passengers in the foot
hall. There was a man and a woman who appeared to be husband and wife.
there was a man with a long coat and a trilby hat. This man produced a French
|Lucan's car was mysteriously dumped in Newhaven|
"I'm quite aware from the photos that Lord Lucan wasn't the man
that passed me on the foot hall," recalls Wilkinson.
has his own theory about Lucan's car being dumped at Newhaven.
that someone else brought the car down and left it here.
"I think it
was a red herring."
Dave is not the only detective who thought the
car was a decoy. Detective Inspector Roy Ransom, who was in charge of the hunt
for Lucan, had this to say to the BBC in 1993:
know who put the car at Newhaven. I don't think it was Lucan, no I don't."
Blackmore was one of the two Sussex police officers who visited Grants Hill House
on the night Lucan vanished.
This is the first time he has ever spoken about
the murder publicly.
|'Anything's possible' says former Police officer Roy Blackmore|
Six hours after the Maxwell-Scotts claimed that Lucan left Grants Hill,
Roy saw something very puzzling.
It was a car bearing a striking resemblance
to Lucan's Corsair.
"We saw that vehicle go through at Uckfield, because
there was no by-pass at the time.
"We saw that car go through - I think
it was a Corsair going towards Newhaven."
But was Lord Lucan the man
in the car?
Roy and his Police colleague later returned to Grants Hill
House to interview the Maxwell-Scotts, but they stuck by their story.
police officers did not search the grounds of the house, meaning that any fresh
clues to Lucan's disappearance were not uncovered.
So did Lucan escape or is his body at the bottom of the garden in
The 39-year-old Lucan was a professional gambler and member of
He mixed in rich and powerful circles. His favourite
casino was the Clermont Club in Mayfair which was owned by the millionaire John
Aspinall was close to Lucan, although Countess Lucan counters
this view on her website, saying that "John Aspinall was not one of the late
Lord Lucan's best friends".
|Aspinall - did he help Lucan to escape?|
speaking in 1994, John Aspinall said, "I would have done for him what he
Aspinall also said that if Lucan had requested asylum,
"he would had got it".
It was rumoured that Lucan told
Aspinall earlier in 1974 that he wanted to get rid of Lady Lucan to get custody
of his children.
In another bizarre twist, it turns out that John Aspinall
had connections with Uckfield - he grew up only 200 metres from Grants Hill House.
So could he have been there on the night of November 7, 1974?
Whether he was or not, Aspinall may have taken the secret to his grave. He died
of cancer in 2000.
- Final chapter?
So what did happen
to Lucan after he vanished into thin air and was the mystery caller a hoaxer?
- And what happened to the mystery caller? It is now seven years
since his last phone call.
Just in case the mystery caller is reading
this, we have left out one vital piece of information.
|Red herring or escape route? Did Lucan escape from Newhaven?|
- That way, we'll know if we are talking to the man who
witnessed the death of Lord Lucan or if we're being wound up.
thing only is certain - the mystery of Lord Lucan will continue to rage until
new evidence or the mystery caller comes forward.
The final chapter has
not yet closed on a remarkable story.
Contact us with more information about
the Lord Lucan case by email at email@example.com.
more background to the Lucan murder mystery.