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article image40 years after disappearance Lucan death certificate granted

By Robert Myles     Feb 3, 2016 in World
London - Lord Lucan, a member of the British aristocracy is officially dead, a London court has pronounced, four decades after the peer vanished from the face of the Earth in mysterious circumstances.
A judge, sitting at the High Court in London, today granted a death certificate in response to an application for Lord Lucan’s presumed death brought be his only son, George Bingham.
Lord Lucan was born Richard John Bingham on Dec. 18, 1934. He was the 7th Earl of Lucan and of Anglo-Irish aristocratic stock. 'Lucky' Lucan disappeared without trace on Nov. 8, 1974 which marked the starting gun for an international hunt by law enforcers that has stretched back over 40 years.
The granting of a death certificate today clears the way for his heir, George Bingham, to succeed to the Lucan title becoming the 8th Earl of Lucan.
When his father vanished all these years ago, George Bingham was just seven years old.
Lucan, a charismatic man with expensive tastes, dropped below the radar in early November 1974 after the Lucan family nanny, Sandra Rivett was found bludgeoned to death in the basement of the Lucan family home.
Lucan had divorced from his wife, Veronica Duncan (Lady Lucan) with whom he had three children, earlier in the 1970s, a separation marked by an acrimonious child custody battle.
In the course of the incident culminating in the nanny’s death, Lady Lucan was also attacked. She later identified Lord Lucan as her assailant.
The death sparked a murder investigation and was the precursor of the greatest real-life murder mystery of modern times.
Police officers investigating Rivett’s death revealed that Lucan had telephoned his mother to collect the children. The aristocrat then drove a borrowed Ford Corsair car to a friend’s house in East Sussex near the English Channel coast.
The Ford Corsair was later found abandoned in the Channel port of Newhaven, its interior stained with blood. The trunk of the vehicle contained a piece of bandaged lead pipe similar to one found at the crime scene.
A few days later, a warrant for Lucan's arrest was issued. At the Coroner’s Court inquest into Rivett’s death, the court made a determination that Lucan was the murderer.
Lucan’s fate still remains a mystery despite the passage of years, during which time there have been hundreds of reported sightings of the fugitive Lord and huge worldwide media interest.
Despite all that publicity, the last confirmed sighting of Lord Lucan was around 1:15 am on Nov. 8, 1974 as he exited the driveway of the property in East Sussex in his friend's Ford Corsair, a sighting that predates the aristocrat’s apparent arrival in Newhaven.
Ever since, Lord Lucan’s whereabouts and his ultimate fate remained a mystery.
Detective Chief Superintendent Roy Ranson, who was attached to the initial criminal investigation, speculated that Lucan had "done the honourable thing" and "fallen on his own sword." That view was shared by a number of the aristocrat’s friends, one of whom, John Aspinall suggested in 2000 that the earl was guilty of Rivett's murder, and that Lucan’s body lay "250 feet under the Channel." Lucan believes her husband killed himself "like the nobleman he was."
Eton and Cambridge educated 48-year-old George Charles Bingham, who doesn't believe his father was responsible for Sandra Rivett's death, now succeeds to the Lucan title. In the process, as well as becoming the Earl of Lucan, George Bingham will also acquire the subsidiary titles associated with the Earldom, namely, Baron Lucan of Castlebar in the County of Mayo, Irish Republic and Baron Bingham, of Melcombe Bingham in the County of Dorset, UK.
After the conclusion of court hearing today George Bingham made only the briefest of statements to waiting press stating, "I am very happy with the judgment of the court in this matter. It has been a very long time coming."
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