Two-part drama recounting the events of a crime that shocked the nation and led to a fascinating mystery that has never been solved. In 1974, with escalating gambling debts and his marriage collapsing, Lord Lucan resorts to desperate measures to win custody of his children, with deadly consequences.
Runtime: 90 minutes
Lucan - John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan - Netflix
Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan (18 December 1934 – disappeared 7 November 1974), commonly known as Lord Lucan, was a British peer suspected of murder who disappeared in 1974. He was an Anglo-Irish aristocrat, the eldest son of George Bingham, 6th Earl of Lucan, by his wife, Kaitlin Dawson. An evacuee during the Second World War, Lucan returned to attend Eton College, and then from 1953 to 1955 served with the Coldstream Guards in West Germany. He developed a taste for gambling and, skilled at backgammon and bridge, became an early member of the Clermont Club. Although his losses often exceeded his winnings, he left his job at a London-based merchant bank and became a professional gambler. He was known as Lord Bingham from April 1949 until January 1964, during his father's lifetime. Once considered for the role of James Bond in the cinematic adaptations of Ian Fleming's novels, Lucan was known for his expensive tastes; he raced power boats and drove an Aston Martin. In 1963 he married Veronica Duncan, by whom he had three children. When the marriage collapsed late in 1972, he moved out of the family home at 46 Lower Belgrave Street, in London's Belgravia, 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 life 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, 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.
Lucan - Sandra Rivett - Netflix
Sandra Eleanor Rivett was born on 16 September 1945, the third child of Albert and Eunice Hensby. The family moved to Australia when she was two years old, but returned in 1955. Sandra was a popular child, described at school as “intelligent, although she does not excel academically”. She worked for six months as an apprentice hairdresser before taking a job as a secretary in Croydon. Following a failed romance she became a voluntary patient at a mental hospital near Redhill, Surrey, where she was treated for depression. She became engaged to a builder named John and took a job as a children's nanny for a doctor in Croydon. On 13 March 1964, she gave birth to a boy named Stephen, but, as her relationship with John was failing, she returned home to live with her parents and considered giving the baby up for adoption. Her parents took on the responsibility and adopted him in May 1965. Sandra later worked at an old people's home, before moving to Portsmouth to stay with her elder sister. While there she met Roger Rivett; the two married on 10 June 1967 in Croydon. Roger was serving as a Royal Navy able seaman and later worked as a loader for British Road Services, while Sandra worked part-time at Reedham Orphanage in Purley. In summer 1973 he took a job on an Esso tanker, returning to their flat in Kenley a few months later by which time Sandra was employed by a cigarette company in Croydon. Their marriage collapsed in May 1974 when, suspicious of Sandra's movements while he was away, Roger went to live with his parents. She was by then listed on the books of a Belgravia domestic agency and had been caring for an elderly couple in that district. A few weeks later she began to work for the Lucans. Sandra normally went out with her boyfriend, John Hankins, on Thursday nights, but had decided to change her night off and thus, had seen him the previous day. The two last spoke on the telephone at about 8:00 pm on 7 November. After putting the younger children to bed, at about 8:55 pm she asked Veronica if she would like a cup of tea, before heading downstairs to the basement kitchen to make one. As she entered the room, she was bludgeoned to death with a piece of bandaged lead pipe. Her killer then placed her body into a canvas mailsack. Meanwhile, wondering what had delayed her nanny, Lady Lucan descended from the first floor to see what had happened. She called to Rivett from the top of the basement stairs and was herself attacked. As she screamed for her life, her attacker told her to “shut up.” Lady Lucan later claimed at that moment to have recognised her husband's voice. The two apparently continued to fight; she bit his fingers, and when he threw her face down to the carpet, managed to turn around and squeeze his testicles, causing him to release his grip on her throat and give up the fight. When she asked where Rivett was, Lucan was at first evasive, but eventually admitted to having killed her. Terrified, Lady Lucan told him she could help him escape if only he would remain at the house for a few days, to allow her injuries to heal. Lucan walked upstairs and sent his daughter to bed, then went into one of the bedrooms. When Veronica entered, to lie on the bed, he told her to put towels down first to avoid staining the bedding. Lucan asked her if she had any barbiturates and went to the bathroom to get a wet towel, supposedly to clean Veronica's face. Lady Lucan realised her husband would be unable to hear her from the bathroom, and made her escape, running outside to a nearby public house, the Plumbers Arms. Lucan may have arrived at the Chester Square home of Madelaine Florman (mother of one of Frances's school friends) sometime between 10:00 pm and 10:30 pm. Alone in the house, Florman ignored the door, but shortly afterwards she received an incoherent telephone call and put the receiver down. Blood stains, which after forensic examination were found to be a mixture of blood groups A and B, were later discovered on her doorstep. Lucan certainly called his mother between 10:30 pm and 11:00 pm and asked her to collect the children from Lower Belgrave Street. According to the Dowager Countess, he spoke of a “terrible catastrophe” at his wife's home. He told her that he had been driving past the house when he saw Veronica fighting with a man, in the basement. He had entered the property and found his wife screaming. The location from which he made this, and possibly the call to Florman, remains unknown. The police forced their way into Lady Lucan's home and discovered Sandra Rivett's body before his wife was taken by ambulance to St George's Hospital. Lucan drove the Ford Corsair 42 miles (68 km) to Uckfield, in East Sussex, to visit his friends, the Maxwell-Scotts. Susan Maxwell-Scott's meeting with Lucan was his last confirmed sighting.
Lucan - References - Netflix