Lord Lucan Is Missing

Album: Punk, Vol. 10: Punk Pay Tribute (1980)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Lord Lucan Is Missing" is a modern murder ballad. Richard John Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan was born into wealth and privilege on December 18, 1934. After serving with the Coldstream Guards he moved effortlessly into a job as a merchant banker, but after winning £26,000 in two nights playing chemin de fer, he made the fatal decision to become a professional gambler, and soon "Lucky" Lucan was living up to his name. Not.

    In November 1963, he married Veronica Duncan, but the marriage did not last, and heavily in debt from his obsessive gambling, he hatched a plot to murder her. On the evening of November 7, 1974, after breaking into or entering by stealth the Belgravia home where Countess Lucan was living with their three children, he battered her over the head with a lead pipe, or thought he had, but in the dark he had murdered the children's nanny, 29 year old Sandra Rivett, by mistake.

    Surprised by his estranged wife, he attacked her too but she managed to fight him off to a degree. Probably realizing the enormity of what he had just done, he went upstairs with her to help her clean up her bloody face, but while he was in the bathroom, she made her escape and raised the alarm.

    The last known siting of him was at the home of Ian and Susan Maxwell-Scott, where Mrs. Maxwell-Scott was alone with him and apparently unperturbed as he fed her a story about surprising a mysterious intruder, and his wife pointing the finger of blame at him instead. Although he may have committed suicide shortly after the murder, by throwing himself in the sea, it is most likely that his wealthy gambling chums helped him evade justice and eke out some sort of existence in Africa.

    His car, which contained incriminating evidence, was found abandoned shortly in Newhaven. At the inquest on Sandra Rivett, he was named by a jury as her murderer. He was presumed dead in December 1992, and declared dead in October 1999.

    There were of course many sightings of him over the years, and this song asks the question every police officer in London was asking at the time, and which countless ordinary people have asked ever since: where is Lord Lucan?
  • The song is credited to D. Potter and G. Turner, (ie guitarist Doug Potter and bass player Gary Turner). "Lord Lucan Is Missing" was released (appropriately) on Criminal Records, backed by "Gotta Give It Up." It was produced by Jonathan King, who decades later would become just as notorious as Lord Lucan in his own way as a self-confessed vile pervert. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2

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