The Naked City Jun 30 2009
LORD ON THE LOOSE
It's been thirty-five years and there's still no sign.
 
It all started November 7, 1974, when a bloodied woman stumbled into a London pub screaming, "Murder, murder! I think my neck has been broken! He's tried to kill me!" The woman was Countess Veronica Lucan, wife of the Seventh Earl of Lucan. Fifteen minutes earlier she had gone into the basement of her six story residence and been attacked in the dark. Her assailant beat her over the head then shoved his gloved fingers into her mouth in an attempt to suffocate her. During the struggle she heard the attacker’s voice and realized it was her husband. She managed to fight him off, and they both collapsed from their exertions. In those few minutes, according to Lady Lucan, her husband admitted killing a woman named Sandra Rivett, pictured above, who was the live-in nanny. Minutes later, having regained some of her strength, Lady Lucan fled the house while her husband was distracted.
 
None of patrons of the pub went to the Lucan residence. It was only thirty yards away, and Lady Lucan had said she was afraid for her children who were still in their upstairs bedrooms, but the pubgoers remained where they were and instead called the police. It was the right decision, of course—understandably prudent. But in those crucial minutes while the house was unobserved, Lord Lucan made his escape. A few facts about his movements immediately following the murder are known. He drove south to Uckfield, East Sussex, to the manor house of his friends Peter and Susan Maxwell-Scott, where he remained for several hours, making one phone call and writing two letters. He left just after midnight and disappeared. No trace of Lord Lucan has ever been found.

Some people claim he killed himself in the woods surrounding the Maxwell-Scott’s home, but most believe him to still be at large. He was a professional gambler—a skill quite useful for a man needing to support himself off the books—and he had friends all over the world that might have sheltered him. There have been a number of false alarms over the years—one person claimed to have seen him in Tahiti, and in 2007 he was even briefly believed to be living in a car in New Zealand. But the stories were investigated and dismissed, and Lord Lucan remains missing. After thirty-five years, he has become a legend on the order of Bigfoot—a mystery that fascinates and bewilders the British public, and probably will continue doing so for many years to come.     

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 31
1948—Mitchum and Leeds Snared in Drug Raid
Actor Robert Mitchum and actress Lila Leeds are arrested in a Hollywood drug raid and convicted of criminal conspiracy to possess marijuana. Mitchum serves 43 days in jail, but in 1951 the conviction is overturned when it is exposed as a set-up. The entire episode has zero effect on his popularity. Leeds, conversely, becomes a heroin addict while behind bars and is never able to rekindle her career.
1997—Princess Diana Killed in Accident
Princess Diana dies after a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris, along with Egyptian jet-setter Dodi Al-Fayed, and driver Henri Paul, who loses control of the car while attempting to elude paparazzi. Despite lengthy resuscitation attempts, including internal cardiac massage, Diana dies at 4 a.m. local time. Her funeral six days later is watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide.
August 30
1918—Lenin Shot
Russian political revolutionary Fanny Kaplan shoots Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, wounding him in the shoulder and jaw. Lenin survives, she doesn't—she's executed three days later.
1963—Washington-Moscow Hotline Established
A hotline between U.S. and Soviet leaders, known as the Washington-Moscow hotline or Red Telephone, goes into operation. It linked the White House to the Kremlin at the height of the Cold War, and presumably still does today.
2006—Glenn Ford Dies
Canadian actor Glenn Ford, who starred in some of the best films ever made, including Gilda, The Big Heat, and the original 3:10 to Yuma, dies in his home in Beverly Hills, USA. He was still in love with Rita Hayworth, his one-time co-star who had died years earlier. Reputedly, his last words were, "You don't keep Rita Hayworth waiting."
August 29
1949—Soviet Union Joins Nuclear Club
The Soviet Union detonates a nuclear weapon at a test site in Kazakhstan. American experts are shocked and dismayed because they had thought the Soviets were still years away from having a workable bomb. The resultant fear helps trigger an arms race that would see the Americans and Soviets stockpile approximately 32,000 and 45,000 nuclear devices.

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