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.
October 22
1926—Houdini Fatally Punched in Stomach
After a performance in Montreal, Hungarian-born magician and escape artist Harry Houdini is approached by a university student named J. Gordon Whitehead, who asks if it is true that Houdini can endure any blow to the stomach. Before Houdini is ready Whitehead strikes him several times, causing internal injuries that lead to the magician's death.
October 21
1973—Kidnappers Cut Off Getty's Ear
After holding Jean Paul Getty III for more than three months, kidnappers cut off his ear and mail it to a newspaper in Rome. Because of a postal strike it doesn't arrive until November 8. Along with the ear is a lock of hair and ransom note that says: "This is Paul’s ear. If we don’t get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits." Getty's grandfather, billionaire oilman Jean Paul Getty, at first refused to pay the 3.2 million dollar ransom, then negotiated it down to 2.8 million, and finally agreed to pay as long as his grandson repaid the sum at 4% interest.
October 20
1947—HUAC Hearings Begin
The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a witch hunt that destroys lives, ruins careers, and makes Senator Joseph McCarthy the most feared politician of the era.
1968—Jackie Kennedy Marries
Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy marries Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. The marriage comes as a total surprise to the American public, and results in a terrible backlash against her and also makes her the number one target of paparazzi for years.

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