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.
May 25
1938—Alicante Is Bombed
During the Spanish Civil War, a squadron of Italian bombers sent by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to support the insurgent Spanish Nationalists, bombs the town of Alicante, killing more than three-hundred people. Although less remembered internationally than the infamous Nazi bombing of Guernica the previous year, the death toll in Alicante is similar, if not higher.
1977—Star Wars Opens
George Lucas's sci-fi epic Star Wars premiers in the Unites States to rave reviews and packed movie houses. Produced on a budget of $11 million, the film goes on to earn $460 million in the U.S. and $337 million overseas, while spawning a franchise that would eventually earn billions and make Lucas a Hollywood icon.
May 24
1930—Amy Johnson Flies from England to Australia
English aviatrix Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly from England to Australia. She had departed from Croydon on May 5 and flown 11,000 miles to complete the feat. Her storied career ends in January 1941 when, while flying a secret mission for Britain, she either bails out into the Thames estuary and drowns, or is mistakenly shot down by British fighter planes. The facts of her death remain clouded today.

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