Has Lord Lucan been found in Australia?

Son of murdered nanny says the fugitive is now a suburban Buddhist

Lord Lucan
Lord Lucan working on the engine of his powerboat in September 1963
(Image credit: McCabe/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The son of the nanny killed by Lord Lucan claims he has found the peer living as a Buddhist in Australia.

Neil Berriman says he has told police the whereabouts of Lucan, who vanished after the murder of Sandra Rivett in 1974. “I know he’s still alive,” Berriman insists.

The Daily Mirror, which describes the claim as a “bombshell,” says the man believed to be Lord Lucan is “in his mid-80s and seriously ill, awaiting major surgery and virtually housebound in a large shared detached house in the suburbs”.

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He needs a part-time carer and often sits on the verandah listening to trains in the distance, according to Berriman. Witnesses confirmed that an elderly Englishman who looks like Lucan lives at the house.

The peer, who would have turned 85 last month, disappeared after the murder of Rivett at his family’s exclusive mews home in Belgravia, Central London, on 7 November 1974.

Berriman has approached Scotland Yard’s Cold Case Unit with his findings, telling them: “I believe I have tracked down the man, Lord Lucan, who murdered my mother.”

He said the officer he spoke to promised that police would look into his claims. He added: “They will now have to investigate this properly.”

The 52-year-old claims Lucan lived in Perth for a while, but moved to another part of the country after falling out with friends.

Lucan allegedly now has a new group of acquaintances: two young Englishmen, and an Australian whom he first met on a Buddhist retreat 11 years ago. They meet up daily for meditation sessions, Berriman claims.

Many theories have circulated about what happened to Lucan after he disappeared more than four decades ago. There have been rumours that he committed suicide by throwing himself off a cross-Channel ferry from Newhaven, or that he started a new life in Africa, Paraguay, or Australia. Others believe he was fed to a tiger at a Kent zoo after shooting himself.

If he is found to still be alive, his son, George Bingham, would lose both his inheritance and his title as the current Lord Lucan.

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Chas Newkey-Burden has been part of The Week Digital team for more than a decade and a journalist for 25 years, starting out on the irreverent football weekly 90 Minutes, before moving to lifestyle magazines Loaded and Attitude. He was a columnist for The Big Issue and landed a world exclusive with David Beckham that became the weekly magazine’s bestselling issue. He now writes regularly for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Metro, FourFourTwo and the i new site. He is also the author of a number of non-fiction books.