Lu­can’s bid to smother wife on night of nanny’s mur­der

Daily Mail - - Election 2017 - Daily Mail Re­porter

THE widow of Lord Lu­can has spo­ken pub­licly in un­prece­dented de­tail about the night her hus­band mur­dered their nanny.

She re­veals how she thought he planned to smother her af­ter feed­ing her sleep­ing tablets.

In an hour-long TV in­ter­view, Lady Lu­can, 79, de­scribes how she fought for her life. She says she pleaded with Lu­can – who had just blud­geoned nanny San­dra Rivett – as he tried to stran­gle her.

‘I screamed and my hus­band put three gloved fin­gers down my throat to stop me scream­ing and we started to fight,’ she tells a TV doc­u­men­tary. ‘And he tried to push me down to the base­ment stairs but I clung on to the balustrade and kicked one of them out of place. And he started to stran­gle me and then tried to poke my eye out but I con­tin­ued fight­ing and then I grasped at his gen­i­tals and he moved back and I found my­self sit­ting in be­tween his legs. I put my hand down and I felt some­thing metal cov­ered in ban­dag­ing and a great deal of my hair. I said, “Please don’t kill me John” and then I asked “Where’s San­dra?” and he said, “She’s dead. Don’t look.” ’

‘Lucky’ Lu­can, a pro­fes­sional gam­bler, van­ished af­ter beat­ing Miss Rivett, 29, to death with a length of lead pip­ing in the base­ment of the fam­ily’s Lon­don townhouse in 1974 af­ter ap­par­ently mis­tak­ing her for his wife. Lady Lu­can was in­jured in the fren­zied at­tack and iden­ti­fied her hus­band – who had moved out af­ter sev­eral ac­ri­mo­nious rows – as her as­sailant. Lu­can drove to a friend’s house in East Sus­sex in a bor­rowed car, which was found aban­doned at the coast with blood­stains inside.

The mys­tery of his where­abouts has pro­voked spec­u­la­tion ever since, with claimed sight­ings even af­ter Lu­can was de­clared dead in 1999. Lady Lu­can has been in­ter­viewed for the ITV doc­u­men­tary: My Hus- band, The Truth. She says she be­lieved he tried to get her to take sleep­ing tablets so he could kill her.

‘When your life is in danger... you’ll try and play on his psy­chol­ogy,’ she says. ‘But I still tried to pla­cate him. I said, “What shall we do with the body? San­dra has few friends, no one will miss her. And I can stay in the house un­til my wounds have healed.” He ap­peared to be ac­cept­ing.

‘Then he said, “Have you got any sleep­ing tablets” and I said, “Yes I have”. And he hus­tled me... up the stairs. He asked, “Would you take some [sleep­ing tablets]?”. I said yes. Well pre­sum­ably he was hop­ing that I would go to sleep and – well I don’t know if this is true – that he’d be able to put a pil­low over my head and smother me.

‘I could see that my face was ab­so­lutely cov­ered in blood and it was im­pos­si­ble to see how much dam­age had been done be­cause there was so much blood.’

The pro­gramme will be shown on Mon­day at 9pm on ITV1.

‘I could see my face was cov­ered in blood’

Lord Lu­can in 1963 and his widow on TV

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