Three cards from the murder mystery game Cluedo were found in Lord Lucan’s abandoned car by police investigating the killing of his nanny, it has been claimed.
The Earl went on the run in 1974, after 29-year-old Sandra Rivett was found dead at his home in London, having been bludgeoned with a lead pipe.
Rivett’s body was discovered in the basement kitchen of the Eton-educated aristocrat’s home in Belgravia, where his estranged wife Veronica also accused him of brutally attacking her in a similar fashion.
The murder – and the whereabouts of the British peer named Richard John Bingham – have been a subject of mystery ever since, with supposed sightings of him reported across the world for decades.
While Lord Lucan was declared legally dead in 1999, his body has never been found, and Scotland Yard is reported to have carried out a cold case review into Rivett’s murder in 2004.
Now the Daily Mail reports that officers investigating the case discovered three Cluedo cards – depicting the character Colonel Mustard, a lead pipe weapon, and the fictional murder location of “the hall” – in the trunk of the car abandoned by Lord Lucan in Newhaven, East Sussex.
Citing sources with knowledge of the Metropolitan Police review in 2004, the paper claims that the three cards were missing from a Cluedo set recovered from Lucan’s home.
Blood spatters were allegedly discovered on stairs near the building’s hallway, including on a door leading to the basement, where investigators found a piece of heavily bloodstained lead piping wrapped in adhesive tape, according to a 2002 report handed to Nanny Rivett’s son Neil Berriman, cited by the Mail.
The allegations will fuel speculation over whether the cards were left deliberately as a boast, as clues for the police to follow, or whether they were planted there in an attempt to frame him.
“If Lucan did leave the Cluedo cards, it makes me think the whole thing was pre-planned,” one former investigator told the Mail, adding: “It is interesting. It is strange. The more you think about it, the more it has got implications.”
It is also claimed that, during the 2004 review, in which hundreds of pieces of evidence were reassessed by detectives and forensics experts, police interviewed a woman who claimed to have been introduced to Lord Lucan by members of his inner circle at a villa in Portugal’s Algarve after the murder.
However, Scotland Yard is claiming to have ruled out following up the lead because it would be too expensive.
“She was adamant she was introduced to him in the weeks or months following the murder,” a source told the paper. “Was she genuine, was she credible? It was certainly a potentially significant lead which needed more work done on it.
“Who invited her to the party? Who else was there? Who could corroborate what she was alleging?”