Publication: NZ BookLovers

A Different Class of Murder – The Story of Lord Lucan is an intriguing mix of fact, fiction and opinion – a “whodunnit” of a real life murder scenario. By going back to the events of November 1974, London – when the Lucan’s nanny was bludgeoned to death in the basement of the family mansion, and Lady Lucan brutally attacked – author Laura Thompson tackles one of the great mysteries of the British criminal system: did Lady Lucan’s estranged husband Lord “Lucky” Lucan really murder the nanny in a mistaken belief that he was, in fact, murdering his wife, and what happened to “Lucky” Lucan after he fled the scene of the crime?

The official version that was accepted by the police and the justice system – and which is largely based on the testimony of Lady Lucan – is that Lucan pre-meditated to kill his wife, with whom he was locked into a bitter custody battle over their three children, yet ended up killing the nanny instead, and then – somewhat unsuccessfully – attacked his wife. The matter of what may have happened to Lord Lucan after the murder is less commonly agreed on. To this day, it is unknown whether he killed himself somewhere on the shores of England, or whether he, with the help of his wealthy aristocratic friends, managed to escape from England. In light of the fact that his body was never found, a mythology around his escape evolved to the point that Lucan sightings have been noted in places as diverse as Africa, Australia, France, South America, and even New Zealand.

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