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Before there was OJ Simpson, there
was Lord Lucan. Apart from a few
details, such as where they lived, when
they were born, and skin colour, they
could have been twins separated at
OJ was sports royalty, a football star,
who also had an acting career. Lord
Lucan was a dashing, charismatic Eng-
lish aristocrat, who was once considered
for the role of James Bond.
OJ was accused of stabbing to death
his wife Nicole and her friend, waiter
Ron Goldman. Lord Lucan was sus-
pected of bludgeoning to death the
nanny and trying to do the same to his
OJ tried to escape, in that infamous
high-speed chase in the Ford Bronco.
Lord Lucan called his mother, asked
her to collect the children, drove a bor-
rowed Ford Corsair to a friend s house
and was never heard from again.
OJ has also displayed remarkable
hardiness, despite losing the "wrongful
death civil trial, losing all his money,
and being sent to prison for robbery
when he tried to get back football mem-
orabilia. Lord Lucan is super resilient
too---it has taken him 40 years to die,
although as far as the London tabloids
are concerned, he could go on breathing
another 20 years or so.
Richard John Bingham, the seventh
Lord Lucan, was born in 1934 and offi-
cially died earlier this month. The Lon-
don high court finally declared him
dead, 42 years after his disappearance
in 1974, allowing his son to inherit his
He had all the qualities suitable for
the leading role in an Alfred Hitchock
thriller. An Eton graduate, he served in
the Coldstream Guards in Germany.
He became a merchant banker and after
a big win at gambling became known
as Lucky Lucan. He gave up banking
to become a professional gambler but
began rolling in debt instead of money.
His marriage fell apart in 1972 and
a bitter custody battle ensued over their
three children. He had to move out of
the marital mansion and took to spying
on his wife.
On the evening of November 7, 1974,
the children s nanny, Sandra Rivett,
was bludgeoned to death in the base-
ment of the Lucan family home. Lady
Lucan was also attacked. The prose-
cution in OJ Simpson murder trial
hitched everything on a bloody glove.
When Lucan s Ford Corsair was found
abandoned, in the trunk was a piece
of bandaged lead pipe similar to the
one find at the crime scene.
The disappearance of Lord Lucan
made some people rich---or at least got
their names in the news. Just as OJ s
name keeps the movies and books a-
coming, so too has Lord Lucan s name
generated reams of pages of tabloid ink.
Journalists performed CPR on his
missing corpse for four decades, trav-
elling the globe on seemingly unlimited
expense accounts to pursue sightings
of the missing peer. Lucky Lucan was
lucky for the press who spectacularly
did not find him dressed as a woman
behind a cosmetics counter in Harrods;
nor living as a bushman in the jungles
of Guam; nor hidden in a Nazi refuge
in Paraguay; nor living with a goat
named Camilla, in New Zealand; nor
in bars from Botswana to Barbados.
But the press had a heck of a time
at not finding him, in some exotic
hotspots around the world. The most
famous Lucan hunter, Garth Gibbs of
the Mirror, once said finding him would
have taken all the fun out of the story.
Kind of like James Jonah Jameson finally
unmasking Spiderman---that would
It s hard to imagine the Fleet Street
adventurers letting a little thing like a
death certificate put them off the trail.
After all, Lord Lucan would only be 82
today and could still be in hiding---
preferably somewhere warm and sunny.
One story has it that a Daily Express
journalist answered the news desk
phone one evening to hear the caller
declare: "I ve found Lord Lucan and I
demand my reward." (Now, I read this
in the Daily Mail so it must be at least
After discovering that the man was
calling from Newcastle upon Tyne, the
reporter told him: "Forget it. Lucan
wouldn t be seen dead in Newcastle.
But listen, if you happen to go on hol-
iday to Bali, or even Singapore, and see
him there, don t hesitate to call us."
Given Lucky Lucan s predilection for
not being found in some of the nicest
vacation spots in the world, he could
be pouring extra tamarind sauce on his
bake and shark right now at Maracas
If you see a tall, elderly man with
crinkly eyes and an impressive mous-
tache, who likes to gamble, it might be
the runaway peer---or my eccentric
great-uncle from Madeira. But don t
get too nosy---knowing the truth is not
nearly as much fun as inventing it.
If ever you ve
laid eyes on Jiden-
dressed singer and
emcee behind the
He s straight out of
a time machine
with his fiery red
hair, slicked into a
dapper 1930s style,
slim suits and a
gold watch chain
dangling from his
His look is as
distinct as his back-
ground. Born in
Wisconsin to a
"white hippie" mom and Nigerian father, Jidenna
has also spent time in Boston, Los Angeles and
New York. But he grew up in his father s Nigeria,
the place where he first started turning heads as
a young man.
Jidenna continues to stand out, and not just
because of his unique style. There is also his head-
turning and head-nod-inducing music: Classic
Man, which features Roman GianArthur, is nom-
inated for best rap/sung collaboration at tonight s
"Regardless of whether we win or not, that nod
is a nod that inspires you to keep doing what you re
doing," Jidenna said.
The platinum song, which samples Iggy Azalea s
Fancy and has a remix co-starring Kendrick Lamar,
peaked at No 8 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop
songs chart; it reached No 22 on the Hot 100. It
was released last year on The Eephus, an EP from
by Janelle Monae and her Wondaland Arts Society
crew, which includes Jidenna.
The singer says he s busy working on his full-
length debut album with input from Monae.
"I feel good about where it s at right now," Jidenna
said. "I ll show it to everybody else, and we ll see
what the finishing touches are, and put it out
sooner than later." (AP)
Jidenna said the Grammy
nomination for his song
Classic Man is inspiration to
"keep doing what you're
The Earl of Lucan, born Richard John
Bingham, with his wife Veronica
Duncan in October 1963.
PHOTO: WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
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