THE 40th anniversary of the disappearance of Lord Lucan took place yesterday.

The seventh Earl of Lucan vanished after his family's nanny was found bludgeoned to death – but the aristocrat's eventual fate remains a mystery. The murdered body of Sandra Rivett, nanny to Lord Lucan’s three children, was found at the family home in London on November 7, 1974.

That night, the attacker turned on Lady Lucan, beating her severely before she man- aged to escape and raise the alarm at a nearby pub. Lucan's car was later found abandoned and soaked in blood in Newhaven, East Sussex, and an inquest jury declared the wealthy peer the killer a year later.

Even though he was offi- cially declared dead by the High Court in 1999, there have been reported sightings of him in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand, and even claims that he fled to India and lived life as a hippy called "Jungly Barry".

Scotland Yard said this month the inquiry into the death of Ms Rivett is "the sub- ject of regular reviews". The continued interest in the unsolved mystery of Lucan's disappearance has been fuelled by media reports, theories, books and television programmes.

A new book called A Different Class of Murder by Laura Thompson contains claims that Lucan confessed to employing a hitman but had "come to his senses".