The son of the peer Lord Lucan, who disappeared in mysterious circumstances more than 40 years ago, has applied to have his father declared “presumed dead”.
George Bingham said the move would provide “closure”, four decades after Lord Lucan vanished from the family home in London.
Mr Bingham placed a public notice in an independent newspaper in the capital, seeking to put an end to years of speculation about his father’s fate.
The seventh Earl Of Lucan disappeared after Sandra Rivett, nanny to his three children, was found murdered at the family home at 46 Lower Belgrave Street, central London, on November 7 1974.
Even though he was officially 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”.
On the night of Lord Lucan’s disappearance the nanny’s attacker also turned on Mr Bingham’s mother Lady Lucan, beating her severely before she managed to escape and raise the alarm at a nearby pub.
Lord Lucan’s car was found abandoned and soaked in blood in Newhaven, East Sussex, and an inquest jury declared the wealthy peer the killer a year later.
Mr Bingham, who was a child when his father disappeared, told West End Extra that he was applying to the High Court under the Presumption of Death Act, which came into effect a year ago.
He said the 1999 declaration had not proved death “for all purposes” and the new law allows for a “more complete process”.
The Presumption of Death Act was the result of a campaign supported by relatives of high-profile missing people including chef Claudia Lawrence, who disappeared in York in 2009, and Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards, who went missing in 1995.