ON November 8, 1974: police began their hunt for Lord Lucan, aka Richard John Bingham. He’s still not been found. If he is ever found alive – or, more likely, if his bones are located in Solihull, New Zealand or Gabon, we hope he’s left a diary. A mystery needs an ending. Rumours have been full and fruity. One alleges a link to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Seventh Earl of Lucan, aged 39, had not been seen since the night before, when the body of Sandra Rivett, 29, (above) was found in the Lucan family home on London’s Lower Belgrave Street.
Rivett was nurse to Lord and Lady Lucan’s three children. Her body was tied up in a sack. She had been beaten to death.
Lord Lucan’s estranged wife, 35-year-old Lady Veronica Lucan (above), arrived at the home.
The killer attacked Lady Lucan, beating her around the head. She wriggled free and dashed to the the Plumbers’ Arms pub.
It is claimed:
* She told them that she had been watching television with her daughter that evening in the second-floor bedroom. Sandra had put the two younger children to bed earlier. As she and her daughter Frances watched television, Sandra knocked at the door. It was shortly before 9 p.m.
Sandra asked if they would like some tea, to which the Countess agreed. After about 15 minutes, Lady Lucan said she began to wonder what was keeping Sandra so long. She told investigators that she went downstairs to find the nanny and it was there, near the stairs on the ground floor, that she was brutally attacked. She discussed the struggle in great detail. She was certain that the assailant was her husband, Lord Lucan.
Lady Lucan said that after she grabbed his testicles, she and her husband fell to the ground in a state of exhaustion. According to Lady Lucan, her husband admitted to accidentally killing the nanny. She said that Lord Lucan had mistaken Sandra for his wife since Lady Lucan typically made the evening tea and Sandra usually had Thursday evenings off.
Dripping in blood she stood in the pub and spoke:
“Murder, murder, I think my neck has been broken – he tried to kill me. I think I am dying. Please look after my children, my children.”
Lord George Bingham, seven, Lady Frances Bingham, 10, and Lady Camilla Bingham, 4, had been made wards of court earlier in the year.
Lord Lucan had been living in Eaton Rd. Police broke in. They found nothing.
Phott: Det Chief Supt Roy Ranson, who is overall charge of the Sandra Rivett murder case, during the lunch adjournment today in the Westminster inquest on Mrs Rivett, where he was one of the day’s witnesses. Mrs Rivett, 29, Lucan family nanny, was found battered to death at the Belgravia home of Lord Lucan’s estranged wife. Date: 17/06/1975
Three days later, police found a car used by Lucan at Newhaven port.
Photo: Wing Commander Kenneth Wallis takes off from a headland near Newhaven in an autogyro fitted with infra-red cameras. The craft was able to take X-ray pictures up to 2,000 feet above the Sussex Downs, which scientists hope will enable them to spot clues to the disappearance of Lord Lucan. Date: 19/05/1975
Some said he had drowned in the English Channel. Others said he just fled.
The next year. Lord was fund guilty of murder.
But he was innocent. Well, so he told one Susan Maxwell-Davis before he disappeared. He was the hero who had broken up a fight between the murderous assailant and his wife.
Miss Susan Mayor, who runs the costume department at Christie’s, with Lord Lucan’s coronet and robes which come up for auction on May 27th. They are expected to fetch between 2-300 and the money will go towards paying the missing peer’s creditors. Date: 23/05/1976
Where did he go? Who helped him? Is he alive still?
Lucan was spotted everywhere. In 1974 Australian police arrested a man they believed to be Lucan but it turned out to be Labour MP John Stonehouse who had faked his own death a month before.
On November 16, 1974, Mr Justice Rees in the High Court ordered that his three children should be cared for by his wife.
A computer-generated image showing how Lord Lucan, missing since November 1974, could look now. Twenty years on channel 4 re-opens the case, with the original detective in charge of the case, in “True Stories: Dead Lucky”. Date: 01/08/1994
In July 1999, Lord Lucan’s son, George Bingham asked to take his father’s seat in the House of Lords. The Lord Chancellor refused. WS his father dead? It would have to be proven. And so on October 1999, Master Lucan and his family were finally granted probate.
The Dowager Lady Lucan, as she likes to be called, described her son, George Bingham, as wicked yesterday after he broke a long silence to assert that the family nanny, Sandra Rivett, was killed by a burglar when an insurance fraud, instigated by the earl, went wrong. Lady Lucan, who has been estranged from her three children for more than 20 years, also spoke of her anguish at growing old without family support.
Lady Lucan, 67, who refused to co-operate with the documetnary, said: “I think my son is an absolute disgrace. I don’t know why he is doing this.
“If my son had not done this, the anniversary might have passed off with barely a whimper. I have no idea what his motives are. Putting more stress on his still-living mother is not noble behaviour. I would have said that a son would have thought, ‘I must look after my mother and we will all get through this.’ ”
Lady Lucan, who is convinced that her husband took his own life soon after killing Miss Rivett on the night of November 7, 1974, at their home, in Belgravia, London, is also estranged from her daughters, Camilla, 34, and Frances, 39.
Where is Lord Lucan? Someone always knows. Someone always tells.
DO we want to know what happened to Lord Lucan? It’s a better story that we don’t know how he escaped a murder charge (the nanny Sandra Rivett was killed and mother Veronica injued) by disguising himself as James Hewitt. Guessing makes murder into a tabloid parlour game. Today the Daily Mirror leads with:
My dad Lord Lucan: Son breaks silence
Detectives yesterday sensationally announced they are examining our “new material” in a bid to trace the missing aristocrat.
Richard John Bingham was born in December 1934. He’d be 77 now. He’d be an old man looking at his past, if he still had good mental health. His son is George Bingham.
LORD Lucan was declared by the High Court dead in 1999. No body. Just a statement based on odds and probability. What happened to the peer is a mystery to those who did not help him evade British justice.
The latest news is that he went to Africa. A woman who worked for Lucan’s friend John Aspinall has told the BBC that she arranged for his children to fly to Africa where the peer could view them “from a distance”.
That’s toffs for you. Plus ca change.
The country’s most famous fugitive can now shed light on the 1974 murder of his children’s nanny, and while he’s at it let us know what happened to Shergar, Madeleine McCann and reveal his part in the murder of Princess Diana.
This is one in the eye for those who thought the Express only dealt in speculation and conspiracy. Here is a wanted man.
As the paper reports, Lord Lucan, aka the Rt hon Richard John Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan, now goes under the name Roger Woodgate. He owns a pet possum (possibly called Barrymore). He resides in Marton, North Island. The town is now overrun by film crews.
The mayor of region says there is “quite a resemblance” between the earl and this photographer who once worked for the Ministry of Defence.
Lucan is, as the Express says, “the man of legend and mystery”. He was officially declared dead by the High Court in 1999. He has been spotted in South Africa, Australia, Ireland and the Netherlands.
In 1974, the Australian police arrested a man they believed was Lucan. It turned out to be John Stonehouse, the lively MP who had faked his suicide a month earlier.
And now we have Mr Woodgate. “I’m five inches shorter than Richard Bingham,” says he. He is also 10 years younger than the missing peer.
“As with all unsolved murders, the case remains open,” says a Scotland Yard spokesman.
And the Express is on hand to help. It will continue to profile the wanted and the missing. It will not stop until it has found a link between Lucan and Princess Diana…
‘WITH such examples of official stupidity, it is little wonder that Lord Lucan wanted to get as far away from these shores as possible.
|‘Tony Blair did it’|
True, he also had the small matter of being in the frame for the murder of nanny Sandra Rivett, whose body was found in the basement of his Belgravia flat in 1974.
But it is as Britains most famous missing person that Richard Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan, is most widely known. Either that or as Jungle Barry.
In a book published this week, former Scotland Yard detective Duncan MacLaughlin claims that Lucan lived as a bearded hippie in a beach commune in Goa, southern India, until his death in 1996.
According to the Independent, he scraped a meagre living playing backgammon and leading jungle trips for Western tourists.
Although there is no DNA evidence to prove that Lord Lucan and Jungle Barry are one and the same person, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence.
For instance, a former landlady recalled that Barry told her he had walked to Goa from Bombay, having arrived in India from Africa in the mid-1970s.
But she only became convinced her lodger was the missing earl when she noticed on a photo that he had no ear lobes.
The one thing that upset Barry was the fact that he couldnt wear earrings like the rest of the hippies, she said.
Tomorrow, how Shergar disguised himself as a donkey and has spent that last two decades giving rides to children along Margate beach.’
Harvey Proctor was a Member of Parliament for Basildon and for Billericay between 1979 and 1987. He’s written on the allegations of a VIP peado cover-up. Mr Proctor is not shy of media, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today in March that he was keen to be interviewed by police as soon as possible to clear his name.
You can read about Harvey Proctor here. In 1987, Mr Proctor admitted “spanking sessions” with male prostitites.
The Press feasted off the story:
Today he writes:
In the context of recent speculation and allegations on the internet, I write this to say that I am innocent of the allegations against me and I will maintain this stance until my dying breath.
MORE media balls now as the Sun declares that “TV Judy and daughter Chloe” are in a “rape threat hell”.
Judy is Judy Finnigan, who kicked off her perch on ITV’s Loose Women with a view on Ched Evans, the convicted rapist and erstwhile professional footballer. Finnigan said Evans deserved a life after prison, even if that included being a footballer.
THE Philadelphia Public Record, the free weekly tabloid published by former Philadelphia City Councilman Jimmy Tayoun Sr., regrets the error. A recent report on current Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla at an event in Chinatown wrongly identified his hosts as “Chinky Winky,” “Me Too,” and “Dinky Doo”.“
It was a proofreading error,” says Mr Tayoun. He says the editor used those names because he didn’t have the actual names. Althought, oddly, there were more names than people.
“That editor is a Britisher,” Tayoun added. “He didn’t mean anything by it. The Public Record is the most inclusive publication in Philadelphia.”
IN 1977, Donny and Marie Osmond were huge. Thanks to this colouring book you could share their adventures.
“THEY probably think it has money but in fact the safe has ten kilos of gunpowder,” says Stockholm policeman Mikael Pelagalli. “A man who works at the company said that is enough to move 40 tonnes of rock.”
The thieves who stole the safe are waned against opening it. If they do, the thing cold blow up.
DO you know Russell Hobbs? What about Morphy Richards? Following news of a family of kettle thieve in Cyprus, who was accompanied by a child the victim claims looked like Madeleine McCann, the Express announces:
Calls to DNA test ‘Madeleine McCann’ in Cyprus
A BRITISH girl who sparked an inquiry in Cyprus because she looks like Madeleine McCann should be DNA tested, police say.
Only, she “fled” with the alleged crooks.
Cypriot police chief Paris Paraskeva said it is unlikely the girl is Madeleine but the simple check should be done just in case.
What is this simple check?
Today the Sunday Express can disclose the mysterious circumstances which triggered the inquiry, now involving Scotland Yard detectives reviewing the Maddie files.
Just as we disclosed them last week:
In October last year a British couple and three children, the Madeleine lookalike and two boys aged two and seven, rented an apartment in Ayia Napa, a place popular with British tourists on the south-eastern tip of Cyprus.
Then they left.
After they left the supervisor of the property noticed some items were missing, including a kettle, and told the owner, who made a complaint to local police.
The police didn’t take it all that seriously. Then the alleged victim recalled that the child in this runners looked like
Lord Lucan, Shergar Madeleine McCann. So:
They issued an arrest warrant for the couple and alerted airports and ports. The day before the arrest warrant was issued, February 7, it appears the family flew to Britain.
Got that? The family with the most wanted child on the planet “fled” to…Britain.
Then another man claimed he spotted Our Maddie with the kettle bandits:
The Greek Cypriot man thought a picture with the article showing how Madeleine would look now looked remarkably like the girl who had been his neighbour. He begged police to investigate, telling officers: “I think the girl living next door to me was Madeleine McCann.”
So. The man who owns the house who allegedly got ripped off by the rent-dodgers says the child was Madeleine McCann. And the next-door neighbour – who might know that hard-done-by owner – says he knew it was her, too.
Call the cops!
Inspector Paraskeva told the Sunday Express: “We took the report very seriously and then realised the address was the same as for the couple we were looking for. It was quite a coincidence.”
No ****, Sherlock.
“I asked my officers to do checks with schools to see if the girl was registered anywhere and we were lucky because she had been at a school in Ayia Napa. We got a photograph of the girl and her birth certificate which showed she was 12, several years older than Madeleine would be now.”
“We knew the family had left the island, so we informed Interpol and I sent them the picture of the girl and her birth certificate.”
You called Interpol about a family that hadn’t paid a bill? A family who nicked a kettle?
Interpol! Under ‘Crime Areas” in the Interpol website, we could find no section for Kettle Bandits. We did find a spot about “FUGITIVES“:
One of our most powerful tools in tracking international fugitives is the Red Notice. This seeks the provisional arrest of a wanted person with a view to extradition and is circulated to police in all our member countries. Red notices contain identification details and judicial information about the wanted person.
What about “TRAFFICKING IN ILLICIT goods”?
Trafficking in illicit goods, is a generic term used by INTERPOL to describe all types of illicit trade. It includes such practices as counterfeiting (trademark infringements), piracy (copyright infringements), smuggling of legitimate products and tax evasion. Selling fake or counterfeit products as the real thing is one aspect of this crime; so is selling genuine goods on the black market to avoid paying taxes.
No kettles mentioned. Indeed, a Red Notice was not issued for the Kettle Bandits.
Inspector Paraskeva adds:
“I had the name of the girl and an address where the family were staying in England and that has all been given to Interpol, so I assume that the police in England will have checked it out. They have not contacted me back, so I do not know what is happening.”
Chances are it’s gone to the very top.
“We also showed the picture of the girl to the Greek Cypriot man and he confirmed it was the child who had been living next door. When he compared the picture with the one in the magazine he was not so sure it was definitely Madeleine but we all felt it was still worth investigating.”
Good for him.
“If the couple had been on the island and we had arrested them and then received this report, we would have asked the girl to provide a DNA sample for testing. We have the DNA profile of Madeleine so we could have done it quite quickly. I would think that Interpol or British police would do this when they speak to the family just to rule it out.”
Hold on a moment. The adults are accused of doing a runner and nicking kettle who you will swab an innocent child? Run! And God Speed…
SO. Former News International Chief Executive Rebekah Brooks, fromerly Rebekah Wade, has been arrested. Again. She has now been arrested twice in under a year. She was also once arrested for allegedly hitting her first husband Ross Kemp. Scotland Yard said Mr Kemp, 41, sustained a cut to the mouth. No charges were brought. Wade would go on to climb the greasy pole at News Internationaa (prop. R. Murdoch). Kemp would go on front TV series on Sky (prop. R. Murdoch).
Vice magazine has put together a list of people who have bene arrested fewer times than Brooks/ Wade, or not at all. We’ve added a few names of our own:
DID Janaka Basnayake, 24, break the world record for being buried alive? We may never know. Firstly, there is no official record. Secondly, Lord Lucan has yet to appear for his hiding place. And lastly, we do not know the precise moment when Mr Basnayake died under the ground in Kantale, Sri Lanka.
Also, it is only alleged that Mr Janaka Basnayake buried in 10foot-deep trench sealed with wood and soil. It is only alleged that his family and friends helped him, er, live his dream.
MADONNA”s brother is homeless. A story in the Michigan Messenger on why so many homeless people head to Traverse City, spotlights Anthony Ciccone, one of Madonna’s older brother. Says he:
Ciccone said he’s been among the city’s homeless for a year and a half since losing a job at his father’s vineyard and winery in Suttons Bay. He said that it annoys him that some people are amused that a person from such a high profile family would end up sleeping, as he does, under the Union St. bridge.
“My family turned their back on me, basically, when I was having a hard time,” he said. “You think I haven’t answered this kind of question a bazillion times — why my sister is a multibazillionarie, and I’m homeless on the street?”
“Never say never,” he said. “This could happen to anybody.”
“I don’t have any income, I’ve got to go collect bottles and cans, do odd jobs.”
ANYONE who wants to be like Lee Harvey Oswald can now do so as the coffin that housed him for 20 years goes up for auction. Oswald infamously killed J F Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Or did he? There was a rumour that JFK was actually shot by Grassy Knoll or someone else.
RAY Gosling, 70, arrived at Nottingham Magistrates Court, where he is accused of wasting police time over claims that he killed a former lover dying of Aids. He pleads guilty. Gosling went on the telly to ‘confess’ to smothering a lover to death. He was pretty to the point on a news programme:
“I killed someone once. He was a young chap, he’d been my lover and he got Aids. I said to the doctor: ‘Leave me… just for a bit,’ and he went away. I picked up the pillow and smothered him until he was dead.”
He repeated the claim on the BBC Breakfast show. He was arrested on suspicion of murder.
And at the apogee of his fame Gosling said it was not so. News is not news at all. It’s just a chat between pals. As Gosling said:
“It was a small item on a regional TV programme Inside Out, in my country (sic) the East Midlands, to my people, with whom I have had an intimate relationship.”
“I know what some people say, that I said what I did for publicity to promote a book I’m writing. That is absolutely not true, I haven’t finished the book yet.”
Well, that book’s got a new anecdote. It might nto be as captivating as assisted suicide or murder but a bruish with the law makes for good copy.
And as for the alleged crime? Well, denim with denim and a carrier bag was never good look. Send the man down!
And if the police can get him on camera ‘confessing’ to taking Our Maddie, hiding Lord Lucan, killing Shergar and burying Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, then so much the more entertaining…
WHEN North Korea’s World Cup team lost 1-2 to Brazil in their opening rubber, the news was positive and hopeful:
Kim Yong Gyu, 45, a researcher of the Academy of Sports Science, said the strong mental power displayed by the Korean footballers in the first match with Brazil, which won the World Cup five times, betokens good results of the Korean team in other matches.
No other reports appeared on the North Korean news service. The World Cup ended on that day – before the lads lost 7-0 to Portugal and went down 0-3 to the mighty Ivory Coast.
The team then got together at the auditorium at the Working People’s Culture Palace in North Korea and were subjected to a “grand debate” in which it was discussed how they had let down the “ideological struggle”.
It’s a great panel show, a kind of Question of Sport with bite. In the What Happens Next? round, head coach Kim Jong Hun appears before a live studio audience of 400 sports fans from the Ministry of Sports, Pyongyang University, Kim Il Sung University, and Kim Hyong Jik School of Education.
Kim Jung Hun is accused of “betraying the Young Gen. Kim Jong Un,” North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s anointed heir.
MICHAEL Jackson Watch: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Michael Jackson in the news – did Michael Jackson’s doctor “KILL” James Brown?”
So asks the National Enquirer on its front page. There can be no easy answer, just more question:
Q: Was James Brown murdered?
Q: Given that Michael Jackson was treated by a around 56% of the US medical profession, the odds of a doctors also having treated the Godfather of Soul are high.
Q: Michael Jackson is dead?
Reading on, and we are fed the name Dr Conrad Murray, a man who has had his name sullied in the media and yet who remains innocent of any wrongdoing because – get this – there is not a shred of evidence that he has done anything wrong.
Says a Brown’s ex-publicist James Hollander:
“James and Michael we inseparable and they used the same ‘safe doctors’ who get them anything they wanted.”
The reasons why the tecs want to speak with Hewlett are:
1. It keeps Our Maddie in the news
2. They want to know if he took her
3. They are acting on information received from Alan and Cindy Thompson
4. Why not?
5. He’s a convicted paedo.
It’s the Big Brother reject and toothsome talker:
“The truth won’t mend the pain”
I SOMETIMES wonder if The Truth is all it’s cracked up to be. I wonder if there are times when NOT knowing is better than knowing.
Well, as Donald Rumsfeld once said, from whom Malone seems to be quoting…
Because now we think we know Madeleine McCann didn’t die, as police suspected, in her holiday apartment. Neither was she taken by an opportunist killer. Nor did she wander off into the sea.
Sure of that? Yeah, Sure of it. Positive. Sure of it? Facts are facts. Right? Facts…
However, what we now think may have happened is worse than all of those scenarios because it looks certain this angel-faced little girl was snatched to order by a vile paedophile ring and delivered to people who hunt down pretty children to degrade. Maybe even kill.
And we know this because..? Well, someone said something…it got in an email to someone else…Carole read it or heard it and it became news… and fact…and we read about it… and we told someone… and they told Carole…who knows all about it…
The world’s most wanted man might be dead. He might be alive. But however hard we look, not one sighting of Osama bin Laden has been reported in the press.
Bin Laden is famously tall, well over nine feet high, but when seated in a dimly lit cave he looks not a lot unlike a bearded Lord Lucan. Add some styling gel and who can deny the likeness to Elvis Presley. A sex change, some hair dye and a swarthy male companion and Bin Laden is Princess Diana. Some say he could pass for Rick Astley.
But no one has seen Bin Laden. Until now.
All hail Fernando Aguirre, known as Osama Bin Laden among the slum dwellers of Bogota. Aguirre claims to be the son of Osama Bin Laden. He lives from the contributions received from those seeking his protection.
As reported: “Aguirre informs police on petty crimes being committed and is allowed by authorities to brandish his fake rifle.”
He’s got a fake gun, a toy rifle he uses to look tough. He talks big and carries a plastic stick.
From a certain angle he looks a bit like John Kerry…
DAILY STAR front page: “MADDIE IS STILL ALIVE”
Madeleine McCann appears on only one of the newspapers’ front pages. And she is alive! Maybe…
“Madeleine McCann may still be alive and living with her captors, Portuguese police admitted last night”
In time they might admit that she could be hiding, playing gin rummy with Lord Lucan or learning the bagpipes
For now a police source says: “We do not have proof the girl is dead. If we had that kind of evidence we would not be considering the theory she was abducted. We are no longer sure that she is dead”
Says the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “Madeleine did not die in the apartment. The police should be focusing on who took her – and finding her. They must also accept Kate and Gerry should be eliminated from the inquiry”
THE SUN: “There’s no proof Maddie is dead”
“Portuguese police made an astonishing U-turn yesterday — admitting they have NO evidence that Maddie McCann is dead”
And didn’t British police believe she was dead, too? One in the eye for Anne Enright. And hasn’t Paul Rebelo, leading the investigation, said all lines of enquiry remain open? But, still, the Sun sees a U-turn…
Do you remember Robert Murat? His lawyer Francisco Pagarete says that under Portuguese law, evidence-gathering against suspects could only last eight months. Mr Pagarete says: “At that time we will see all the decisions for all the defendants”
January 3 is eight months after Maddie vanished
January 14 is eight months after Murat was named a suspect
THE TIMES: “Decision due on Gerry and Kate McCann”
January is approaching
DAILY TELEGRAPH: “McCanns in plea to potential witnesses”
Not all the holidaymakers staying at the Ocean Club at the time of Madeleine’s vanishing have been located
Says Clarence Mitchell: “We would appeal to any UK residents who have still not been spoken to by British police and who were in Praia da Luz on May 3 to please come forward and to contact their local police or the confidential phone line based in Spain”
Call Metodo 3. But aren’t they focusing on Morocco?
DAILY EXPRESS: “MADELEINE PARENTS MAKE FRESH PLEA FOR WITNESSES”
Yesterday Gerry wrote on his blog: “We would like to thank everyone who has come forward with information. The smallest detail may provide a clue that leads us to find Madeleine. Someone, somewhere knows something and Madeleine needs their help”
GREAT SCOT! – “Gerry McCann has been nominated for a special award as Scot of the Year. The Glasgow-born cardiologist is one of 12 candidates for the honour put forward by a Scottish newspaper”
IRISH INDEPENDENT: “The girl Italians are calling ‘Luciferina — with the face of an angel’ – The investigation into Meredith Kercher’s murder took a twist this week with the extradition of a suspect from Germany. But the focus is on a beautiful middle-class American girl, says Mary Minihan in Perugia”
What has the murder of Meredith Kercher got to do with Madeleine Mccann’s disappearance?
Says the paper: ““Meanwhile, Meredith Kercher’s name is now as tragically well-known as that of Madeleine McCann” – Is it?
THE SCOTSMAN: “Scots tycoon attacks ‘scurrilous allegations’ as he comes out as McCanns’ secret funder”
The McCanns backer is: “Stephen Winyard, who owns the luxury Stobo Castle spa in Peebleshire, has spoken publicly for the first time since pledging £100,000 to help meet the escalating legal costs of Gerry and Kate McCann”
Says he: “Some of the reporting in the British press has been less than fair. The blanket coverage of every aspect of their lives, the littlest things that they do, creates, I think, the impression in people’s minds that they are somehow responsible for what happened to Madeleine”
THE GUARDIAN book review: “A Kind of Vanishing, by Lesley Thomson (Myriad, £6.99)”
“The disappearance of Madeleine McCann may have muted the reception of A Kind of Vanishing. If an actual crime is vividly appalling, the prospect of reading a fictional representation of a similar case will make one feel queasy. It would be a shame if this unfortunate coincidence were to obscure the merits of Lesley Thomson’s thriller”
Fiction and reality… Do you get confused?
WHEN the Mirror spotted John Darwin’s ghost stood beside his wife Anne in the offices of a Panama estate agency the paper added a new folder to its photojournalism legacy.
It was the Mirror that brought us pictures of Cocaine Kate Moss, looking on as the model arranged “a fat line of cocaine”.
It has yet to proven whether Moss was using drugs or chopping some other substance. The Mirror was bold. But mistakes can be made.
In 2004, the Mirror was a victim of “a calculated and malicious hoax” (its words) when it published faked photographs of British soldiers supposedly torturing Iraqi prisoners – in one picture a soldier was seen urinating on a hooded man while in another the hooded man is being hit with a rifle in the groin.
How would the Mirror view Anne Darwin’s holiday snaps? Was it John Darwin beside his wife, a lookalike, a ghost or a fake?
The answer is quick in coming. And in “MY LIES”, Anne Darwin tells the world: “I have been living my life as a lie, constantly looking over my shoulder.”
We too have looked over Anne’s shoulder, and seen her dead husband. He’s called John Jones, at least that’s the name on the passport he used after he ‘died’ in 2002.
“What sort of mother am I?” asks Anne Darwin. Sons Mark and Anthony have disowned her, “publicly”, says the Mail’s front page. “Who can blame them?” Anne Darwin asks. “I lied to them, my own sons. They’re totally innocent. They knew nothing. They thought their father was dead.”
And the plot: “Well, it as John’s decision but I went along with it.” He had been living in Panama and waiting for his wife to join him there.
Elsewhere, amid five pages of coverage, the Mirror tells of the “RIDDLE OF BROTHERS IN HIDING”. Mark Darwin is said to have cleared his London flat, made a “hurried” visit to his brother’s home and left “coded directions to his girlfriend to get to an airport”.
“Sons’ anguish as one of them does a ‘moonlit flit’,” says the Mail.
Meanwhile, the Express has news of what is says is John Darwin. He’s in the back of a car on his way to Redcar police station. Only, we cannot be sure it’s him. “The man at the centre of the mystery and the paper at the centre of unravelling it,” says the Express. “His head is secreted beneath a copy of the Daily Express,” says the Daily Express.
But is it him? Or is it John Darwin? John Jones? Kate Moss? Lord Lucan? The possibilities are endless…