Uncovered Lord Lucan files give 'vivid account of 1974 murder'

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David "Buster" Gerring
Image caption,
David "Buster" Gerring courted journalists in a bid to trace Lord Lucan

For 38 years some of Fleet Street's finest have chased the story of missing peer of the realm Lord Lucan.

He vanished on 7 November 1974 when his children's nanny was found dead in Belgravia, London.

And at the centre of the story was a detective from Kent called David "Buster" Gerring.

In charge of the hunt for Lord Lucan, Det Ch Insp Gerring courted journalists and reporters in the knowledge he needed their publicity to help officers track down the missing aristocrat and solve the murder of Sandra Rivett.

Over the years as the trail went colder and colder he stock-piled his personal notes, diaries and case papers in three boxes at his home to Tunbridge Wells.

When Mr Gerring died in 2004, those sealed boxes were passed to his daughter, Davina Chambers, who tucked them away in a corner of her loft at home in Sussex.

They lay there forgotten and gathering dust until September 2012 when a friend's throw away remark that the BBC was investigating the disappearance of Lord Lucan jolted Ms Chambers' memory about her father's documents.

The friend, who saw the items and realised their potential importance, contacted me and suggested that I take a look.

All Ms Chambers said on the phone was that she "may have something that would be helpful" and as I walked up the drive to her home just outside Lewes I did not know what to expect.

'Never solved'

Half an hour later, and with the help of a flash light, we pulled the boxes out of the loft and started making our way through their contents.

Image caption,
The boxes contain intelligence files, notes and photos from the Lord Lucan investigation

It was like going back to the scene of the crime in London's affluent Belgravia - photos, diaries, vivid descriptions of the crime scene and intelligence files.

The documents also revealed that police believed the missing earl may have visited a Scottish estate in the late 1970s and could have been in Mozambique up to 2002.

The BBC Inside Out South East team is still documenting the contents of Det Ch Insp Gerring's Lucan files with the blessing of Ms Chambers.

"It is what he would have wanted," Ms Chambers said when I last saw her.

"He would have liked someone to carry on the investigation because the case was never solved."