We've been looking in the wrong place for Lord Lucan

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Today I am bringing you an extract from an extraordinary new book that finally does explain what really happened to Lord Lucan.

Inspector Moletravers of Scotland Yard has devoted the years since he retired to tracking down the noble murderer, and he now thinks that he has solved the mystery once and for all. So here, without further ado, is a taste of the controversial book, which is bound to be read widely in Downing Street, Washington DC and the Middle East: Osama bin Laden and Lord Lucan: One and The Same?

Those who knew Lord Lucan well are very firm on certain aspects of his character. He was a very private man. His wants were few. His habits were simple. He ate the same lunch every day (lamb chops). He smoked moderately. He spent much of his life in a gambling club, where he was employed to lure potential customers with his title. He also tried to murder his wife.

Those who knew Osama bin Laden are very firm about certain aspects of his character. He was a very private man. His wants were few. He smoked moderately. He found it no hardship living in a cave. His religion forbade him pork, so he welcomed the eating of lamb. Like many Muslims, he felt drawn to the casino and the gaming room...

Is there a strange parallel beginning to build up?

I think so.

But how can there possibly be any link between a holder of one of the ancient titles of Britain and a scion of Saudi Arabia?

What possible common history can there be between a man who bashed his nanny to death, and a man who masterminded the twin towers disaster?

Let us take things one at a time. Lord Lucan, as we know, frequented places in London where people gamble. These places are not, on the whole, patronised by English aristocrats. They are, above all else, magnets for rich people from the Middle East who love gambling. Titled people from the Middle East who love gambling. Titled people from the Middle East who love gambling and who are allowed to have more than one wife...

It is reasonable to suppose that Lucan must have mixed widely with rich sheikhs and must have felt on terms with them. Indeed, as he will have met no poor and underprivileged Muslims at all, he must have felt even closer to this enclosed and aristocratic Islamic world than to his own. Is it unreasonable to assume that he took an interest in their religion and their way of life? Might he not have even tried wearing their garments as an exotic exercise?

He would not have been the first British person to be attracted to Arabic costume. Sir Richard Burton. TE Lawrence. Wilson, Keppel and Betty. Tommy Cooper. They all turned to Arab garb, and nobody thought it odd. So we can imagine Lord Lucan bringing home a set of clothing that his moneyed Middle Eastern friends had presented to him. We can imagine him trying them on. We can imagine him looking at himself in the mirror and even letting his mind roam back to his ancestor, Lord Lucan, hero of the Charge of the Light Brigade, which took place, of course, in the Islamic world, in the Near East...

And then came the dreadful night on which his nanny fell dead. Quick! He has to flee! In disguise! But what disguise? Lord Lucan is not the sort of man who keeps disguises hanging in his wardrobe. But wait! What are these flowing robes?

We can imagine, can we not, how easy it would have been for Lucan to drift abroad. Whatever the police were looking for, it would not have been a moustachioed Middle Easterner in full Arab gear. And so Lord Lucan vanishes overseas, disguised as an Arab. He is looking for a new identity. And it is precisely about this time, or a little afterwards, that we first hear of a man called Osama bin Laden who is sworn to wreak revenge on Western society.

Why is he so implacably set on hunting down the forces of the West?

Could it be because they are already hunting him down?

In his former guise as Lord Lucan?

I think it could very well be.

More of this sensational stuff soon from Inspector Moletravers, if we can scrape the money together