Lady Lucan killed herself after selfdiagnosing with Parkinsons disease
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Lady Lucan was preparing to publish a novel to set the record straight on her life with Lord Lucan It has been more than forty years since Lord Lucan vanished after murdering his children's nanny when he mistook her for his estranged wife. Now, in a final twist, it seems that the legacy of their toxic relationship has claimed his intended victim. Veronica, the Dowager Countess of Lucan, 80, killed herself with a cocktail of drink and drugs after wrongly self-diagnosing with Parkinson's disease - an illness she had claimed had been brought on by him forcing her to take medication. She had spent her final years as a recluse, having not spoken to her sister or her three children since the 1980s, and she was determined that she turn to assisted suicide rather than become a burden to anyone through ill health.Noticing a tremor in her right hand, unable to sleep, losing her sense of smell, feeling tired, anxious and becoming forgetful, Lady Lucan convinced herself that she had Parkinson's disease, her inquest heard. She claimed in an interview just months before her death that her Parkinson's was "drug-induced" by the anti-psychotic medicine that was forced on her after her husband John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, convinced everyone including her that she was mad. "My husband had a campaign to destroy me," she had said. "I was a nuisance. He was an imposing character, an earl, and the doctors believed all he told them about me." Lady Lucan pictured in 1974 with children Frances and George Credit:Trinity Mirror The court heard Lady Lucan had also gone through the final edit of her autobiography a month before she died with publisher, Pamela McCleave, which she hoped would come out before Christmas. She had never been to the doctors about her fears, but she had detailed it in her diary and told her friend David Davies, with whom she had discussed euthanasia. It was Mr Davies who reported her missing after she had not been seen for two days and missed their regular meeting in St James’ Park. The coroner noted that she was "a lady of a regular routine and regularly met with friends on a daily basis in St James’ Park, to have lunch and go to the library."Because of the concerns police smashed a window to break into the same two-storey terraced town house in Belgravia, central London, that her husband had disappeared from almost 44 years earlier in 1974. A year before they had attended a lecture "on how to help people with a terminal illness end their lives peacefully and Dignitas was mentioned". He said: “She gave the impression she was hard up and had to watch every penny and complained about interest rates going up.“We both discussed how to end our lives but only if we developed a degenerative or terminal illness or became reliant on other people." He added: "But there was nothing to suggest she was considering this and she seemed cheerful the last time I saw her.”A pathologist concluded she died from respiratory failure caused by a lethal dose of drugs and alcohol poisoning. Lord and Lady Lucan pictured after they announced their engagement Credit:Photoshot Lord and Lady Lucan on their wedding day in 1963 Credit:Trinity Mirror Dr Wilcox said: "It’s clear that Veronica Mary Lucan has for sometime been considering how she could, if she was to take her own life."She noted her interest in assisted suicide and her concern that she was suffering from Parkinson's disease although Dr Wilcox said "there is no formal diagnosis and examination of her brain was normal" after her death. She added: "I’m entirely satisfied that suicide is the final conclusion.”Whatever you’re going through, call Samaritans free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is free to call and will not appear on your phone bill) The hearing, which her daughter Camilla Bingham attended, heard one of the drugs in her system was not normally prescribed by British doctors, and police did not know how she obtained it. Westminster Coroner’s Court heard she wrote in her diary about how to commit suicide if she became frail and had books on assisted dying.In one diary entry on August 5 last year, about six weeks before her death, she listed potential suicide items copied from four suicide books found in her house Lady Lucan was discovered in night clothes on the dining room floor with a unmarked bottle under her body with just one pill left inside.Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox ruled that her death in September last year was suicide. Lady Lucan had always maintained that her missing husband had committed suicide. In a written statement Mr Davies, who had known her for two years, said that the pair had discussed ending their lives if they suffered a terminal illness.