J. Paul Getty III, grandson of the richest man in the world and kidnapping victim has died. He was 54.
Three months after the abduction, the kidnappers, who turned out to be Calabrian bandits with a possible connection to organized crime, cut off Mr. Getty’s ear and mailed it, along with a lock of his hair, to a Roman newspaper. Photographs of the maimed Mr. Getty, along with a letter in which he pleaded with his family to pay his captors, subsequently appeared in another newspaper. Eventually the kidnappers reduced their demands to around $3 million. According to the 1995 book “Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortune and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty,” by John Pearson, the eldest Mr. Getty paid $2.2 million, the maximum that his accountants said would be tax-deductible. The boy’s father paid the rest, though he had borrow it from his father — at 4 percent interest.