J. Paul Getty III Dead, Ear Cut Off At 16 – Billionaire GrandPa Wouldn’t Pay Ransom

J. Paul Getty III, a scion of the Getty oil dynasty whose tragedies — mutilation by kidnappers in the early 1970s and an incapacitating, drug-induced stroke in the 1980s — brought into high relief the dysfunctional relations that beset his famously wealthy family, has died in Buckinghamshire, England at 54.

Left nearly blind and a quadriplegic after the stroke, Getty was known to the public largely for his misfortunes. Getty was the grandson of American oil magnate J. Paul Getty, whose fortune built the J. Paul Getty Museum. A notorious miser who installed a pay phone in his mansion, the elder Getty headed a family that seemed plagued by illnesses, addictions and other disasters.

The most sensational event in the family’s history was the young Getty’s 1973 kidnapping from a Rome piazza when he was 16. Several days after his disappearance, his kidnappers notified a local newspaper that he was being held by the Mafia. His grandfather and father at first believed the kidnapping to be a hoax and refused to pay any ransom until incontrovertible evidence was provided: young Getty’s severed right ear and photos showing him shorn of the body part.

Complete article via World Scene Today

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