John Paul Getty III: Heir and kidnap victim dead at 54


In July of 1973, John Paul Getty III, the grandson of billionaire J. Paul Getty Sr., who was known as “the golden hippy” because of his long strawberry blonde hair, had been kidnapped.
His kidnappers wanted $3 million, but his grandfather refused to pay. He said, “I have 14 other grandchildren and if I pay one penny now, then I’ll have 14 kidnapped grandchildren.”
That statement gained national criticism as many labeled him cold-hearted and uncaring for not wanting to do whatever was needed to get his grandchild back.
Several weeks passed as John Paul’s grandfather and father, first believing the kidnapping to be a hoax, refused to pay until they had evidence. An Italian newspaper received a package with a lock of red hair and John Paul’s ear and photos of John Paul without his ear and a note. The note said if their demands were ignored they would return the boy” piece by piece.

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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

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