This post deals with drug addiction and might be triggering for some readers.
In 1973, oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty (commonly known as J. Paul Getty) was the richest man in the world. He was worth $1.2 billion. But it was in this year that the world found out just how cheap of a man he was.
In July, J. Paul Getty was told by his son, John Paul Jr, that his 16-year-old grandson, John Paul Getty III had been kidnapped in Rome, Italy. Jean Paul Jr asked whether his father could help with the ransom as he couldn't afford the $17 million that the captors insisted on.
"I have 14 other grandchildren. If I pay one penny now, then I'll have 14 kidnapped grandchildren," J. Paul told his son bluntly.
Watch the trailer for the film based on this event, All the Money in the World. Post continues below.
In the coming weeks and months, negotiations dragged on and the treatment of the 16-year-old grandson got worse. The captors destroyed his radio, killed his pet bird and would pay Russian roulette against his head. In November 1973, a local Italian newspaper received a lock of hair, a severed ear and a note that demanded $3.2 million instead.
"This is Paul's first ear," the letter wrote. "If within ten days the family still believes that this is a joke mounted by him, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits."
After cutting off John Paul Getty III's ear, the captors were paid the $3.2 million. According to reports, J. Paul Getty would only contribute $2.2 million towards the ransom and charged his son interest on the rest.