John Paul Getty III, the oil scion who at 16 years old was kidnapped for ransom in 1973 by an Italian crew allegedly tied to the 'Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia, died in London on Sunday at 54 as reported by The Telegraph:
As a tall, freckle-faced youth of 16, he was kidnapped by a gang of Italian petty criminals who blindfolded him and chained him to a stake for five months. Eventually they cut off his right ear as evidence of their willingness to kill him unless a ransom was paid. * * * The boy, having spent his 17th birthday in captivity, was found shivering on a snow-covered motorway between Rome and Naples on December 15 1973, shortly after the ransom was paid. He was in poor shape: thin, filthy and bloodstained, he was still in pain from the makeshift ear amputation, infection had set in and he was cold and malnourished. * * * [S]even men believed to have been Paul's kidnappers, and thought to have tenuous links with the 'Ndrangheta, the Calabrian Mafia, were tried; they received prison sentences of between four and 10 years. Apart from a few thousand lire (all the notes had been microfilmed) discovered on one of the accused, none of the ransom money was ever found.
Bruce Weber from The New York Times writes that only two -- not seven -- men were convicted in connection with Getty's kidnapping: "Nine men eventually were arrested. Two were convicted and sent to prison; the others, including the man prosecutors said was the head of the Calabrian Mafia and the mastermind behind the abduction, were acquitted for lack of evidence."