John Paul Getty III
|John Paul Getty III|
November 4, 1956|
|Died||February 5, 2011
Wormsley, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
|Known for||Being kidnapped|
|Spouse(s)||Gisela Martine Getty (née Schmidt; m. 1974-1993; divorced); 1 child|
|Parents||Paul Getty (deceased)
|Relatives||Jean Paul Getty (grandfather, deceased)
George Getty (great-grandfather)
Gordon Getty (uncle)
Mark Getty (brother)
John Paul Getty III (4 November 1956 — 5 February 2011), also known as Paul Getty, was the eldest of the four children of John Paul Getty, Jr. and Abigail (née Harris), and the grandson of oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty. His son is actor Balthazar Getty.
Getty spent most of his childhood in Rome while his father headed the Italian division for the Getty family's oil business. His parents divorced in 1964 and his father married again in 1966 to model and actress Talitha Pol. They adopted a hippie lifestyle and spent much time in England and Morocco during the 1960s.
In early 1971, he was expelled from St. George's English School (later St. George's British International School), in Rome, Italy. His father moved back to England, and at 3am on 10 July 1973, Getty was kidnapped in the Piazza Farnese in Rome. A ransom note was received, demanding $17 million in exchange for his safe return. When that ransom message arrived, some family members suspected the kidnapping was merely a ploy by the rebellious youngster as he had frequently joked about staging his own kidnapping to extract money from his frugal grandfather. He was blindfolded and imprisoned in a mountain hideout. A second demand was received, but had been delayed by an Italian postal strike. Jean Paul Getty II asked his father for the money, but was refused. Getty Sr. argued that were he to pay the ransom, then his 14 other grandchildren could also be kidnapped. In November 1973, an envelope containing a lock of hair and a human ear was delivered to a daily newspaper with a threat of further mutilation of Paul, unless $3.2 million was paid: "This is Paul's ear. If we don't get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits."
At this point Getty Sr. agreed to pay a ransom, although he would only pay $2.2 million because that was the maximum amount that was tax deductible. He loaned the remainder to his son who was responsible for repaying the sum at 4% interest. The reluctant Getty Sr. negotiated a deal and got his grandson back for about $2.9 million. Getty III was found alive in southern Italy on 15 December 1973, shortly after the ransom was paid.
Nine of the kidnappers were apprehended: a carpenter, a hospital orderly, an ex-con and an olive-oil dealer from Calabria, as well as high-ranking members of the 'Ndrangheta – a Mafia-type organization in Calabria – such as Girolamo Piromalli and Saverio Mammoliti. Two were convicted and sent to prison; the others, including the 'Ndrangheta bosses, were acquitted for lack of evidence. Most of the ransom money was never recovered. In 1977, Getty had an operation to rebuild the ear that had been cut off by his kidnappers.
In 1974, Getty married German Gisela Martine Zacher (née Schmidt) who was five months pregnant. He had known her and her twin sister Jutta since before his kidnapping. Getty was 18 years old when his son, Balthazar, was born in 1975. The couple divorced in 1993.
In 1999, Getty, along with several other members of his family, became citizens of the Republic of Ireland in return for investments in that country of approximately £1 million each, under a law which has since been repealed.
- "Getty obituary". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- ""Finally He Is Out Of Pain: Tragic Oil Heir, John Paul Getty III, Dies at 54, After Being Paralyzed For 30 years"". Dailymail.co.uk. 2011-02-07. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Style » Talitha Getty: The Myth and the Muse". Dossier Journal. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Sir Paul Getty". Daily Telegraph. 2003-04-17. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- BBC News report on the Getty kidnapping, 13 June 2001
- Catching the Kidnappers, Time, 28 January 1974
- "J. Paul Getty III dies at 54; scion of oil dynasty", Los Angeles Times, 7 February 2011
- "J. Paul Getty III, 54, Dies; Had Ear Cut Off by Captors", The New York Times, February 7, 2011
- Davies, Paul. Ed: Nancy Billias. "Be not overcome by evil but overcome evil with good': The Theology of Evil in Man on Fire." Posted in Producing and Promoting Evil. Rodopi Publishers, 2010. 221. Retrieved on 30 March 2011. ISBN 90-420-2939-0, ISBN 978-90-420-2939-2.
- "Obituary for John Paul Getty II", BBC News, 17 April 2003
- "Jean Paul Getty III Dead; 5 Facts on the Oil Heir and Father of Actor Balthazar Getty". In News Today. 2011-02-08. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- (Norwegian) Haraldsen, Stian. "Skar øret av John Paul Getty III (photo of Getty's severed ear)." Dagbladet. 10 July 1973. (Norwegian)