Oil Heir J. Paul Getty III Dies

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Photo: Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

Paul Getty III, grandson of American oil magnate J. Paul Getty, died Saturday in Buckinghamshire, England, at the age of 54. In 1973, Getty was abducted by the mafia, from a piazza in Rome. When his grandfather refused to send the requested ransom, Getty's kidnappers severed his right ear. He was released after four months in captivity. Perhaps the most disturbing part of the story: Getty's grandfather eventually ponied up a portion of the ransom and charged his son — J. Paul Getty II — interest for the remainder of the ransom.

A decade after the kidnapping, Getty fell into drugs and alcohol addiction, and suffered an incapacitating drug-induced stroke. His died Saturday after a long illness, and is survived by his two children, one of whom is actor Balthazar Getty.

J. Paul Getty III dies at 54; scion of oil dynasty [LAT]