The true crime TV series just keep coming, and we are sooo here for it! While American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace is the top FX series everyone is talking about in the new year, they also have another iconic crime show on the way: Trust. The show is Danny Boyle's take on the showing 1973 kidnapping of oil heir John Paul Getty III. The story is practically made for the screen: the intricate plan, the family drama, the life-or-death stakes… it's going to be amazing! The story will also be portrayed in Ridley Scott's Oscar contender All The Money In The World. If you're not familiar with one of the most intense true crime cases of all time, we have everything you need to know!
John Paul Getty III's kidnapping
The shocking drama started in 1973 when John was just 16. He was a bit of a troublemaker at the time, and had joked repeatedly that he should stage a kidnapping to get money from his grandfather, oil magnate J. Paul Getty. So when he went missing, his family didn't really believe his kidnappers. However, he had truly been stolen from his home in Rome and taken to a hideout in the Italian mountains. The kidnappers wanted $17 million, but his grandfather refused to give it to them, worrying that it would make his 14 other grandkids more susceptible to kidnapping.
Four months later, John's ear and a lock of his hair were sent in an envelope to a newspaper. The criminals threatened to keep chopping him up until they got their money. Finally, after another month, $2.2 million in ransom was paid, and John was returned to a gas station. He tried to contact his grandfather to thank him, but he refused to speak to his grandson. Nine people were arrested connected to the murder, many of whom were Italian mafia members. However, only two were convicted, and the money was never recovered.
John at Andy Warhol's house party.
What happened to the ear?
Though John died in 2011, he recounted his story to Charles Fox in a book that's set to be released on Jan. 9. The tale includes the day his ear was lobbed off. “So much blood and gooeyness, it was in my hair, all over my body, down my back," he said. "If I touched my ear the bleeding started again. The bandage, my body, the bed, everything was completely red. There were rats eating the blood and on my bandages. The bleeding stopped after about a day and a half when they gave me a coagulant shot. By the third day, I was sure I was going to die." John actually lived without his ear for four years following the kidnapping. In 1977, he finally had surgery to rebuild it to look more normal again.
How did John Paul Getty III die?
John passed away at the age of 54 in 2011. His life was scarred by his kidnapping, which lead him to get into drugs. He overdosed on a cocktail of Valium, methadone, and alcohol in 1981, and ended up a quadriplegic, partially blind, and unable to speak. His mother took care of him, and by 1987 he became self-sufficient enough to go to the movies and concerts. Unfortunately, he was never totally healthy, and was sick for a long time before his February 2011 death.
His memory lives on with his son.
John may be gone, but his son Balthazar Getty is very much alive. The 42-year-old is actually an actor, known for his work in Lord of the Flies, Twin Peaks, Alias and more.