ITALY: Following the Plot

"Dear Mother: I have fallen into the hands of kidnapers. Don't let me be killed! Make sure that the police do not interfere. You must absolutely not take this as a joke ... Don't give publicity to my kidnaping." In most respects, the disappearance of a 16-year-old American living in Rome was little different from the dozens of other kidnapings that have plagued Italy in the past two years. This time, however, the boy's name was Eugene Paul Getty II, the grandson of perhaps the richest man in the world.

Rome police were at first highly skeptical that young Getty...

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