Italy: Christmas Gift

Menaced, maimed, then freed

Over the past two decades, Italians have certainly seen more than their share of photographs portraying forlorn kidnap victims. But this one was particularly pathetic: a woman and her son huddled together, chains around their necks, a pistol held to the woman's left temple, the right side of the youth's face caked with dried blood. In a barbaric attempt to force a ransom payment rumored to be as large as $4.2 million, the kidnapers apparently had cut off the youth's ear. If the money was not forthcoming, they warned, their two captives would be slaughtered.

The latest victims...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!