CLOSE

The Quick 7: Seven Kidnappings with Safe Returns

It was this day in 1973 that John Paul Getty III was found alive in Naples, Italy, after his July 10 kidnapping. Although what he went through was certainly horrific, his kidnapping is proof that sometimes victims are returned home safely. Here are seven of those stories.

getty1. John Paul Getty III was kidnapped in Rome at the age of 16, but his family wasn't too keen to pay up the $17 million: John Paul III was a rebellious teenager and many of his family members suspected that he was behind the whole thing. After waiting a couple of months, the kidnappers got tired of the Gettys not taking them seriously and lopped off their captive's right ear and sent it to a newspaper in Rome. John Paul III's grandpa, the Getty who founded the family business, finally agreed to pay the ransom, but negotiated it down to about $2.8 million and made his son pay him back with interest. JPG III made it home but was never the same, and ended up becoming a drug addict. His son is actor Balthazar Getty of ABC's Brothers and Sisters. He was also on Alias.

2. Bizzy Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony was kidnapped when he was only four. He and his sisters were kidnapped and told that their mother and grandmother had died. After about a year, one of their new neighbors recognized Bizzy and his sisters on America's Most Wanted and reported their kidnapper to the police. The kids were immediately taken out of school, questioned, and returned to their mother.

3. Jemima Boone, Daniel Boone's daughter, was probably one of the earliest famous kidnapping victims. You probably know of the incident from its (fictionalized) depiction in The Last of the Mohicans - kidnapped along with Jemima were the daughters of Colonel Richard Callaway.

The three teenage girls were out canoeing on the Kentucky River when a party of Cherokee and Shawnee men abducted them. Daniel Boone organized a search-and-rescue party and the girls were recovered just a few days later. Despite the depiction in The Last of the Mohicans, Jemima Boone went on record later in life and said that their captors were very kind to them.

4. Sixteen-year-old Edward Cudahy, Jr., the son of a multimillionaire Packing Company owner in Omaha, was kidnapped as he ran an errand. His dad closed the plant the next morning and asked his workers to please help look for his son; his competitors closed and asked their employees to do the same. By 9 a.m., a ransom note demanding $25,000 was found. If the sum was not paid, the kidnappers explicitly said they would "put acid in [Edward Jr's] eyes and blind him." They left instructions as to how to pay them, which Edward Sr. followed to the letter. His son was returned five hours after he left the money at the specified drop-off point. Edward Sr. then hired the Pinkertons to find the kidnapper, Pat Crowe. He wasn't captured until November, 1905, but jurors acquitted him of all crimes after hearing "the best speech in a criminal case ever made in Omaha." Upon hearing this, the Washington Post declared Omaha "a happy hunting ground for savages and malefactors." Crowe ended up going on lecturing tours across America and making even more money off of his heinous crimes.

george5. In 1935, George Weyerhaeuser, the nine-year-old son of wealthy Washington lumberman J.P. Weyerhaeuser, was kidnapped. The kidnappers demanded $200,000 in unmarked bills in denominations of $20 and under. Mr. Weyerhaeuser was given very specific instructions, and tried to follow them to the best of his ability. One of the locations he was instructed to go to, however, was missing the note that the ransomers had left behind. They contacted him and admonished him for not following directions. He was given a second chance, and this time he was able to do as the kidnappers had instructed. He dropped off the money as asked, and his son was released by the next morning. George later said his captors had put him in various holes they had dug into the ground, covered with boards and tar paper. Sometimes he was simply in the trunk of the kidnappers' car. Three men and a woman were eventually convicted of the kidnapping, and $157,319.47 of the ransom money was recovered. George Weyerhaeuser eventually became the Chairman of the Board for the Weyerhaeuser Company, which is still one of the largest pulp and paper companies in the world.

6. In 1972, two Australian men managed to kidnap an entire classroom of students in the Faraday School kidnapping. Granted, the class only consisted of six students (plus the teacher). The kidnappers left a ransom note asking for $1,000,000. The same day it happened, the State Government announced that it would pay the ransom. When the men left to collect their ransom, the 20-year-old teacher, Mary Gibbs, kicked down the door of the van she and the children were being held in. They found help not far away. The men were captured and sentenced to jail terms, but in 1976, one of them, Edwin Eastwood, escaped from prison and attemped to perpetrate another kidnapping.

7. So, in 1977, Edwin Eastwood kidnapped a teacher and nine of her students from another school in Victoria. When he was making his getaway, he ran into a truck and ended up taking its two passengers hostage, too. With his car wrecked, he stole a camper from a group of elderly ladies and added them to his growing list of hostages. Not only did he ask for $7 million, he also asked for drugs, guns, and the release of 17 of his friends from Pentridge Prison. He didn't get any of it. When one of his hostages escaped, Eastwood decided to cut his losses and run for it. He was shot in the knee and sentence to a minimum of 18 years in prison, plus the nearly 11 years he had left to serve on his previous kidnapping charge.

I didn't include Elizabeth Smart on the list just because it's such a recent case - I was going for older kidnappings that the average person might not know about. Did I miss one? Let me know in the comments.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
5 Subtle Cues That Can Tell You About Your Date's Financial Personality
iStock
iStock

Being financially compatible with your partner is important, especially as a relationship grows. Fortunately, there are ways you can learn about your partner’s financial personality in a relationship’s early stages without seeing their bank statement or sitting them down for “the money talk.”

Are they a spender or a saver? Are they cautious with money? These habits can be learned through basic observations or casual questions that don’t feel intrusive. Here are some subtle things that can tell you about your date’s financial personality.

1. HOW THEY ANSWER BASIC MONEY QUESTIONS.

Casual conversations about finance-related topics can be very revealing. Does your date know if their employer matches their 401(k) plan contributions? Do you find their answers to any financial questions a bit vague—even the straightforward ones like “What are the rewards like on your credit card?” This could mean that your partner is a little fuzzy on some of the details of their financial situation.

As your connection grows, money talks are only natural. If your date expresses uncertainty about their monthly budget, it may be an indicator that they are still working on the best way to manage their finances or don’t keep close tabs on their spending habits.

2. WHAT THEY’RE WATCHING AND READING.

If you notice your partner is always watching business news channels, thumbing through newspapers, or checking share prices on their phone, they are clearly keeping abreast of what’s going on in the financial world. Ideally, this would lead to a well-informed financial personality that gives way to smart investments and overall monetary responsibility.

If you see that your date has an interest in national and global finances, ask them questions about what they’ve learned. The answers will tell you what type of financial mindset to expect from you partner moving forward. You might also learn something new about the world of finance and business!

3. WHERE THEY GET THEIR FOOD.

You may be able to learn a lot about someone’s financial personality just by asking what they usually do for dinner. If your date dines out a lot, it could be an indication that they are willing to spend money on experiences. On the other hand, if they’re eating most of their meals at home or prepping meals for the entire week to cut their food budget, they might be more of a saver.

4. WHETHER THEY’RE VOICING MONEY CONCERNS.

Money is a source of stress for most people, so it’s important to observe if financial anxiety plays a prominent role in your date’s day-to-day life. There are a number of common financial worries we all share—rising insurance rates, unexpected car repairs, rent increases—but there are also more specific and individualized concerns. Listen to how your date talks about money and pick up on whether their stress is grounded in worries we all have or if they have a more specific reason for concern.

In both instances, it’s important to be supportive and helpful where you can. If your partner is feeling nervous about money, they’ll likely be much more cautious about what they’re spending, which can be a good thing. But it can also stop them from making necessary purchases or looking into investments that might actually benefit them in the future. As a partner, you can help out by minimizing their expenses for things like nights out and gifts in favor of less expensive outings or homemade gifts to leave more of their budget available for necessities.

5. HOW THEY HANDLE THE BILL.

Does your date actually look at how much they’re spending before handing their credit card to the waiter or bartender at the end of the night? It’s a subtle sign, but someone who looks over a bill is likely much more observant about what they spend than someone who just blindly hands cards or cash over once they get the tab.

Knowing what you spend every month—even on smaller purchases like drinks or dinner—is key when you’re staying on a budget. It’s that awareness that allows people to adjust their monthly budget and calculate what their new balance will be once the waiter hands over the check. Someone who knows exactly what they’re spending on the small purchases is probably keeping a close eye on the bigger picture as well.

REMEMBER THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR TALKING.

While these subtle cues can be helpful signposts when you’re trying to get an idea of your date’s financial personality, none are perfect indicators that will be accurate every time. Our financial personalities are rarely cut and dry—most of us probably display some behaviors that would paint us as savers while also showing habits that exclaim “spender!” By relying too heavily on any one indicator, we might not get an accurate impression of our date.

Instead, as you get to know a new partner, the best way to learn about their financial personality is by having a straightforward and honest talk with them. You’ll learn more by listening and asking questions than you ever could by observing small behaviors.

Whatever your financial personality is, it pays to keep an eye on your credit score. Discover offers a Free Credit Scorecard, and checking it won't impact your score. It's totally free, even if you aren't a Discover customer. Check yours in seconds. Terms apply. Visit Discover to learn more.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Animals
Where Do Birds Get Their Songs?
iStock
iStock

Birds display some of the most impressive vocal abilities in the animal kingdom. They can be heard across great distances, mimic human speech, and even sing using distinct dialects and syntax. The most complex songs take some practice to learn, but as TED-Ed explains, the urge to sing is woven into songbirds' DNA.

Like humans, baby birds learn to communicate from their parents. Adult zebra finches will even speak in the equivalent of "baby talk" when teaching chicks their songs. After hearing the same expressions repeated so many times and trying them out firsthand, the offspring are able to use the same songs as adults.

But nurture isn't the only factor driving this behavior. Even when they grow up without any parents teaching them how to vocalize, birds will start singing on their own. These innate songs are less refined than the ones that are taught, but when they're passed down through multiple generations and shaped over time, they start to sound similar to the learned songs sung by other members of their species.

This suggests that the drive to sing as well as the specific structures of the songs themselves have been ingrained in the animals' genetic code by evolution. You can watch the full story from TED-Ed below, then head over here for a sample of the diverse songs produced by birds.

[h/t TED-Ed]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios