With the holidays now in full swing, there’s lots of talk about the wonders of family, with the side dish of toxic relationships, broken homes, and loss. It’s the season to celebrate togetherness, but the losses of the last year also devastate us. And, we can’t help but wonder: Why?

It doesn’t always help to hear those stories of families that are so-much-worse… but there’s a book (and now movie) that make give you pause to appreciate everything that you have (and love). All The Money In The World explores the true-life crime of the 1973 Getty kidnapping, when the grandson (J. Paul Getty III) of the world’s richest man (J. Paul Getty) was taken and held for ransom.  While some of the details of the real story have been slanted for dramatic effect, the family of the kidnappers have taken the controversy a step further. Lawyers are involved and stories are flying.

Michael Mammoliti is related to one of the kidnappers, and claims that the 16-year-old kid planned the kidnapping himself. It’s not a new claim. In fact, Charles Fox published Uncommon Youth in 2013, which includes interviews with many sources: models and maids, mistresses and mothers, carabinieri and club-owners, drug dealers and drivers. What really happens, after all, when the prodigal son’s plays with mafia-style fire?

You can guess… nothing good.

Family is Family…

John’s rebellious plans were derailed when his grandfather refused to pay the ransom. The kidnappers cut off his ear, sent them to his family with a lock of hair, and threatened to deliver other “bits” of him in the most grotesque fashion unless his grandfather agreed to send the millions.

Of course, it sounds harsh that it took such bloody finality before Getty finally gave in. There’s the wonder: How could a grandfather just stand by and allow that to happen?

The family was never really the same, even after the ransom was paid and the family was not-so-happily back together. When all is said and done, perhaps we have more to be thankful for than we even realize…

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