An audacious kidnapping in 1970s Paris
Tom Sancton tracks the infamous kidnapping case of Baron Édouard-Jean Empain – from chopped-off fingers and police shootouts to the collapse of an industrial empire
On 23 January 1978, Baron Édouard-Jean Empain was snatched from the streets of Paris, in an audacious kidnapping attempt. Before long, a ransom of 80 million francs was demanded. And to show they meant business, the kidnappers chopped off the baron’s little finger – with the disturbing warning that more body parts would follow. In conversation with Emily Briffett, Tom Sancton charts the two tangled months of the kidnapping case, which led to a bloody shootout and ultimately triggered the fall of an industrial giant, the Empain dynasty.
Tom Sancton is the author of The Last Baron: The Paris Kidnapping That Brought Down an Empire (Dutton, 2022)
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