Everyone on the planet seemed excited about The Phantom Menace
Ol’ Blue Eyes would be celebrating his centennial this year if he were still alive. You know him for his crooning, his charm and his acting, but did you know that in 1963 his son was kidnapped for ransom?
Frank Jr., A Brief History:
Francis Wayne Sinatra, Frank Jr., was born January 10th, 1944, and was originally supposed to be named after the president at the time, Franklin D. Roosevelt. From an early age, Frank Jr. wanted to play the piano and continue in a life in entertainment like his father, whom he didn’t see often. He went on to work in the industry and has made several guest appearances on shows like Family Guy and The Sopranos.
On December 8th, 1963 Frank Jr. was staying at the Harrah’s Lake Tahoe hotel when he was abducted from his room by three men. Lead by Barry Keenan, the men took 19-year-old Sinatra and demanded $240,000 for his return.
When Frank Sr. first learned of the kidnapping, he offered to pay Keenan and his men 1 million for the return of his son, but Keenan demanded significantly less. He eventually decided he would pay the ransom. Frank Sinatra Jr. was released, unharmed, 2 days later when his father paid the ransom.
After Sinatra and his family were reunited, there was some concern that Sinatra Jr. had orchestrated the entire kidnapping for the media attention. It was quickly dismissed when evidence showing Keenan was mentally ill showed up. Keenan said he had heard voices that told him his plan was “blessed by God.” He also stated that by kidnapping the boy he was bringing the Sinatras closer together.