Cursed Or Criminal? 7 Wealthy Families With More Than Their Fair Share Of Controversy

Every Kennedy generation has been touched by tragedy Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As a wise man once said, “more money, more problems.” These seven families are prime examples of how money and dysfunction go hand-in-hand. From kidnapping and murder to suicide and disease, these families have seen it all. But here is the question: Are these families cursed or is their bad luck simply a byproduct of entitlement, addiction and adultery? Let’s examine the evidence…

Hearst launched a media empire and lived large Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Hearst launched a media empire and lived large Photo: Wikimedia Commons

1. The Hearsts: Media Wealth Breads Criminal Activity 

Newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst built a journalism empire, financing generations to come and defining how we consume information. While Hearst was an admirable businessman, he wasn’t a great husband. Hearst had an affair with actress Marion Davies and fathered actress Patricia Lake with the star. When it came to politics, some claimed that Hearst fueled the Spanish-American war.

Fast forward to the third Hearst generation and the bad luck multiplied. Patty Hearst was kidnapped by a guerrilla terrorist group, which demanded $400 million in food donations for poor California families. To make matters worse, Patty developed Stockholm Syndrome, robbed a bank and ended up in jail. President Clinton eventually issued a pardon for Patty, but that couldn’t erase the all those years of bad press.

Getty attempted to negotiate with his son's captures...it didn't turn out well Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Getty attempted to negotiate with his son’s captures…it didn’t turn out well Photo: Wikimedia Commons

2. The Gettys: Kidnapping And Much, Much More

John Paul Getty founded the Getty Oil Company and went on to be named 1957’s richest man in America. The Gettys’ troubles started with John Paul’s children. Getty Jr.’s wife died of a drug overdose, while Getty III was kidnapped by the Italian mafia and had his ear cut off when his father refused to pay the ransom. The kidnappers were able to extract $3.4M, but Getty III was so scared by the experience that he became addicted to drugs before overdosing and becoming a paraplegic. And don’t forget Getty’s daughter, Aileen, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1984.

John Gotti was arrested until the early 1990s, that doesn't been he hadn't been committing crimes for years Photo: Wikimedia Commons

John Gotti was arrested until the early 1990s, that doesn’t been he hadn’t been committing crimes for years Photo: Wikimedia Commons

3. The Gottis: Known For Extortion, Rape And Murder 

How could we make a list of dysfunctional families without including an infamous crime family like the Gottis? John Gotti was no stranger to crime growing up in the notorious Gambino family. John’s brothers Gene, Richard and Peter also participated in numerous illegal activities. Gene was the first to be “made” (aka murdering someone to get into the Mafia), while Richard was convicted of statutory rape and extorting money from Steven Seagal.

The second generation of Gottis carried on the notorious legacy and were known for faking breast cancer and stealing money from a pre-school…classy stuff. You can watch the reality TV series Growing Up Gotti to see John’s daughter’s life as mafia heiress. As recently as 2013, John Junior was stabbed while breaking up a fight outside of a CVS.

Sante Kime and her son while on trial for murder and dozens of other charges Photo: Carlos Chavez/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Sante Kime and her son while on trial for murder Photo: Carlos Chavez/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

4. The Kimes: The Mother And Son Duo From Hell 

While The Kimes family might not have all the glitz and glamour of the Gettys, they are just as dysfunctional. Sante Kimes sits at the center of the notorious clan. Kimes married Kenneth Kimes Sr, a California real estate mogul, exposing her to wealth and an ever expanding array of criminal charges.

It’s hard to sum up Kimes and her son, Kenneth Jr’s, laundry list of illegal activity, but we’ll touch on the highlights. Before dying in 2014, Sante was convicted of two murders, robbery, violation of anti-slavery laws, forgery and 117 other charges. Mother and son were also the prime suspects in a third murder. Kenneth eventually confessed to the crime.

Every Kennedy generation has been touched by tragedy Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Every Kennedy generation has been touched by tragedy Photo: Wikimedia Commons

5. The Kennedys: The Curse That Terrorizes Each Generation

Joseph Kennedy managed to make millions, but many believe he also managed to curse his descendants in the process. Joseph Jr., the oldest Kennedy son, was the first to face the horrible Kennedy curse, dying in combat during WWII. In Joseph Jr.’s generation, Kathleen died in a plane crash, while both John F. and Robert were assassinated.

As if that weren’t enough tragedy for one family, Robert’s son died of a coccaine overdose and his other son, Michael, died in a skiing accident. Along with their tragic deaths, the third Kennedy generation faced rape charges, a murder conviction, abuse allegations and an alleged affair with a teenage babysitter. Adding to the curse rumors, JFK Jr. and his wife died in a plane crash over the Atlantic Ocean and RFK Jr.’s estranged wife hung herself in a barn.

While many people share fond memories of the Kennedys, others claims the curse is nothing more than the consequences of entitlement, adultery and addiction.

Gianni (left) passed a billion dollar empire to his children Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Gianni (left) and his grandfather (right) passed a billion dollar empire to his children Photo: Wikimedia Commons

6. The Agnellis: Problems That Billions Can’t Fix

You might not know the Anglelli name, but you surely know Fiat. Giovanni Angelli, aka Gianni, became the president of Fiat in 1968. Gianni amassed a $2 billion empire, but his descendants weren’t exactly prime candidates to inherit that level of wealth. Giovanni’s son, who earned the nickname “Crazy Eddy” became addicted to drugs, was arrested for drug trafficking and was an ardent believer in mystic philosophies. “Crazy Eddy’s” life was cut short when he committed suicide in 2000 by jumping off of a bridge.

The next in line was Giovanni’s nephew, but he and his uncle both died from cancer. Now, the remaining Agnelli heirs spend their time battling for a piece of the Giovanni’s massive wealth. Seems like there is more than enough to go around, right?

Christian (left) and Marlon Brando (center). Christian was charged with murdering his brother-in-law Photo: AP Photo/Nick Ut

Christian (left) and Marlon Brando (center). Christian was charged with murdering his brother-in-law Photo: AP Photo/Nick Ut

7. The Brandos: Addiction And Tragedy At Every Turn 

Marlon Brando’s family experienced unimaginable tragedy. Brando won two Oscars while drug and alcohol addiction spread from his mother, to his wife and even to his son, Christian. Brando’s son served 6 years in prison for shooting and killing the boyfriend of his half-sister, Cheyenne. Five years after the murder Cheyenne committed suicide and Christian died of pneumonia at only 49-years-old.

What do you think: Are these families truly cursed or are they criminals? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Go deeper inside a world of murder and corruption. Watch Hand of God on Amazon Prime.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

  • Not Scorsese

    Was expecting the Dursts, the DuPonts & the Kissels to make this list…

  • Stephanie Brown

    The Kennedy’s are worse than anything Shakespeare could have written.

  • Parker Gabriel

    The Kennedys were the reason I referred to “Kennedean Evil.”

    That evil had already destroyed Rosemary, and it poisoned beyond any hope of detoxication whatever John Fitzgerald(35th administration of the Presidency), Robert Francis(Attorney General and Secretary of “Justice” under his own brother), or Edward Moore, called Ted(decades a Massachusetts Senator, but long believed–though it was never proven for lack of evidence–to have murdered Mary Jo Kopechne in Chappaquiddick), might otherwise have achieved.

    I had no respect left for ANY Kennedy. To me, they were ALL EQUALLY guilty of Kennedean Evil.

    • Zealeish

      Even for poor Rosemary Kennedy? That was tragic, and her poor mother was entirely blindsided and unaware. I wouldn’t wonder that she had issues after that was done to her daughter.

  • Nana Berry

    it is spelled BREEDS not BREADS

  • joeyvegas

    Your spelling is atrocious- nearly every family profile contains at least one spelling error. This leads one to wonder how accurate your facts are.

  • El Ron Hubba Bubba

    I agree. Very poorly written. And why are we assuming that criminal and cursed are mutually exclusive.

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