The Bizarre Kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr.

by Placerville Newswire / Mar 26, 2016 / comments

The recent death of Frank Sinatra Jr., the son of famous singer-entertainer Frank Sinatra Sr., will rekindle the memories of those who will recall the bizarre, headline-grabbing kidnapping of Frank Jr. in Northern Nevada 53 years ago.

Frank Jr., who was 72 when he died unexpectedly of a heart attack March 16 while on tour in Daytona Beach, Fla., left a successful legacy of his own as a singer, arranger and songwriter.

The middle child of Frank Sr. and Nancy Barbato Sinatra, he was 19 when three men kidnapped him at gunpoint from his room at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino at South Lake Tahoe on Dec. 8, 1963.

It was approximately 9 p.m. when young Sinatra, who had just begun his career in music and was preparing to perform in Harrah’s showroom, responded to a knock on the door by a man claiming he had a package to deliver.

Opening the door, Frank Jr. and a friend who had joined him for a chicken dinner, were seized by the three kidnappers and bound and gagged with duct tape. Blindfolded, Frank Jr. was hustled out a hotel side door and tossed into the trunk of a rented Chevrolet Impala which roared off and headed to Southern California. His friend, who had been left behind in the hotel room, freed himself, alerted the authorities, and Douglas County

sheriff’s deputies and Nevada Highway Patrol officers immediately set up roadblocks on roads leading from Harrah’s.

The kidnappers’ Impala was stopped by officers, but the kidnappers bluffed their way through and sped, with young Frank still in the trunk, to Canoga Park in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley where they took him to a rented house and tied him to a chair in the living room....

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