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Posted: 7/22/2010 5:38:21 AM EDT
Larry Hillblom
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article should be divided into sections by topic, to make it more accessible. Please help by adding section headings in accordance with Wikipedia's style guidelines. (April 2010)
Larry Lee Hillblom (1943–1995) was an American businessman and a co-founder of DHL Worldwide Express, a shipping company.
Larry Hillblom was born and raised in Kingsburg, California. Larry Hillblom was a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law and briefly clerked for San Francisco based attorney, Melvin Belli. In 1969, Hillblom co-founded DHL, which delivered shipping documents via air courier days before the ship arrived, so that the ships could be quickly unloaded. The company was later transformed into a general air courier, and Hillblom's wealth expanded to several billion dollars. In the 1980s, he moved to Saipan, where he started several businesses and development projects in Hawaii, Vietnam and the Philippines.
In Vietnam, he spent $40 million to restore the Dalat Palace Hotel as well as the Dalat Palace Golf Course, in an attempt to recreate colonial times. Other investments included the Novotel Dalat, Novotel Phan Thiet and Ocean Dunes Golf Course and, outside Ho Chi Minh City, Riverside Apartments. The investment was done via an overseas holding company to avoid an American embargo against Vietnam. The Dalat Palace Hotel featured French restaurants and "Larry's Bar". The hotel opened in 1995 under Hillblom and his Vietnamese partners' ownership with management personnel provided by Accor.[1]
He was an aircraft enthusiast, and flew several vintage aircraft. Hillblom's seaplane crashed on May 21, 1995, on a flight from Pagan Island to Saipan. The bodies of the pilot and of a fellow passenger / business partner[2] were found, but Hillblom's body was never recovered.
Hillblom's will stated that the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) would receive his estate, and did not specify any children in the 1982 will. There was no "disinheritance clause" in the will, which Hillblom thought was unnecessary since he did not recognize his illegitimate children.[3] After his death, his estate was the subject of lawsuits from children fathered across the Pacific. According to Saipan law, illegitimate children born after a will has been drawn up are entitled to make a claim on the estate.[4]
Girls from several Asian and Pacific countries made claims that he was the father of their children. They stated that Hillblom had visited bars in Micronesia and the Philippines, offering virginal girls money in exchange for sex. Most of the attorneys in Saipan became involved in the case, according to one Saipan attorney.[4] However, since Hillblom's body wasn't recovered in the crash, there was no DNA that could be used to determine paternity. Mysteriously, his house in Saipan was discovered to have been wiped clean. The sinks had been scrubbed with muriatic acid, and toothbrushes, combs, hairbrushes and clothes were found buried in the backyard, making them useless for DNA testing.[3]
Investigators discovered he had a facial mole removed at UCSF Medical Center, and it was still there; UCSF agreed to relinquish the mole (although its release could, of course, deprive UCSF of the estate if it could be used to prove Hillblom had sired children). It later turned out that the mole was not from Hillblom.[3]
Hillblom's mother, brother, and half-brother initially refused to submit their DNA (which could have also been used to determine paternity of the various children). Investigators then decided to use a different tactic: how did the DNA of the children compare with each other? Since the women were in different countries, if their children shared certain DNA markers, they'd almost certainly have the same father. However, investigators in the case were eventually able to convince Hillblom's mother to supply a sample of her DNA in exchange for $1 million and a French villa.[3]
It was ultimately determined that a Vietnamese child, 2 Filipino children, and a child from Palau were fathered by Hillblom. In the final settlement, each of the four children received $90 million (about $50 million after taxes and fees), while the remaining $240 million went to the Hillblom Foundation, which followed Hillblom's wishes and donated funds to University of California for medical research.[5]
A film by Alexis Spraic documenting the legal hoopla that took place after Hillblom's death, titled Shadow Billionaire premiered at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.[6]

Was the crash and failure to recover the body a result of a planned disappearance?
Link Posted: 7/22/2010 2:48:57 PM EDT
Great story...my ground instructor at Lakes actually related it to the class.

No, though I suppose it is possible that he's chilling with Amelia Earheart somewhere, sipping cocktails mixed by Elvis.  The Pacific is a big ocean.
Link Posted: 7/22/2010 6:18:15 PM EDT
I used to work at DHL's CVG hub,when all this was going on.
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