Bobby Greenlease (Robert Cosgrove Greenlease)

Bobby Greenlease

Bobby Greenlease was said to be a trusting boy. According to John Heidenry, whose book Zero at the Bone: The Playboy, the Prostitute, and the Murder of Bobby Greenlease, is an account of the case, kidnapper Bonnie Heady said that from the moment she appeared at his school (claiming to be a relative taking him to his sick mother), Bobby just took her hand and did anything he was told to do. In September 1953, Carl Austin Hall and Bonnie Emily Brown Heady kidnapped Bobby Greenlease from Notre Dame de Sion, an exclusive Catholic school located in Kansas City, Missouri. The kidnappers were drug-addicted alcoholics then living together in St. Joseph, Missouri. In the early 1930s, Hall had attended Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri, with Paul Robert Greenlease, Bobby’s adopted older brother. Hall had planned for some time to victimize his former classmate’s wealthy family. Heady went to Bobby’s school, persuaded a nun that she was his aunt. (She told a false story, saying that his mother had suffered a heart attack). She then took him away. Hall and Heady then took him across the state line to Johnson County, Kansas, where Hall shot him to death with a revolver. After the murder, Hall and Heady sent Bobby’s father a message demanding a ransom of $600,000. Greenlease, desperately trying to save his son, held off the police and the FBI. He paid the money. Hall and Heady collected the ransom and fled. At that time it was the largest ransom ever paid in American history. Hall became convinced that police would trace them to St. Joseph, Missouri, and he impulsively decided to drive to St. Louis, Missouri, instead. Bobby Greenlease is interred in a Mausoleum at Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri.

Once in St. Louis, Hall left Heady in the middle of the night in a rented room and contacted criminal associates in an attempt to divert police attention. One of the associates, a former prostitute named Sandra O’Day, was supposed to fly to Los Angeles and mail a letter Hall had written. It was thought that this would divert police attention from St. Louis. However, O’Day caught a glimpse of the ransom money and decided to do some diverting of her own. St. Louis police soon learned that Hall was flaunting a large sum of money, and they brought him in for questioning. Hall eventually implicated Heady. The police found Heady at an apartment at 4504 Arsenal street and also found a shallow grave in her backyard. The kidnapping and murder scandalized the nation and soon led to federal indictments, trials, and subsequent executions for both Hall and Heady. They died together in the Missouri gas chamber on December 18, 1953.

More Images

  • greenleaserober -


  • February, 03, 1947
  • USA
  • Kansas City, Missouri


  • September, 28, 1953
  • USA
  • Lenexa, Kansas

Cause of Death

  • gunshot wound


  • Forest Hill Cemetery
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • USA

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