• Bobby Greenlease in 1953
  • The spot where money was dropped of for the return of kidnapping victim 7 yr. old Bobby Greenlease.
  • Schoolmates of kidnapping victim 7 yr. old Bobby Greenlease, praying for him.
  • The funeral of kidnapping victim 7 yr. old Bobby Greenlease.

A Grave for Bobby: The Greenlease Slaying


Norman Williams (left) and Sgt. Floyd Gaunt of the sheriff's office inspect the scene about one and one-half miles south of Overland Park, Kan., where the FBI says six-year-old Bobby Greenlease was slain by his abductors. FBI agents dug at the scene on Oct. 12, 1953, in an effort to locate the bullet which killed the boy but they filled the hole before allowing newsmen into the site.

Robert C. "Bobby" Greenlease (1947-1953) was the son of multi-millionaire automobile dealer Robert Cosgrove Greenlease, Sr., of Kansas City, Missouri . He was the victim of a kidnapping in September 1953 that led to the largest ransom payout in U.S. history at the time; however, Bobby Greenlease's abductors had no intention of returning him to his family. Before the ransom demand was even issued, the young boy was murdered by his abductors, Carl Austin Hall and Bonnie Emily Brown Heady


Bobby Greenlease in Sion school. September, 1953.

Justice came swiftly in those days. Hall and Heady, thinking they would avoid the death penalty, pleaded guilty to murder. On November 6, 1953 a federal jury convened to hear pleas and decide their punishment. Three days later jurors took only 8 minutes to deliver the death penalty for Hall. It took two votes to decide the same penalty for Heady. A few minutes after midnight on December 18, 1953, less than three months after killing Bobby Greenlease, they were put to death in the gas chamber in Jefferson City, Missouri.