• http://donna-justme.blogspot.com Donna W

    I don’t think we moved to KC until 1954 or 55, but I remember people talking often about this case. Did Greenlease live in KC North? Seems I remember us driving by an estate in the Northland somewhere and someone pointing out Greenlease’s house.

  • http://donna-justme.blogspot.com Donna W

    Oops, I just went back and read that they resided in Kansas. That’s what I get for speedreading so I can look at the pictures. Anyhow, this was fascinating to me because I remember all the talk about it.

  • http://hyperblogal.blogspot.com/ Hyperblogal

    Very interesting. I remember this case even though I was just a little kid…. a little younger than Bobby. What is truly amazing, at least to us today, they were caught in October, tried and convicted in October and executed in December.

  • http://kcmeesha.com meesha.v

    I was actually looking for old cars in KC, Greenlease Cadillac came up and then I found the rest of the photos. That’s what I like about the whole old picture thing.

  • smh

    Thanks for find and posting this. Very interesting stuff. I agree w/ hyper. The judicial system was quite efficient back then.

  • http://moxiemamakc.blogspot.com Moxie Mama

    Very nice historical post! I knew about the kidnapping, but had never known all the details. Where is that Notre Dame de Sion? Do you know?

  • http://kcmeesha.com m.v.
  • Jim

    The Greenlease kidnapping was the last instance of kidnapping for ransom in KC. Before Greenlease, Nell Donnelly Reed, wife of Senator James A. Reed was kidnapped for ransom. Before Reed, the daughter of a high ranking city official was kidnapped and representatives of a local organized crime family murdered the person that they held responsible.

    The main reason that Bobby Greenlease was the last is that the perps were executed within 90 days from the time the crime was committed. Contrast that with the evil Michael Taylor and Roderick Nunley who are still awaiting execution more than 20 years after raping and murdering a 14 year old girl. We’ve lost our collective will to deal with the human waste.

    http://www.kmbc.com/news/2165033/detail.html for info on the Taylor Nunley fiasco

  • midtown miscreant

    While I have read some about this, and heard Walt Bodine and the Late Jane flynn talk about it, you had some new details I didn’t know. Did they mention recovering the money the cops took? Like everyone else, I’m impressed at the speed they executed people back then. Last and most important, this happened 6 years before I was born, since Hyper and Donna actually remember it, there are at least two people, make that 3 counting old ass XO, who I am younger than!!!! Good post.

  • http://kcmeesha.com m.v.

    “Over half of the $600,000 was never found”.
    I just copied the story from the site linked at the top of the post and added the photos so the information is not really mine. I feel like a young pup in youll’s company :-)

  • http://donna-justme.blogspot.com Donna W

    Meesha, you are about the age of my son. A pup, indeed.

  • JoeMommaSan

    Robert Cosgrove Greenlease, Sr., a wealthy automobile dealer who resided in Mission Hills, Kansas City, Missouri

    Mission Hills in on the Kansas side – it’s not part of KCMO.

  • http://kcmeesha.com m.v.

    I didn’t write this, it’s copied from the page linked on the very top.

  • Becky

    That is indeed the Notre Dame de Sion web site. Bobby Greenlease attended what we call the “lower school,” or elementary school at 38th and Locust. You can see the old building peeking from above the massive Boy Scouts Fountain at 39th and Gillham.

  • Craig

    The house is in Mission Hills, Kansas. The house was numbered for one street then later changed for the cross street. The back of the home overlooks the Brush Creek and the country club. 6200 Verona.

  • Gus

    I just finished reading a book about the Greenlease kidnapping/murder, ZERO AT THE BONE, the Playboy, the Prostitute and the Murder of Bobby Greenlease by John Heidenry. I grew up in St. Louis and now live in the area where the kidnappers hid out when they got here. Our police force hasn’t gotten better yet.

  • J. W.

    At least they knew how to deal with human garbage back then.

  • Andrew

    The Greenlease home in Mission Hills is 2920 Verona Road…..Not 6200 Verona. I knew three different families that lived in that home…The inside is absolutely beautiful…8 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms…about 12,000 square feet.

  • http://tricocopier.com Jason Vance

    Last night I read a book, by famed preacher John Rice. His book (famous salvation messages he had preached) had one sermon based on human greed – as espoused in the kidnap-murder of Bobby Greenlease.

    The photos and sparse words, blew me away.

    Like most readers – I too am impressed by speedy justice (especially as compared to today’s exaggerated system that seems designed for anything but justice.

    PS: Little note seems to have been made of the murderer (Carl Hall}and the fact that he came from a wealthy background and inherited a fortune (which he promptly squandered on woman, gambling, drugs, and profligate living. [maybe he planned on a career in politics]. Also, Bonnie Heady, was driven by dreams of money. She told at least one listener that she thought she would only get 30 years, and be out on parole by the time she was 45. She only had one fear -and that was of poverty. Allegedly she said, “….death would be better that being poor.” or words to that effect.

    It might be noted that Mr. Rice, the preacher noted how class-warfare (the rich vs the poor) often demonized the rich and made it OK (at least on a sub-Rosa level) to kidnap and harm a wealthy person… even a child. Apparently the child was not only murdered, but beaten before being killed by the heinous Carl Hall.

  • http://kcmeesha.com m.v.

    Jason, thanks for your comments, this is one of the most viewed and commented posts on my blog and I get search hits every day, I didn’t realize how many people were interested in this old case.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1487585850 Mike Hudson

    Thanks for posting this story, I grew up in Kansas City, MO and this is the first that I have heard of this tragic event.

  • Howard Blue

    In relation to my research for a book about another kidnapping, I would be grateful to anyone who could post the names of any of the FBI agents who worked on the Greenlease.

  • http://kcmeesha.com m.v.

    Maybe you can find some information in the original Life article http://bit.ly/caeuyS

  • http://www.pro-sys.ca/comserv/members/New-yorkPublicSchools63.aspx Elvis Blue

    Last night I read a book, by famed preacher John Rice. His book (famous salvation messages he had preached) had one sermon based on human greed – as espoused in the kidnap-murder of Bobby Greenlease.

    The photos and sparse words, blew me away.

    Like most readers – I too am impressed by speedy justice (especially as compared to today’s exaggerated system that seems designed for anything but justice.

    PS: Little note seems to have been made of the murderer (Carl Hall}and the fact that he came from a wealthy background and inherited a fortune (which he promptly squandered on woman, gambling, drugs, and profligate living. [maybe he planned on a career in politics]. Also, Bonnie Heady, was driven by dreams of money. She told at least one listener that she thought she would only get 30 years, and be out on parole by the time she was 45. She only had one fear -and that was of poverty. Allegedly she said, “….death would be better that being poor.” or words to that effect.

    It might be noted that Mr. Rice, the preacher noted how class-warfare (the rich vs the poor) often demonized the rich and made it OK (at least on a sub-Rosa level) to kidnap and harm a wealthy person… even a child. Apparently the child was not only murdered, but beaten before being killed by the heinous Carl Hall.

  • Randy

    I live in St. Louis and my aunt was a friend of May Traynor, the brothel madame who, in turn, was buddy-buddy with Lt. Lou Shoulders – arresting officer and eventual recipient of most of the missing Greenlease money. Because my aunt was in Madame May’s address book she was called in for questioning to see if she knew anything or could help provide leads to information on the missing $300,000. She didn’t and couldn’t.

  • Marilyn

    My husband was working at McDonnell Aircraft during this tragic event. I was on maternity leave from MAC and so was Mary Dolan, Elmer’s wife – Mary and I had worked together in the same department, and were expecting our first children in December, 1953. Reading this account brought back memories long forgotten, but I well remember talking to Mary on the phone numerous times after Elmer was incarcerated. My husband and I returned to Florida during this time and eventually Mary and I lost contact. I notice that Lou Shoulders has died, but I am wondering if anyone knows about the Dolans. I am not good at searching the computer for lost friends.

  • Texas Rockhound

    I was five when the Greenlease kidnapping happened and it was used for years to warn us kids about being careful and not leaving with anyone we didn’t know. It impressed me so much I have never forgotten it.

  • Audrey Burtrum-Stanley

    I too, grew up with the sad saga of this little boy’s fate. His father and mine were friends and fellow automobile dealers. His tragic end was a warning in our household and countless others across the nation – children should never go anywhere with strangers.

    When I was 19 and visiting KC (I was not from the area) with college pals, we ate at the famed ‘NY DELI’ on Troost St. It was so crowded in the restaurant, we took our sandwiches ‘n drinks and decided to eat across the street at a huge cemetery.

    Upon arrival there, we took note workmen were removing the faded Memorial Day bouquets from inside the marble mausleum. We strolled inside in the cool, shady building – reading the famed long ago names of parks, important businesses, even infamous mobster clans, etc… all from the Kansas City area. I had never been to this place nor did I know anything about the fame and infamy of the inhabitants till this tour. These were the final resting places of historic figures.

    At the apex of the design was buried a Doctor…and to the left of his site was a wall of white marble tombs — the Greenlease family’s final resting places. The lower tomb is Bobby’s. It had a special metal wreath – a gift from a boy’s orphanage in Italy.

    Visiting this was almost like ‘a religious experience’ as the name had echoed amongst my family allllllllll my life. Upon returning home and telling my Father about stumbling across the gravesite of the Greenlease lad – he, like so many strangers-to-the-family-who-had-only-read-of-the-story-in-newspapers, wept again.

    • Caroldow

      Gina greenlease and I were roommates for about two years and close friends in Kansas CITY in our twenties-she never

      mentined Bobby but it was obvious that she was very damaged by the experience -I often wonder what happened to her- I have lived in Ca. for many years but grew up in Mission Hills

      • Usbrit414

        She seems to have lived a bohemian lifestyle.  Had a daughter but didn’t marry the father, AFAIK.  A license was taken out that was allowed to expire.  She died at Truman Hospital of undisclosed reasons in her early forties, although when she was buried it was under a different last name.  Her mother outlived both of her children.

  • Wylycoyote1

    I remember this case from my childhood living in Prairie Village, KS. at the time.  My father Percy Wyly 2nd was SAC of the KC FBI Office at the time.  This was a very tough case for my Dad and his family.  Very sad, but the FBI broke the
    case and brought the kidnappers to justice.  I was seven at the time – the same age as Bobby having been born in 1947.  Tough case but very proud of my father (1935-2000) and the other law enforcement people, who were able to solve the
    case and bring these fugitives to justice.  Jim Wyly  

    • http://kcmeesha.com kcmeesha

      Thanks for your comment, I am still surprised when anyone who was somehow touched by this case comments here but as you can see above, lots of people remember. I have few more Kansas City law enforcement posts 
      http://kcmeesha.com/2009/03/14/life-photo-archiveskansas-city-crime/
      http://kcmeesha.com/2010/08/16/old-photos-kansas-city-bombing/

    • Branonoldmill

      Jim, I remember your family. My father, Bill Simon, was sent out from NY office to assist on the case. We were assigned to KC previously & he was ASAC there later–we lived in Indian Hills & attended St. Ann’s. Believe Clarence Kelley was Chief then. Although we left KC, this tragic case was unforgettable. Stephanie Simon Branon

  • Lou

    I am aware that the Greenlease case was looked at again, by law enforcement, later on when Wilma Allen was kidnapped and murdered.

  • thisaintdennys

    It’s really a shame justice for the victims has fallen to the wayside in favor of making sure these animals get a “fair” shot. The victims meet their fate without any deliberation by a jury or any intervention by attorneys. No one argues for hours over whether they should live or die. And I don’t understand the “insanity” defense. OF COURSE they are insane, but calling it “insanity” adds to the stigma of people who live with mental illness. Not all mentally ill are sociopaths. And it is a very small percentage of the mentally ill who commit such acts.

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