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A Byte Out of History: The Bobby Greenlease Kidnapping

Two criminals, a 6-year-old boy, a $600,000 ransom, and a tragic end 60 years ago.

Sep 30, 2013 04:30 PM

A Byte Out of History: The Bobby Greenlease Kidnapping


On September 28, 1953—60 years ago this past weekend—a woman knocked on the door of the French Institute of Notre Dame de Sion in Kansas City, Missouri. When a nun answered, the woman explained that she was the aunt of Bobby Greenlease, a six-year-old student at the school, and that his mother had just suffered a heart attack and she needed to take the boy immediately. Except the woman was not Bobby’s aunt, and his mother had not suffered a heart attack. Instead, Bonnie Emily Heady—under the direction of her paramour, Carl Austin Hall—had just kidnapped the son of a very wealthy Kansas City car dealer. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare…but what happened next was even worse.

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