Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Greenlease Kidnapping

The Greenlease Legacy

Bobby Greenleases parents took refuge in their Catholic faith after the murder, and they made frequent visits to his burial site, the Abbey Mausoleum at Forest Hills Cemetery in Kansas City. Virginia and Robert Greenlease drew particular comfort from the Rev. Joseph Freeman, a Jesuit priest from Rockhurst College in Kansas City. The couple would never forget the priests kindness.

Mr. & Mrs Greenlease at funeral
Mr. & Mrs Greenlease at funeral

They funded a permanent position named in Freemans honor on the schools philosophy faculty, and over the years they continued to donate generously to the school in their sons memory.

The Greenleases financed construction of a library and art gallery for the college and in 1962 donated land for a new affiliated high school. The school property was named the Greenlease Memorial Campus.

The couple lived long lives. None of their offspring was so fortunate.

Bobbys adopted half-brother, Paul, died in 1964, at age 47. Bobbys full sister, Virginia Sue, also died young, at age 43, in 1984.

The causes of the deaths have been obscured by time, but a cousin of the family said of Virginia Sue Greenlease, The sister never grew up to be a happy, normal person. What happened to her brother had a bad effect on her.

Robert Cosgrove Greenlease Sr. lived for 16 years after the kidnapping. He died on September 17, 1969, at age 87. The mother, Virginia, died at age 91 on September 24, 2001, five days short of the 48th anniversary of the kidnapping.

She left $1 million each to Rockhurst College and Rockhurst High School in the names of Robert Greenlease Jr. and Sr.

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