Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Greenlease Kidnapping

Stalking and Planning

Carl Hall cuckolded Bonnies pimp and took over his place in the womans bed. He called her Baby Doll. She called him Honey Bunch. They polished off twin fifths of whiskey almost every day. He beat her now and again, then apologized and professed his love. She forgave him and loved him back.

They had an arrangement: Heady paid for everything. The woman would later say she felt pressure to provide her lover with the finer things in life because he had grown accustomed to living high on the hog until his inheritance ran out.  

But she continued working as a home prostitute for only a few weeks after Hall arrived in her life. It wasnt that he was morally opposed. He had a bigger score in mind than $10 tricks.

That summer, the couple frequently drove to Kansas City to carouse at fancy hotel bars. Heady noticed that Hall often mentioned the Greenlease name during these trips. They would drive by the Greenlease Cadillac dealership, and Hall would brag that he was a Kemper classmate of the rich mans son.

Greenlease Cadillac
Greenlease Cadillac

During one Kansas City visit, Hall picked up a phone book and jotted down the Greenlease familys phone number, Gilmore 6200, and address, 2920 Verona Road in Mission Hills.

Hall told Heady the Greenleases had a young son and that the boys old man probably would pay $1 million to get him back if they kidnapped him. Heady later said she went along because she loved Hall and was afraid to lose him.

Soon the couple was casing the Greenlease home in Mission Hills. Hall went so far as to telephone there, but he was informed by a maid that the family was on vacation in Europe and would return for the start of school in September.

When September arrived, Hall became acquainted with the familys routines. He followed Robert Greenlease, Sr. one morning as the man drove Bobby to school at Notre Dame de Sion. Hall decided to use a time-tested method of kidnapping: go to the school with a sob story and ask that the boy be released.

Hall had no intention of holding the boy for ransom, as the FBIs Greenlease case file makes clear.

FBI Agent Donald Hostetter wrote, He further related that previous to the time the victim was kidnapped he had decided to kill him because he considered the boy evidence, and that he thus decided to destroy the evidence.

In the week before the kidnapping, Hall used Headys money to buy a tarp and a bag of lime. He dug a hole in Headys backyard. Heady prepared a ransom note. Hall read that $1 million is too heavy for one man to carry, so he decided on $600,000 in $10s and $20s, with a total weight of 85 pounds.

His greatest worry concerned the nerves of Bonnie Heady, whom he told the FBI would do anything for one more drink of whiskey.

Hostetter wrote, He further advised that due to her alcoholic mind, she would be in a haze for days, and related that she would drink at least a pint of whiskey before breakfast. He stated that his only fear at the particular time was that Mrs. Bonnie Heady was not getting his instructions through her drunken mind and would foul up things at the crucial time when it came time to obtain the victim.

He neednt have worried. Two drunks were able to pull off the kidnap plot because the nuns at Bobbys school were so willing to turn over the boy without so much as a single skeptical question.

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