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Terror in the Heartland: The Bobby Greenlease Kidnapping

What You Don't Know About Kansas City's Crime of the Century

Carl Austin Hall and Bonnie Heady, convicted in the kidnapping and murder of Bobby Greenlease.
Carl Austin Hall and Bonnie Heady, convicted in the kidnapping and murder of Bobby Greenlease. (Courtesy | State Historical Society of Missouri)
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It remains one of the most famous crimes in Kansas City history – the horrendous kidnapping and murder of young Bobby Greenlease.

Yet much of the twisty, grizzly story has never been fully told. And one key element of the crime remains tantalizingly unresolved.

So says Anthony Ladesich, a Kansas City-based director and screenwriter who has been researching the case for 18 years. The curiousKC team turned to Ladesich seeking answers for an inquiry from a loyal Flatland reader.

“The kidnappers were inept at best…,’’ Ladesich says. “They were far too drunk and drugged out to really live up to their criminal potential.”

Yet the 1953 crime committed by Carl Austin Hall and Bonnie Heady still echoes in Kansas City history.

“Every single child that grew up in this era knew the names Carl and Bonnie,” Ladesich says. “They were the boogie men.”

See much more in the attached video.

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