Robert “Bobby” Greenlease Jr. was the son of multimillionaire Robert Greenlease, who owned car dealerships from Texas to South Dakota in the 1950s. In September 1953, Carl Hall and Bonnie Heady kidnapped 6-year-old Bobby from Notre Dame de Sion, the Catholic school that he attended. The pair immediately shot Bobby to death with a .38 Smith & Wesson revolver and then called Robert Greenlease to demand a ransom. The two claimed that $600,000 would result in Bobby’s safe return.
Greenlease paid the ransom, leaving it at an agreed upon location. After retrieving the money, Carl and Bonnie escaped, leaving Greenlease with the dead body of his son. The media erupted in fury, recalling the Lindburgh kidnapping that had shocked the nation two decades earlier, and the police began a concerted manhunt. The pair were apprehended in St. Louis, but only half of the ransom was recovered and returned to Greenlease.
Both Hall and Heady were executed in the Missouri gas chamber on December 18, 1953.