Friday, January 15, 2010

Zero at the Bone

I recently read "Zero at the Bone" by John Heidenry. This is a true crime account of the 1953 kidnapping and murder of Bobby Greenlease, a 6 year old boy, by two alcoholic losers who were quickly caught and executed. I did not find it very worthwhile.

In part this is because of the depressing subject matter. The two perpetrators, Carl Austin Hall and Bonnie Heady, are completely unsympathetic planning to kill the little boy from the start. Heady's role was to remove the boy from his school by posing as his aunt. Hall killed the boy and then sent ransom demands to his parents eventually collecting a $600000 ransom. Hall didn't enjoy the money long as he quickly drew attention to himself and was arrested. As was Heady who seems to have been in a drunken stupor for most of their time on the run. Nor are the police very appealing only catching Hall after being tipped and then apparently stealing half the ransom.

But it is also because the author does not tell the story in a very interesting manner spending far too much time for example in a tedious recounting of Hall's exact movements after he collected the ransom and before he was caught.

So in summary this is a not very enthralling account of a lurid but ultimately not very significant crime. Give it a pass.

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