Eighth Circuit Historical Society

The Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit

Western District of Missouri Branch


2011 Annual Report

The Western District of Missouri chapter had a successful year, carrying out many of the ideas suggested to it by Senior United States District Judge Howard F. Sachs. For all who know him, Judge Sachs is a historian in his own right and his leadership of the organization has sustained its continued growth over the years. Many lawyers here trace their interest in or love of history to him. In September 2010, the chapter sponsored a luncheon featuring Jack Heidenry, the author of the nationally acclaimed book, Zero at the Bone. That work told the story of the grizzly and bizarre kidnapping and murder of five-year-old Robert Greenlease in the fall of 1953. The Greenlease kidnapping, the payment of a huge ransom demand, the subsequent apprehension of the kidnappers and their trial before Judge Albert L. Reeves of the Western District are widely recognized as elements in one of the most famous criminal cases in the Court's history. Nearly 80 attorneys attended the event.

In February 2011, the chapter was fortunate enough to collaborate with the Truman Library Institute to host an evening lecture and discussion with Ken Gormley, author of the New York Times best-seller The Death of American Virtue, the definitive history of the lead-up to and the impeachment trial of President Clinton. The book was named as one of the Top Ten Books of 2010 by Janet Maslin of the New York Times. Over 250 people attended Gormley's presentation.

Finally, work is ongoing on a permanent historical display in the Whittaker courthouse that will trace the history of the Court, its judges, and its most discussed cases. That project, approved by Chief Judge Gaitan and the Court en banc, is taking shape under the tireless leadership of the Court's Clerk, Ann Thompson.

As of June 30, 2011, the chapter has $25,134 on hand in its account, the result of a generous donor.

Submitted by,

Paul Donnelly, President
Tom Larson, First Vice President
Larry Rouse, Second Vice President and Treasurer
Elaine Drodge Koch, Secretary

July 28, 2011

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