The Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth
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
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.
Paul Donnelly, President
Tom Larson, First Vice President
Larry Rouse, Second Vice President and Treasurer
Elaine Drodge Koch, Secretary