Quail Valley Book Club Reviews “Unlawful Flight”
By Lisa Glenn.
Two weeks ago an unusual happening took place in Quail Valley, Texas. A father who literally kidnapped his own children addressed a group of women, mostly mothers and grandmothers, at the home of Linda Rimes, where her book club had gathered to discuss his debut novel, “Unlawful Flight: A Parental Kidnapping.” Also with him were his now adult children Melissa and Brian, with whom he fled almost 30 years ago. Also along were his two grandchildren.
Schulz says he wrote the book after many years of thinking about it and writing things down, as his way of “saying thank you to God and the amazing people who helped them stay together as a family”.
One has to keep in mind that the events chronicled in this story take place back in the 1980’s when father’s rights were not what they are today. At that time most fathers had little or no chance of gaining custody. Schulz, out of respect for his now deceased ex wife, says they divorced, as many do, because “their lives went in different directions.”
The book begins with the events that motivated Glen to disappear with his children (Brian age 7; Melissa age 6) in August of 1981 during his first weekend visitation in what became a roller coaster of years in hiding from family, friends and the law. At that time only 44 of our 50 states belonged to the “The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act”, and Texas was one of the six that did not, which is exactly why the Houston area of the Lone Star State became their home, after fleeing Phoenix due to detection by the authorities on the evening of Brian’s 8th birthday.
“Relationships are what you build as you live your life,” commented Schulz, and the network of support they built as a family including their school principal, teachers, and friends become their lifeline when Glen was apprehended by the FBI in 1983 and charged with “unlawful flight to avoid prosecution on a State of Ohio kidnapping warrant.” Protected by a caring support system, they hid away until the legal wizardry of Eric Andell and the rulings of Judge John Peavey Jr. afforded them asylum in Harris County (and eventual full custody), after the judge spoke to the children in Chambers with the three attorneys involved present.
Brian is now thirty-three. He and his wife Mynda have two children. Brian attends college full time while working and endeavors to obtain a degree in psychology. Melissa is the proud aunt of Brian’s children, six year old Emma and two year old Mason. She works for a large home builder in West Houston. Glen, author of many children’s stories and poems as well, is now taking a leap of faith to promote his books and writings and works with father’s rights groups to help others so that they don’t do what he did so many years ago. He does not encourage anyone to take their children and flee.