“My wife had gone to the police and falsely accused me of sexually abusing my children. I was left with no other option but to take my children and kidnap them to put them in a safe environment,” says Glen Schulz, who documented his journey in the book, Unlawful Flight.
For two years, Glen was on the run from his ex-wife and the F.B.I. He and his two young children went from state to state, traveling thousands of miles, while living at camp grounds and motels.
“The day the authorities located me and I was put in the car, in my heart, I knew that it was probably over,” Glen shares. “The relationship with my children, the love that we shared, was probably over, and that fact alone was devastating.”
Glen’s daughter, Melissa, says her mother’s actions were spiteful. “My mother accused my father of molesting me when I was a child and they had first separated. I thought that was absolutely ridiculous. All of those charges were dropped,” she says. “Later on in life, I did have conversations with her in regards to that situation and she did admit, it was something that she made up. She was angry, and it was something [she did] out of spite.”
Dr. Phil turns to Melissa. “What was it like for you?” he asks.
“When all of this was going on before my father took us, it was very rocky with my mother. They were young. My mother, I will never say anything bad about her, and my father never has either. We have memories as children, and they were tough, so I think us leaving and being with him on the run was actually OK,” she replies.
“What goes through your mind the day you decide to take these children and make a run for it?” Dr. Phil asks Glen.
“I had two choices: bad and ugly. Bad was to risk whatever it took, to go through hell if I had to, to give them the loving home that they had,” he replies.
“It had to go through your mind that if you kidnapped these children, you got caught and convicted, you’d be gone for 25 years, and they wouldn’t see you,” Dr. Phil observes. “That was a risk you were willing to take?”
“Absolutely,” Glen replies. “I’d take it again tomorrow, because they’d know that I loved them that much.”
“Did you feel loved when he took you?” Dr. Phil asks Melissa.
“Did you miss your mother?”
“I’m sure there was a part of me that missed the mother side of it, but my dad was great. It was never a question in our minds, â€˜Did he love us?'” she replies.
Dr. Phil addresses Glen. “You eventually did get custody. Tell me about that moment,” he says.
“They invoked this rule where if you were going to testify, you could not be in the room when it occurred. My attorney had said, â€˜You’re not talking.’ I was allowed to stay in the room. The very first person to be called was Sandy, their mother. Everyone else had to leave the room. Sandy testified for approximately a day and a half,” he replies. “After a day and a half, the judge sat everybody down and said ” and now is the part where I’m going to cry ” â€˜We’ve heard Mrs. Schulz talk about how much she hated you, Mr. Schulz, for all these years. We’ve heard Mrs. Schulz say how badly he needs to rot in hell for the rest of his life. We’ve heard all of these things. We never once heard [her] say that [she] loved or missed your children. At this time, we’re awarding temporary guardianship to Mr. Schulz.'”
“That is a really sweet story,” Liz Cates pipes up from the audience. “But reading through your whole book, I don’t know anything about what your children were interested in in school. I don’t know much at all about them.”
“If you read the book, the things that he lied about were things to get him to be able to take care of us. The principal of my elementary school came to court to testify for him. He did not lie to the school,” Melissa counters. “There was never one day, not one day, in my 33 years that my father has ever said anything negative about my mother to myself or my brother.”
“I don’t condone what I did. I will be judged one day. I’ll be judged by my God, my son and my daughter,” Glen says.
“But you would do it again,” Dr. Phil says.
“You’re damned right I’d do it again,” Glen says.
“What I really care about is what you think and how you’re doing,” Dr. Phil tells Melissa.
“My life is great. There has never been one day in my whole life, or my brother, for that matter, that we ever regretted our childhood or what happened. As I stated before, we had a chance to bond with our mother and get to know her. There was never one day, ever, that my father said, â€˜You cannot have a relationship with your mother. I will not allow that,'” Melissa replies. “When we made the decision to go and have a relationship with our mother, he encouraged that.”
“There are 500 to 1,000 children being kidnapped every day,” Ken says. He adds that when couples get married, along with their wedding vows, they need to promise to put their children first.
Dr. Phil says the fifth mistake divorcing parents make is treating their children like adults. “Kids are kids. You don’t burden them with adult issues and ask them to make adult decisions,” he says. “I think that’s a terrible situation, certainly when they’re in the vulnerability of having their family torn apart by divorce.”
He instructs the former guest, Ken, to look into the camera and address his estranged son.
“Son, I love you very much. I miss you. I’ve loved you from the day you were born until today. I want you to come home. Today is your birthday. I wish you a happy birthday. I’m not capable of hugging you or kissing you. You don’t answer my e-mails,” Ken says, voice quavering. “Anything I’ve done wrong, I’m sorry for, but I love you. Please come home.”