Anglen Explains Torturous Events in Book About His Son's Abduction
-by Sam Clanton (10/15/2011)
I sit down to write this evening, I've already mentally prepared myself
for a weekend with my boy. Tomorrow morning I'll wake up early and
drive a couple of hours to attend my son's soccer game. After that we'll
probably enjoy a nice lunch, and an afternoon of hanging out and
catching up. The next day will likely involve some outdoor activities;
maybe we'll go to the creek and catch crawdads, or throw a fishing line
in the water.
are the kind of moments that you can't take for granted if you're like
me, and had to fight for the right to remain in your child's life. His
mother left one day when he was just a baby. I wouldn't see him again
for 4 months, after a gut-wrenching, embarrassing dispute that would
ultimately be decided by a judge. I revisited that struggle this week as
I read Randy Anglen's book, “Kidnapped to South America”.
Anglen was the attorney I hired to take over my custody battle. I had
seen him at work in other situations, and decided he was the person I
needed working for me. I was right. From day one, I knew he wasn't going
to roll over when my child's mother poured on the accusations and
justifications for purposely taking my son away from me. I was desperate
at the time. I was hurting and emotionally compromised, and Randy knew
it. He helped me stay in the game mentally. He was efficient and
aggressive as a lawyer, and above all, he was kind and sincere in his
dealings with me in my fragile state. I'll never forget or cease to
appreciate the simple compassion he showed me.
for me to read his book -- a chronicle of how his life changed when his
son was taken from him -- was unbelievable on the one hand. How could
this man, a knowledgeable attorney who helped me secure a relationship
with my son, be denied the right to father his own child? Incredible.
But unlike the civil court system in Missouri and throughout the United
States, the courts in Chile seem to have little regard for the rule of
law, and even less for the international treaties that have been put in
place to prevent this very situation.
I was met with understanding and assurance that I would in fact have
the chance to know my son, Randy was met with contradiction, cruelty and
alienation. My four months without seeing my boy turned out to be four
years for Randy. The anguish and humiliation I felt during my battle was
a pittance compared to the hellish realities he has had to endure.
is a book about pain. With Randy's background, both in law and
journalism, “Kidnapped to South America” reads like a John Grisham novel
-- a legal thriller that becomes more twisted with the turn of each
page. But, as he warns the reader up front, it doesn't have a Hollywood
ending. It's a story about coping: having to get up each day and somehow
live your life when it is overwhelmed with circumstances that are
apparently beyond your control, despite your best efforts. The fact that
he was able to finish writing the book is a testament to the depth of
understand why Randy wrote it. Christian Anglen will one day know all
about his father's struggle to remain in his life. He'll know that his
mom, in continued acts of unfathomable selfishness, kept him away from
his dad in her native country, and worked to sabotage their father-son
bond. Sadly, Christian will probably lose a lot of respect for his
mother at that point. On the bright side, he'll gain a ton of respect
for his dad. I hope when that day comes, he'll be able to reach out and
Kidnapped to South America! The Story of My Son's Abduction was published in April 2010 by AuthorHouse. It's available for purchase online (paperback, $10.90) at http://kidnappedtosouthamerica.com/.
Randy Anglen maintains his law practice of 20-plus years in Hollister, Missouri, where he serves as Municipal Judge.
Clanton is a former newspaper editor and radio announcer, turned
mandolin picker and harmony vocalist. He lives in Branson, Missouri.