Michael Schumacher was supposed to die in prison. Now he’s a husband doing yard work, a grandpa rocking his grandson, and a valued hospital employee.

By Michael “Shoe” Schumacher

Michael “Shoe” Schumacher surrounded by his family.

Live from New Jersey, April 9, 2024 –It’s hard to believe that it’s been 3 years since my release from the hotel after 36 years of torture. It’s still like a dream to me with the fear of waking up and still being in an abyss filled with death and corruption.

God has really blessed me since I have been out, actually He has blessed me my whole life but I didn’t have enough sense to recognize or appreciate it. Since my release from Holman prison in 2021, I have been married to the love of my life Kathlyn, and I still can’t believe that! I have gone to college on the internet and have been certified as a logistics technician. Greg Womble, a filmmaker, and Elaine Witt, a journalist, got interested in Kathlyn’s and my story and produced a documentary film called “Love Without Parole.” The film has been shown in several film festivals across the country and PBS even picked it up and broadcasted it.

I have relocated to New Jersey to be with Kathlyn, and I had to learn a number of things. One is how to parallel park as there is nowhere else to park in the city. I got it down and went and passed my driving test and now am a licensed driver. I have gone and opened a bank account and have debit and credit cards. My credit score is in the very good category now and this amazes me because I can remember when I got out I didn’t even register. I am still paranoid of online banking but it’s how things are done in this day and age.

Kathlyn regularly reminds me that it’s not the early 80’s and prices are high, I have had a hard time swallowing how much things cost. It’s mind blowing to say the least. But I can pay for what I need because I got myself a full time job at a hospital for the mentally ill. I like the job because it provides me an opportunity to be a servant and I have always wanted to help others who can’t take care of themselves.

Folks still think I am crazy because I still find enjoyment in doing laundry and ironing. It’s awesome! I have found YouTube to be a very helpful tool. I have used it to learn how to cook different things. I even learned how to cook black eyed peas and ham hocks in the crock pot. Had to have them for New Years. I also enjoy doing the yard work, the weed eater was new to me but I have mastered that now. I got myself a mini chainsaw and this has been a treat. Now that I work full time I will have to figure out when I will do yard work.

I am better on my I-phone and can remember the day after my release Kathlyn bought me my smartphone and I didn’t even know how to turn it on. Now it’s just a way of life for me and I am amazed at the technology these days. I also continue to play Scrabble daily on the internet and even am a member of a Scrabble club that meets once a week.

Pappa Shoe and his grandson Akari.

I have found a Church that I like. God has blessed me in so many ways, as I think about it, He has given me everything I missed out on in the hotel those 36 years. I am now a Grandpa!. My daughter Kimberly had a baby boy eight weeks ago and his name is Akari. This is a new experience for me but I welcome it. How can you not love a baby? I am going to have a T-shirt made that says PAPPA SHOE! I am fixing to start reading to him out of the Scrabble Dictionary.

I stay in contact with 6 or 7 people in the hotel and they like to hear about what all I am doing and they use it as a safety line to help them hold on cause they can remember when I was in prison with a sentence of Life Without Parole and then here I am.

God is good all the time!

Special thanks to J. Mark White and Hope Marshall of White, Arnold, and Dowd, whose pro bono assistance helped secure Michael’s freedom.

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