Gloria Schulze Has Been On The Run Since A Drunk Driving Accident In 1995
A friend phoned Angela Maher to ask for help. She and some others had been drinking, and they were stuck downtown. She asked Angela to come pick them up. Angela, who had founded a Students Against Drunk Driving group in her high school, didn’t hesitate.
SCOTTSDALE, AZ—For nearly 25 years, Gloria Schulze has been on the run for her role in the tragic death of a beloved young woman.
On In Pursuit With John Walsh, John and Callahan Walsh investigate the heartbreaking saga of Angela Maher — and the convicted drunk driver who killed her and continues to elude justice.
Angela Maher was the friend everyone wanted to have. As a popular, smart, and thoughtful student, she was also always there to help those in need. Speaking to In Pursuit, Rose Marie Maher remembered her daughter, saying, “Oh, Angela was a delight. She’d walk in a room and it would light up. And she always saw the light of everything.”
Rose Maher still lives in Arizona. The family moved to Scottsdale in 1978, when Angela was just five. Rose recalls Angela and her older brother growing up as a happy time, stating: “No matter what our children did, they had to be home for dinner. We were always a close family. We talked to each other. We knew what everybody’s day was like.”
Tragedy befell the Mahers when Rose’s husband died of a heart attack in 1991. Angela was a senior in high school. As Rose remembers, “It’s Palm Sunday. And he had a massive coronary on Sunday morning. My children were devastated when their father died. It was horrible."
Despite that sadness, Angela Maher and her brother pushed forward. Angela went on to major in diplomacy at Creighton University, while her brother attended at law school.
BIRTHAY CELEBRATION TURNS TO HORROR
During the summer between her junior and senior in college, Angela returned to Scottsdale to celebrate Rose’s birthday. On July 29, 1994, the mom and daughter enjoyed dinner together. Afterward, a friend phoned Angela to ask for help. She and some others had been drinking, and they were stuck downtown. She asked Angela to come pick them up.
Angela, who had founded a Students Against Drunk Driving group in her high school, didn’t hesitate.
As Rose recalls, “She hugged me good-bye and then she got in the car. And I said, ‘Make sure you put your seatbelt on.' Those were the last words Rose ever spoke to her daughter.
OUT OF CONTROL
While Angela was driving to bring friends to safety, police say an “out of control”
van crossed the center line and caused a fatal crash.
Scottsdale Police Detective Chris Humiston tells In Pursuit, “I remember hearing there was a serious injury collision. The conversation you hear over the radio kind of lets you know that it’s a serious thing. They use certain codes to say that a particular victim is not going to survive.”
Angela Maher’s mother says she will never forget the knock on her door that night. “The Scottsdale Police department came to my house, they knocked on the door, and they told me that Angela had been killed. I was in shock. I screamed outside. My neighbors heard me,” Rose Maher said.
Detective Humiston believes Angela Maher did not stand a chance. She suffered massive blunt-force trauma, as she tragically had not been wearing her seat belt. Investigators say the driver of the other vehicle, Gloria Schulze, 31, walked away with only minor bruises and a broken jaw.
Detective Humiston tells In Pursuit at the time of the crash that Schulze was living in one of her parents’ homes in Arizona and had done little to establish herself. He said, “She wasn’t working full-time here. She had credit cards that her parents had paid for. She wasn’t married; she didn’t have any children. She didn’t have a boyfriend. She just did not have any ties to the community, although she had been here for some number of years.”
Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic told Callahan Walsh that, in the wake of the collision, Schulze was hospitalized. She said, “That night, [Schulze] had watery bloodshot eyes, extreme smell of liquor on her, and admitted to both the doctors and the police that she had four or five beers that night.”
It was later revealed that Schulze’s blood-alcohol level was two times today’s legal limit.
Callahan Walsh spoke with family attorney Dan Maynard, who said “The irony was just too thick: a young, 21-year-old girl who had started the organization Students Against Drunk Driving at her high school, who is going to pick up somebody in a bar, to be killed by a drunk driver within miles of her house. It was just awful. You would have thought the county attorney would have picked up on that and would have arrested the accused that night.”
Detective Humiston says he couldn’t arrest Schulze on the night of the deadly accident, because she was in the hospital. For one full month, Schulze wasn’t charged with a crime. Finally, at the end of August, cops picked up Shulze for drunk driving and manslaughter.
ARRESTED, YET RELEASED
To make matters worse, according to Laurie Roberts, “You would expect someone facing a manslaughter charge to be arrested and to have to bond out of jail. But the judge decided not to set a bond for her. I think that’s unheard of when someone has been accused of driving drunk and killing someone. She didn’t even as much as lose her driver’s license.”
Dan Maynard says Schulze’s wealthy family hired the best defense attorney in the area. As a result, Judge Michael Ryan released Schulze without bond, but with a few stipulations. Schulze reportedly had to call in once a week to the Maricopa County Pretrial Services Agency. She was also required to be drug-tested three times a week, and she couldn’t leave the state of Arizona without permission.
The attorneys proposed a deal that would put Schulze behind bars for 14 to 16 years. Rose Maher protested, stating, “They wanted me to plea bargain the case; I said, ‘Absolutely not.’”
The trial ended up being postponed six times. Callahan Walsh pointed out, “Now the trial was delayed many times and for some people, they might find that unusual, but that’s a tactic of a high-paid defense attorney.”
Finally, Schulze was ordered to appear in court on September 15, 1995. On the first day of trial, Schulze failed to show up. She simply disappeared. Rose Maher says, “I was livid. I was livid, just livid.”
Laurie Roberts has pointed out that in the two weeks prior to the trial, Schulze skipped five separate drugs tests, and not one person caught it. She also reportedly missed one weekly call-in with the court. None of her violations of the bond agreement got reported.
TRIAL GOES ON, WITHOUT DEFENDANT
In 2001, Rose Maher finally had her day in court for her daughter. Although there was the prosecution, the defense, a judge and a jury – Schulze was once again nowhere to be found.
As Laurie Roberts noted, “It was very bizarre, because the prosecutors could not tell the jury why there was this big empty chair next to them — because Gloria wasn’t there.”
Roberts goes on to say the case was basically a “slam-dunk.” Schulze was tried in absentia, and the jury found her guilty of vehicular manslaughter.
After more than two decades, investigators released an age-enhanced photo of what Schulze might look like today. Take a good look at her facial features and hair. Schulze reportedly never held down a regular job, but did some secretary type work for her parents in the past. She also has family in Orange County, California.
TRAITS & CHARACTERISTICS
- Weight: 115 pounds
- Height: 5 feet 5 inches
- Sex: Female
- Race: Caucasian
- Eyes: Green
- Hair: Brown, but could be grey and short
- Last seen: Scottsdale, AZ
- Current age: 56
- Date of birth: October 26, 1962
- Hardly ever wears makeup
- Known to smoke marijuana and cigarettes
- Has family in Orange County, California
- Never held a serious or fulfilling career
- Loves large animals, especially huskies and bigger dogs
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For more on this case, watch the “Deadly Reunion” episode of In Pursuit With John Walsh on Wednesday, February 13 at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery! Or catch up on ID GO.