Father and Son Fugitives Finally Return After 20 Years

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Class 3 Entertainment has acquired the life-rights to "One down, One to Go," the true story of Rolando Rodriguez' twenty-year flight from false kidnapping charges. The Illinois man's underground drama and bizarre child custody case will be developed as an inspiring family tale involving a murder and false accusation that Rolando sacrificed his life to overcome.

I can't imagine what it would be like for a college-educated father to pose as a minimum-wage earning illegal immigrant just to keep his son safe

Class 3 Entertainment has acquired the life-rights to the true story of Rolando Rodriguez, an Illinois man who went underground for twenty years to protect his young son. When Hal and Cheryl Croasmun, the producers of Class 3 Entertainment, first heard the story, now marked for upcoming film or television development, they recognized something special.

"I can't imagine what it would be like for a college-educated father to pose as a minimum-wage earning illegal immigrant just to keep his son safe," says Hal Croasmun. "And the son, nineteen out of his twenty-year life was spent as a fugitive. That's intense. But even more intense is how this all began."

Its beginning was a child custody case that led to a murder and ultimately to Rolando and his son becoming fugitives.

According to Rolando's attorney, Tim Mahoney, on June 8, 1987, he should have died. "A bullet meant for me killed my law partner instantly. It was a terrible tragedy," comments Mahoney. "One day, I'm laughing with my best friend, and the next, I'm a suspect in his murder."

Rolando recalls his worry, "When my attorney's partner was murdered, I knew who did it and I knew that I was next."    Rolando and his son were on a plane that night. Naturally, that meant that Rolando missed the upcoming custody hearing and lost custody of his son. A few days after that, a warrant for kidnapping was issued for Rolando's arrest (stemming from Illinois divorce case 86 DKA 733).

Eighteen months after the shooting, Rolando's ex-wife testified against the shooter, Bill Nally -- the man who was convicted for killing Tim Mahoney's partner (People of the State of Illinois v. William Nally 88 CF 1371). But according to her own testimony, she brought Nally to the attorneys office and provided escape after the shooting -- all in an attempt to scare Rolando into giving her custody of their child.

Even though the murder had been solved, the kidnapping warrant was still in effect.

"This man sacrificed his whole life to protect his son," said producer Cheryl Croasmun. "While on the run, he fell in love, got married, had two daughters, and managed to keep the entire family under the radar for 20 years. Talk about family secrets!" (How does someone hide that long with a family of five?)

After two decades, the kidnapping warrant was finally quashed. Rolando and his family are making adjustments to return to normal life.

Hal and Cheryl Croasmun of Class 3 Entertainment, own the life rights to the project. Development partners are invited to contact the producers. Additional info can be found at Rodriguez case info.


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