I am married to Christopher John Boyce.
Since 2002, we have zealously guarded our privacy, refused interviews (except once for the L.A. Times) and basically kept a low profile because of people who feel that being judgmental of others is their God-given right.
My husband is Christopher John Boyce. I tell you this because it explains so many facets of life – his lack of life experience, tinged with the overwhelming horror of having watched men die in prison. A life of family and friends, flying falcons over the fields that were once Palos Verdes. Maximum security prisons, escape and bank robberies. Two books and a movie that claimed to portray him, and the struggle to get people to understand that he has lived past The Falcon and the Snowman.
Chris spent years in prison, dreaming of the day when he would be able to fly his falcons in complete freedom. He never thought he would be released, and what kept him alive were his dreams of his birds. He would dream of soaring free with the birds and he was able to escape, if only for an hour, the oppression that he brought on himself by going to prison.
But it’s the little things that make a life, and since his release in September 2002, Chris has had to relearn every facet of survival outside of prison walls.
In the beginning, we pledged not to write a book or “go Hollywood.” We rejected interviews and we didn’t tell people who we were. We didn’t want to walk that road because really, life is hard enough without drawing attention to yourself if you are on parole. People have opinions and good or bad, those opinions can sometimes be intrusive. Chris was luckier than most men released from prison—he had a support system with me, and with my friends and family. He was protected from the haters, those who could not accept the fact that he had been released from prison.
We moved away from my big city and my big state to a small state, a smaller town, and a house of our own filled with dogs and birds and a big kitchen. We started to feel safe. Chris made friends easily, was happy to be in a house with a yard, and living the life that he had spent his confinement dreaming of. We joined in our community and we became normal. Those people who live down the block…
Time passes and things seem to right themselves. My mind wandered a year or so ago, and I started thinking that if I was going to write a book, this would be the time. I scribbled down some thoughts but frankly, I had so many other things happening in my life that I couldn’t concentrate and knew I couldn’t do this alone. I am fortunate enough to have Vince Font as a friend and, when I mentioned this idea to him, he did not think I was crazy. But so many ideas, so many years to write about, a life to catch up on!
More often than not, I am astounded by the sheer volume of people who have an interest in Christopher Boyce and Andrew Daulton Lee; the fact that The Falcon and the Snowman is still televised several times a month, the out-of-the-blue emails that I receive from people who are inquisitive about both men and what became of them.
With the support of family and friends, Chris, Vince, and I set out to answer the question: what did become of the Falcon and the Snowman? Twenty-five years of memories came flooding back. Some were good, some not so good. Some were funny, some were a little sad. But still, they were the memories that would remain with us forever.
So, while writing this book I am reminded of what Thomas Wolfe said in You Can’t Go Home Again: “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood… back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame… back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time—back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”
While we struggle to make this time and this memory something that will shape us as human beings, to atone for that which was wrong, it also is a step forward in life—a life outside of prison walls.
Cait Boyce is the co-author of the book American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman, which was co-written by Christopher Boyce and Vince Font. The 40th anniversary expanded edition of the book, published in 2017 by Glass Spider Publishing, is available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and other online bookstores.