Protection from abuse

Henry R. Lanz, 40, and his wife Paula M. Lanz, 39, were the parents of two young children and had one of those relationships often described as ‘troubled’ but apparently could also be described as ‘abusive’. Paula Lanz has been variously described as a nice person, and a loving and caring mother. Paula Lanz alleged at one point that Henry Lanz had a drug problem, and neighbors have called him abusive.

In 2005 the two separated and a protection from abuse order was taken out on Henry Lanz. Lanz was accused of stalking her and threatening to burn her house down. In May, Lanz was accused and pled guilty to violating that protection from abuse order.

In Nov. Lanz filed for a protection from abuse order saying that Paula Lanz had threatened to kill him. But he later dropped the request.

Despite the PFA order, Lanz’s vehicle was frequently seen at Paula Lanz’s home. At least one report says they attempted to reconcile but she allegedly ordered him out of the house in Dec. The two shared custody of the two children. Some of the acts that Lanz allegedly committed was to stuff mothballs in her vehicle’s vents, with the vapors allegedly causing distress to Paula Lanz and their children that required medical treatment.

According to one report Lanz once told Paula Lanz that

“This won’t end until one of us is six feet under”

and that he had talked about killing her and disposing of her body

“no body, no crime.”

On Jan. 29 when the babysitter arrived at Paula Lanz’s home, Henry Lanz was there and allegedly told her that Paula Lanz had left on a business trip.

On Jan. 31 Paula Lanz was reported missing. On Feb. 1 st, Henry Lanz was arrested and held on charges he violated the protection from abuse order, by being at Paula Lanz’s home. On Friday her remains were found in a burned vehicle hundreds of miles away. The coroner’s report indicates that she had been shot in the head prior to the vehicle being set on fire.

On Saturday Lanz allegedly confessed. According to police Lanz has told them that on Jan. 28 his wife was at his home that he shared with a roommate. Allegedly he had told the roommate that he had problems and the roommate had said he would take care of them.

Allegedly while Lanz and the children were outside, Paula Lanz had gone inside the home and the roommate had shot her. Allegedly Henry Lanz had given the roommate some money and Paula Lanz’s ATM card.

Then while Henry Lanz had taken the girls to their mother’s home and put them to bed, the roommate had used her own vehicle and had driven Paula Lanz’s body hundred’s of miles away to Tennessee. Allegedly during the drive he had made several calls to Henry Lanz using Paula Lanz’s cellphone. Once in Tennessee the roommate allegedly set fire to the vehicle.

Henry Lanz was arrested on charges of homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide, criminal solicitation, and hindering apprehension.

The children are now with family members. Allegedly on Jan. 28 the couple had argued over the children.

The investigation is continuing and no charges have been brought against the roommate as yet.

myeyewitnessnews.com                            post-gazette.com 

pittsburghlive.com                                     post-gazette.com

thepittsburghchannel.com                     pittsburghlive.com

A protection from abuse order or restraining order is useless unless it is followed through. When the other party violates the order, it is up to the party to make a report with police.

It’s not that easy though. This is a person you presumably love. The other parent to your children. Often you don’t want to see them get into trouble. You know if that parent goes to jail, your children will be upset.

It is important to remember why you took out that protection/restraining order and the feelings you had at that time. It is also important to remember that it is not your actions that will get them in trouble- it is their own actions. And most of all, it is important to remember that failing to make that call will not guarantee that your children will not suffer distress.

Children are very often aware of the actions of the other parent- sometimes they are even directly affected by those actions. Even if you can hide the actions from the children, they usually will pick up on the stress of the parent that those actions cause. Those stress’s affect a child just as much as knowing the parent went to jail. And if worse  becomes  worse they could lose both parents. So take out that order, and follow through on enforcement of that order.

Exchanging the children for visitation is often a problem. Sometimes those exchanges are made in a public place, sometimes they occur through a third party. In some areas arrangements can be made for those exchanges to be made at a public agency. Remember to ask your court or advocate what arrangements can be made.

If you consider reconciling, while not something that I would recommend…..but if you are considering then at least make sure the spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend participates and completes a course on domestic violence prevention that is available in most communities. Because despite any promises that will be made, they will need to learn and practice new ways to handle problems. You can find the location of the domestic violence prevention programs by contacting your local domestic violence agency.

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25 Comments

  1. becky J said,

    February 7, 2007 at 6:38 am

    the children, no matter what age they are, even when mom is still pregnant, are affected by the stress, they can tell there is something wrong, so for that fact alone one should keep the restraining order, and try to seek counseling to keep the children out of the middle of the situation. A child is better off with two parents who are separated and happy, than with two parents together and miserable, it can definatly cause long term issues with the children living in the situation.

  2. Curt S said,

    February 18, 2007 at 4:40 am

    Paula Lanz was the innocent victim of a person and a system severely flawed. Henry Lanz is a useless, worthless excuse for a human being. She put up with his drug, verbal, and physical abuse longer than any one should rightfully have had to. After the separation and the PFA was placed she was constantly harassed at work and at home by this sick excuse for a human being. The courts and police largely ignored her pleas claiming that he “had rights”. I guess those rights should end now that he put two bullets in her and tried to burn the evidence with another useless worthless accomplise. Henry is someone who had always managed to dodge the law. An arson fire he bragged about setting in Illinois where he received a large insurance claim. An alleged back injury at a job granting another settlement. Reports of items being stolen from the numerous jobs he tried to work over the past 5 years. Paula took the kids from their home and left with just the clothes on their backs to get away from him, yet he constantly pursued and harassed her. Now she’s dead. Two little girls have a murdering jailed father with a difficult future ahead. Henry dropped off the kids with friends. The same friends who bailed him out of jail each time he was arrested on the PFA violations before Paula’s murder. Hopefully the children will end up with caring people with no affiliation with Henry and those derelict vagabond friends he somehow became associated with. Paula cared the world about her kids. How or why she was lured over to his place to pick them up is a mystery. Henry Lanz must not win. ever again. Hopefully he will receive a death sentence.
    Nothing less would be an insult.

  3. Judy S. said,

    February 25, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    I would like to say that Paula was a very dear friend and a wonderful sister in law as well as a loving mother who would do anything for her girls. Her girls where her life. I for one feel just horrible over her tradgic death and to this day have a very hard time dealing with the fact that she is truly gone. She will live forever in my heart and will never be forgotten. Her children are my niece’s and I will fight for them to make sure that they are in a safe home with loving people who are willing to take care of them for the right reasons and not for the reason the state is willing to pay for them. I am willing to do what ever I have to do to make sure that the children can come and live in my home. I would not require any state money to raise them. I can not say what will happen to Henry and this Karl but what ever happens will be up to God. I can say that it takes a sick person to kill someone and then drive with the body for four days. This is a sick, sick person. I hope someone reads this that can help me get custody of my niece’s I can not change what has happened I want to do what is right for the girls that is the most important thing in my life right now. I do not live in Pittsburg so it has been very hard for me to get information on the custody hearing and what I need to do. I have spoken to several people representing the children but feel I am not getting anywhere. Please if anyone can help me I beg for you to do so.

  4. February 25, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    Judy, in order to be heard at the custody hearing you would most likely need to get an attorney. Your attorney can then work with the court.

  5. Christine said,

    February 26, 2007 at 4:33 am

    I would like it to be known that the family caring for the girls right now are not vagabonds. No one could have known what Henry was capable of, they certainly did not or he would not have been welcome in their home. They are a couple that I have known for years and I have left my children in thier care without hesitation. They feel badly about what happened to Paula and have been caring for the girls simply because they love them and because that is where the girls want to be. I have seen them and they are very happy there. They are in a home that is safe and they have good food and clean clothes. I am not sure if this is widely known but when Paula and Henry were separated, at one time the only way Paula would let Henry see the girls was if the visit was at the home where they are now living. I think that shows that Paula not only liked this couple but trusted them. Paula attended several functions at their home and I saw her there myself, she looked quite comfortable. Please understand that these people are not trying to hurt anyone, they are trying to help. They are not bad people, and they certainly do not consider themselves Henry’s friends. They want nothing to do with him.

  6. Bess Dierolf said,

    March 5, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    Paula Lanz was my neice, and its unfathomnable to realize that something like this happened to her. She didnt deserve what Henry did to her. Not only did he take away the mother of his children in premeditated cold blood, but he took away a member of our family who was dearly loved. Henry not only ruined her life and his… but that of his children and all the family and friends of Paulas’ who deeply cared for her as well. Paula was a loving mother who loved her girls and only wanted the best for them, a much-loved daughter, a special neice and reliable friend. She touched a lot of peoples lives with her kind heart and quick smile. Even when she was going through the bad times, she always looked on the positive side of life. She just wanted to pick up the pieces of what was left, be strong for her daughters, and move on in her life She asked the same of Henry…but he wouldnt give her the peace she deserved. He harrassed her to the point of her having to seek protection…and yet even that didnt keep him away. He should have taken his own life instead of hers and ruining the lives of countless others. I for one, will never get over this tragedy. Its something that NEVER should have happened. She sought help…and didnt get the help she so desperately needed and now its too late! It literally takes a death before someone sits up and takes notice….and thats what is the real tragedy here.

    Now the fate of her daughters…two beautiful little girls… is in the hands of another worthless agency…Child and Youth Services. Paulas’ daughters should be with family…not with strangers. I cannot comment on the couple who Child and Youth Services placed them with temporarily, as I don’t really know them….but hopefully they will end up in their rightful place when all is said and done. Many members of my family are concerned about the people who now have them….and with good reason…they were friends of Henrys…where he took and dumped off the girls when he didnt feel like dealing with them…where he took them after her murdered their mother!! All I can ask is…what exactly is in it for them???? Right now no one can even visit the girls…what kind of people would want to keep them away from their family…a family that loved their mother and would spend the rest of their lives making sure they got to hear about their mother…not forget about her.

    I’m sure they are providing adequate care…but are they really looking out for the best interests of the girls…or their OWN interests? Please keep Alexa and Abbey in your prayers…its all we can do for them now…I pray to God every day that they end up with a family who loves them and will care for them and look out for their best interests. Paula was failed by a system that does not work…we can only hope that she will not be failed again, by having her daughters end up in the wrong hands. They need to be with family…to be able to visit their grandma and to grow up in a nurturing, loving enviroment….its too late for Paula…but her daughters can still seek the support of so many family members who remember her with love and will make sure her daughters are well cared for…please pray for them and the courts will do what is in their best interest.

    I will never forget my loving niece…Its bad enough that she was so brutally taken away from us….I dont want to have her children taken away from our family as well… Havent we all suffered enough???

  7. James Z said,

    March 15, 2007 at 12:15 am

    After hearing about the results from the custody hearing, the friends of
    Mrs Lanz convinced the court that the children will eventually be turned over to the brother from North Carolina after building a relationship with
    the children over the next 60-90 days. The couple with whom Mr Lanz had
    left in care of the children will continue to care for them until that time.
    Mrs Lanz had made some seriously poor decisions during the time of the

  8. James Z said,

    March 15, 2007 at 12:26 am

    Protection From Abuse Order and may have even considered briefly that
    a reconciliation might occur, but decided against it even after cosigning
    documents for Mr Lanz residence (the murder site) and a new pickup truck
    found at her home. Those choices probably made by Mrs Lanz during a period of self-doubt proved to be her undoing. Mr Lanz had no visitation
    rights, but allowed him to see the children on occaision, and stay at a neutral sight. Lesson learned, obtain a PFA, maintain the terms of the PFA
    and do not interpret it any differently without police supervision or until it

  9. James Z said,

    March 15, 2007 at 12:27 am

    is legally approved by the court.

  10. March 15, 2007 at 12:46 am

    Well said James. Thanks for the update on the children.

  11. steve said,

    March 16, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    I graduated high school with Paula, and she was instrumental in organizing our 20 year reunion this past January. Classmates have started a fund for her daughters if anyone is interested in donating, and we are also having an online ebay auction.

    Auction runs from 3/16 – 3/26 – go to ebay.com and click on the Advance Search button. Type in SMPMUSIC04 to the “find by sellers” field.

    If you want to donate directly to the girls fund, please send checks to:
    Lanz Children Fund
    c/o PNC Bank
    US Steel Tower
    600 Grant Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219

    Please make sure you have the name on the account being Lanz Children Fund, as that is the only way to make sure the money goes to the correct
    account. If you send a check, just include a note that the check is a deposit to the Lanz Children Fund.

  12. yavie said,

    November 14, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    Paula Lockhart was one of my best friends and I miss her! I will not call her by her married name, since that individual doesn’t deserve to be acknowledged. I knew something like this would happen, because she was involved with a very dangerous mentally unstable man. Despite going through the proper channels to seek help, the system failed her.
    I was blown away that anyone in his family would even consider they should get custody of Paula’s daughters. I couldn’t imagine a bigger mistake. That family was never involved with the girls and what an injustice that would be to allow someone that is associated with that man to have anything to do with the upbringing of the girls. From what I know about that family, the further away from the girls they stay, the better off they will be.
    I hope James Z. is correct and the girls are with Jim ( Paula’s brother ) now and I know Jim and is wife will keep them as far away from harm as possible.

    God Bless Abbey and Alexa and may they always know how much their Mother loved and adored them through the memories shared by those that loved Paula! God rest your soul my dear Paula Princess, I miss and love you very much!

  13. STEVE DIEROLF said,

    November 19, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    JIM AND HIS WIFE HAVE BEEN TAKING VERY GOOD CARE OF PAULA’S DAUGHTERS. BUT ISN’T IT FUNNY HOW CONSERNED THE COURTS HAVE BEEN WITH HENRY’S RIGHTS? WHILE MY NIECE PAULA WAS DEPRIVED OF HER’S.

  14. Debra White said,

    December 30, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    Paul was a wonderful friend. We shared December birthdays and had lunch together to celebrate. That is what my last memory is of her. Happy 40th Paulas we all love and miss you.

  15. Taneeka C. said,

    February 1, 2008 at 9:25 am

    I just learned of this story today. As I am reading the story and the comments of friends and family there are more than the 2 innocent children involved. I would like to say that I was raised a Christian woman and that the death penalty is a sin just as murdering someone. As a complete stranger to Paula never meeting her or knowing her I am deeply saddened by what has happened to her. Her daughters, family and friends are in my prayers. I pray that the children will be loved the same way that Paula loved them. I feel that in this case not only should the 2 involved with Paula’s death be prosecuted but the state as well. Afterall, the police are hired to SERVE and PROTECT! Such an injustice that a young womans life is taken, that 2 young ladies will have to live with this for the rest of their lives. When is this going to end! How many more battered women have to go through this? How many more children have to live without their parents? Once again, The children and family of Paula are in my prayers. God Bless and stay strong…those little girls need you more than ever now!

  16. Brian Malone said,

    March 21, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    I am in total shock. I just learned of this today. I dated Paula for about 6 months when she moved to Chicago (I helped her, her mom and her brother Jim move her in) from Pittsburgh. She was my rep at GNC when I needed to add on to my order. We were good friends even after we broke up. We had decided it wouldn’t work out. Paula was such a good person, she even got my new girlfriend a job at MCI and we even went to their wedding in Pittsburgh. She never had a mean bone in her body. She truly was a very friendly, positive, upbeat person who enjoyed life and I never seen her depressed or sad. This is truly tragic and I am saddened by this.

    God Bless you Paula.

  17. ANDREA said,

    February 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Judy, Im sorry you sound so phony on here. What Karl did to Paula is horrile and the fact Henry has to pay for it is a sin. Hes not perfect but as his sister you know he could have never hurt anyone. You didnt care what happened to Alexa and Abby just like you dont care about your brother, how many lies have you told him. I didnt know Paula and wish I had but i do KNOW Henry better than most people and know he couldnt of done this and I will help him as much as i can. How is it justice that the scum Karl will be walking free soon, most likly to hurt someone else.With Gods help this wrong will be righted I believe thats why God brought me back into Henrys life. Paula loved him and even with their problems they were together again new house, new truck, new life till Karl took it away. And now those poor girls have not only lost their loving mother but a father that loves them dearly. And thats truly a sin.

  18. miek said,

    May 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Andrea, I knew henry when we were kids,we went to the same school. He was always in trouble for something and should be considered a sex offender for stuff he did to a neighborhood kid! how anyone would marry him and have kids is beyond me, but even with that they don’t desserve to be murdered!

  19. ANDREA E said,

    June 12, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Meik,
    I also knew Henry as a younger man,I ated him for a year when we were 18yrs old and spend countless hours alone with him and have been back in his life for the past year and I know in my heart he could not have shot anyone,let alone the mother of his children.I speak with him at least 3 or more times a week and i see the same sweet man i fell in love with in 1984. Hes not perfect but also he is not a violent man and being away from his girls is breaking his heart especailly since he was lied to so he would sign adoption papers.I believe God brought me back to him to help him fight this nightmare and help him clear his name and with his upcoming appeal hopefully we will be able to right the wrong and he can reclaim his children.As for not knowing who would marry him and have kids–I WOULD and plan on doing just that when he gets out.And i will be very proud to call him my husband,stepfather to my kids(who both love him by the way)and father to any kids we will be blesed with.What happened to Paula is a horrible nightmare but punishing him for something he didnt do is just as big a sin.

  20. ANDREA E said,

    July 24, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    OK I know alot of you are going to be pissed at me because of who i am and what i mean to Henry, but this isnt the place to hash out the case or to voice my outlook on the criminal case. My writin is because so much of this deals with those 2 beautiful girl and their well being. My main point is i know everyone wants Henry to suffer and trust me he is, and when i speak to him almost every other day he has a huge hole in his heart missing them. But my thing is i hope it isnt hurting Alexa and Abbey also with missing him- we know she has never believed he did this and doesnt understand why hes in jail-i hope that doesnt add extra trama than they have already been through. But also the other people being punished are Henrys family for no reason-the girls grandma who may not have many yrs left and their uncle Gary and aunt Judy who is Alexa’s Godmother-they did nothing wrong,not even helping him-why are they being punished? they would follow every rule put down by the girls new parents and not give contact to Henry-dont these girls deserve as many people loving them. And as for Henry if they ever find it in their hearts to let him and the girls have something-anything i would be willing to be the go between so no one on that side would have the pain of dealing with him. The girls have to be whats important now. Thanks for listening. Andrea

  21. ANDREA E said,

    August 22, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    I know most of u on here are going to hate me and i understand completly why but i feel u need updates i know that the courts will not give to u, plus i believe in Henry’s innocence, First off let me introduce myself my name is Andrea and im Henrys girlfriend/fiancee,whatever you want to call it and weve been together again since Dec of 2009.Before any assumptions are made no i am not a nutjob that falls in love wih “ifers” nror was i hiding in the wings during their problems.Henry and i met at 17 and were each othes “firsts” and all that intails,we dated for over a yr spending countless hours togetherand we wer lucky enough to have another berief tome together a yr later befor we lost contact. In those times i never ever saw Henry sow any uncontrolled anger or outbursrts and he never once traeted me any less than a lady he was proud to be with. Now some of u may have hear rumbilings about me,and believe me im not afraid of anyony who wants to talk to me or even throw diggs at me. Henry has a very positive upcoming appeal that he and our lwayers are working very hard to prove his innocence and see that peice of sum who got a riduculas deal to kill and tranport Paula as far away as possible which he was given a slapy on the hand for. Im so sorry ur family had to loos such a wonderful woman,wife and mother but its tired of Henry of paying for something hi didnt do-he didnt know that psco was hiding in the new house or that Paula would stop there to check the paint. Please stop this travesty and let Henry return to his girls-who we all know to this day do not belive he cold have done this and even Alexa is till telling everyone who will listen my dady did not hurt my mom. Please let this nightmare end and let Karlay for what he did and let Henry raise my 2 kids, his girls and any chilren God blesses us with. Hate me if u want but i believe Paula had something in me findin g him after 23 yrs-she trusted and loved him nd knew he need someone in his courner to make things right. And trust me im NOT going away. Anyone is more than elcome to contact me on here,privatly or with snail mail i promise to anwser anyone good or bad and have given the websid to give out all info. thanks for listening.

    My info:
    Andrea Eisenhardt
    416 n Melvin st
    Gibson Gity,il.60936\
    tcbamazon@aol.com
    27-784-4432

  22. ANDREA E said,

    August 23, 2010 at 1:40 am

    sorry my number is 217 aerocode if needed.

  23. familyofpaula said,

    February 10, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Henry is paying for what he has done!! He is NOT innocent. I hope he is SUFFERING.

  24. Andrea E said,

    February 21, 2011 at 2:44 am

    Yes Henry is suffering,he misses Paula and his girls emesly.but luckily he has me to talk to to keep positive and believing he will mot pay with the rest of his life for something he did not do. Godforbid if we all could be prosicuted just because we know someone who had created a nightmare. He was made a bunch of promises to sign away his girls which were all a bunch of lies. i kep him going with the praying his appel will go quickly and in his favor and we can start our new future together where we left off.And that piece of scum who got a slap on the wrist will pay for what he ALONE did to Paula. I love that man very much ever since we met at 17 and i know his heart so i know he is innocent and when Karl is procecuted Paula will finally be able to rest in peice.

  25. Holmes said,

    April 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I grew up with Henry on the south side of Chicago , I knew him to be Non-violent Man, I am sure there is more to the story and just from what I have read I can not believe the other man was turned loose….. crooked law enforcement looking for a open and shut case …


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