Author: Thomas McFadden, Rusty Young
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rusty Young was backpacking in South America when he heard about Thomas McFadden, a convicted English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia's notorious San Pedro prison. Intrigued, the young Australian journalist went to La Paz and joined one of Thomas's illegal tours. They formed an instant friendship and then became partners in an attempt to record Thomas's experiences in the jail. Rusty bribed the guards to allow him to stay and for the next three months he lived inside the prison, sharing a cell with Thomas and recording one of the strangest and most compelling prison stories of all time. The result is Marching Powder. This book establishes that San Pedro is not your average prison. Inmates are expected to buy their cells from real estate agents. Others run shops and restaurants. Women and children live with imprisoned family members. It is a place where corrupt politicians and drug lords live in luxury apartments, while the poorest prisoners are subjected to squalor and deprivation. Violence is a constant threat, and sections of San Pedro that echo with the sound of children by day house some of Bolivia's busiest cocaine laboratories by night. In San Pedro, cocaine--"Bolivian marching powder"--makes life bearable. Even the prison cat is addicted. Yet Marching Powder is also the tale of friendship, a place where horror is countered by humor and cruelty and compassion can inhabit the same cell. This is cutting-edge travel-writing and a fascinating account of infiltration into the South American drug culture.
Author: Rusty Young
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Marching Powder by Rusty Young is the story of Thomas McFadden, a small-time English drug smuggler who was arrested in Bolivia and thrown inside the notorious San Pedro prison. He found himself in a bizarre world, the prison reflecting all that is wrong with South American society. Prisoners have to pay an entrance fee and buy their own cells (the alternative is to sleep outside and die of exposure), prisoners' wives and children often live inside too, high quality cocaine is manufactured and sold from the prison.Thomas ended up making a living by giving backpackers tours of the prison - he became a fixture on the backpacking circuit and was named in the Lonely Planet guide to Bolivia. When he was told that for a bribe of $5000 his sentence could be overturned, it was the many backpackers who'd passed through who sent him the money. Sometimes shocking, sometimes funny, Marching Powder is an always riveting story of survival.
The Cocaine Diaries
Author: Jeff Farrell, Paul Keany
Publisher: Random House
‘It won’t happen to me. That’s what I thought when I got on the plane to Venezuela. But it did – I got caught.’ Caught smuggling half a million euros’ worth of cocaine, Paul Keany was sexually assaulted by Venezuelan anti-drugs officers before being sentenced to eight years in the notorious Los Teques prison outside Caracas. There he was plunged into a nightmarish world of coke-fuelled killings, gun battles, stabbings, extortion and forced hunger strikes until finally, just over two years into his sentence, he gained early parole and embarked on a daring escape from South America . . . Aided by his extensive prison diaries, Keany reveals the true horror of life inside Los Teques: a shocking underworld behind bars where inmates pay protection money to stay alive, prostitutes do the rounds and vast amounts of cocaine are smuggled in for cell-block bosses to sell on to prisoners for huge profits. The Cocaine Diaries is a remarkable story, told by Keany with honesty, courage and even humour, despite knowing that every day behind bars might have been his last.
Snowing in Bali
Author: Kathryn Bonella
From the bestselling author of 'Hotel Kerobokan' and co-author of Schapelle Corby's 'My Story' comes an incredible account of Bali's hidden drug world. With unprecedented access to some of Bali's biggest international smugglers and local dealers, Kathryn Bonella has written a book even more explosive and revelatory than 'Hotel Kerobokan'.
Author: Steven M. Newman
Publisher: Avon Books
Tells of the author's four-year trek around the world on foot, and of the ordinary but kind people he met along the way
Author: Kathryn Bonella
Welcome to Hotel Kerobokan, the ironic name given to Bali's most notorious jail by its inmates. It's a bizarre nether world where murderers sleep alongside petty thieves, drug and alcohol addiction is rife, guards are corrupt and money talks. Into this hellhole have passed a procession of the infamous and the tragic: the Bali bombers, Gold Coast beautician Schapelle Corby, the Bali Nine and Chris Packer, among many others. The inmates grim experiences are at stark odds with the holiday paradise that exists just beyond Kerobokan's dank concrete walls. Hotel Kerobokan is the shocking inside story of the jail and its inmates – famous, infamous and unknown, written by an Australian with unprecedented access to the inside. Kathryn Bonella spent a year in Bali, entering the jail every day to co-write Schapelle Corby's bestselling 2006 autobiography. Now she's telling the incredible story of the jail itself. Backed up by interviews with prisoners past and present, the truth about Hotel Kerobokan explodes off the page. Simultaneously mesmerising and stomach-turning, Hotel Kerobokan paints a confronting picture. Everything you've heard is true. And there's much, much more than you ever imagined there could be.
Author: Gregory David Roberts
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
"It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured." So begins this epic, mesmerizing first novel by Gregory David Roberts, set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere. As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums, and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The search leads him to war, prison torture, murder, and a series of enigmatic and bloody betrayals. The keys to unlock the mysteries and intrigues that bind Lin are held by two people. The first is Khader Khan: mafia godfather, criminal-philosopher-saint, and mentor to Lin in the underworld of the Golden City. The second is Karla: elusive, dangerous, and beautiful, whose passions are driven by secrets that torment her and yet give her a terrible power. Burning slums and five-star hotels, romantic love and prison agonies, criminal wars and Bollywood films, spiritual gurus and mujaheddin guerrillas---this huge novel has the world of human experience in its reach, and a passionate love for India at its heart. Based on the life of the author, it is by any measure the debut of an extraordinary voice in literature.
You Got Nothing Coming
Author: Jimmy A. Lerner
Publisher: Broadway Books
A memoir of astonishing power–the true story of a middle-class, middle-aged man who fell into the Inferno of the American prison system, and what he has to do to survive. It is your worst nightmare. You wake up in an 8' x 6' concrete-and-steel cell designated "Suicide Watch #3." The cell is real. Jimmy Lerner, formerly a suburban husband and father, and corporate strategic planner and survivor, is about to become a prison "fish," or green new arrival. Taken to a penitentiary in the Nevada desert to begin serving a twelve-year term for voluntary manslaughter, this once nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn ends up sharing a claustrophobic cell with Kansas, a hugely muscled skinhead with a swastika engraved on his neck and a serious set of issues. And if he dares complain, the guards will bluntly tell him, "You got nothing coming." Bringing us into a world of petty corruption, racial strife, and crank-addicted neo-Nazis, Jimmy Lerner gives us a fish’s progress: a brash, compelling, and darkly comic story peopled with characters who are at various times funny, violent, and surprisingly tender. His rendering of prison language is mesmerizingly vivid and exact, and his search for a way not simply to survive but to craft a new way to live, in the most unpropitious of circumstances, is a tale filled with resilience, dignity, and a profound sense of the absurd. In the book’s climax, we learn just what demonic set of circumstances–a compound of bad luck and worse judgment–led him to the lethal act of self-defense that landed him in a circle of an American hell. Electrifying, unforgettable, bracingly cynical, and perceptive, You Got Nothing Coming is impossible to put down or shake off. What the cult favorite Oz is to television, this book is to prose–and all of the events are real. From the Hardcover edition.
The twenty stories collected in this volume offer not only a comprehensive look at the variety and invention of Bolivian literature, but also provide more information about the heart and soul of Bolivia than a warehouse full of news reports. The most comprehensive collection of modern Bolivian literature yet published in English, The Fat Man from La Paz offers a kaleidoscopic view of the country's last fifty years, from a sociological and cultural viewpoint. The Fat Man from La Paz places such Bolivian luminaries as Augusto Cespedes, whose The Well is probably the most published piece of Bolivian literature, alongside bright young stars like Edmundo Paz Soldan, one of last year's finalists for the Romulo Gallegos Literary Prize (the Nobel prize for Latin American writers). In the title story, Gonzalo Lema's "The Fat Man from La Paz," a Bolivian detective, with a nod to Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, takes a hard look at corruption in Bolivia's capital city and learns a thing or two about the dark ambiguities lurking in human nature and in the communities people build. Many of the other stories in The Fat Man from La Paz appear here for the first time in English.
Author: Warren Fellows
The author describes how, after being convicted of drug trafficking in Thailand, he was given a life sentence at the Bang Kwang prison, where he overcame hardships and inhumane conditions in his struggle to survive.
Three Crooked Kings
Author: Matthew Condon
Publisher: Univ. of Queensland Press
Three Crooked Kings is the shocking true story of Queensland and how a society was shaped by almost half a century of corruption. At its core is Terence Murray Lewis, deposed and jailed former police commissioner. From his entry into the force in 1949, Lewis rose through the ranks, becoming part of the so-called Rat Pack with detectives Glendon Patrick Hallahan and Tony Murphy under the guiding influence of Commissioner Frank Bischof. The next four decades make for a searing tale of cops and killings, bagmen and blackmail, and sin and sleaze that exposes a police underworld which operated from Queensland and into New South Wales. This gripping book exposes the final pieces of the puzzle, unearths new evidence on cold cases, and explores the pivotal role that whistleblower Shirley Brifman, prostitute and brothel owner, played until her sudden death. Based on extensive and unprecedented access to Terry Lewis and his personal papers, as well as hundreds of interviews with key players and conspirators, Three Crooked Kings is the first of two explosive books. Awarded journalist and novelist Matthew Condon has crafted the definitive account of an era that changed a state and is still reverberating to this day.
Author: Diarmuid Griffin
Little is known about life imprisonment and the process of releasing offenders back into the community in Ireland. Addressing this scarcity of information, Griffin’s empirical study examines the legal and policy framework surrounding life imprisonment and parole. Through an analysis of the rationales expressed by parole decision-makers in the exercise of their discretionary power of release, it is revealed that decision-makers view public protection as central to the process. However, the risk of reoffending features amidst an array of other factors that also influence parole outcomes including personal interpretations of the purposes of punishment, public opinion and the political landscape within which parole operates. The findings of this study are employed to provide a rationale for the upward trend in time served by life sentence prisoners prior to release in recent times. With reform of parole now on the political agenda, will a more formal process of release operate to constrain the increase in time served witnessed over the last number of decades or will the upward trajectory continue unabated?
The Gringo Trail
Author: Mark Mann
Publisher: Summersdale Publishers LTD - ROW
‘... there I was in the middle of Bogotá, coked up to my eyeballs, in a hallway holding two machetes, while some drunk Colombians argued about whether or not to blow up a bar with a live hand grenade...’ Asia has the hippie trail. South America has the gringo trail. Mark Mann and his girlfriend Melissa set off to explore the ancient monuments, mountains and rainforests of South America. But for their friend Mark, South America meant only one thing: drugs. Sad, funny and shocking, The Gringo Trail is an On the Road for the Lonely Planet generation – a darkly comic road-trip and a revealing journey through South America’s turbulent history. Drama and discovery. Culture and cocaine. Fact is stranger than fiction...
Author: Howard Marks
Publisher: Canongate Books
At the height of his powers, Howard Marks - or 'Mr Nice' - was smuggling up to thirty tons of dope from Pakistan and Thailand to America and Canada. How did a nice Welsh boy and Oxford graduate end up with forty-three aliases, eighty-nine phone lines and twenty-five companies to his name, and contacts within MI6, the CIA, the IRA and the Mafia? Mr Nice is Howard Marks' staggering story of Britain's most wanted man: the dazzling ascent and crashing comedown of one of the twentieth century's most notorious and eccentric drug lords. Audacious, seductive and rambunctious, it is a true crime classic.
Author: Gary Webb
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Major Motion Picture based on Dark Alliance and starring Jeremy Renner, "Kill the Messenger," to be be released in Fall 2014 In August 1996, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb stunned the world with a series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News reporting the results of his year-long investigation into the roots of the crack cocaine epidemic in America, specifically in Los Angeles. The series, titled “Dark Alliance,” revealed that for the better part of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to Los Angeles street gangs and funneled millions in drug profits to the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contras. Gary Webb pushed his investigation even further in his book, Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion. Drawing from then newly declassified documents, undercover DEA audio and videotapes that had never been publicly released, federal court testimony, and interviews, Webb demonstrates how our government knowingly allowed massive amounts of drugs and money to change hands at the expense of our communities. Webb’s own stranger-than-fiction experience is also woven into the book. His excoriation by the media—not because of any wrongdoing on his part, but by an insidious process of innuendo and suggestion that in effect blamed Webb for the implications of the story—had been all but predicted. Webb was warned off doing a CIA expose by a former Associated Press journalist who lost his job when, years before, he had stumbled onto the germ of the “Dark Alliance” story. And though Internal investigations by both the CIA and the Justice Department eventually vindicated Webb, he had by then been pushed out of the Mercury News and gone to work for the California State Legislature Task Force on Government Oversight. He died in 2004.