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.
Paul Keany was a successful self-employed plumber until the Irish property crash in 2008. An aspiring novelist, he has turned his back on the murky world of drug-smuggling to focus on a life of writing. Born and raised in Oxford, he now lives in Dublin.
Jeff Farrell is an independent Irish journalist and documentary maker specialising in Latin American affairs. His work has appeared in various publications, including The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph. He currently lives in Dublin.
It's snowing in Bali. Among Bali's drug dealers it's the code for a huge cocaine shipment having just landed. For the men who run the country's drug empires, it's time to get rich and party hard.
Snowing in Bali is the story of the drug trafficking and dealing scene that's made Bali one of the world's most important destinations in the global distribution of narcotics. With its central location to the Asia Pacific market, its thriving tourist industry to act as cover for importation, and a culture of corruption that can easily help law enforcement turn a blind eye, Bali has long been a paradise for traffickers as well as for holiday-makers.
Kathryn Bonella, bestselling author of Hotel Kerobokan and Operation Playboy, has been given extraordinary access into the lives of some of the biggest players in Bali's drug world, both past and present. She charts their rise to incredible wealth and power, and their drug-fuelled lifestyles, filled with orgies, outrageous extravagance and surfing. But running international drug empires in Bali can also be a highly risky business, with terrible consequences for those caught and convicted.
Richard Kuklinski was Sammy the Bull Gravano's partner in the killing of Paul Castellano, then head of the Gambino crime family, at Sparks Steakhouse. Mob boss John Gotti hired him to torture and kill the neighbor who accidentally ran over his child. For an additional price, Kuklinski would make his victims suffer; he conducted this sadistic business with coldhearted intensity and shocking efficiency, never disappointing his customers. By his own estimate, he killed over two hundred men, taking enormous pride in his variety and ferocity of technique.
This trail of murder lasted over thirty years and took Kuklinski all over America and to the far corners of the earth, Brazil, Africa, and Europe. Along the way, he married, had three children, and put them through Catholic school. His daughter's medical condition meant regular stays in children's hospitals, where Kuklinski was remembered, not as a gangster, but as an affectionate father, extremely kind to children. Each Christmas found the Kuklinski home festooned in colorful lights; each summer was a succession of block parties.
His family never suspected a thing.
Richard Kuklinski is now the subject of the major motion picture titled "The Iceman"(2013), starring James Franco, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, and Chris Evans.
The price they paid was a ten-year sentence in the hell of the overcrowded Venezuelan prison system, notorious for corruption and abuse, and rife with weapons and gangs. At one point, Frank was held in the remote El Dorado prison, better known for being the one-time home of Henri Charrière, or Papillon. He witnessed countless murders as gang leaders fought for power, and he had to become as ruthless as his fellow inmates in order to survive. In an attempt to dull the reality of the horrendous conditions, he succumbed to drugs.
After enduring years of systematic beatings by the guards and attempts on his life by inmates, Frank suffered more than one breakdown. He lost over four stone and was riddled with disease, but somehow he found the strength within himself to survive and was eventually released in 2004 after serving over seven years of his sentence. During the long walk back from hell, Frank decided to tell his story.