This is the true-life story of Christopher V. Parnell. A man with a “Colourful Background” to say the least, who was framed for drugs in Bali and spent 5 months on Indonesia’s infamous “Death Row” during the 1980's the time when Kevin Barlow and Brian Chamber were sentenced to hanging for possession and transport of 52 grams of heroin each in Malaysia.
It was expected that Indonesia would follow Malaysia’s lead and execute the next white foreigner that faced drug charges. The next white foreigner would be Christopher V. V. Parnell.
Christopher recalls that on Death Row in Indonesia there was no Green Mile to look forward to… Only a darkly stained and blotched grey cement floor that led out into a dirt compound where scruffy disheveled Indonesian Soldiers lolled about waiting with their rifles to form the firing squad that would take your life.
Throughout his book, “The Sunday Smuggler”, Christopher narrates a story of Courage and Cunning. His pure force and his in-suppressible will to live and to survive is on every page he writes
Yet with all these physical and unseen mental scars that he carries, he holds no grudges towards the Indonesians who so regularly beat and tortured him and deprived him of 11 years of his life... and the loss of his family.
It's the Australian Embassy that he readily blames for the bulk of those 4 years he spent in solitary confinement.
Sometimes in a darkened cell so pitch black that the silence screamed. He could not see his hand although only inches from his face. Where time knows and has no boundaries, and where the loneliness is an empty abyss.
The story of his attempted escapes will inspire the imagination and touch your heart, because this is a REAL AUSTRALIAN’S STORY. From a land that was originally a Penal Colony and from a descendant from that land comes a story, a story to bring back for all of us, the adventures of what our own forefathers must have endured in an unknown savage frontier.
Life is a very precious gift and even under the most agonizing or painful conditions we must never lose sight of that. A faith, and trust in yourself, a belief that you can do it if you want it desperately enough. “The difference between possible and impossible is in the abundance of will within the individual.”
Christopher Parnell adheres to that belief in such an obvious way and many people from all Religions, from all Nationalities and beliefs, from all walks of life, male, female and child can learn from this man's example. NEVER EVER GIVE UP.
This is a powerful story that cuts to the bone. Murder, torture and blood fights were the norm for this man in these Indonesian Penal Institutions. Where the guards turned a blind eye to the knives and other assorted lethal weapons that the prisoners carried on their person. Their eyes constantly closed to the endless murders and killings that were a daily occurrence.
Christopher was subsequently given a Presidential Pardon exonerating him of the crimes that he was originally charged with over a decade prior. But not before he served over 11 years incarcerated within the walls of 5 of Indonesia's most notorious prisons, and not before 5 escape attempts, 2 years on a Devil's Island Punishment Prison and Leper Colony (Madura Island), and then finally being stabbed 5 times, losing his left eye along with various other internal organs.
Christopher Parnell survived to bring this story back to Australia. Spending over 4 years in solitary confinement seems to have done little to dim his mind and thoughts or his body and spirit.