Christopher found out the hard way that being on Death Row in Indonesia... there was no Green Door to look forward to… Only a filthy darkly stained and blotched grey cement floor that led out into a dirt compound, where scruffy disheveled Indonesian Soldiers lolled about waiting in sandels with their rifles, to form the firing squad that would take your life.
This is a powerful story that cuts to the bone. Murder, torture and blood fights were the norm 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.
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.
The story of his attempted escapes will inspire the imagination and touch your heart, because this is a real Australian story. From a land that was originally a Penal Colony and from a descendant from that land comes a story, to bring back for all of us, the adventures of what our own forefathers must have endured in an unknown savage frontier.
Christopher adheres to the belief that 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.
People from all Religions, Nationalities be it, male female or child, we can all learn from this man's example. NEVER EVER GIVE UP. “The difference between possible and impossible is the measure of willpower within the individual.”
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. Yet with all these physical and unseen mental scars 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... including the loss of his family
Christopher Parnell survived to bring this story back to Australia and the world. Spending over 4 years in solitary confinement seems to have done little to dim his mind, his body, spirit and wicked sense of humour.