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  • Hachette Australia
  • Hachette Australia

Out of the Box: The crazy true story of the Australian champion athlete who posted himself home, became a drug smuggler and found himself on death row in a Sri Lankan prison

Julie McSorley, Marcus McSorley

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Biography, Biography: general, Biography: sport, Memoirs, True stories, True crime, Prose: non-fiction, Drugs trade / drug trafficking

The crazy true story of an Australian champion athlete who posted himself home, became a drug smuggler and found himself on death row in a Sri Lankan prison.

Reg Spiers arrived in England in 1964 as a world-class athlete. He returned to Australia in a box ... ALIVE! And that was only the start of his adventures.

Crazily impulsive, quixotic and free-spirited, Reg was a champion athlete living in the UK when he became a national hero and hit the international headlines for smuggling himself on a 63-hour, 13,000-mile journey from Heathrow to home because it was cheaper than buying a ticket. But as his fame and sporting career faded, Reg decided to smuggle something very different. In 1980, he and his five housemates were arrested for conspiracy to import A$1.2 million of cannabis resin into Australia. Rather than face years in prison, Reg and his girlfriend, Annie, went on the run.

A wild trip across India, Africa and Sri Lanka brought high-stakes drama - idyllic beaches and prison hellholes, shady friends and shadier cops, gun-toting militias and gun-running gangsters - and ultimately led Reg to a day of reckoning in a courtroom in Sri Lanka. Travelling on a French passport under the name Patrick Albert Claude Ledoux, he was caught by customs with a shoulder bag containing 1149 grams of heroin. Found guilty and sentenced to death, Reg had to use all his wiles and that same astonishing chutzpah that saw him freight himself home twenty years before to fight for his life.

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