MOVIE: Underbelly – The Man Who Got Away

Published on 14th August 2015 by Stickboy BKK

Underbelly Files: The Man Who Got Away is an Australian made-for-television movie that aired on 21 February 2011 and recounts the true story of British-Australian drug smuggler David McMillan, the only Westerner on record as having successfully escaped Bangkok’s Klong Prem prison.

While on parole, McMillan flew to Thailand, travelling under the name Daniel Westlake. After a close-call at Don Muang airport, he was arrested in Bangkok’s Chinatown and charged with heroin trafficking. He was held in Klong Prem Central Prison, also known as the “Bangkok Hilton”.

Facing the death penalty and a transfer to Bang Kwang Central Prison, McMillan resolved that this was not going to be the end of him. McMillan later stated, “I had no interest in my trial. I knew what it was going to be like – a farce, a mockery, a sham and a travesty – and that I would receive the death penalty.”

McMillan escaped from Klong Prem in August 1996, never to be seen in Thailand again.

During the night he cut the cell bars with hacksaws, scaled seven inner walls, then mounted the outer wall using a bamboo-pole ladder. Once out of the prison, McMillan changed into civilian clothes and carried an umbrella as he walked away from the prison. Four hours later, with a false passport, he was on a flight to Singapore

Well, that is his account of what happened. A more realistic version would be he piad off the right people and he was smuggled out of the prison.

His exploits were the subject of the 2011 Australian telemovie, Underbelly Files: The Man Who Got Away that you can watch in full below.

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