Search - List of Books by Billy Hayes
William "Billy" Hayes (born April 3, 1947 in New York) is an American writer, actor and director. He is best known for his autobiographical book Midnight Express, about his experiences in and escape from a Turkish prison after being convicted of smuggling hashish. He was one of hundreds of U.S. citizens in foreign jails serving drug charge sentences following a drug smuggling crackdown by foreign governments.
Hayes, an American student, was caught trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey in 1970. He was originally sentenced to four years and two months in a Turkish prison; with his release date weeks away, he learned that the authorities had chosen to penalize him with a life sentence. He escaped in 1975 to Greece, who deported him to the United States after several weeks detainment and interrogation about what intelligence Hayes possessed about Turkey.
Hayes wrote a book on his ordeal, Midnight Express, which was later adapted into the 1978 film Midnight Express starring Brad Davis as Hayes. The film was directed by Alan Parker, with a screenplay by Oliver Stone. The movie differs from Hayes' account in his book. In the novel, the protagonist has a consensual relationship with another man while in prison, while the film has him rejecting such offers from men. Among the other differences lies a scene in which Hayes kills the prison guard Hamid "the bear", the main antagonist of the story. In fact, the prison guard was killed by a recently released prisoner, whose family Hamid insulted while beating the prisoner, years before Hayes' actual escape.
Hayes is still active in the entertainment industry, specifically acting and writing. One of his successes was writing and directing 2003's Southside (later released as Cock and Bull Story in the US).
On June 30th, 2010, the National Geographic television channnel aired The Real Midnight Express.
The Oscar-winning 1978 film "Midnight Express" told the story of 23-year-old college student Billy Hayes - his imprisonment for drug smuggling and his escape from a prison in Istanbul, Turkey.
Since, for legal reasons, neither the film nor the book was completely accurate, Hayes tells his version of the full story of being sent to the infamous Turkish Sagmalcilar prison and eventually escaping.
Total Books: 10
Interview on Midnight Express Film more �