Locked Up Abroad: Real Midnight Express

Ben Chanan

The Real Midnight Express tells the story of Billy Hayes imprisonment for drug smuggling, now Hayes tells the full escape story.

Billy Hayes, the man who lived the true story of the hit film, Midnight Express, is finally opening up at age 63 to let the world know exactly what happened in that Turkish prison.

For those unfamiliar with the 1978, Oliver Stone-penned screenplay, Midnight Express chronicled the five long years that Billy Hayes spent in a Turkish prison after being busted in an attempt to smuggle drugs from Turkey to the United States.

The film, marked by a driving Giorgio Moroder score, makes you feel uncomfortable from the first frame–it offers a sense that funky stuff is about to go down… and it does.

As suggested in the film, Billy Hayes did spend 5 years in a Turkish prison. And like the film, Hayes did escape–but not how it was portrayed in the film. And he never bit the tongue out of the mouth of a hated prisoner–he just tried to kill him.

For the first time since his escape 35 years ago, Billy Hayes is opening up to tell-all about his true Turkish experience, including the fact that he loved Turkey–until he got arrested.

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