If you tuned in to Tom Hanway’s heart-pounding story on Locked Up Abroad: Chilean Prison Break, I’m sure you have questions. We checked in with Tom to get answers and see what life is like for him today and here’s what he had to say:
Did you ever figure out why Steve turned you in? Was he an undercover cop of just a civilian informant?
He was a paid CIA informant. It was reported that he was shot dead in a Lima hotel about a month after I escaped. Some people say I had something to do with it, my memory of that time is fuzzy. I wrote more about this in the second part of the story, although it is written as a “based on reality” piece.
The other inmates in Arica Jail – what were they in for?
Mostly thieves, there was also a political prisoner section separate from everyone else
What were the conditions in the jail like?
Dirty, overcrowded, but at least it was a small prison maybe only 150 souls and no gangs.
How long were you actually imprisoned before your daring escape with Chosco?
Almost nine months
What went through your mind during those two or three weeks you and Chosco waited for the right two guards to be on duty in the tower for your escape?
I wondered if I really had the balls to do it, but could’nt hardly wait to find out.
How did it feel when you actually climbed over the 8-foot brick wall and landed in the street, out of jail, and unharmed?
Were you able to piece together the reason why Chosco was killed in the desert?
More than likely he tried to steal the Indians horses.
You had to be quick on your feet and make fast decisions during your escape, and one of the things you did was lie that you were a French tourist. Do you actually speak French? How did you convince the cops that your story was legit?
I spoke some basic French Par les vous France, when thay did not know that, I knew they did not understand French. I think I told them that I loved them and wanted to sleep with them, the accent was all that they recognized.
What happened after you walked across the border into Peru – what did you do next?
That is a long story, which will be told soon in some form of media, I may even put it on my Facebook page.
Can you share a bit about your life now? What are you up to?
I live in what we call paradise, the central coast of California. I spend most my time upkeeping my property, and gardening and some writing. I have two grandchildren who live with my daughter and her husband near Las Vegas.
There were some heartbreaking situations that happened in the second part of the story, that left me with regrets. Overall though, the years I spent doing drugs was such a waste of life.