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  • Writer's pictureOn the Edge With Andrew Gold

69. Surviving deadliest prison: ex-crime boss Shaun Attwood

Greeting us on today’s episode of On the Edge with Andrew Gold is former crime boss and ecstasy smuggler Shaun Attwood.

Hear the full bonus segment on

Born to a middle-class household in the northwest of England, Shaun became a stock market genius as a teenager, starting at just 14 years old, before he became hooked by the rave scene that swept through the country. Ecstasy was a huge part of that, and before he knew it, Shaun was dealing. In fact, he smuggled around £10 million of E between 1997 and 2002.

Rich beyond his wildest dreams, he went to America and set up the Attwood Enterprise. There, he worked alongside top players in the mafia, competing with Sammy the Bull from the Gambino crime family. You might say he was living life to the fullest, but what comes up must come down, and Shaun was arrested at his apartment after ten witnesses came forward. At one point, he was facing 200 years in prison, and Shaun contemplated suicide, before it was reduced to nine.

He served six years of his sentence in the prison with the highest death rate in America. While there, he turned to reading – over 1,000 books - and learned a lot about life, and the kind of person he wanted to be. His story featured on an episode of Banged Up Abroad.

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