Erik Aude (@erikaude) is an actor, stuntman, professional poker player, and the subject of 3 Years in Pakistan: The Erik Aude Story. This is part two of a two-part episode. Make sure to check out part one here!
What We Discuss with Erik Aude:
- How Erik Aude entered one of the world’s toughest prisons an innocent man and emerged as a murderer.
- What processing, being the new curiosity, and solitary confinement are like in an overcrowded Pakistani prison.
- How you know when you’re really in danger in a foreign prison: when they put you on death row for your own protection.
- How much you should expect to pay a lawyer to defend you from a hanging offense in Pakistan (and how much they’ll try to charge you).
- Life lessons that can only be learned in the school of the hardest knocks from world-infamous hijackers and mass murderers.
- And much more…
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In the documentary 3 Years in Pakistan: The Erik Aude Story, we learn how Erik — a stuntman and actor with a successfully blooming career — was imprisoned in Pakistan for a crime he didn’t commit, how he survived torture and attempted murder in prison, and what it took to gain his eventual freedom.
This is a story of human resilience, mental and physical toughness, and how a wrongfully imprisoned American on death row in a foreign land protected his mind even when the world seemed stacked against him. This is part two of a two-part episode. Make sure to check out part one here!
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More About This Show
If you’ve watched any television shows or movies in the past 15 years, you’ve no doubt seen Erik Aude’s work. According to IMDB, he’s got 134 acting credits to his name (Grey’s Anatomy, Sons of Anarchy, Timeless, This Is Us), and 60 for stunts (Planet of the Apes, The Scorpion King, Dunkirk).
But the role he’d probably turn down given the chance to rewrite history is the one he plays in 3 Years in Pakistan: The Erik Aude Story — because it chronicles the time he spent on death row in a Pakistani prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
In short: Erik was recruited by a “friend” from his gym to accompany leather goods back to the United States from other countries in exchange for free travel and a little spending money while abroad. He had successfully done so without incident from Turkey, but was arrested trying to leave Pakistan when it was discovered that opium had been sewn into the lining of his suitcase without his knowledge by this “friend’s” contacts.
To those who doubt his innocence, Erik offers this reasonable rebuttal.
“I was recurring on four different TV shows,” says Erik. “I had just finished working on the movie The Scorpion King over the course of a year and a half. In that time also I’d just finished Planet of the Apes with Mark Wahlberg, and I had a pilot that I’d booked called 360 that I was going to start. So I had a lot of great things going for me. My dreams of being an actor and a stuntman were paying off — I was a working actor/stuntman; I was able to pay all my bills doing what I loved.
“I had everything to lose and nothing to gain by being a drug smuggler.”
Listen to this episode in its entirety (after listening to part one) to learn more about how Erik entered one of the world’s toughest prisons an innocent man and emerged as a murderer, what processing, being the new curiosity, and solitary confinement are like in an overcrowded Pakistani prison, how you know when you’re really in danger in a foreign prison: when they put you on death row for your own protection, how much you should expect to pay a lawyer to defend you from a hanging offense in Pakistan (and how much they’ll try to charge you), life lessons that can only be learned in the school of the hardest knocks from world-infamous hijackers and mass murderers, and much more.
THANKS, ERIK AUDE!
If you enjoyed this session with Erik Aude, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
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Resources from This Episode:
- TJHS 147: Erik Aude | Imprisoned in Pakistan for a Crime He Didn’t Commit Part One
- 3 Years in Pakistan: The Erik Aude Story
- Erik Aude at IMDB
- Erik Aude at Instagram
- Erik Aude at Twitter
- Among Murderers: A Look Inside Adiala Jail by Haseeb Bhatti, Dawn
- Learn Urdu in 30 Minutes: All the Basics You Need, UrduPod 101
- Mom Tries to Get Son Freed From Pakistan by Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times
- Here’s What Happened to the Hijackers of Neerja’s Pan Am Flight 73, The Quint
- ‘Blind Mules’ Unknowingly Ferry Drugs Across the U.S.-Mexico Border by Emily Smith, CNN
- Innocents Duped Into Drug Smuggling by Dane Schiller, Houston Chronicle
- Police Net Large Opium Bust by Gretchen Hoffman, Glendale News-Press
- TJHS 58: Jason Flom | Why Criminal Justice Reform Matters to the Innocent