Araña el Asesino in La Picota Prison

This story, another from Smuggler’s Diary: Cocaine Karma, comes from La Picota prison in Bogota, where Kendall was incarcerated after having been recaptured after his (first) escape.


I was gimping along looking at the ground when I spied someone walking quickly at me. He had something in his mouth that I couldn’t make out.

Oh shit, it’s a knife with a 6-inch blade and cloth handle that he has clenched between his teeth pirate-style!

He was tall and skinny with arms and legs like a spider monkey. He was taking giant strides passing right by me. I turned to watch him climb the Patio wall in two steps! It was only eight feet tall with a 4-ft square barred window right in the middle making it virtually a ladder. Spider just stepped on the bottom sill, grabbed the top of the wall and over he went onto the main corridor.

spider smugglers diary kendall la picota bogota

I limped to the window to see Spider cross the main corridor in three steps where he encountered an identical wall of the Patio that faced ours. He stepped on the bottom sill and over he went. I could see what was happening through the two windows. Another convict was standing in the middle of the other Patio with a knife in hand waiting for him. He obviously knew what was coming and was visibly terrified. Spider took the knife out of his mouth and placed it into his hand properly – Bruce Lee style. That is, you stick your arm out straight with palm vertical, placing the blade downward in your hand. You fight with your arm cocked over your head and make downward and sideways stabbing motions, as opposed to the other way, where you’re slashing. Stabbing kills, slashing only makes a mess.

Spider went straight for him without preamble and stabbed him in the chest, causing him to drop his knife and fall to his knees. He was never even close enough to touch Spider because of Spider’s long arms. He was backing away on his knees while begging Spider for his life. Spider kicked the knife at him shouting angrily, “Grab your weapon.”

Spider kicked it at him again and threatened to kill him even if he were unarmed. The guy in trouble refused to touch the knife. Spider pushed the knife for him to grasp one last time with his foot calling the injured one a coward. The guy in trouble made a feeble attempt at clutching the knife, and that was it, Spider was all over him. He laid him out on the concrete and stabbed him in the chest numerous times until he was dead. Spider looked back at the Patio door where guards were trickling in. He stood up, gently placed his knife on the ground and calmly walked to the Patio door. The guards must’ve seen it and were just as in awe as I was. None of the guards crowded or touched him; nobody talked as they exited the Patio on their way to the hole.

Wow, excuse me but that was pure poetry.

Never had I seen anything quite like that before – the whole thing only took a minute. I was exhilarated and didn’t feel nearly as bad about my lot. It happened so fast that only a few of us even saw it.

Weird, but I feel privileged.

[end story]

Buy Smuggler’s Diary: Cocaine Karma. Do you like the drawings? See the Illustrations from Smuggler’s Diary album on the Expat Chronicles FB page.


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