‘No Man Wants to Die’ Twenty Twenty Television for Channel 4, U.K.
Credit: Investigation by Andrew Drummond.
This was an investigation in to the British heroin syndicate which
recruited Derrick Gregory, 32, an unemployed Briton with a history of
mental illness, to smuggle heroin out of Malaysia.
While reporting on the conviction and execution of Australians
Geoffrey Chambers and Kevin Barlow, who went to the gallows for drugs
trafficking in Malaysia, Andrew Drummond came across Derrick Gregory in
jail in Penang.
Unusually Derrick, also facing execution on drugs charges, made a
full confession to Andrew Drummond and named his fellow couriers and
bosses in a British-American heroin syndicate.
Gregory was one of life’s losers. He had a history of being educated
in schools for the sub-normal. He had a conviction for attempting to
steal a train from Waterloo Station in London. His only original
connection to the syndicate that recruited him was that he used to do to
odd jobs for a syndicate boss.
Drummond took the story to Claudia Milne and Geoff Seed at ‘Twenty Twenty Television’.
Having secured funds from Channel 4, a Twenty Twenty Television crew,
with Andrew Drummond as the reporter, flew to Malaysia where Drummond
interviewed Gregory while he was in jail waiting execution in Penang,
Malaysia. They then flew on to Japan, San Francisco, North Carolina,
Texas and New York following the trail of the couriers.
The crew also went on the streets of New York with the DEA to illustrate the drugs problem.
The documentary ‘No Man Wants to Die’ was also made with the full
co-operation of ‘Target Team Foxtrot’ of British Customs & Excise.
Drummond and Twenty Twenty Television tried to get psychiatric
evidence which would acquit Derrick Gregory or at least get him off
hanging. They flew to Malaysia a British psychiatrist Ian Brewer to
analyse a brain scan and testify.But the Malaysian judge was entrenched. He dismissed the evidence
that and Gregory had a hole in his brain and Derrick was accordingly was
Malaysia has mellowed its policy. While the death penalty remains in
force, the hangings of westerners at least appears to have ceased.
Most of the syndicate were jailed at the Old Bailey in London but one of the syndicate leaders got away.
After the programme was aired Andrew Drummond flew back to the United
States to get affidavits from other members of the syndicate to support
Gregory’s claims and finally confronted the syndicate boss in a car
park outside a squash club in Surrey, England.
The final showdown was splashed in the Observer newspaper in London
‘Heroin Trail to the Squash Club’ -Observer December 7 1986.