MS Am 2828
Hayes, Billy. Billy Hayes letters from a Turkish prison, 1970-1978: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: MS Am 2828
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Hayes, Billy.
Title: Billy Hayes letters from a Turkish prison,
Quantity: 1 collection (.25 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Billy Hayes' letter to his family and friends while imprisoned in Turkey. Also includes
some material from his book about the experience and the subsequent movie, both titled
2012M-44. Deposit, Julio Santo Domingo III; received: 2012 April.
Forms part of the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.
Processed by: Susan Wyssen
There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open
Billy Hayes Letters From a Turkish Prison, 1970-1978 (MS Am 2828). Houghton Library,
William "Billy" Hayes (born 1947) is an American writer, actor, director, and convicted
drug smuggler. On October 7, 1970, he was caught trying to smuggle hashish out of
Turkey. He was arrested and sentenced to more than four years in prison. Close to
his release date, the Turkish authorities changed his sentence to life in prison.
He escaped from prison on October 2, 1975, crossing first into Greece then being deported
from Greece to Germany, where he finally ended up in American custody. He wrote a
book about his experience. Published in 1977, Midnight Express was adapted for screen and made into a movie of the same name directed by Alan Parker
and released in 1978.
Arranged in two series:
- I. Correspondence
- II. Other materials
The collection consists chiefly of letters from Billy Hayes to his family and friends.
There is also some correspondence between Hayes and American officials concerning
his predicament and one letter between the Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations
and a United States Senator (Marshall Wright to Norris Cotton) asking for aid in gaining
proper justice for Hayes. In addition to correspondence, the collection contains a
carbon typescript of part of a chapter from the book Midnight Express. and some clippings and photographs concerning Hayes, his book, and the movie Midnight Express.
- Series: I. Correspondence
- (1). Belmont, Barbara, recipient. Letters from Billy Hayes, 1972-1975 and undated. 1 folders
At least one letter is incomplete.
- (2). "Bone," recipient. Letters from Billy Hayes, 1971 and 1974. 1 folders
- (3). Cotton, Norris, 1900-1989, recipient. Letter from Marshall Wright, 1973 July 12. 1 folders
Photocopy of a letter concerning Billy Hayes.
- (4). Derish, Mark, recipient. Letters from Billy Hayes, 1971-1975 and undated. 1 folders
Some letters addressed to Mark and other recipients collectively.
- (5). Hayes family, recipient. Letters from Billy Hayes, 1971-1975. 4 folders
Letters are addressed to "Dad" and "Folks" variously.
- (6). Jones. Ralph T. Letter to Billy Hayes, 1973 September 17. 1 folders
Written on Consulate General of the United States of American stationery. Includes
the original and a photocopy of the letter.
- (7). Mace, Howard. Correspondence with Billy Hayes, 1976. 1 folders
Mace's letter written on Consulate General of the United States of American stationery.
- (8). "Dr. Muscrat," recipient. Letters from Billy Hayes, 1970-1971. 1 folders
- (9). "Tibia," recipient. Letter from Billy Hayes, 1973 November 28. 1 folders
- (10). Unidentified recipients. Letters from Billy Hayes, 1974 and undated. 1 folders
Two letters, at least one incomplete.
- (11). Envelopes addressed to Billy Hayes, 1973 and undated. 1 folders
- (12). Envelopes addressed to various recipients from Billy Hayes,1971-1975. 1 folders
- Series: II. Other materials
- (13). Hayes, Billy. Midnight Express : typescript carbon, circa 1977. 1 folders
The opening of chapter 19. Includes a copy of a letter from Hayes to Robert Greene, editor at Newsday.
- (14). Newsday. In letters from a Turkish jail, a mix of bitterness, optimism : clipping, 1973 June 3. 1 folders
Clipping of a story concerning Billy Hayes.
- (15). Hayes, Billy. Midnight Express : advertisement, 1977. 1 folders
Photocopy of advertisement for Hayes' book.
- (17). Parker, Alan, 1944-, director. Midnight Express : advertisements, circa 1978. 1 folders
Photocopies of advertisements and reviews for the movie.