August 16, 2009

'Memba her?

There must, surely, be days when Schapelle Corby wishes she's sucked it up, admitted guilt and thrown herself upon the mercy of the Indonesian legal system, and in due course, applied for a pardon, or the mercy of the king or something or other - there is a process, and apparently it works, but one must admit guilt before requesting redemption. I figure Corby would have been out within ten years. Sure, her life would have still been screwed, a happy hubby and a swag of kiddies a thought long gone, but not a life entirely over.

For long stretches we hear nothing about Corby, then suddenly she pops up again, as breathless journalists report her latest hairstyle, what she ate on her birthday, and trips to hospital to have treatment for ongoing depression.

Hell, what's not to be depressed about?

You don't get to traffic drugs, end up in a godforsaken foreign jail and expect to have a damned fine time of it. Our own jails aren't a barrel of laffs either.

Within all the sympathetic bleating over the health and well being of Corby, another Australian drug trafficker is never mentioned: Renae Lawrence.

Lawrence is also serving twenty years. Let's take a small wager that she too gets new hair cuts from time to time, and a slightly bigger wager that she too suffers some level of sadness and deep distress at the way her life has turned out, being as it is in the same jail that Corby calls home.

Never once have the trash mags or the newspapers featured Lawrence on the cover, accompanied by a story about her well being and anguish. No one gives a shit. I guess that's what happens if you're a large girl and not obviously attractive. Who knows how Lawrence looks now. Thinner, I imagine, but we haven't seen any photo's of her since I can't remember when.

Corby has relatives living in Indonesia, who visit constantly, provide her with food and anything within reason that she's permitted to have in jail. I have no idea if Lawrence has visitors, but she certainly doesn't have family living there to help sustain her. It's Corby who continues to garner all the Australian sympathy though. Feigning innocence has staying power.

I've always thought that Lawrence would head home before Corby. No small irony. The former had more than 8 kilos of heroin about her person, while the latter had only 4.2 kilos of weed tucked in with her boogy board. Initially Corby got life, or something ridiculous, eventually reduced to twenty years on appeal. Lawrence plead guilty from the get-go, took her twenty years, and has not said a word since. Mind you, our journalists haven't beaten a path to her cell seeking a word either.

This week, another few months might be shaved from each of their sentences, an annual tradition in Indonesia.

So far, Lawrence, who was arrested a year after Corby, has accrued more credits than Corby. Every little bit helps. Every month a little closer to freedom.

Whenever I see yet another hand-wringing story about our poor Schapelle, I always wonder how Renae Lawrence is holding up. At least she knows she was guilty. Perhaps that lightens the burden of her time in an Indonesian jail.

Corby and Lawrence in line for sentence cut


  1. Indeed Renae wasn't quite as photogenic as Shapelle, and also didn't have such interesting and colourful relatives who were ready to put on a "show" in front of the camera's.

    And you've got to have a good "show" if you want to attract the media's attention.

    Perhaps Renae needs Max Markson to start spinning for her?

  2. Mercedes Corby certainly adds extra bang for the buck, a two for one deal.

    Mum Corby does awesome "quintessential" Aussie sheila.

    We're not fond of bogans, much.

  3. Surely there's a brilliant Indonesian Jail Diet story just waiting to be written?

    I always felt more sorry for the Bali Nine than for the Bogan Princess. They just - mostly - always seemed like a pack of losers. Still, drug smuggling in Asia = massive fuckwittery.

  4. Hell yes!

    The makeover from hell, but goddamn, doesn't she look thin and fab!

    I'd lurve to see that.

    Agree about the Bali Nine, my thoughts were always much the same. Particularly felt for the parents of all of them, just average bods, going about their business, had no clue that their children - young as - were heading to death row in another country. Must suck to be them.

    The few direct interviews with some of the kids a couple of years ago tended to demonstrate that they weren't entirely stupid, were genuinely remorseful, were acutely aware of their fuckwittery and were doing their best, with few personal resources, to just get through each day with their sanity intact. They grew up, in other words, fast. All rather sad.

    By contrast, Corby has never shown any particular self knowledge, no self examination. Perhaps that's too high a standard to expect from someone in her situation, but then, I still get pissy when I think of how often the Corbys have squawked at the gov't and at Australians to "do" something to help set the Bogan Princess free.

  5. I've often noticed that you can have a face like an arse and be obviously sulky but so long as you're thin you're pretty. Therefore, I see an article on the miraculous transformation of Renae being quickly followed by a series on finding her the man of her dreams from her prison cell. There may even be a nice little tv series in it. Damn, I should not be sharing my stellar ideas with the internet.

    I always feel sorry for any parent whose child does something monumentally stupid in the public eye. The feeling of failure must be horrendous.

    As for old Schappelle (gah!), well, princesses have less opportunity to grow up, I suppose. They aren't really taught how or even why they should.

  6. Anonymous12:39 AM

    As someone who has followed Schapelle's case for several years now and have acquired quite a bit of knowlege on the actual facts of the case, (well beyone what has been reported in the media), I can say without hesitation that it's highly unlikely that she committed a crime. The Corbys made a huge error in judgement in the beginning by trying to turn to the media to get Schapelle freed. By the time the dust fell, Indonesia had dug their heels in and it turned into more of a political/diplomatic problem then anything based on criminal facts. Please also keep in mind, that the Corbys not only provide for Schapelle, but also for her cell-mates. As for Renae, while I hope she's doing OK, she is actually guilty and has to do the time.

  7. Anonymous8:11 AM

    "I can say without hesitation that it's highly unlikely that she committed a crime."

    Maybe, maybe not but with over 4 kgs of pot concealed with a boogie board, which would weigh around 2 kgs, one must wonder why she didn't wake up to the fact that her boogie board weighed 3 times heavier than usual.

    It would be hard to believe anything her family said, and I suspect her family were up to their ears in it.


  8. Anon - yeah, sure, of course, because actual facts of the case have been so well hidden.

    The baggage handler stuffed 4.2 kilos of weed up his jumper, walked through a vast work area, leaving the overwhelming reek of marijuana in his wake, then got to work with his tape and scissors to neatly arrange and affix the large bag of dope to the shape of the boogy board - and no one, no one at all, noticed any of this.

    Seriously, you should take your personal investigations and findings to the appropriate authorities. You seem to have stumbled upon evidence that no one else has been able to identify. It's not doing Corby any good for you to keep it to yourself though.

    And sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    Justin - up to their necks in it, from the oldest to the youngest.

  9. Nails - of for the love of god, you have to create a new career for yourself. I can see your first non-fiction book now:

    How I saved Schappelle and found love on the inside: the inspiring story of Renae and how being really thin can change your life