Andy was an honest man.

Straight as an arrow. Vice president of the bank. Husband. Inmate number 37927.

Inmate number 37927 at Shawshank State Penitentiary.

We all know his story.

He was a successful young man, living in the early 1900’s. He married his wife in the late 1930’s. By 1947 he wasn’t her only man.

His wife started taking golf lessons with Glen Quentin. A respectable man. So he thought.

It didn’t take long for an affair to spark. Andy knew. He knew every bit of what was going on. He was smart. He was certain.

Yet his wife denied everything.

He had no choice but to confront the pair.

He arrived at Glen’s house late one night. Stumbling, slurring, drunk.

He stood on the dark street. His car was holding him upright. He could see a bedroom, second level, on the right, at the front. The light was on. His vision was blurred, but what was happening was clear.

Revolver in hand, Andy had every intention to end it then and there.

But he didn’t.

Standing outside, he opened the car door. Threw himself back into the driver’s seat. Turned the keys in the ignition. Listened to the grumbling engine. Rubbed his eyes. Pushed the pedal to the ground.

And left the revolver.

When someone else broke into Glen’s house and murdered the pair, Andy became the first suspect. He had, after all, left his revolver at the scene.

Andy was sentenced to two life sentences at Shawshank State Prison.

Andy's outlook was as bleak as Shawshank Penitentiary

50 years. 18,250 days. 18,250 painstakingly slow days. 438,000 hours in an electric fenced, old cement confine.

All for something he didn’t commit.

The 19 years of his life were to be nothing short of a whirlwind.

Targeted by the prison gang, Andy was subject to beatings. Rapes. Random attacks.

He struggled to make many friends, but made one so great. The rest didn’t matter.

His name was Red.

And while Andy and Red chatted one hot, sunny day, they overheard a guard discussing tax matters.

As the former vice president of a bank, Andy knew a thing or two about tax.

He piped up. And immediately he was enlisted to help the warden and guards with their finances.

Serving as the prison’s accountant, Andy was exempt from manual labour. Harassment too.

But when word got out that an inmate knew who actually killed Andy’s wife, things changed.

Andy lost all of his control. They robbed him of the small amount of rights he had been left with.

They sent him to the infirmary.

The infirmary was for the worst of the worst.  

See, the taxes Andy had been doing included laundering money for the warden. And the warden didn’t want that to stop.

He had set up the best business of the 1950’s. A public service program where prisoners were to work outside the confine. Great for the prison appearance.

They were cheaper. Everyone would hire them. And the warden made a killing.

They were inmates. The minimum wage didn’t apply to them.

The warden got to pick their rate. Their pay. And his income.

The warden killed anyone who knew the truth about Andy’s wife’s murder.

The truth that he was innocent.

And in 1966, Andy escaped.

19 years of tunnelling with a rock hammer. And it all paid off.

He waited for a stormy night. One where the thunder could mask any noise. One where the rain could wash away any evidence.

He finished up his final day of accounting. He left with the warden’s shoes and one of his suits.

He had been hiding his rock hammer in a bible. He switched that for the warden’s ledger too.

The plan was scrupulous. A rope from Heywood. A plastic bag filled with the ledger. The records. A bar of soap. The stolen suit. And the shoes.

Andy pulled down his poster of Raquel Welch.

The hole was only just big enough to fit Andy and his stolen goods.

19 years it had been the gatekeeper to his secret. The key to his escape.

He crawled through his tunnel. He arrived at a sewerage main. And in unison with the thunder, blew the pipe open.

The next 500 yards were spent wading through sewerage.

500 yards and then he was there. A river. Freedom.

He ripped off his inmate clothing. He cleaned himself with the soap. And he changed into the stolen suit and shoes.

The suit that would get him closer to justice.

He waltzed into a dozen banks the next day. Posing as Randall Stephens (his fake entity to launder money), and he withdrew $370,000 of the Warden’s money.

And he didn’t stop there.

Andy mailed the evidence of their financial crimes to the local newspaper.

The story was published and the captain was arrested immediately.

Andy crossed the Mexican border.

He settled down on a deserted beach. He started a hobby. Boat building.

And when Red was released a few months later, he joined Andy.

I find I'm so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the type of excitement only a free man can feel. A free man at the start of a long journey.

It was a long road to freedom for the two. And neither were certain it would be given to them. But they were certain they would make it happen.

In the face of indignity, Andy never fell down.

Even when everything went wrong.

He had lived a successful life. A happy life. And it was all ripped away from him.

He was labelled a murderer. Envious. He was spat on and despised. People saw him as a grub.

But he never stopped pursuing what he was owed.

And he never let the captain and warden get away with what they had done to him.

They had robbed him of his liberty. They had robbed him of his control.

And nobody should be robbed of their control.

Everyone has the choice to be an Andy. To get what they deserve and hold the other person accountable.

Hold the warden and the captain accountable for what they did to him.

So when Jackson was hit by another driver, he sat. Thinking.

He had the choice to let the insurer brush him under the carpet like the judiciary system did to Andy. Or he had the choice to rise like Andy and take what he deserved.

Because after all, Jackson had done nothing wrong. Just like Andy, too, had done nothing wrong.

Jackson found his Red. 

His friend, his mate, his guide through this part of life.

He found himself the right lawyer. Someone who’s been through this before. Someone who’s fought a thousand fights and still stands. Someone who knows their way to freedom.

And once he found his Red, he found his control. Control of the situation he had never asked for. Never deserved.

If you want to take your control back, keep reading below.