Former Valley Ecstasy Kingpin Shaun Attwood (a.k.a. "English Shaun") Featured on National Geographic's Locked Up Abroad
One of the more infamous figures in the Valley's rave scene and local party monster lore has resurfaced in the media recently after being featured on the popular National Geographic Channel reality show Locked Up Abroad.
facebook.com/hard.time.5 Shaun Attwood (a.k.a. English Shaun) in a publicity photo for his book Hard Time.
Shaun Attwood, the British-born gentleman who was the onetime kingpin of a massive local ecstasy drug ring (and a major promoter in the Phoenix underground dance party community) more than a decade ago, was profiled on a recent episode of the docudrama series titled "Raving Arizona." Besides chronicling the rise and fall of Attwood, who was known to many by his former moniker "English Shaun," and his Molly-dealing empire, it provides a look into the local rave scene of the late '90s and yet another frightening glimpse into Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails.
- Evil Empire (The 2002 New Times Cover Story on Shaun Attwood)
- Joe Arpaio's Cockroaches, White Supremacists and More from Ex-Ecstasy Kingpin Shaun Attwood
- Joe Arpaio's Gulags, As Experienced by a Limey
More than 11 years ago, New Times documented Attwood's ecstasy-dealing exploits and how he amassed millions of dollars from 1997 to 2002 and led a utterly debaucherous party lifestyle filled with sex, drugs, and electronic dance music in a cover story by former writers Susy Buchanan and Brendan Joel Kelley. The in-depth piece also provided a glimpse at the Valley's rave scene, which was at its absolute zenith at the time.
The "Raving Arizona" episode of Locked Up Abroad, which aired at the end of April, covers much of the same ground, including how Attwood moved to Arizona in the early '90s and went from being a frustrated stockbroker to becoming a party king of metro Phoenix who had to battle with infamous former mob boss Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, who was also dealing E via a competing drug-trafficking syndicate around that time and, like English Shaun, was ultimately busted by the cops.
Here's an excerpt from the 2002 feature that also captures the rise and fall of Attwood's "evil empire" of MDMA and EDM, as well as wild rager he put on inside a local hotel suite that was filled with sex and drugs.
It was a full two days later that the fete finally trickled to a close. The villa sustained considerable damage. Picture frames were destroyed, and glass was strewn throughout the villa. A lampshade caught fire. There were craters in the walls where English Shaun had smashed his head while high on GHB, a liquid anesthetic. Dried wax covered the carpeting and bed, a souvenir of Shaun and Will having hot candle wax dripped on their naked bodies by strippers. Looking back, the people who were there that day couldn't have realized that this would be the pinnacle of their decadence, the crest of a wave that now threatens to drown them.
Arizonans are by now familiar with Sammy "The Bull" Gravano's exploits as leader of an ecstasy ring, which he ran with the help of his son Gerard and a group of thugs called the Devil Dogs, until his arrest in 2000. Few, however, are familiar with Gravano's contemporary -- and, some would say, competitor -- English Shaun, and the organization he reportedly referred to as "the Evil Empire."
Investigators from city and federal agencies who have been tracking English Shaun since January 2000 now charge that for years he piloted a syndicate of drug importers and distributors that supplied the bulk of ecstasy in the early days of the Valley's rave scene, and eventually branched out to include meth, pharmaceuticals, designer drugs and marijuana. In the process, it made English Shaun an urban legend in the rave underground.
This aforementioned lore surrounding Attwood now has a new life thanks to the Locked Up Abroad episode, which you can watch for yourself after the jump.