A video review of ‘Handcuffs in the Sand’ written by Katherine West-Penkwitz

“If you only go for the money, money is all you will have.” — Katherine West-Penkwitz, Handcuffs in the Sand.


Handcuffs in the Sand is an explosive adventure through time. Starting in the late sixties and seventies smart young kids were caught up in the Drug War. Good looking beach kids in Southwest Florida, they noticed the older population there was oblivious to their escapades. A few ounces here or there, they saw a way to make major cash selling marijuana and then cocaine. The fast paced life was good for awhile, but the DEA was hot after them, always watching. Life has a way of turning on a dime and upsetting their lifestyle. The DEA, Florida Marine Patrol and local sheriffs busted down the door and things took a turn they did not expect.

Katherine West-Penkwitz was born in Lakeland, Florida June 21,1954. She spent most of her childhood on the West Coast of Florida and extended periods in Colombia, South America. Her academic upbringing never hinted at the wild times to come. After studies in Germany and life in Amsterdam, a tumultuous period with her first husband consequences came in waves. Hard lessons, including federal prison and facing her drug addictions reshaped her thinking.

Today Katherine enjoys a happy family life with her second husband and their daughter in Sarasota, Florida. More than anything she found being a wife, swim mom, writer and master yoga instructor makes her feel fulfilled.

In her 2019 book Handcuffs in the Sand Katherine West-Penkwitz wrote, “My journey though now eons away remains a part of me forever. This all began at dawn on July 2, 1991, when a SWAT team, armed with sledge hammers, masks, guns, cameras and dogs burst into our spacious waterfront home by Boca Grande, Florida. They were accompanied by the Marine Patrol, US Customs and the DEA [Drug Enforcement Agency]. Terrified, I rushed to protect my rottweilers, Draco and Magic leading them quickly into the master bathroom… Instantly, Vinnie and I knew this morning would change our destinies.”

Katherine continues, “My whole life was upside down. Would I ever see home again? What was everyone going to think about this side of my life? Nothing brought me relief, not even my tears.

In 2020 Mystery Us host Anthony Pratt interviewed Katherine West-Penkwitz author of Handcuffs in the Sand and Cross of Isabella. Kathy describes her harrowing ordeal dealing with drug lords, IRS, Police and the justice system after being arrested for drug smuggling and facing 40 years in Federal prison. Kathy shares her Yoga skills at the end of the program.

WATCH: Handcuffs In The Sand interviewed with Katherine West-Penkwitz

Since the raid on her and Vinnie’s Boca Grand home in 1991 Katherine turned her life around and became an outspoken advocate for prison reform and equal justice under the law.

While in prison Katherine asked, “Was the United States creating more broken homes with so many prisoners with such long sentences, while not rehabilitating the greatest percentage of addicts? Most of these people do go home eventually. Why not equip the with tools to fight the temptation to repeat the cycle?

The video below shows how Katherine, now living in Sarasota has become a true American patriot and not afraid to speak truth to power.

She has found her way through her strong religious beliefs and this is what drives her to do good, each and every day.

WATCH: Katherine West-Penkwitz’s CNN is not your friend!

Katherine ends her book Handcuffs in the Sand with this profound statement, “Trying to be happy isn’t that what we all are trying to do? Wasn’t that what I was trying to do before my personal Inferno? I think I know how to do that better now.”

I highly recommend that you purchase both of Katherine’s books Handcuffs in the Sand and Cross of Isabella.

©2024. Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

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