Gringo Nightmare (Hardcover)

A Young American Framed for Murder in Nicaragua

By Eric Volz

St. Martin's Press, 9780312557270, 304pp.

Publication Date: April 27, 2010

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (5/10/2011)

List Price: 25.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"In the spirit of "Midnight Express" and "Not Without My Daughter" comes the harrowing true story of an American held in a Nicaraguan prison for a murder he didn't commit."

Eric Volz was in his late twenties in 2005 when he moved from California to Nicaragua. He and a friend cofounded a bilingual magazine, "El Puente, " and it proved more successful than they ever expected. Then Volz met Doris Jimenez, an incomparable beauty from a small Nicaraguan beach town, and they began a passionate and meaningful relationship. Though the relationship ended amicably less than a year later and Volz moved his business to the capital city of Managua, a close bond between the two endured.

Nothing prepared him for the phone call he received on November 21, 2006, when he learned that Doris had been found dead---murdered---in her seaside clothing boutique. He rushed from Managua to be with her friends and family, and before he knew it, he found himself accused of her murder, arrested, and imprisoned.

Decried in the press and vilified by his onetime friends, Volz suffered horrific conditions, illness, deadly inmates, an angry lynch mob, sadistic guards, and the merciless treatment of government officials. It was only through his dogged persistence, the tireless support of his friends and family, and the assistance of a former intelligence operative that Eric was released, in December 2007, after more than a year in prison.

A story that made national and international headlines, this is the first and only book to tell Eric's absorbing, moving account in his own words.

"Visit the companion Exhibit Hall at the Gringo Nightmare website for additional photos, audio clips, video, case files, and more.

About the Author

ERIC VOLZ was born in Northern California. He is a former magazine publisher and investment consultant, who holds a degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California, San Diego. In November 2006, while living in Nicaragua, he was falsely accused and wrongfully convicted for the rape and murder of his ex-girlfriend Doris Jimenez, and consequently sentenced to a 30-year prison term. After spending over a year in the Nicaraguan Prison system, an appeals court overturned the conviction and Volz was released in December of 2007.Since his release, Volz filed a petition in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, seeking a declaration of his innocence and protection under the American Convention on Human Rights from further persecution by the Government of Nicaragua. Although he is no longer behind bars, his case continues to test the role and authority of a supra-national tribunal with major potential to engage international policy discussions and subsequent reform.He has been a guest on and featured in "The Today Show," CNN, NBC News, PBS, Telemundo and Univision, "New York Times," "Washington Post," "WSJ," People and NPR.

Praise For Gringo Nightmare: A Young American Framed for Murder in Nicaragua

“This story should be issued with every passport.”

---from the foreword by Bill Kurtis, author of The Death Penalty on Trial and host of A&E’s Cold Case Files


“A powerful story of injustice, iron determination, and incomprehensible strength. Proof that wrongful convictions can happen anywhere, at anytime, to anyone.”

---Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton, coauthors of the New York Times bestselling Picking Cotton


Gringo Nightmare is a brave and riveting account of a young man wrongfully imprisoned, offering insight into the history, politics, and geography of a nation. It’s major motion picture material.”

---Elizabeth F. Loftus, Ph.D., coauthor of Witness for the Defense and The Myth of Repressed Memory


“A chilling tale of how political pressure and a rigged judicial process led to the conviction of an innocent man, and a powerful story of how one man’s faith in the truth, combined with grassroots pressure from people around the world who had never met Eric Volz, eventually helped to end an unjust imprisonment.”

---KC Johnson, coauthor of the New York Times bestselling Until Proven Innocent