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Mark 'Chopper' Read Dies Aged 58 

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Old 10-09-2013, 04:42 PM
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Mark 'Chopper' Read Dies Aged 58

Mark 'Chopper' Read, one of Australia's most notorious men, dies, aged 58 (ABC News)

Chopper Read refused a liver transplant, saying he did not deserve it.

Mark "Chopper" Read, who died earlier today after a battle with liver cancer, is being remembered for his tough and fearsome personality.

The 58-year-old was diagnosed with liver cancer and had been receiving treatment in Royal Melbourne Hospital.

One of Australia's most notorious standover men, Read claimed to have killed 19 men, but he was never convicted of a single murder.

He became a household name when the eponymous film Chopper, starring Eric Bana, became a cult hit in 2000.

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Herald Sun journalist Andrew Rule, who co-wrote the self-confessed hit man's biography, said that as a young man Read was "bizarrely careless".

"His main feature was not that he was necessarily bigger or stronger or tougher or a better fighter than all the others, because others would transcend him in all those things, but he was fearless of consequences," Rule said.

Following a hard upbringing in Melbourne, Read was a ward of the state by his early teens.

He turned to a life of crime, stealing from drug dealers, and later kidnapping and assaulting criminals who had outstanding debts. In 1987 he shot and killed a man outside a St Kilda nightclub but was acquitted on the grounds of self-defence.

Read spent nearly half his life in jail but made efforts to rehabilitate after he was released from a Tasmanian prison in the 1990s. Former prison chaplain Peter Norden told 774 ABC Radio Melbourne that Read was very much a loner in prison.

"No-one trusted him, he was unpredictable," Father Norden said. "When he came out of his cell, people gave him about a three-metre berth. He spent a lot of time in H Division, and he was bored, working in the laundry yard. He just wanted to have conversation. I always said in prison the people who were the most dangerous, were the most insecure people. He was a victim of the system, and mostly he wasn't a successful crook. He got caught for most of the things he did."

Read married twice and became a best-selling author of crime novels.

Father Norden said while Read was often in the news, it did not mean people approved of his lifestyle. "He was a complex man but became a bit of a cult figure," he said.

"He is a significant item of news because of the profile he got right throughout the country and beyond."

Read contracted hepatitis C, reportedly during his time in prison, and refused a liver transplant, saying he did not deserve it.

Co-writer Rule says he does not think many people will miss him. "His nearest and dearest, they will miss him. He's been a meal ticket for various hangers on, they will miss him," Rule said.

"Beyond that I couldn't be sure."

Rule says Read somewhat reminded him of Mohammed Ali. "He was a wizard with words [and] he could rhyme words. He was a bit of a rapper. He was a good talker. He had an image of himself perhaps the way some colourful sportsmen have," he said. "He wanted to be remembered in the same way that Squizzy Taylor and Ned Kelly were, and he took steps to do that."

Read is survived by his wife Margaret Cassar and two sons.

13 Things You May Not Know About 'Chopper'

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-0...ged-58/5012358

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Old 10-09-2013, 04:56 PM
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Re: Mark 'Chopper' Read Dies Aged 58

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Old 10-10-2013, 10:59 PM
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Re: Mark 'Chopper' Read Dies Aged 58

Awesome movie....Eric Bana plays him to a "T". And the sarcasm Also check out the "extra's" from the movie where Bana goes to Tassie to hang out with Chopper to prep for the role.

Saw him walk past a coffee shop when I was down in Hobart, Tasmania a few years back. Friend pointed him out to me, but I didn't know who he was at the time.

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Old 10-11-2013, 12:45 AM
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Re: Mark 'Chopper' Read Dies Aged 58

Cheers big ears.

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Old 10-11-2013, 04:04 AM
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Re: Mark 'Chopper' Read Dies Aged 58

I loved the story in his book about the guy who went to light a cigar with his gun shaped lighter, not realising it was not actually a lighter at all

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Old 10-12-2013, 05:36 AM
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Re: Mark 'Chopper' Read Dies Aged 58

He went out like a badass. Refusing to live because he didn't feel he deserved it...classic.

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Old 10-12-2013, 06:59 PM
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Re: Mark 'Chopper' Read Dies Aged 58

I have some respect for the man, I read his book and was shocked to read that he regretted it all. Amazing insight into the psyche of a thug.

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Old 10-12-2013, 10:31 PM
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Re: Mark 'Chopper' Read Dies Aged 58

Yep, he realized later on he could make far more money talking about crime than actually doing it . Absolute boon for crime documentarians in Australia as he either knew most of the heavy hitters or their victims.
He retracted that claim about the murders too later saying rather that he was 'involved' as opposed to actually committing the murders

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