Reports are emerging that notorious criminal, author, occasional rapper and public speaker, Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read, has died, presumably from liver cancer. Read was recently released from Royal Melbourne Hospital after undergoing treatment for the disease.
By any stretch of the imagination a colourful character, Read shot to fame following the publication of his first memoir, Chopper: From The Inside, in 1991. He went on the publish a further 14 books, mostly about his criminal career. The veracity of his work has often been called into question, and Read certainly enjoyed the mythology he propagated about himself.
One of a long line of criminals that Australia has lionized, Read’s cultural footprint includes comedian Heath Franklin’s impersonation and, of course the 2000 film Chopper, directed by Andrew Dominik, which starred Eric Bana in the title role.
Chopper Read was 58.