There was some good in Chopper after all

Chopper Read made a death bed confession to four murders…and one of them we won’t be shedding any tears over.

Notorious Australian crime figure-turned-author Mark “Chopper” Read offered a callous confession to four murders, including two unsolved cases, in his final interview just weeks before dying from cancer.

Read, who shot to international fame after the 2000 film “Chopper” starring Eric Bana was made about his violent life, spent 23 years in jail but was never convicted of murder – despite claiming over the years to have been involved in the killing of 19 people.

In a tell-all interview with Australian current affairs programme 60 Minutes screened on Sunday night, the career criminal claimed to have carried out four murders, saying he was determined to set the record straight.

The confession was recorded just 16 days before his death earlier this month from liver cancer.

“This is the last interview, the last picture show,” said Read, who found fame in Australia after swapping his life of crime for novel-writing, including 1993’s “How to Shoot Friends and Influence People”.

“Four, that’s all you’re getting, that’s it. I haven’t killed any more than that so don’t try to make out that I have,” he said.

In a candid, often glib, recounting of the murders – three shootings and the hanging of a child-killer in his jail cell – Read denied feeling any remorse and said he felt “nothing at all” during the killings.  

Ys he was a violent thug, but as Chopper said he only ever killed people who deserved it.

His other two alleged victims were a paedophile child-killer whose death was recorded as a suicide in Pentridge Prison in 1974, and a man known as “Sammy the Turk”, who Read was acquitted by a jury of killing after then claiming he shot him in self-defence.

“When I killed Sammy the Turk that wasn’t self defence, that was outright fucking murder,” he said.

Not sure though the unionist deserved it.

Among his alleged victims were two unsolved murders – the shooting of influential union member Desmond Costello outside a Melbourne hotel in 1971 and the death of Sydney Collins, national president of the Outlaws motorcycle gang who has been missing since 2002.

Read was just 17 when he claimed to have shot Costello and said he “can’t really tell you why, I haven’t the faintest idea and … I couldn’t care less”, although he claimed that the unionist had been “insulting” him.



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  • OhopeBeachBugger

    Nah, nobody gets to be judge jury and executioner. This is one area where I disagree quite vehemently.

  • Toryboy

    “he only ever killed people who deserved it”

    Oh well that is okay then! – for a moment I thought ‘thou shalt not kill’ had some meaning, but when put next to a celebrity gangster’s view of the World, I now see how silly I have been.

    • metalnwood

      Except for the guy whom he couldn’t tell you the faintest idea why he killed him.

    • That guy was a nutter plain and simple

  • tarkwin

    Helen Kelly and Andrew Little will be sleeping better now they don’t have to worry about insulting him.

  • Brian of Mt Wellington

    He may have been a bit of a nut case but he was funny and wrote some quite good stories. I have read almost all of his books and I found them interesting and for some reason kept reading and that is not like me as I hate reading books. However I think the ones he did dispatch were not missed and probably deserved it. There are a few here in NZ that should’ve met him in a dark alley saving the taxpayers a few hundred thousand dollars of incarceration costs. RIP chop chop.

    • Martin White

      That’s Uncle Chop Chop to you!

  • Agent BallSack

    Proved he was a pussy and had no balls by waiting til he died to confess. Just another chicken shit criminal.

  • Patrick

    Chopper was a blaggard, a bullshit artist – amoungst all his other traits. I have no problem with criminals killing each other but it would be interesting to see if the Police evidence fits with Chopper’s recall of the events.

    • James Growley

      Just your average Aussie then………..

  • thor42

    IIRC he was offered a liver transplant a while ago but turned it down, saying that “someone else deserved it more than he did”.
    Ok, I’m sure he was mostly bad, but he *was* funny (and no, that doesn’t excuse his actions of course). FWIW I’ll be growing a Chopper moustache for “Movember”.

  • Kimbo

    Chopper – A unique ability to piss everyone off. He’ll probably get kicked out of wherever he’s gone to.

  • It wouldnt surprise me at all, if his final interview was full of BS.