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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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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