Australian media reported best-selling novelist Mark Chopper Read was dead. Read went to jail for 23 years on a kidnapping charge. There were claims that he wounded and murdered over 19 individuals before being arrested. After being released from prison he became a crime novelist and a celebrated author in the country of Australia.
It was reported he was 58-years-old when he passed Wednesday in a hospital named Royal Melbourne. His manager spoke to the media and acknowledged he was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and underwent a series of medical procedures. Despite having a diagnosis of liver cancer Read continued to write and amuse audiences with his stories.
Read was noted as an avid writer and story teller who delighted audiences. It was reported that he wanted to be remembered for making his readership laugh. He had taken up writing while in prison and made it his career when released. Proponents commend his ability to reform and enter back into society as a productive citizen.
According to hospital officials, Read died after a lengthy battle with liver cancer. He grew up in Melbourne and experienced a rough up-bringing. Read was a ward of the state by the time he was a teenager and became known as a “standover man” later in life. He robbed drug dealers and abducted criminals for generous ransoms.
Read’s term in prison changed the direction of his life. “Read mostly wasn’t a successful crook. He got caught for most of the things he did,” said Peter Norden, a former prison chaplain. Read was released in the 1990’s and penned several best-sellers. He also took up painting and believed it was therapy for his issues with his anger problem.
Read’s popularity soured when the movie “Chopper” was released depicting his life story in the criminal world. He was played by actor Eric Bana who was actually selected by Read to represent his tales in street life. Read took advantage of his notoriety by writing a series of novels under the Chopper banner detailing his experience in Australia’s street life.
He got out of prison in 1998 and never looked back. He enjoyed his marriage and had his first son at age 45. He continued to write and divorced in the early 2000s. He later remarried, had another son and enjoyed life as a celebrated author. While living in Tasmania, Read realized the significance of his work and said of himself that he became a true humanitarian.
Andrew Parisi, Read’s manager, commented, “At the time of his death, we ask that people reflect on how Mark was able to overcome his past and, After more than 23 years in prison, find a way to re-enter normal society. It is as a husband, father and friend that Mark will be missed most deeply.” With novelist Chopper Read dead, Australia’s literary community grieves the loss of its primetime homegrown artist.
By Thomas Barr