Obituary: Mark ‘Chopper’ Read

One of Australia’s most notorious standover men and self-confessed hit-man Mark Chopper Read has died.

The 58-year-old had been diagnosed with liver cancer last year.

Read claimed to have killed 19 men, but he was never convicted of a single murder.

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.

He became a household name in Australia after the eponymous film Chopper, starring Eric Bana, became a cult hit — via

Photo: Patrick Rivere / Getty Images

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