Chopper: Australian Criminal Dies Aged 58
Australian criminal and self-styled celebrity Mark "Chopper" Read has died aged 58 after a long battle with liver cancer.
Read served 23 years in prison for multiple violent crimes including armed robbery, kidnapping a judge and shooting a man who he later drove to hospital.
He famously asked an inmate to cut off his ears while in prison, and was said to have a penchant for blowtorches and pliers when dealing with enemies.
Read was never convicted of murder, but once claimed to have killed 19 people. He later revised this figure to around four.
Since his release 15 years ago, Read became a successful true-crime author, publishing dozens of books on his alleged exploits in prison.
However, the validity of his prison tales have at times been questioned.
Read recently said: "People seemed to like the stories of blood and gore so much that I just kept serving them up to them."
His criminal exploits were made famous in the 2000 film Chopper starring Australian actor Eric Bana.
The film helped launch Bana's career and made Read a cult figure.
Read's manager Andrew Parisi announced his death on Wednesday and said he hoped people would remember Read for his later years.
He said: "For more than 15 years, Mark has lived a quiet life with Margaret (his wife) in Collingwood. He worked as a writer, painter and public speaker, paid his taxes and took care of his family.
"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."