How do you interview a hitman?


I was sad this evening to hear of the passing of Mark ‘Chopper’ Read…and this short piece from Caron is a nice mark of his passing…

The Crayon Files

The news that one of Australia’s most notorious underworld figures, Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read, 58, died of liver cancer today, has prompted me to reflect on a series of interviews I did with him 10 years ago.

At the time, and then known as Caron James,  I was Melbourne Editor of Woman’s Day magazine. The story was to be about his wedding to childhood sweetheart Margaret.

At first, I was reluctant to do the interview. My editor asked me if I would like a body guard! I declined, saying it wasn’t that I was in any way scared, just that I had problems with the ethics of doing such a story.

Anyway, I did do it. I met Read and Margaret at his favourite pub in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood.  He was personable and insisted on buying me a gin and tonic. Carefully, I called him “Mark”.

“Aww, call…

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