There are the true crimes that remain unsolved for years and years, and then there’s the true-crime confession. Sometimes committing a crazy crime becomes too much to bear, and the criminal comes forward with their burden. Robert Durst is, of course, maybe the most memorable in recent history. It’s pretty amazing when you damn yourself in an HBO series.
Not all criminals come forth in such a dramatic fashion. That isn’t to say they don’t come forward in an equally weird fashion, because, let’s face it, crime is ugly. For that reason, we decided to examine some of the more interesting confessions in true crime history.
1. Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read
This infamous Australian criminal was also a best-selling author (How to Shoot Friends and Influence People) and the subject of the film “Chopper.” He loved a good story. Chopper spent 23 years in jail for violent crimes but he was never actually convicted of murder. Chopper was one intense guy. He convinced a fellow inmate to cut off both of his ears with the hope that he might be transferred to the mental health wing of the prison which had better conditions.
Chopper first stood trial for a scuffle that resulted in murder outside of a nightclub. He claimed self-defense and the jury believed him. Apparently, even Chopper was surprised he got off for that crime. He eventually said, “When I killed Sammy, that wasn’t self-defense, that was outright fucking murder.”
Chopper agreed to a TV interview on 60 Minutes when he knew he was dying of liver cancer. It was here that “Australia’s famous criminal” laid it all on the table and confessed to killing four men in cold blood. That said, he was also very concerned about whether or not he was a good writer. Additionally, he deeply wanted to make it clear he never hurt women or children.
In what he called his “last picture” show, he also deeply wanted to clarify “four is all you get, don’t make it out to be more than that.” Chopper admitted himself that if you turn a camera on him, “he’ll lie his head off,” and many of the crimes detailed in his books were thought to be embellished. That left many to wonder if his final confessions were truth or fiction.