Mark Brandon Read was 17 when he entered prison for the first time. A young man, yes, but one who had never really been a child. His father had spent 24 years in the Australian army; the old man was battle-scarred, to the point where he always slept with a rifle within reach. His mother was a strict Seventh Day Adventist, a child of God. As for the boy, he had been picked on during most of his childhood. Read was the schoolyard punching bag. The poundings only made him tougher. So did the electric-shock treatments he would receive in the mental hospitals throughout his young life. He was proud of the fact he could withstand a beating, proud that he could take a surge of electricity. He stood up, brushed himself off, then came back for more. He could... More >>>