Charles Arthur “Charlie” Salvador (also known as Charles Bronson and born Michael Gordon “Mickey” Peterson; 6 December 1952) is an English criminal who is often referred to in the British press as the “most violent prisoner in Britain” and “Britain’s most notorious prisoner“. Although he never killed anyone, he has spent more time in jail than most of Britain’s mass murderers. Read on to know the amazing facts about this notorious savage.
Bronson was born in Luton, Bedfordshire, England. By the age of 13, Charles Bronson was part of a gang of four robbers and was reprimanded in juvenile court after he was caught stealing. “As a boy, he was a lovely lad” his aunt, Eileen Parry quoted, who was a mayoress in 1960’s. “He was obviously bright and always good with children and mild-mannered, never a bully; he would defend the weak” she added.
The First Crime
Charles Bronson faced prison for the first time at Risley, serving time on remand for criminal damage after he smashed some parked cars following an argument with his girlfriend’s father; following his trial, Charles Bronson was fined and given probation. Bronson then worked as a furniture removalist, while regularly fighting on his nights out. After getting involved in petty crime, Bronson got into serious trouble for the first time after crashing a stolen lorry into a car. Bronson ran 90 miles (140 km) away from the scene to his parents’ home, where he was apprehended. The driver of the car survived the collision so Bronson got off lightly, receiving yet more fines and probation. After his trial, he returned to petty crimes and menial labour.
Charles Bronson was arrested for a robbery when he tried to get away with £26. He was caught and sentenced to seven years, with an option to release in four years if his behavior was good. He soon ended up on the punishment block after attacking two prisoners without provocation and later after an altercation he attacked a prison officer, and was sent to the punishment block. Chlorpromazine (which made him violently ill) a sedative was injected to him, and six months were added to his sentence. And this was just the beginning of the string of attacks on inmates, officers, and even terrorists.
Michael Peterson to Charles Bronson – The brief period of freedom
He was briefly released from Gartree and in the year 1987 he changed his name to Charles Bronson. He had a short-lived career in illegal bare-knuckle boxing in the East End of London. Charles Bronson also claimed to have killed a rottweiler with his bare hands in a £10,000 underground fight, though later said this was “not something I’m proud of because I love animals”.
Charles Bronson took a number of people as hostage while being in prison. This included Deputy Governor, librarian, a doctor, inmates, lawyers, prison staff and even terrorists. The most noted incident was taking the terrorists as hostage. In 1996, Bronson took two Iraqi terrorists and a third prisoner Jason Greasley, hostage after one of them accidentally bumped into him and didn’t apologize. At one point, he forced the terrorists to tickle his feet and call him “General”. He demanded a plane to take him to Libya, two Uzi sub-machine guns, 5,000 rounds of ammunition, and an axe. He even threatened to eat one of the hostage, if the demands weren’t met.
Charles Bronson’s Artwork and Charity
The Charles Salvador Art Foundation was founded to promote his artwork and “help those in positions even less fortunate than his own” to participate in art. On 28 April 2010, BBC News reported that artwork by Bronson was displayed on the London Underground for two weeks. The display was organised by Art Below, which is unrelated to the official Transport For London art program, and there is controversy over whether it should have been shown. His work has since been removed by an unknown party. In 2016, one of his artworks was auctioned to raise money for the treatment of a child with cerebral palsy.
Movie on Charles Bronson
Bronson, which loosely follows Bronson’s life, was released in Britain on 13 March 2009. Tom Hardy was roped in to play Bronson’s role. Hardy was desperate to make sure that he didn’t upset Bronson with his performance in case he ended up “rolled up in a carpet and dropped to the bottom of the Thames.” So while filming, he made sure to have a close friend of Bronson’s on hand for questions and spent a lot of time with Bronson’s family.
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