Michael “Mickey” Gordon Peterson, d/b/a Charlie Bronson in the British prison system, is one of the craziest men alive. Originally sentenced to seven years for an armed robbery, he has now spent over 30 years of his life (he is 57) confined to a solitary cell due to his notoriously violent behavior directed towards his captors and the structures that have kept him locked away from human interaction for so long. The English prison system sentenced him to a lifetime of solitary for his malevolence, abandoning all hopes for rehabilitation, but Charlie never gave up on himself. Over the last decade he’s quit fighting and taking hostages, preferring to spend his time exercising, writing, and creating art.
You’ve really gotta check out the 2008 film about the guy, “Bronson,” directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (a Dane1). It seems pure accuracy was not Refn’s intent, setting out instead to make a film that depicted Charlie the way he actually saw himself during the years of his life when he was proudly, dedicatedly programmed for chaos. Visually, Larry Smith, the “Bronson” cinematographer, seems to have take some cues from working on the set of “Eyes Wide Shut” as a lighting cameraman back in ’99. The music in the film is also very good. I should also mention that Tom Hardy was decreed Best Actor by the British Independent Film Awards in 2009 for his role as the titular colossal man himself (he, too, is colossal).
So let’s open the file and learn more about this fascinating man.
In this scene, Matt King as “Paul” probably has the best line in a movie since “FUCKA YOUUUU” in “Pineapple Express.” You can also see how hard Charlie was/is along with how great the music works in the film.
Just one of the twelve books Charlie has published.
A letter dating back to 2007 from Charles to Mal at FreeBronson.co.uk detailing his daily routine in solitary confinement. Click here to see it typed out. Can anyone figure out what it says after “10PM strip wash”? Something like “Lights out for James Wane know Talk Back show. (Brill).” Tough one.
A letter from eight-year-old Charley Morris to the governor of Her Majesty’s Prison, Woodhill, U.K.
1. “Say No To All Drugs” 1997 SOLD
2. “Isn’t Life Wonderful” 1998
3. “Why Can’t People Be Like Birds?” 2000 SOLD
4. “Respect” 2007 Also SOLD
In 1998, Bronson took two Iraqi hijackers and another inmate hostage at Belmarsh prison in London. He insisted his hostages address him as ‘General’ and told negotiators he would eat one of his victims quickly unless his demands were met. At one stage, Bronson demanded one of the Iraqis hit him “very hard” over the head with a metal tray. When the hostage refused, Bronson slashed his own shoulder six times with a razor blade. He later told staff: ‘I’m going to start snapping necks – I’m the number-one hostage taker.’ He demanded a plane to take him to Cuba, two Uzi sub-machine guns, 5,000 rounds of ammunition, and an axe.
This cast-metal toy model of the door in Charlie’s cell is numbered out of 131. Not everyone gets a toy made for them. Like the kind of toy you can order online or sell in freaky comic shops. There are two more pieces planned to come, all three different models will supposedly fit together, and you can’t be promised to be sold the second or third models unless you ordered the first one. You know what? Screw toyheads and their rules.
Lastly, the bloke’s clothing line, Bronson, dropped this week. And it apparently features one of Charlie’s “Birdman” refrains on a tee. I think it looks great in this photo, really fucking great.
Charlie retied me in a different way. He tied my left arm to my body and then tied my wrists together. I was still convinced I was going to die. Charlie found a snooker cue and then with a bandage he began to bind the handle of the knife to the end of the cue. The result was a spear. Charlie held the spear by his side and then began marching up and down like a soldier. It was as if he was in some kind of trance. I thought I was going to be sacrificed on the snooker table.
- Phil Danielson, a Bronson hostage in 1999, to his rescuers
- Or Butter Cookie, if you feel that way about them.