Bank robber-turned-TikTok star Russell Manser, who used platform to help victims of abuse, is dead: ‘Rest easy my brother’

Former prison inmate Russell Manser who turned his trauma into a chance to help other abuse survivors has died.

Manser had served 23 years in prison in Northern Territory, Queensland and NSW for bank robberies before he turned to TikTok to speak about his trauma as a survivor of sexual abuse.

Amassing more than 130,000 on TikTok, Manser ran Voice of a Survivor to help others who have suffered abuse to find their purpose in life.

Manser also hosted The Stick Up podcast where he spoke with guests including Australian rapper Ay Huncho, former NRL (National Rugby League) star Braith Anasta and businessman Mark Bouris.

Russell Manser spent 23 years behind bars and then turned his lfie around to be an advocate for sexual abuse survivors. @russellmanserofficial1 / TikTok

Friends of Manser have flooded social media on Sunday, with many expressing their grief about the unexpected death.

Lawyer Andrew Carpenter said he will miss his “dear friend,” who he met through his advocacy work.

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“We wanted to change the world. We wanted to save the world. You saved so many lives. You changed so many lives,” Carpenter said in a tribute posted on Instagram on Sunday night.

“You were my sounding board when I was struggling with the horrendous topics of abuse.

“I’ll always love you through the sands of time. As you’ll always be a hero of mine”

“Rest easy my brother.”

Manser amassed over 130,000 followers on TikTok. @russellmanserofficial1 / TikTok

Survivor advocate Harrison James said the “survivor community mourns the loss of a dear friend”.

“Despite our brief encounters, Russell’s impact was profound,” James said.

“He turned his own struggles into a beacon of hope, dedicating himself to supporting survivors of child sexual abuse.

“His legacy transcends boundaries, offering solace to those battling addiction, crime, and mental illness.

“Russell’s spirit will forever inspire us to persevere, to embrace transformation, and to stand in solidarity with one another.

“Rest in power, brother. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and loved ones, especially his son.”

Manser’s cause of death is yet to be made public but it’s understood he died on Saturday hours after posting a video to social media.

In the latest video, Manser discussed Asian gangs in prison with his followers.

Manser regularly posted videos alongside his 22-year-old son, Ky Manser, hoping to inspire others to open conversations around mental health and support options, especially for men.

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