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Mary Murphy was born in Queens, New York and has spent her entire broadcasting career in her hometown. During her time at PIX11, Mary has anchored coverage of the 9/11 terror attacks, reported “live” during Superstorm Sandy, and did “live” coverage from Vatican City, when Pope Francis was elected in 2013. That’s the same year that Mary launched her “Mary Murphy Mystery” segment, which looks at unsolved crimes and missing persons cases. She’s also a member of the PIX11 Investigates unit. Her work in television journalism has been honored with 25 Emmy awards, along with an Edward R. Murrow for writing, and many, first-place prizes from the Associated Press Broadcasters’ Association. She won her most recent Emmy for a six-part series called “Heroin, A to Z.”

Mary is the daughter of Irish immigrants; her mother, Mary, is from County Galway and her late father, James, hailed from County Mayo. Her parents met in Rockaway Beach and initially settled in Woodside. Mary’s father was a New York City bus driver. Mary graduated from Queens College, Magna Cum Laude, and was selected for an internship with WCBS TV in the 1980’s. That was Mary’s entry into the news business, and she never looked back.

Mary has worked at PIX11 during two, different phases of her career. She spent five years here in the 1980’s, working her way up from production assistant to reporter.
During this initial phase at PIX11, Mary produced some of the first, local TV stories on the AIDS crisis and was out on the streets covering the violence associated with the crack cocaine epidemic.

In 1986, CBS 2 hired Mary as a general assignment correspondent. She covered breaking news there for seven years, including months of coverage associated with the assassination of NYPD Officer, Edward Byrne. Mary was the first, New York television reporter to air the confession tapes of the suspects. She reported “live” during the truck bombing of One World Trade Center in 1993. She won Emmy awards at CBS 2 for reporting on the John Gotti and Joel Steinberg trials.

Mary returned to PIX11 in 1993, where she was given opportunities to anchor, produce documentaries, and continue to break stories. In 1994, she interviewed the real people behind the Oscar-winning film, “Schindler’s List.” The project was honored with a national award from the American Women in Radio and Television.

In 1995, while six months pregnant, Mary covered the visit of Pope John Paul II (now a saint!) to New Jersey and New York. John Paul tapped Mary’s PIX 11 microphone, when she asked him a question, and that’s a special memory. She covered his Mass at Giants Stadium in the pouring rain!

In 1996, Mary responded to the crash of TWA Flight 800, off Center Moriches, Long Island. 230 passengers and crew members bound for Paris from JFK perished. For years, there was intense debate about the cause. In July 2001, Mary was the lead reporter on the Emmy-winning newscast that marked the fifth anniversary of the disaster.

In 2006, shortly before the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Mary visited a field in County Cork, Ireland, where a New York-based nurse had planted 343 trees in honor of the firefighters who gave their lives responding to the September 11th terror attacks.

On Sunday, May 1st, 2011, Mary was in her pajamas on a Sunday night, when she received an e-mail that President Obama was going to announce the death of the “Most Wanted” terrorist in the world, Osama bin Laden. Mary quickly changed, went into work, and landed on the lawn of retired firefighter, Bob Beckwith, at 4:30 am. Beckwith had stood with then-President George W. Bush on top of a demolished fire truck, three days after 9/11, when the President declared the terrorists who knocked down the towers would be hearing from the United States very soon. Weeks later, our War on Terror was launched in Afghanistan.

In early 2012, Mary traveled to Rome with Dan Mannarino to cover the elevation of New York’s Archbishop, Timothy Michael Dolan, to Cardinal. They worked many long hours, but it was an incredible venue to be working from.

Never in their wildest dreams did Dan and Mary think they’d be returning to Rome the next year, 2013, when Pope Benedict XVI surprisingly resigned—and a new leader of the Catholic Church was about to be selected. Mary and Dan were in St. Peter’s Square on March 13, 2013, when the white smoke signaled that a new Pope had been elected in the Sistine Chapel. That was Francis.

In November 2014, Mary produced a six-part series called “Heroin, A to Z” that looked at the explosion of heroin use—and fatalities—among young people in the middle class. At one point, she reunited a Suffolk County police officer with a 21 year old woman he had saved twice from an overdose, in the same month. The woman was then clean a year and working full time.

Mary was thrilled on January 25, 2015, when she received an e-mail about one of her Mystery segments from the year before. The e-mail led to an emotionally powerful reunion between a biological mother—and the child she had left behind in Brooklyn 38 years before.

Outside of work, Mary’s passions are movies—and tennis. She plays ladies’ doubles, and her community team has won four, first place championships, since they started playing together in 2006.

Mary is grateful for the opportunities journalism has brought her to see the world. And she identifies with so many people who, like her, came from ordinary backgrounds—but witnessed extraordinary things.

Recent Articles
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    NEW YORK — The girls from Queens and the Bronx with long, brunette hair wore it pinned back in a bun — or tied  in a ponytail — for much of 1977.  In March that year, Mayor Abe Beame and NYPD brass revealed the same .44 caliber handgun was being used to target young people, many of them attacked as they sat in cars. Three young women were already dead. Six people had survived after the initial five shootings that had […]

  • Doctors saved his hands, and now Joe needs to save himself

    SUNSET PARK, Brooklyn — When 30-year-old Joe from Ridgewood, Queens met for the first time with counselor George Rivera at Resource Beacon of Hope in Sunset Park, he was officially signing in for outpatient rehab four days a week “First of all, we’re going to stabilize the addiction,” Rivera told the former carpenter, who still has white gauze on both hands, after undergoing emergency surgery on his hands July 21st. “We’ll take it one step at a time.” Joe was […]

  • Duffel bag with fentanyl tossed on Bronx vending machine could’ve produced 7 million doses

    THE BRONX — When DEA agents stopped Carlos Ramirez, of Colorado, near the Umbrella Hotel on Elton Avenue in the Bronx, he told them he was staying in room No. 708. The DEA had noticed Ramirez open the rear passenger door of a car and put a cylindrical package on the floor. When the agents took a ride to the hotel’s seventh floor, they noticed something strange on top of a vending machine — right near Ramirez’s room. It was […]

  • Man busted at Holland Tunnel with truck full of loaded guns pleads guilty

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  • Brooklyn woman warns about plastic surgery recovery house in Colombia

    BROOKLYN — Ora Shamam said she never thought twice about booking a trip to Cali, Colombia for three cosmetic procedures: a breast lift with implants, liposuction, and Brazilian butt lift, known as a BBL. “The whole procedure was $7,600 for the doctor,” Shamam told PIX11. She even booked a recovery house, where she could rest for 12 days after surgery, before flying back to New York. She sent $300 through Western Union as a deposit. The total stay would cost […]

  • Anti-heroin crusader busted at Holland Tunnel with truck of loaded weapons cuts deal to plead guilty

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  • A miracle of science brings smiles to NYPD grandparents whose only son was assassinated

    NEW YORK — It was the first time we ever saw Xiu Yan Li smile. “Really happy, really happy,” she told PIX11 on the stoop of her family home in Gravesend, Brooklyn. Xiu Yan Li was talking about the birth of her first grandchild, a baby girl named Angelina, delivered by her late son’s widow. The miracle of modern science allowed it to happen. On December 20, 2014, her only child — NYPD Officer Wenjian Liu — was assassinated with […]

  • Queens man who pleaded for help with detox gets emergency surgery

    SUNSET PARK, Brooklyn — A 30-year-old Queens man was lucky to have his hands saved after emergency surgery Friday to debride dead skin on each one. The skin on Joe’s hands had turned into huge black and yellow scabs from constant exposure to heroin needles. “I didn’t understand how severely infected they were,” Joe told PIX11 when he returned to the Resource Beacon of Hope detox center on Monday.  “But I’m glad I got them taken care of.” The detox center […]

  • His gloves hide a secret: Desperate Queens man begs PIX11 for help getting into detox for heroin

    QUEENS — When we met 30-year-old Joe on the stoop of his apartment building in Ridgewood, Queens, we immediately noticed his clear skin, sparkling blue eyes and beautifully cut brown hair. Then we noticed the black gloves on his hands. “Because I injected into my hands,” Joe told PIX11 in his living room upstairs, “and it’s given me some nasty, open wounds on my hands.” We visited Joe after he wrote a heartbreaking email to PIX11 News asking for help […]

  • EXCLUSIVE: 91-year-old bottle collector hugs mom of mentally ill teen who beat him with cane

    INWOOD, Manhattan — Rosa Nazar never wanted to go public with her 19-year-old son’s mental health issues. Now, she feels compelled to. And she’s getting help from an unlikely ally, who’s showing her deep compassion. PIX11 was there, when Nazar approached 91-year-old Juan Llarens on Broadway Tuesday. Just over a month ago, Nazar’s troubled son, Saul Nunez, was captured on surveillance bashing the elderly bottle collector over the head repeatedly with a cane. The incident happened just two blocks away […]