• Follow me on:

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
  • One-time painkiller dealer recalls Staten Island as the ‘Wild, Wild West’

    STATEN ISLAND — Marco Di Donna, 32, said he was finishing high school on Staten Island when he tried his first prescription painkiller. “Someone had a Vicodin, Percocet, out of their mom’s medicine cabinet,” Di Donna remembered. “That feeling was a feeling I never felt before. Calmness. Euphoric. All the problems go away.” But Di Donna’s problems were really just beginning. “Once I hit the opiates, I crossed a line I couldn’t come back from.” Di Donna was experimenting with […]

  • Brooklyn mom anguished; Immigrant son vanished after shift at dentist’s office

    BRIGHTON BEACH, Brooklyn — Nurkan Chirkeeva, 51, is so anguished by the mysterious disappearance of her 20-year-old son, Aziz Chirkeev, that her body shakes with anxiety. “No problems, no problems,” Chirkeeva told us through a translator, meaning that her son never gave her any trouble. Aziz Chirkeev was last seen the night of April 3, leaving his new job at Mizrahi Orthodontics on Avenue U in Sheepshead Bay. He’d only been working in the lab at the dental office for […]

  • Staten Island mom regrets cocaine use — and daughter’s fatal dance with heroin

    STATEN ISLAND — Michele Monti recalled a day 11 years ago when she was 44-years-old. She said one morning she woke up and said, “Enough is enough.” Monti said she decided to stop her recreational use of cocaine, go back to school, and get certification as a home health aide. She accomplished all three goals but never realized her greatest trial was ahead. “I learned a lot of lessons,” Monti tearfully said. “But I didn’t want to have a lesson like […]

  • Former NYPD sergeant sentenced for directing moms to molest their babies via Skype

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Alberto Randazzo spent 15 years with the NYPD, a sergeant who supervised police officers, but in his off-duty hours, he was directing child porn videos on his computer, telling moms he met online to molest their children. Some of the victims were babies a few months old. A federal judge in Brooklyn on Wednesday sentenced Randazzo to 28 years in prison, followed by eight years of supervised release and sex offender registration. Randazzo, who was first arrested […]

  • NYPD hopes 2016 gang takedown solves 2012 killing of innocent tennis player

    THE BRONX — It’s been nearly five years since 14-year-old Kemar Brooks left his family’s basement apartment, across the street from Haffen Park, and headed with his tennis bag to the courts. The teen had developed a passion for the game after emigrating to the Bronx from Jamaica, West Indies. “He picked it up very fast,” tennis player Antonio Cedeno told PIX11 News about Kemar’s athletic abilities with a racquet. “He was a natural.” Kemar Brooks never made it home alive […]

  • Former state assemblyman accused of scamming Medicaid, pill selling fraud turns himself in

    LOWER MANHATTAN — Former New York State Assemblyman, Alec Brook-Krasny, flew back to New York from Israel to face the music. Brook-Krasny was wearing a blue blazer and handcuffs, after turning himself in to the Office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor in lower Manhattan. He’s accused in a massive Medicaid/painkiller scam that was announced last week. Brook-Krasny was the first Russian-born member of the New York State Assembly. He was elected in 2005, representing the 46th District, which includes the communities […]

  • The mansion that opioids and medicaid fraud bought: Prosecutors follow the cash to Staten Island

    STATEN ISLAND — The April 2016 real estate clip for the mansion at 64 McCully Avenue on Staten Island is quite remarkable. Footage shot from a drone shows a tan mansion with expensive windows and accents, on a corner lot, with a gorgeous pool and paved backyard, eight luxury bathrooms, a Master Chef’s kitchen, and six, palatial-sized bedrooms. It’s in the tony Lighthouse Hill section of the borough. This is the place that Dr. Lazar Feygin has called home since June […]

  • Doctors accused of selling opioid painkillers on the black market busted by feds

    BROOKLYN — Dr. Lazar Feygin was once featured in the “Style” section of the New York Times, talking in Brighton Beach, on video, about the Ralph Lauren suits he favored and sporting a fancy watch, tie and sunglasses. On Friday morning, he was sporting handcuffs, accused in a major conspiracy involving medical clinics that were selling highly addictive oxycodone painkillers on the black market. Oxycodone is an opioid that has driven many users to turn to heroin when they can’t […]

  • Dying firefighter, sick from 9/11 illness, fights last battle: A spot on FDNY Wall of Honor

    HICKSVILLE, N.Y. — Ray Pfeifer needed a wheelchair to get around his Hicksville home when PIX11 visited the retired Bronx firefighter there recently. He used a motorized seat to get up the stairs to his second floor bedroom. “I am in hospice care now, for terminal cancer,” Pfeifer told PIX11 matter of factly. “I have brain cancer, cancer in my nodules, my lungs and my adrenal glands.” But the 59-year-old father of two is not too tired to go another […]

  • Backseat passenger reaches out to mother of slain Brooklyn rapper to talk about final moments

    BROOKLYN — This week marks the fourth anniversary of the execution-style murder of an “up and coming” Brooklyn rapper and former Franklin Roosevelt High School star basketball player. Now, his mother tells PIX11 News the passenger who was in the backseat during the murder has reached out to talk about her son’s final moments. The passenger told her, “he tried to say something. But he couldn’t. I closed his eyes.” Kenneth ‘Nu Money” Casilla, who commuted between New York and Miami hoping to […]