Comp My Commute: Next chance to enter is on Monday morning!
  • 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
  • phonynun

    Investigation underway in death of phony nun who ran subway begging scheme

    NEW YORK – When asked if Vivian Sannicola died under mysterious circumstances, her stepson Marino Legrand gave PIX11 a quick answer. “Not that I know,” Legrand said. “It was natural.” Legrand was raised by the woman who served as stepmother to dozens of children fathered by self-proclaimed bishop Devernon Legrand. “My stepmother, she was good,” Legrand said. “[She] took care of all of us.” They all lived at 222 Brooklyn Ave. in the 1960s and 1970s, and many of Devernon […]

  • Karina Vetrano, left, is seen next to her mother, Cathy Vetrano, right. (GoFundMe / PIX11)

    Vetrano’s mother at DNA hearing: ‘No medication will heal my shattered being’

    MANHATTAN — The mother of slain jogger Karina Vetrano on Friday kept her commitment to testify at a state DNA hearing, even though investigators say they have arrested the man who raped and killed her daughter. “This is not my fight anymore,” Cathie Vetrano said, referring to the fact that her daughter’s case was solved without the use of a controversial method called DNA Familial Searching. “But I’m here.” Standing at a podium — and facing members of the New York […]

  • John J. Gotti, left, and his namesake grandfather John Gotti, the late boss of the Gambino crime family (Instagram / Getty Images)

    John Gotti’s grandson pleads guilty to selling pills that fuel opioid epidemic

    QUEENS, N.Y. — John J. Gotti, the 23-year-old namesake grandson of the late godfather, pleaded guilty Wednesday to selling highly addictive Oxycodone pills in the neighborhoods of Howard Beach and Ozone Park. Gotti is expected to get eight years in prison and forfeit $250,000 in cash when he’s sentenced on March 2. Prosecutors said Gotti was generating about $1.6 million in business a year by illegally selling prescription pain meds that are part of a major drug plague, the worst in […]

  • saudis

    Suing the Saudis: 9/11 families hope lawsuit against Saudi Arabia moves faster in Trump Administration

    BROOKLYN — Retired FDNY Deputy Chief, James Riches, lost his oldest son, Jimmy, in the Twin Towers collapse, the day before Jimmy’s 30th birthday. Jimmy Riches was one of the first responders to reach the North Tower, after the 9/11 terror attacks. More than 15 years later, Riches is hoping a new administration in the White House will finally allow a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia to move forward swiftly in the courts. “The Obama and Bush administrations have done nothing […]

  • el-chapo

    El Chapo’s beauty queen wife flies to NY; Mexican drug lord may hire former, federal prosecutor

    BROOKLYN — A helicopter hovered overhead, as the U.S. Marshal’s Service and NYPD moved Joaquin Guzman-Loera — the notorious Mexican drug lord known as “El Chapo” (Shorty) — from the downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center before dawn Friday. He had a 9:30 a.m. hearing in federal court — and police apparently wanted to get him over the Brooklyn Bridge before rush hour. The real headline was El Chapo’s young wife showing up in court. Emma Coronel, 27, the mother of his twin […]

  • bellevue-nurse

    EXCLUSIVE: Camping ax tied to husband of missing nurse leads Bronx cops to believe she’s dead

    THE BRONX — Detectives with the NYPD’s Bronx Homicide Squad weren’t mincing words when we met with them about the missing nurse from Bellevue Hospital, Mahfuza Rahman, 30, who vanished after attending a class at Hunter College on Dec. 9, 2015. “She’s believed dead,” Detective Malcolm Reiman told PIX11 News. “All of her activities, which were very regular, stopped.” The squad took PIX11 inside the case, showing us two items detectives purchased at a Bronx hardware store, based on a […]

  • Steven McDonald

    Death of NYPD Det. Steven McDonald deemed homicide

    NEW YORK — The NYPD is calling the death of NYPD Det. Steven McDonald, who was paralyzed on the job 30 years ago, a homicide. Police released the eulogy read by Police Commissioner James O’Neill at McDonald’s funeral on Tuesday. Attached to the eulogy was a statement saying that the shooting was deemed a homicide on Jan. 16. McDonald, 59, died on Jan. 10 after having a heart attack four days earlier. The first-grade detective was paralyzed from the neck down in […]

  • Teen's 1982 murder on parkway has eerie parallels to LI serial killer case

    Teen’s 1982 murder on parkway has eerie parallels to LI serial killer case

    BRENTWOOD, N.Y. — Amy Foglia Gagliardi moved away from Long Island 30 years ago and settled in Virginia, but she can’t shake the torment of her 19-year-old sister Tina’s gruesome murder in February 1982. It happened 35 years ago next week, with a horrible discovery on the Sagtikos Parkway in Suffolk County. “They cut her arms and legs off,” Gagliardi told PIX11. “Put arms in one bag, legs in another, and her torso in another.” The case is still being investigated by […]

  • jenea-patterson

    Teen who inspired ‘rescue’ attempt by Holland Tunnel weapons cache suspects dies

    WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — A troubled teenager who inspired a group of Pennsylvania residents to drive into New York City with a cache of weapons in a botched “rescue” attempt from a heroin den has died. Jenea Patterson, 18, died Wednesday of a drug overdose, her father, James Patterson of Kingston, told The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens’ Voice. Her death was confirmed by the Luzerne County coroner. The official cause of death is still pending. In June 2016, three Pennsylvania residents affiliated with a […]

  • promo309585736

    Checking weapons in airplane luggage stirs debate on gun rights

    QUEENS, N.Y. — When travelers arrived at the Delta Terminal at LaGuardia Airport in Queens in the days following the baggage-area shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport in Florida, many were disturbed to learn that guns would likely continue to get checked on airlines — even though the Jan. 6 shooting left five tourists dead and eight more wounded. “I mean, we can’t even carry a bottle of water,” Rosa Colon said, as she exited a flight from Puerto Rico. Colon […]