• Follow me on:

Mary Murphy was born in Queens, New York and has spent her entire broadcasting career in her hometown, where she’s covered nearly every major story of the last 30 years. She is known for her aggressive pursuit of the facts, along with her ability to connect with her interview subjects.

She has broken big stories for PIX11 in the last year, including the pipe bombing beneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the 2017 Halloween truck attack on bicyclists in lower Manhattan. Mary was the first to report it was an act of terror, talking to her extensive law enforcement contacts while PIX11 reporters and photographers were first at the scene.

For her work in television journalism, Mary has received 27 Emmy awards (25 of them at PIX11), along with an Edward R. Murrow for writing, and many, first-place prizes from the Associated Press Broadcasters’ Association. She has been at the forefront of coverage on the local and national opioid crisis, winning 1 of 2 Emmys in 2018 for a story about a young addict desperate to get into detox.

During her time at PIX11, Mary has anchored coverage of the 9/11 terror attacks, traveled town to town 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.

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 Sept. 11 terror attacks.

On Sunday, May 1, 2011, Mary was in her pajamas on a Sunday night, when she received an email 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 a.m. 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 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 from overdose twice in the same month. The woman was then clean a year and working full time.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has written a letter of commendation to Mary for nearly a decade of reporting on the opioid crisis, and the Suffolk County Emergency Services Division uses some of her reports in training.

Mary was thrilled on Jan. 25, 2015, when she received an email about one of her Mystery segments from the year before. The email 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 won four first-place championships during the time Mary played with them.

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
  • Watch: Mom of slain teen ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz live with PIX11

    NEW YORK — So many people have been moved by the brutal killing of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, a 15-year-old from the Bronx whose dreams of becoming an NYPD detective were ended by a violent group of alleged gang members. A memorial grew for blocks around the site where he was killed. Murals and scholarships in his honor were created. Streets are set to be renamed. But now, Leandra Feliz, the mother of the slain teen, said there are scammers trying […]

  • Family of Brooklyn imam may make bail, as details emerge about ritualistic death of 3-year-old boy in New Mexico

    NEW YORK — The two daughters of a prominent Brooklyn imam, who were arrested in a filthy New Mexico compound on child abuse and weapons charges were granted low bond, along with their sister-in-law and another man, but the imam’s son may have a harder time making bail before trial. The small community of Amalia, New Mexico was stunned when Taos County Judge Sarah Backus said prosecutors hadn’t offered sufficient proof that the family of Siraj Wahhaj posed an immediate […]

  • Retired cop says he monitored family that got busted in New Mexico, post 9/11

    BROOKLYN — When retired NYPD Detective, Michael Zotto, heard about the raid on a New Mexico compound early this week, he was very familiar with the name, Siraj Wahhaj. The 40-year-old Wahhaj, who grew up in Brooklyn, was heavily armed when Taos County sheriff’s deputies moved in, finding 11 starving children and three women at the filthy camp, along with another man. New Mexico prosecutors said Wednesday that the adults— Siraj, his two sisters, wife, and a friend—were training the […]

  • Man arrested near ‘Junior’ bodega, after grieving mom’s supporters accuse him of scam

    THE BRONX — The NYPD told PIX11 late Wednesday night that a man named Kenny Young was arrested on Bathgate Avenue — right near the bodega where Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz was killed. He was accused of disorderly conduct, after getting into an argument with supporters of the murdered teen’s mother. Junior’s mother and people on the scene said Kenny Young was the same man who identified himself as Brother Khalil Abdul Muhammad on Monday evening, when he stepped into […]

  • Junior’s mom challenges founder of foundation using dead son’s name

    THE BRONX — The mother of 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz challenged the founder of the Justice for Junior’s Foundation, during a live interview on PIX11’s Facebook page, telling him emphatically “before I sign any papers with him, I need MY lawyer. I don’t give you permission yet.” Brother Khalil Abdul Muhammad was a bit on the defensive, and he had put out a press release Monday morning, stating he would attend a community rally protesting the reopening of the bodega […]

  • Brooklyn imam’s son is key suspect in New Mexico starving kids case

    NEW YORK  — When word broke Sunday that 11 starving children and three women were rescued from a filthy trailer in New Mexico, a retired New York City cop recognized the name of the main suspect. Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 39, taken into custody on suspicions he kidnapped his 3-year old disabled son from Georgia, is the son of a Brooklyn imam, Siraj Wahhaj. The boy’s whereabouts are presently unknown. The senior Wahhaj won a settlement from New York City, amid […]

  • 12-year-old ‘abducted’ from DC airport was picked up by parents who had used immigration consultant to get girl to U.S.

    QUEENS — The “abduction” of a 12-year-old girl from Reagan National Airport Thursday took a whole new twist Friday afternoon, when the girl turned up safe in a Queens lawyer’s office with her biological parents. Another attorney, Jean Wang, told PIX11 News the family had called her Thursday night for legal advice, concerned that a Chinese tour operator summoned Virginia State Police, who issued an Amber Alert. The parents had apparently used an immigrant consultant to get their daughter, Ma […]

  • 12-year-old Chinese girl who went missing from DC airport found with parents in Queens

    QUEENS — A 12-year-old Chinese girl who went missing from Reagan Washington National Airport Thursday, sparking an investigation into a possible kidnapping, has been found safe in Queens. Jinjing Ma disappeared shortly after arriving at the airport with a tour group from China. Officials initially believed the child was abducted, but on Friday, a Queens Immigration Attorney told PIX11 News that a friend of Ma’s parents said they used an immigration consultant to get their daughter on the tour as […]

  • EXCLUSIVE: Bodega where ‘Junior’ was killed is sold, will reopen under new owners

    BRONX — The Bronx bodega where a 15-year-old boy was murdered has been sold and will reopen under new owners, according to NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan. It’s been closed since the death of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz. Monahan told PIX11 he learned about the sale late Wednesday afternoon. He was doing an interview with PIX11 at the location as part of our reporting for a special called “Gangland NYC.” On the night of Wednesday, June 20, police say Junior was chased […]

  • Slain NYPD detective’s ‘miracle baby’ turns 1

    BROOKLYN — The sparkle could be seen coming into Wei Tang Liu’s eyes when he proudly carried his granddaughter Angelina into a party for the baby’s first birthday. The little girl was wearing a rainbow skirt and special shirt with the number 1 written in pink, topped by a princess crown in gold. “My granddaughter has made us very happy,” Liu said in Chinese to photographers gathered at the Brooklyn On Fun Association, which held a celebration for Angelina and […]