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.

Mary has broken big stories for PIX11 in the last year, first to report the fatal shooting of reputed Gambino crime boss Frank Cali on March 13, 2019, the first gangland-style attack on a major organized crime figure in more than 30 years. The report was re-tweeted nearly 2,000 times. Mary also broke the news of the arrests of Trinitarios gang suspects in the bodega murder of 15 year old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz in June 2018. In December 2017, she revealed a faulty pipe bomb was used by an accused terrorist beneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal and was also first to report that the Halloween truck attack on bicyclists in lower Manhattan the same year was an act of terror.

For her work in television journalism, Mary has received 29 Emmy awards (27 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
  • Brooklyn building manager denies faulty roof alarm is to blame for tragedy of little boy thrown from 7th story

    BROOKLYN — When PIX11 returned to 2425 Nostrand Avenue, seeking more information about the tragedy of a 20-year-old mentally ill man throwing his little brother from the roof, we were advised to seek the management company on Coney Island Avenue in Midwood. When we arrived at the firm, a man named Michael said he was the property manager—and he didn’t think a roof alarm had anything to do with what happened to 4-year-old Shimron Smith last September. “We manage over […]

  • Grieving mom shares story of son with schizophrenia who threw little brother from Brooklyn roof

    QUEENS — Odessa Frith moved to Queens after a devastating family tragedy last September that left her 4-year-old son, Shimron, dead in a Brooklyn courtyard — and her oldest son, Shawn, charged with throwing the little boy from a roof. “My daughter take the phone,” the mother remembered through sobs, “ and when she take the phone, she said, ‘Mommy, Shawn throw Shimron off the building!’” Frith, who lived with her six children on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn — after […]

  • ‘El Chapo’ slams US as ‘corrupt’ and ‘inhumane’ before getting life for running murderous Sinaloa drug cartel

    BROOKLYN — Convicted Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera slammed a federal judge for refusing to grant him a new trial, alleging jury misconduct, moments before receiving a life sentence plus thirty years. “It’s very clear the United States is not any better than any other corrupt country,” El Chapo said in Spanish, as he wrapped up a 15 minute statement to the court. “My case was stained and you denied me a fair trial when the whole […]

  • Justice for Junior: One year later

      We’re at the home of Junior’s mother and sister just days after 5 men were convicted in the killing of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz, and right before the 1-year anniversary of his death. They’ll talk about the memorials they have planned this week. How did the murder of one 15-year-old change this community, and the world?

  • $250K reward offered for child missing nearly a decade

        A mammoth reward is now being offered in one of the only NYC Missing Child cases that hasn’t been solved nearly 10 years later. On this episode of the Mary Murphy Files,  Mary explains where the money is coming from.

  • Plastic surgery deaths in the Dominican Republic

      DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PLASTIC SURGERY DEATHS: One NYC doctor talks about recent deaths in the Dominican Republic, and the Mary Murphy Files revisits our investigative report about the Recovery Houses in Colombia. Which procedures are most popular — or potentially most deadly?

  • Dominican Republic Hysteria?

      Rock star Rick Springfield just canceled plans for his Punta Cana music festival because of the mysterious illnesses and deaths of tourists in the Caribbean nation. A prominent travel agent thinks the media is to blame for whipping up hysteria. Is DR getting a bad rap? Would you travel to a resort there?  

  • Body cam footage dislodged in police-involved shooting

    ‘I HAVE A GUN .. DIE’: Did the 9mm gun found at the scene in the Bronx belong to the man shot by police when he allegedly threatened them? Some people don’t believe it came from the suspect. On this episode of the Mary Murphy Files, we talk to retired NYPD Detective Michael O’Keefe, who knows what it’s like to wrestle with an armed suspect — and then make the decision he has to shoot him.

  • Sentencing delayed for 5 convicted in ‘Junior’ murder, as defense asks judge to dismiss top count

    BRONX — Sentencing has been delayed for the first five defendants convicted in the murder of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, PIX11 learned Thursday. New York State online records show  the sentencing date for the five defendants has been moved to Aug. 13, from an initial date of July 16. The clerk’s office at Bronx Supreme Court later confirmed the “Junior” case is “adjourned to Aug 13.” The five defendants — Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Elvin Garcia, Manuel Rivera, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago […]

  • ‘My son’s going to live for generations’: Junior’s mom cuts ribbon at camp named for slain teen

    HARRIMAN STATE PARK, NY — Leandra Feliz was smiling happily, but was a little nervous, as she used a pair of oversized scissors to cut a red ribbon Wednesday, officially introducing Camp Junior to the world. The sleep-away facility for Bronx kids ages 9 to 13 was named for her slain son, who was only 15 when gang members killed him in June 2018. “I feel like my son’s going to be living forever,” Leandra Feliz told PIX11 News. “My […]

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