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 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
  • Junior’s mother has breakdown in court during witness cross-examination after seeing footage of son’s last moments

    THE BRONX — The distraught mother of slain teen Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz had to be carried out of a Bronx courtroom Thursday, after she started screaming and shaking in her seat during cross-examination of star witness, Kevin Alvarez. Defense attorney, Kyle Watters, was hammering the 20-year-old Alvarez about his role in the chase, beating, and dragging of Junior, 15, to his eventual stabbing by five men on a sidewalk outside a Bronx bodega. He was challenging Alvarez’ version of […]

  • ‘Junior’ Justice: Why prosecutors needed cooperators — not just videos — for a strong case

    THE BRONX — Before 20-year-old Kevin Alvarez even took the stand this week as the controversial star witness in the “Junior” murder trial, the Bronx District Attorney’s office wanted to explain to the jury why he was given a plea deal. Lead prosecutor Morgan Dolan asked Detective Francis Orlando from the Bronx Homicide Squad why two gang members involved in the chase of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz were permitted to make cooperation agreements. “Because we had no witnesses to identify […]

  • ‘Junior’ trial star witness Kevin Alvarez describes moment he realized gang had killed the wrong person

    THE BRONX — He knew they had killed the wrong guy. Just after the stabbing death of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz last June 20, members of the Trinitarios were examining a photo of gang members to make sure they had killed the right target. Kevin Alvarez, who has since become the star witness in the trial, looked at the photo and came to a dreadful conclusion: “When I looked at the picture,” he testified  Tuesday, “I didn’t see the kid […]

  • Kevin Alvarez, star witness in ‘Junior’ trial who dragged teen from bodega, reveals he’s getting time served

    THE BRONX — In a stunning development at the “Junior” trial Tuesday, star witness Kevin Alvarez revealed he will get time served for his role in the teen’s chase, beating, and death — if he truthfully testifies in this and potential future trials. Alvarez testified about his four page cooperation agreement with the Office of the Bronx District Attorney, which was entered into evidence. He revealed that he had pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree, which normally carries […]

  • Star witness Kevin Alvarez testifies at ‘Junior’ murder trial with insider view of chase and attack

    THE BRONX —Kevin Alvarez, the star prosecution witness in the “Junior” trial, took the stand late Monday morning and identified five murder defendants as fellow members of the Trinitarios gang who took part in the chase and attack on 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman Feliz last June. Alvarez was infamous for getting captured on surveillance storming into a corner bodega June 20, 2018, and dragging the terrified Junior out to the sidewalk, where a mob fatally stabbed the teen with knives and […]

  • Witness Kevin Alvarez sobs in court as he watches what he did to Junior behind bodega counter before dragging him

    THE BRONX — In a quiet courtroom, the star “Junior” trial witness, Kevin Alvarez, started crying on the witness stand, as the prosecutor asked him to watch surveillance footage of what he did to 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman Feliz behind a bodega counter last June 20. The panicked teen, who had just been chased by a pack of men for blocks, was trying to hide behind a small door that separated the back of the store from the public. Finally, Alvarez […]

  • Bronx gang cop testifies in Junior trial about Trinitarios “Green Lighting” victims for assault— or worse

    The BRONX — A detective from the NYPD Bronx Gang Squad gave jurors in the “Junior” trial an education on how the Trinitarios gang works. “If you don’t follow an order, you’re going to be considered a ‘3-5-7,’” Detective Charne Jimenez told the jury. “You’re no good, a rat. You’re gonna’ be ‘green lit’ to be assaulted or killed.” Detective Jimenez actually made the statement under cross-examination, after telling prosecutor Morgan Dolan in direct testimony that he had debriefed an […]

  • ‘Junior’ trial jurors gasp seeing slow-motion footage of attack for first time

    THE BRONX — In a dramatic-yet-disturbing end to week two of the Junior trial, the prosecution finished the day Friday with multiple views of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz’s futile run seeking safety, and a slow-motion view of his murder. At least one female juror was visibly teary-eyed watching the footage. Eric Newman, a video technician with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, introduced a compilation of surveillance footage he edited together from 13 different camera angles. The compilation showed the final […]

  • Defense team in ‘Junior’ case tries to cast doubts about surveillance reliability

    THE BRONX —  Defense attorneys representing five murder defendants accused of fatally stabbing 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz last June tried to use the infamous surveillance footage of the teen’s death to their advantage in court on Thursday. Martin Goldberg, lawyer for 22-year-old Jose Muniz, showed a Bronx homicide detective “freeze frames” of his client walking away from the pack of sidewalk attackers before Junior received the lethal knife wound to his neck that killed him. The teen victim was […]

  • ’15th man’ in Junior Bronx bodega case, long cooperating, was actually arrested last August

    THE BRONX — A cooperating witness in the Junior case who turned himself in to police last June 23 was not formally arrested until August 16, almost two months after the teen’s bodega slaying, it was revealed at the trial Thursday. His name is Michael Reyes, known as “Sosa,”—and prosecutor Morgan Dolan had said in her opening statements that Reyes was a member of the “Bad Boys” set of the Trinitarios gang. On Thursday, defense attorney Toni Messina elicited more […]

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