Thursday, May 31, 1973

Deputy Dennis Murphy - Murdered Robbie Murphy

Also See:





Lawman charged with murdering family
The Dispatch - Lexington NC
Friday, June 01, 1973

Garden MI [UPI] - Delta County Deputy Sheriff Dennis Murphy, 25, the only law enforcement officer within 20 miles of this Upper Michigan village of 390 residents, was held in the County jail today, charged with the murder of his wife and two young sons.

Murphy, appointed a special deputy less than six months ago, originally told investigators he had been lured away from his home early Thursday morning and "jumped" by two men shortly before his wife, Janet 20, and sons Randy, 2, and Robbie, 7 months, perished in a fire that destroyed their home.

Murphy was found by two volunteer rushing to the house fire. He was shackled by his own handcuffs to a tractor parked behind the town hall, three blocks from his house.

Nearby was a message, scrowled on the side of the town hall in red crayon or lipstick. It read:

"I will kill you Murphy. First [your] wife and kid."

No indication of motive
Delta County Prosecutor Tony Marcinkewicz gave no indication of a motive for the deaths, saying only that police were not seeking anyone else.

Volunteer firemen from Garden who rushed to Murphy's burning house were unable to fight the blaze because the gasoline had been drained from the fire truck parked at the town hall. Three spark plugs were missing from a gasoline tanker truck parked next to the town hall, and ignition wires had been pulled from the Murphy's auto, parked in front of his house.

Murphy, who was resonsible for keeping order throughout the Garden Peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan below Big Bay Do Noc, had told investigators that two men came to his house shortly after 1 a.m. to report a serious traffic accident some 15 miles away.

He told officers his wife took the message, saying someone would meet him at the town hall to drive the ambulance and help at the accident scene.

Murphy told investigators he was beaten when he stepped inside the town hall and dragged outside with his shirt pulled over his head so he cold not see his attackers. He said he was then shackled to the tractor and left helpless as his house burned down nearby, though he said he did not know of the fire until later.

He can't believe it
"I still can't believe it. Not Dennis," said a high school friend of Murphy's who asked not to be identified. "He used to ride his kids up and down through town on his bicycle."

"He definately was family type guy. He never hung around with the guys or anything. He wasn't the drinking type. He'd just go home and be with his family. His wife was a pretty girl.

Officials said Murphy graduated from a seven-week police course at Northern Michigan University earlier this year, and was hired by the village as a policeman. He was assigned as a special deputy sheriff to help patrol this remote fishing area, but was not paid by the county.

Deputy Dennis Murphy - Murdered Randy Murphy

Also See:





Lawman charged with murdering family
The Dispatch - Lexington NC
Friday, June 01, 1973

Garden MI [UPI] - Delta County Deputy Sheriff Dennis Murphy, 25, the only law enforcement officer within 20 miles of this Upper Michigan village of 390 residents, was held in the County jail today, charged with the murder of his wife and two young sons.

Murphy, appointed a special deputy less than six months ago, originally told investigators he had been lured away from his home early Thursday morning and "jumped" by two men shortly before his wife, Janet 20, and sons Randy, 2, and Robbie, 7 months, perished in a fire that destroyed their home.

Murphy was found by two volunteer rushing to the house fire. He was shackled by his own handcuffs to a tractor parked behind the town hall, three blocks from his house.

Nearby was a message, scrowled on the side of the town hall in red crayon or lipstick. It read:

"I will kill you Murphy. First [your] wife and kid."

No indication of motive
Delta County Prosecutor Tony Marcinkewicz gave no indication of a motive for the deaths, saying only that police were not seeking anyone else.

Volunteer firemen from Garden who rushed to Murphy's burning house were unable to fight the blaze because the gasoline had been drained from the fire truck parked at the town hall. Three spark plugs were missing from a gasoline tanker truck parked next to the town hall, and ignition wires had been pulled from the Murphy's auto, parked in front of his house.

Murphy, who was resonsible for keeping order throughout the Garden Peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan below Big Bay Do Noc, had told investigators that two men came to his house shortly after 1 a.m. to report a serious traffic accident some 15 miles away.

He told officers his wife took the message, saying someone would meet him at the town hall to drive the ambulance and help at the accident scene.

Murphy told investigators he was beaten when he stepped inside the town hall and dragged outside with his shirt pulled over his head so he cold not see his attackers. He said he was then shackled to the tractor and left helpless as his house burned down nearby, though he said he did not know of the fire until later.

He can't believe it
"I still can't believe it. Not Dennis," said a high school friend of Murphy's who asked not to be identified. "He used to ride his kids up and down through town on his bicycle."

"He definately was family type guy. He never hung around with the guys or anything. He wasn't the drinking type. He'd just go home and be with his family. His wife was a pretty girl.

Officials said Murphy graduated from a seven-week police course at Northern Michigan University earlier this year, and was hired by the village as a policeman. He was assigned as a special deputy sheriff to help patrol this remote fishing area, but was not paid by the county.

Deputy Dennis Murphy - Murdered Janet Murphy

Also See:





Lawman charged with murdering family
The Dispatch - Lexington NC
Friday, June 01, 1973

Garden MI [UPI] - Delta County Deputy Sheriff Dennis Murphy, 25, the only law enforcement officer within 20 miles of this Upper Michigan village of 390 residents, was held in the County jail today, charged with the murder of his wife and two young sons.

Murphy, appointed a special deputy less than six months ago, originally told investigators he had been lured away from his home early Thursday morning and "jumped" by two men shortly before his wife, Janet 20, and sons Randy, 2, and Robbie, 7 months, perished in a fire that destroyed their home.

Murphy was found by two volunteer rushing to the house fire. He was shackled by his own handcuffs to a tractor parked behind the town hall, three blocks from his house.

Nearby was a message, scrowled on the side of the town hall in red crayon or lipstick. It read:

"I will kill you Murphy. First [your] wife and kid."

No indication of motive
Delta County Prosecutor Tony Marcinkewicz gave no indication of a motive for the deaths, saying only that police were not seeking anyone else.

Volunteer firemen from Garden who rushed to Murphy's burning house were unable to fight the blaze because the gasoline had been drained from the fire truck parked at the town hall. Three spark plugs were missing from a gasoline tanker truck parked next to the town hall, and ignition wires had been pulled from the Murphy's auto, parked in front of his house.

Murphy, who was resonsible for keeping order throughout the Garden Peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan below Big Bay Do Noc, had told investigators that two men came to his house shortly after 1 a.m. to report a serious traffic accident some 15 miles away.

He told officers his wife took the message, saying someone would meet him at the town hall to drive the ambulance and help at the accident scene.

Murphy told investigators he was beaten when he stepped inside the town hall and dragged outside with his shirt pulled over his head so he cold not see his attackers. He said he was then shackled to the tractor and left helpless as his house burned down nearby, though he said he did not know of the fire until later.

He can't believe it
"I still can't believe it. Not Dennis," said a high school friend of Murphy's who asked not to be identified. "He used to ride his kids up and down through town on his bicycle."

"He definately was family type guy. He never hung around with the guys or anything. He wasn't the drinking type. He'd just go home and be with his family. His wife was a pretty girl.

Officials said Murphy graduated from a seven-week police course at Northern Michigan University earlier this year, and was hired by the village as a policeman. He was assigned as a special deputy sheriff to help patrol this remote fishing area, but was not paid by the county.

Deputy Dennis Murphy - Delta SD



Delta County Sheriff Deputy, Dennis Murphy: Murdered wife Janet and sons Robbie and Randy.











Michigan Deputy Charged With Murder of His Family

Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Friday, June 01, 1973

Escanaba, Mich [AP]- A Delta County sheriff's deputy was charged Thursday with the early morning murder of his wife and two infant sons, county officials said.

Prosecutor Tony Marcankewciz said Dennis Murphy was charged with the murders after the bodies of his wife and sons were found in the ashes of their burned out home.

Murphy himself had been found handcuffed to a peice of farm machinery behind a fire station. He had claimed he was attacked by two men while responding to a report of a traffic accident.

An inscription on the wall of the firehouse written in red paint, declared, "I will kill you Murphy. First your wife and kids."

State police in Escanaba said Murphy's wife Janet 29, and two infant sons, Randy 2, and 7-month-old Robbie apparently died as a result of the fire, but an autopsy would be made to determine the exact cause of death.

Murphy, 25, told relatives he was attacked by two unidentified men when he went to the firehouse in response to a message about a traffic accident.

The deputy's father-in-law Gerald Bouchard of nearby Fayette, said Murphy told him two men came to the Murphy home about 1am and reported a serious traffic accident on U.S. 2 about 15 miles away.

Murphy was asleep, so the men asked Mrs. Murphy to tell her husband to meet them at the fire station, Bouchard said.

Bouchard said his son-in-law gave this account.

The deputy drove to the station in his patrol car and was attacked by two men when he stepped into the building. The larger of the men held him while the other went to the patrol car for Murphy's handcuffs. The deputy was dragged outside and handcuffed and his shirt was pinned over his head so he could not see his assailants.

He was then handcuffed in a peice of farm machinery behind the firehouse and was discovered by a volunteer fireman responding to the alarm at the Murphy house.

Bouchard said Murphy never saw the faces of his assailants and did not know about the fire until he was released from a Manistique hospital, where he was treated for injuries suffered in the scuffle.

The father-in-law said he reached the burning Murphy home shortly after 4 a.m. and "the inside was an inferno" although the exterior seemed untouched.

Murphy has been a deputy only since January.

Officials said they have no indication of a motive in the case.











Lawman charged with murdering family

The Dispatch - Lexington NC
Friday, June 01, 1973

Garden MI [UPI] - Delta County Deputy Sheriff Dennis Murphy, 25, the only law enforcement officer within 20 miles of this Upper Michigan village of 390 residents, was held in the County jail today, charged with the murder of his wife and two young sons.


Murphy, appointed a special deputy less than six months ago, originally told investigators he had been lured away from his home early Thursday morning and "jumped" by two men shortly before his wife, Janet 20, and sons Randy, 2, and Robbie, 7 months, perished in a fire that destroyed their home.

Murphy was found by two volunteer rushing to the house fire. He was shackled by his own handcuffs to a tractor parked behind the town hall, three blocks from his house.

Nearby was a message, scrowled on the side of the town hall in red crayon or lipstick. It read:

"I will kill you Murphy. First [your] wife and kid."

No indication of motive
Delta County Prosecutor Tony Marcinkewicz gave no indication of a motive for the deaths, saying only that police were not seeking anyone else.

Volunteer firemen from Garden who rushed to Murphy's burning house were unable to fight the blaze because the gasoline had been drained from the fire truck parked at the town hall. Three spark plugs were missing from a gasoline tanker truck parked next to the town hall, and ignition wires had been pulled from the Murphy's auto, parked in front of his house.

Murphy, who was resonsible for keeping order throughout the Garden Peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan below Big Bay Do Noc, had told investigators that two men came to his house shortly after 1 a.m. to report a serious traffic accident some 15 miles away.

He told officers his wife took the message, saying someone would meet him at the town hall to drive the ambulance and help at the accident scene.

Murphy told investigators he was beaten when he stepped inside the town hall and dragged outside with his shirt pulled over his head so he cold not see his attackers. He said he was then shackled to the tractor and left helpless as his house burned down nearby, though he said he did not know of the fire until later.

He can't believe it
"I still can't believe it. Not Dennis," said a high school friend of Murphy's who asked not to be identified. "He used to ride his kids up and down through town on his bicycle."

"He definately was family type guy. He never hung around with the guys or anything. He wasn't the drinking type. He'd just go home and be with his family. His wife was a pretty girl.

Officials said Murphy graduated from a seven-week police course at Northern Michigan University earlier this year, and was hired by the village as a policeman. He was assigned as a special deputy sheriff to help patrol this remote fishing area, but was not paid by the county.










Family dies in fire; deputy is accused despite 'threat' story

Friday, June 01, 1973
St. Joseph MO Gazette

Garden, Mich [UPI] - A sheriff's deputy found handcuffed to a tractor near his burning home was arrested Thursday and charged with first degree murder in the deaths of his wife and two small sons.

Dennis Murphy, 25, was arrested by Michigan State Police several hours after his family perished in the fire. He had told investigators he was lured out of bed early Thursday by a false accident report and "jumped" by two men who beat him and handcuffed him to the tractor behind the fire hall in this upper Michigan fishing and farming community of 380 persons.

Murphy, a Vietnam veteran who joined the Delta County sheriff's department less than six months ago, was questioned by state police crime investigator and sheriff's deputies after he was discovered chained to the tractor by firemen responding to a report of the fire.

Near the spot where Murphy was found, investigators found a message scrawled in lipstick or crayon on a large bulletin board. It read:

"I will kill you Murphy, first your wife and kids."

Firemen recovered the bodies of Murphy's wife Janet, 20, and son Randy, 2. Searchers probed the ashes for the body of another son, robbie, 7 months.

Officials refused to comment on what led to the charges. Murphy was held in Delta County Jail. He stood mute during a hearing and was held without bond pending a preliminary examination June 11 before District Court Judge Dean Shipman. An attorney was appointed to represent him.

State police said an investigation was continuing. They said no other suspects were being sought.











Michigan officer held for murder of wife, sons

Beaver County [PA] Times
Friday, June 01, 1973

Garden, Mich [UPI] - Delta County Sheriff Dennis Murphy, 25, the only law officer within 20 miles of this Upper Michigan village of 380 residents, was held in the County Jail today, charged with the murder of his wife and two young sons.

Murphy, appointed a special deputy less than six months ago, orginally told investigators he had been lured away from his home early Thursday morning and "jumped" by two men shortly before his wife, Janet 20, and his sons Randy, 2 and Robbie, 7 months, perished in a fire that destroyed their house.

Murphy was found by two volunteer firemen rushing to the house fire. He was shackled by his own handcuffs to a tractor parked behind the town hall, three blocks from his house.

Nearby was a message, scrawled on the side of the town hall in red crayon or lipstick. It read:

"I will kill you Murphy. First [you] wife and kid."

Delta County prosecutor tony I. Marcinkowicz gave no indication of a motive for the deaths, saying only that police were not seeking anyone else.

Volunteer firemen from Garden who rushed to Murphy's burning house were unable to fight the blaze because the gasoline had been drained from the fire truck parked at the town hall. Three spark plugs were missing from a gasoline tanker truck parked next to the town hall, and ignition wires had been pulled from Murphy's auto, parked in front of his house.

Murphy, who was responsible for keeping order throughout the Garden Peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan below Big Bay DeNoc, had told investigatgors that two men came to his house shortly after 1 a.m. to report a serious traffuc accudebt sine 15 miles away.

He told officers his wife took the message, saying someone would meet him at the town hall to drive the ambulance and help at the accident scene.

Murphy told investigators he was beaten when he stepped inside the town hall and dragged outside with his shirt pulled over his head so he could not see his attackers. he said he was then shackled to the tractor and left helpless as his house burned down nearby, though he said he did not know of the fire until later.

"I still can't belive it. Not Dennis," said a high school friend of Murphy's who asked not to be identified. "He used to ride his kids up and down through town on his bicycle.

"He's a real quiet guy," the friend said. "Everybody just about fell over backwards - small town like this, you know. His mother dies when he was young, but they had a good life. His grandmother raised him. He had everything going for him.

"He definately was a family type guy. He never hung around with the guys or anything. He wasn't the drinking type. He'd just go home and be with his family. His wife was a pretty gal."

Officials said Murphy graduated from a seven-week police course at Northern Michigan University earlier this year, and was hired by the village as a policeman. He was assigned as a special deputy sheriff to help patrol this remote fishing area, but was not paid by the county.

An Army veteran, Murphy was wounded in Vietnam in 1969 while fighting near the Cambodian border. He worked with his father as a pipefitter here before becoming a polilce man.











Michigan deputy charged with murder of family

Bangor Daily News
June 01, 1973

Escanaba, Mich [AP] - A Delta County sheriff's deputy was charged Thursday with the early morning murder of his wife and two infant sons, county officials said.

Prosecutor Tony Marcinkewciz said Dennis Murphy was charged with the murders after the bodies of his wife and sons were found in the ashes of their burned out home.

Murphy himself had been found handcuffed to a peice of farm machinery behind a fire station. He had claimed he was attacked by two men while responding to a report of a traffic accident.

An inscription on the wall of the firehouse, written in red paint declared, "I will kill you Murphy. First your wife and kids."

State police in Escanaba said Murphy's wife, Janet, 20, and two infant sons, Randy 2, and 7-month-old Robbie apparently died as a result of the fire, but an autopsy would be made to determine the exact cause of death.

Murphy, 25, told relatives he was attacked by two unidentified men when he went to the firehouse in response to a message about a traffic accident.

The deputy's father-in-law, Gerald Bouchard of nearby Fayette, said Murphy told him two men came to the Murphy home about 1 a.m. and reported a serious traffic accident on U.S. 2 about 15 miles away.

Murphy was asleep, so the men asked Mrs. Murphy to tell her husband to meet them at the fire station, Bouchard said.

Bouchard said his son-in-law gave this account:

The deputy drove to the station in his patrol car and was attacked by two men when he stepped into the building. The larger of the men held him while the other went to the patrol car for Murphy's handcuffs. The deputy was dragged outside and handcuffed and his shirt was pinned over his head so he could not see his assailants.

He was then handcuffed in a peice of farm machinery behind the firehouse and was discovered about 4 a.m. by a volunteer fireman responding to the alarm at the Murphy house.

Murphy has been a deputy only since January.

Officials said they have no indication of a motive in the case.