About Me


Hi there, I’m Kathleen, and delighted you’ve chosen to pay me a visit. Let me begin by saying that your little social call here is the reason I write. When I first began to compose my memoirs I chose the most vivid memories of my childhood, my mother and family, stories in their own right compelling enough to fill a book.

I took a writing workshop to sharpen these missives and my professor, Kyle Minor, asked for more, so I told him the story about my husband’s death at the hands of terrorists who had hijacked an aircraft and left behind a bomb in Grand Central Station, about Brian Murray’s career on the New York City Bomb Squad and the explosion that snuffed out his life at age 27, leaving me a widow with two young sons.
I told Kyle about the hijackers, husband and wife, who were sentenced to 25-to-life, and the wife who wrote to me, and the years of correspondence and the pile of letters I had saved. I told him I’d written to the parole board in favor of her release and then about our meeting at a Central Park restaurant that revealed her ulterior motives.
That’s your story, Kyle said, the story of the widow and the hijacker, the most sensational I’ve heard. Thus began my other story, for the first one, my family saga, has managed to survive and is an integral part of The Widow and the Hijacker.
I’m from the streets of Fort Apache in the Bronx where I lived with my single mother and seven siblings in a two-bedroom basement apartment, where we ran wild while my mother worked for Horn & Hardart automat so she could bring home leftovers. From the time my sister Gracie gave me a diary I knew I wanted to be a writer, promised in return for her gift that I would write about her, and so I have, as Gracie is a prominent character in my book. 
Gracie and MeKathleen and Gracie
The book took a bit longer than I would have liked, as I spent the years after high school graduation behind a desk doing administrative work, the 42nd Street Library the view from my window. I kept a journal while I continued to work, recorded the details of my first date with Brian Murray, the birth of Keith, and then Christopher. I wrote of 1976, the year I was stunned to find myself a widow, and then as I picked up the pieces, attended undergraduate (Magna Cum Laude), graduate, and then the doctoral program in English at Stony Brook, gratified that the kid from the Bronx had indeed become a writer. I wrote about meeting James, the man who renewed my faith in love, and about our daughter, Kaitlin, who brought the family closer together.
After all those years of journal keeping and education, I chose to teach writing at college level, a career that lasted more than 25 years, during which time I raised my children. Then, at last, it was time to devote myself full time to finish my book.
Some other facts about me:
I am a founder of Survivors of the Shield, a New York City police widows organization providing social, economic, and emotional support to surviving spouses of police killed in the line of duty.
I was instrumental in passing legislation that led to former Governor Cuomo’s COPS Agenda (Concerns of Police Survivors), which included remarriage without loss of pension, full scholarship for line of duty widows and children to all SUNY schools (and my personal favorite, a four year scholarship to St. John’s University).
I worked with Senator Dean Skelos, the Crime Victims Board, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, and the Committee to Erect Monuments in Albany and Battery Park City to secure benefits and recognition to officers killed in the line of duty and their widows.
 I have given speeches in front of audiences of over one thousand people, have helped organize and secure funding for the bomb squad’s 100th anniversary dinner at the Hilton Hotel, have appeared on Sixty Minutes, NBC Live at Five, The Joan Rivers Show, The Mariette Hartley Show, was interviewed by Chuck Scarborough, and participated in a commercial and an at-home film interview for Answer the Call, New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund.
I have met with Mayors Koch, Dinkins,With Mayor Dinkens Giuliani With Mayor Giuliani and Bloomberg, Commissioner Ray Kelly, and PBA President, Patrick Lynch, to ensure the continuing cooperation between the City of New York and police widows. I worked on the election campaign for Rudolph Giuliani and accompanied him on a float at the Columbus Day With Mayor BloombergParade. I met with Mayor Giuliani to ensure the continued incarceration of Zvonko Busic, the Croatian terrorist who spearheaded the hijacking of TWA flight 533 on September 11, 1976.
Most recently, I met with Mayor Bill de Blasio as he signed into law a bill to rename Charles Street, corner of Bleecker, P.O. Brian J. Murray Street. 
I have three children and three grandchildren, IMG_8487Large live on Long Island, am an avid golfer, yogi, traveler, and reader. I have organized writing groups and book groups and am currently writing my next book, a novel this time. 
Olivia, Finnegan, and Lillian Murray

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9 thoughts on “About Me

    1. Kathleen Murray Moran Post author

      Hi Jacalyn. The book is not out yet. The publishing industry is very slow, but I hope by next year you will have a copy and will let me know what you thought of my story.
      Thanks so much for your interest.

  1. Tom Kelly

    Hi Kathy! I don’t know if you remember me but Brian was a good friend of mine and we graduated the Police Academy together. My wife Pat and I had just lost our Six month old daughtet 3 months before Brian’s death. I remember that funeral like it was yesterday. I’m so glad you are doing well and pleased to see that you kept Brian’s memory alive.

    1. Kathleen Murray Moran Post author

      Hi Tom. Yes, I do remember you and Pat. So nice to hear from you. Hope you and your family are well and you’re happily retired. As you know from the daughter you lost, the memory never fades but life has a way to pushing us forward. I wrote my memoirs to keep the story and Brian’s memory alive. I hope you get to read it when it is published (hopefully next year). My best to you and Pat.

  2. Jim Lysaght

    Some weeks ago, Marybeth contacted me on Facebook and I had occasion to check out the SOS website and read your wonderful story about the beginnings of SOS. Thank you for your kind and complimentary memory of my help.
    I am somber with the beauty of your Salon article. You are an incredible writer.
    God has been good to me since The Fall. My riches consist of five wonderful, loving and accomplished children with three wonderful in-law children and seven grandchildren, as of May 24th.
    My life has been meaningful and fascinating from both a positive and negative perspective, thoroughly rewarding.
    As usual, I am working on a new idea that I have and have much research to be completed before I can take the luxury of corresponding with you in depth, but I can’t tell you how much I look forward to it, if you are game.
    You see, I am working full time as a paralegal while juggling some potential opportunities which will result in the third rising of my Phoenix.
    I am feeling warm inside as you are like a family member in my cognizance and I am thrilled to resume contact.
    Thanks again for the kind words. You can’t imagine how much they mean to me.
    Is the Shack still in Centerport?

    1. Kathleen Murray Moran Post author

      It’s so nice to hear from you, and I’m so happy you have such a rich and wonderful family. I have three grandchildren, and they are the joy of my life. Chris lives in Laguna Beach, CA; he’s the CFO of a large company – the kid who needed St. Thomas More to tame his wild side. Keith is here in Centerport. He was the one who quit school at 16 – he now holds an MBA and runs a financial business. Kaitlin lives in Charlotte and is also in finance.
      I taught writing at Suffolk Community College for twenty-five years, and thought it time to put my untapped talent as a writer to use. It took over five years to write of my memoirs as a child growing up in the South Bronx, the death of my husband, and the unlikely correspondence between the hijacker and me, which you’ve glimpsed a part of in the Salon article. I think the book will be published soon, and am writing another, a novel this time.
      Mary Beth and I have remained friends; I just stayed at her place in Hampton Bays last week. She’s so strong and amazing and someone I count as a blessing in my life.
      I hope your opportunities come to fruition and that you never stop dreaming, as I’m sure you’re still the confident and brilliant man you were before The Fall. Your kindness changed the course of so many lives, and it is an honor to be considered family.
      Yes, The Shack is still in Centerport, right on the corner of the street where I live, and a bane in my side, with motorcycles and traffic snarls. My husband and I also still play golf at Indian Hills.
      Thank you, too, for the writing accolade; that’s what means so much to me.

  3. Edith Riehm

    Dear Kathleen,
    I heard your story yesterday on NPR as I drove from Atlanta, GA to LaGrange, GA and was really fascinated and moved by it. I have told so many people about it since yesterday. I am looking forward to reading the book. Thank you for sharing your story with us. My very best, Edith Riehm

  4. Martha Ott

    I heard you on WBEZ Chicago this afternoon. When will your book be out? Your story wss wonderful.

    1. Kathleen Murray Moran Post author

      Thank you Martha, for taking the time to make my day. I’m glad you enjoyed the podcast. The book will be out in 2017.


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