Patricia Murphy


Patricia Murphy is an award-winning reporter at KUOW Public Radio in Seattle focusing on military affairs, veterans' issues and criminal justice. She began her career at WBUR Boston in 1994 and has worked at KUOW since 2000.

Patricia's most recent series, “Less than Honorable,” investigated how the military handles more than 3,000 sexual assault cases each year. Her 2011 collaboration with the Seattle Times, “The Weight of War,” looked at heavy loads carried by troops and the increase in chronic orthopedic injuries as a result; the series won a national award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism from the Association of Healthcare Journalists. She also received a national Edward R. Murrow Award for a documentary on IV drug use and has had her work recognized with awards from the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 2012, Patricia was inducted into the Dart Society, a network of journalists who cover trauma, conflict and social injustice. In a briefing document accidentally sent to her by an Army public affairs officer, Patricia was described as “a professional, no-nonsense reporter who comes to the table fully prepared,” though her colleagues at KUOW might also describe her as the station cut-up.

Patricia holds a B.A. from Emerson College in Boston.


Veteran Jobs
10:26 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Transitioning Service Members Learn To 'Champion Themselves' At JBLM Summit

Colonel James P. Isenhower, III, Director of Chairman’s Office of Reintegration, Joint Chiefs of Staff addresses a packed crowd during the Washington State Service Member For Life Transition Summit on Tuesday.
Credit (Stephen Brashear/AP Images for U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Thousands of veterans and service members preparing to leave the military are expected at Joint Base Lewis-McChord this week for a three-day summit.

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Vulnerable Inmates
5:06 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

A Washington Prison Unit Where 'No One Picks On You For Being Slow'

An inmate walks along the housing tier in the DOC's Skill Building Unit.
Credit Amy Czerwinski

Prison is no place to be vulnerable. For inmates with intellectual disabilities, autism or traumatic brain injury, it can be dangerous.

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Military Training
4:40 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Potential For Navy War Games Alarms Peninsula Residents

Lt. Roy Walker, from the Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.
Flickr Photo/U.S. Pacific Fleet (CC-BY-NC-ND)

  The U.S. Forest Service and the Navy is addressing public concerns about a controversial training exercise.

The Navy wants to place electromagnetic radiation emitters at more than a dozen sites on federal and state land in Washington. The real time training would allow pilots to practice finding those signals. 

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Contaminated Water
10:45 am
Fri October 3, 2014

More E. Coli On Mercer Island, Source Remains A Mystery

Residents of Mercer Island are on their second boil alert this week.
Credit Flickr Photo/Steve Johnson (CC BY 2.0)

There’s E. coli in the water again on Mercer Island. The island's 62 restaurants  have been ordered to close and people are being told to boil their water for the second time in a week. Schools say they’ll remain open.

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Counter Terrorism
10:48 am
Wed October 1, 2014

FBI Director: Terror Threat Is Morphing

In this photo taken Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, FBI Director James B. Comey speaks at a news conference during a visit to Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

FBI Director James Comey stood flanked by state and local law enforcement while speaking with the media at the bureau’s downtown office yesterday.

It was nearing the end of his workday, and nearing the end of a U.S. field office tour (we’re number 47 of 56 stops) since he took the job just over a year ago.

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Return To Oso
8:21 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Oso: From Living Off The Grid To Relying On The Feds

Pastor Gary Ray begins his sermon at Restoration Church in Camano Island. He was previously the pastor at the Oso Chapel.
KCTS Photo/Aileen Imperial

Gary Ray was the pastor at the Oso chapel in March. While doing work for the church on the morning of Saturday, March 22,  he received a call from another pastor in Darrington. There had been a massive landslide and he should come back, the pastor said. After the slide, Ray provided spiritual and emotional support for a community that prided itself on its strong sense of independence.

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Health Backlog
11:50 am
Thu September 18, 2014

VA Administrators Take Note As Veterans Vent

More than a hundred veterans turned out for a town hall style meeting hosted by Veterans Administration Puget Sound as an effort to improve care at regional hospitals.

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Military Surplus
3:56 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Several Washington Police Departments Suspended From Surplus Program Over Lost Weapons

An M16 rifle.
Credit Flickr Photo/Piskami (CC-BY-NC-ND)

State records reveal that in the past two years, four law enforcement departments in Washington state have been suspended from the military surplus program known as 1033.

The government program issues surplus military gear to state and local municipalities who show a need. Under the program, law enforcement agencies can apply to receive everything from Shop-Vacs to mine-resistant vehicles. All they need to pay is the cost of shipping.

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Military Surplus
3:25 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

What Are Washington Police Departments Doing With Mine Resistant Vehicles?

An example of an MRAP that can be used by police departments.
KUOW/Kara McDermott

In the last few years, Washington state has received shipments of mine resistant vehicles that were used in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

They’re pricey (about $650,000), and they’re tough to drive, but 17 police agencies have one to call their own. Each one weighs about 50,000 pounds.

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10:36 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Veterans Affairs' Promise: Get Vets Off Waitlists, Into Clinics

Deputy Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson address reporters at the VA hospital in Seattle.
Credit Patricia Murphy

Sloan Gibson, the deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, was in Seattle on Thursday as part of a national tour listening to employees at facilities run by his agency.

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1:54 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Super Sketchy: How A Cop Learned To Draw Suspects

Forensic artist Gregory Bean at work.
Credit Courtesy of Gregory Bean

About 15 years ago, the Bellevue Police Department decided it needed an artist to sketch suspects.

A lieutenant stopped by Detective Greg Bean’s desk with a flyer that promised, “No experience necessary.”

“He throws it on my desk and says, ‘You’re going to art school,’” Bean said.

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Unaccompanied Minors
3:52 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

JBLM No Longer Under Consideration As A Place For Undocumented Immigrants

Washington Congressman Denny Heck said the Department of Health and Human Services is no longer seeking facilities for temporary shelters for refugee children at Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Heck, who represents the 10th Congressional District which includes JBLM, said he trusts the department to make the right decisions about what facilities are best for the refugee children, but adds that he will continue to push for what he calls common sense, comprehensive immigration reform.

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Creative Citations
7:46 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Attn Petey Holmes: Pot Cop Calls Marijuana Law 'Silly'

KUOW/Kara McDermott

When Seattle Police Department officials dug into the data from its first report about marijuana enforcement they found that 80 percent of tickets were issued by one officer.

One apparently very frustrated officer.

In one citation, the officer refers to Washington state's legal pot law as “silly.” He also added at the bottom of the citations, "Attn: Petey Holmes," a snarky reference to Seattle's city attorney, Pete Holmes.

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Launching Startups
4:33 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Seattle Startups Unveil Futuristic Products To Potential Investors

Tim Dardis explains the idea behind Project Canton's injury reducing football helmet.
Credit KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Startup companies from the University of Washington showed off their innovative products to potential investors and industry advisors Tuesday.

The UW launched a record 18 startups last fiscal year with the support from the UW Center for Commercialization.

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Community Supervision
6:21 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Tracking Sex Offenders In 'A World Of Lies And Deceit'

Community Corrections Officer Iris Peterson at her desk.
Credit Patricia Murphy

A Level 3 sex offender charged with kidnapping a child returns to court this week. Prosecutors say Jesse Brisbin snatched a 6-year-old girl from a park in Beacon Hill and assaulted her.

Brisbin, who has pleaded not guilty, has been supervised by the Department of Corrections since 2011. His arrest highlights how difficult it can be to manage the state's highest risk sex offenders who have been released from prison.

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