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Jack Rowland Murphy is a convicted jewel thief and murderer who served 19 years of a double life sentence before being released.
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Wofford later told police that the thieves had held a pistol to her and threatened to pour boiling water over her 8-year-old niece if she didn't cooperate and open the safe.
Murphy was later tracked down by the police following a high-powered chase, during which he drove his vehicle through a pair of French doors. When found swathed in bandages and apprehended, Murphy quipped,
"I cut myself shaving."
Worse yet was the discovery that two California secretaries had died at Murphy's hands in 1967. Later known as the Whiskey Creek murders, the two women had been shot, bludgeoned to death and then dumped in a creek near Hollywood, Florida; concrete weights had been tied to the necks of the women to sink them. The victims had allegedly been brutally killed in a dispute over nearly half a million dollars worth of securities stolen from a Los Angeles brokerage. Murphy denied having any knowledge of the killings. A psychologist who examined Murphy in 1968 stated, "He's top notch at everything he does."
Despite denying his involvement in the Whiskey Creek murders, Murphy was convicted of killing Terry Rae Frank, 24, in 1969, and was sentenced to life in prison. In 1970, he received a second life sentence, plus 20 years, for conspiracy and assault to commit robbery against Olive Wofford.
In 1974, Murphy was the subject of a feature film, Murph the Surf, starring Robert Conrad.
In prison, Murphy became a Christian and was a model prisoner, remorseful for his past deeds. He was paroled from the Florida State Prison in 1986. After 19 years, in 2000, Murphy was released from Florida State Prison, largely due to his exemplary behavior. During his time in prison, Murphy had become religious and taken on a role assisting the prison's chaplain and counseling young offenders. The Florida Parole Board saw fit to terminate his lifetime parole.
Today, Jack Rowland Murphy acts as an evangelist-style preacher, visiting the prisons as a "messenger of God" with the aim of helping rehabilitate other felons through religion. His moniker "Murph the Surf" still haunts him, despite his efforts at rehabilitation through religion. Of his villainous and murderous past, Murphy has stated, "To this day, that era pains me. I'm not at all pleased with my past or the terrible mistakes that I did, the hurt that I caused people. I am ashamed and embarrassed by all of that."
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