Murf the Surf

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by UnfurleD, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. UnfurleD

    UnfurleD Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2016
    anybody know the name of the movie they're talking about?
    saw this is in the paper this morning. Don't know much about him, but did hear of that heist before

    Famed jewel thief, surf champ 'Murf the Surf' dies at 83
    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jack “Murf the Surf” Murphy, who was behind one of the biggest jewel heists in U.S. history, gained membership in a surfing hall of fame and served time for murder, has died in Florida. He was 83.

    Murphy's death earlier this week was confirmed by John Hughes, director of the Florida Surf Museum in Cocoa Beach, Florida, who has been in touch with Murphy's friends and family members. A longtime friend, fellow surfer Bill Yerkes, also confirmed his death.

    Murphy is best known for a daring heist in 1964 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where he and other thieves used a bathroom window they had unlocked earlier to steal the famed Star of India sapphire — bigger than a golf ball — along with other precious gems.

    The heist became the subject of a 1975 movie.

    They didn't get far, with Murphy and the others arrested two days later. Murphy was sentenced to three years in prison and the Star of India was found in a locker at a Miami bus station, according to reports at the time.

    That wasn't the end of Murphy's legal troubles.

    In 1969, he was convicted of killing Terry Rae Frank, 24, and 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. Yet he was paroled in 1986 because of his religious awakening and later settled in the quiet Florida west coast town of Crystal River with his wife, Kitten, while establishing a nationwide prison ministry.

    “I found God in prison,” Murphy told the Tampa Bay Times a few years ago. "Listen, I loved the life. I loved the insanity. I loved stealing jewels. It was like (actor) Cary Grant, very exciting, and the people you stole from always had insurance. But I also know I was out of control and so I had to have a new manager.”

    Murphy also has acknowledged he and others stole from waterfront Miami-area homes, using boats to sidle up to the wealthy places, climbing over walls and fences to steal jewelry from the mansions along Biscayne Bay. Murphy has said he would swim off the boat with the jewels so that if the boat were stopped by authorities there would be nothing incriminating aboard.

    At the time, he was called the Miami cat burglar.

    Before all of this, Murphy was a championship surfer. Born in California, he established himself on the waves across the country by winning the 1966 East Coast Surfing Championships in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He won other titles, leading to his induction in the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 1996.

    It was in Florida where he got his nickname, according to a post on the surf hall of fame website.

    “There was no surf scene in Florida when I got there. There were guys who had surfed up in Daytona on 16-foot paddleboards in the ’20s and ‘30s," Murphy said in the post. “But in the ’50s, there was nobody really surfing in Florida, so the lifeguards called me “Murf the Surf.”

    He also at one point had a business in Indialantic, Florida, called “Murf's Surf Shop.” In earlier times, Murphy attended the University of Pittsburgh on a tennis scholarship and was also an accomplished violinist. The state Department of Corrections once reported he tested at a genius level on IQ exams.

    Murphy told the Tampa Bay Times a while back that he never expected to get out of prison alive.

    “On your own, you don’t have the strength to deal with the blunders of your life, the evil things you’ve done, the people you’ve hurt," he said. "The guilt was overwhelming. I felt that I had to turn all my guilt over to a higher power. I prayed a lot and read scripture about redemption and forgiveness.″

    Yerkes, the friend who is also a championship surfer and today owns a Florida surf shop, said there was nothing false about Murphy.

    “He was the real deal. There was nothing phony, nothing put on about him. He was real,” Yerkes said.
  2. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    I don't hang around with those "surfer types." They're all degenerate vagabonds... and they stink.
    natkitchen likes this.

  3. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    Served 16 years of a double life sentence +20 years for murder o_O
  4. Carson

    Carson Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2006
    Meat is Murder
    natkitchen likes this.
  5. DonQ

    DonQ Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2014
    Filthy hippies...
    natkitchen likes this.
  6. La_Piedra

    La_Piedra Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2017
    "White Privelege".
    natkitchen likes this.
  7. Manik

    Manik Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2015
    I remember seeing this story years ago (at least 20) on a true crime show.. couldn't believe it, never heard the story before and never heard about it since till now. Don't know what the movie is, I have a feeling surfing aint part of it, but they should do one of his life now.

    I remember watching another show about Billabong co founder? (I could be wrong) smuggling dope in surfboards from South east Asia, getting strung out for years, ect.. True life man, stranger than fiction
    natkitchen likes this.
  8. La_Piedra

    La_Piedra Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2017
  9. Adiespra

    Adiespra Active Member

    Sep 17, 2017
    Wow this is a lot, but tjis is a good info to read thanks!
  10. sisurfdogg

    sisurfdogg Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2013
    Met him at a East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame induction in Orlando at a Surf Industry (SIMA) convention 30 years ago. Gregg Knoll introduced him. Dick Catri gave him props. Only thing missing was Carrothead. He seemed like a nice old uncle type of guy. Amazing bio. Glad to have met the Man, the Myth, the Legend...may he RIP the waves... way up high in da sky.
    Manik, Carson and antoine like this.
  11. rodndtube

    rodndtube Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2006
    Amazing bio? More like amazing conman.
    La_Piedra likes this.