‘Murph the Surf’ Released : Killer ‘Paroled by God’ So He Can Give Lectures

United Press International

Jack (Murph the Surf) Murphy, the once-notorious surfing champion, jewel thief and killer, said today God paroled him from prison so he could join the lecture circuit.

The man who first hit the headlines as the thief who made off with the Star of India sapphire was paroled after 16 years in prison for the murder of a secretary.

“I believe, as God says, that all things pass away and all things become new,” Murphy said at a news conference.


His parole was scheduled for today but prison authorities released him Monday because of the Veterans Day holiday.

Asked how he felt when he signed the parole papers, Murphy said, “It was a day I didn’t believe would ever occur but God had a sense of humor, a style of his own.”

“I’ll be going on the college lecture circuit to share some of the insights I’ve gotten in 21 years in jail,” he said.

Murphy said he had incorporated himself and plans to sell his prison paintings of birds and surfing scenes.

Murphy, 48, said he will take part in the National Prison Invasion next month when 30,000 Christian laymen plan to go into 450 prisons to preach.

Since December, 1984, Murphy had lived at The Bridge halfway house, refusing requests for interviews.

He was convicted in 1969 of killing Terry Rae Frank, one of two California secretaries whose bodies were found in Fort Lauderdale’s Whiskey Creek. Frank was killed in an argument over how to dispose of $400,000 in negotiable securities the secretaries had stolen from a Los Angeles brokerage house.

Murphy was convicted the following year of robbing a Miami Beach socialite and handed two life sentences. He also had been accused of robbing and pistol-whipping actress Eva Gabor but she refused to testify and the case was dropped.

Murph the Surf became known in Florida during the 1950s while competing in surfing contests and helping to make the sport popular on the East Coast. He ran a surfboard company in Brevard County.