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  • 34 years of age.
  • Light skinned.
  • 183cm (6 feet) tall.
  • Medium build.
  • Brown curly hair.
  • Grey/blue eyes.


  • Lived with his wife just outside of Pemberton in the South West Region of Western Australia.
  • Was a self-employed Veterinary Surgeon.
  • Last seen alive by his wife around 1am Sunday 29 July 1984.
  • Wife woken by pet dog around 5am. She saw a torch light in the forest near the Southern boundary of the forest. Mr Murphy was not in bed.
  • Wife and her family searched the area around the property on Sunday 29 July 1984.
  • Reported missing on 30 July 1984 by his wife.
  • Mr Murphy’s body was located on Tuesday 31 January 1989 in the Brockman Forest.


Michael Bowie Murphy was born in June 1950 in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. He was a self-employed Veterinary Surgeon who lived and worked from a semi-rural property in Pemberton. He was married and lived with his wife.

Pemberton is a town in the South West Region of Western Australia, approximately 335km south of Perth.


On Saturday July 28 1984, Mr Murphy travelled the short distance into the Pemberton township to complete some shopping, arriving in town at about 2pm. He returned home about 30 minutes later and remained at this location for the remainder of the day. During his time he occupied himself by gardening and later watching television with his wife.

Mr Murphy went to bed at about midnight, with his wife retiring at about 1am, where Mr Murphy was observed sleeping.

At about 5am his wife woke up when she heard the pet dog barking and noticed Michael was not in bed. She went to the kitchen window and saw a torch light in the forest near the Southern boundary of the forest. This did not concern her because Mr Murphy was in the habit of taking moon light walks in the forest.

When she awoke at 9am Mr Murphy had not returned. She was concerned and rang her parents in Perth, advising them Mr Murphy was missing. They travelled to Pemberton, arrived during the afternoon and helped her search around the town.

Mr Murphy was reported missing to Police the following day, Monday 30 July 1984. Despite extensive searches and inquiries being conducted by Police at the time, Mr Murphy was not located.


On Tuesday 31 January 1989, some four and a half years later, workers bulldozing an area in the Brockman Forest unearthed human bones and a plastic wallet containing identification. This identification assisted in the formal identification of the remains of Mr Murphy.

The person or persons responsible for Mr Murphy’s murder have not yet been identified.

If you have any information about the death of Michael Murphy or his movements around Sunday 29 July 1984, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make an online report below. Please remember that you can remain anonymous if you wish and rewards are offered.

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.

Working Together by DuShong

The artwork titled ‘Working Together’ represents the Aboriginal tribes of Western Australia working together in harmony to rejuvenate the land by controlled fires.

In this artwork it also represents our community today working together to keep our neighbourhood safe from crime.

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