CHELMSFORD (CBS) – “My life has changed ever since, for better or worse,” said former State Police Sgt. Sean Murphy at his home in Chelmsford.
“There must be a hundred letters and cards and I’ve responded to at least 100 prior to this,” he said as he looked through some of the correspondence given to him when he retired from the State Police.
The mail from around the world came in response to his reaction to Rolling Stone Magazine’s cover photo of bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He says it showed Tsarnaev fluffed and buffed. A State Police photographer, he’d taken photos of Tsarnaev, bloody and surrendering in a Watertown Backyard. Because he believed those showed the real face of terror, he sent the photos to Boston Magazine without his boss’s permission. Murphy was disciplined for doing so and decided to retire, which he did earlier this month.
Through this process, he’s seen an incredible outpouring of support and made new friends. “I’ve become friends with a lot of people who were affected by the bombing,” Murphy said. It’s many of those people who made a suggestion that he should run the Boston Marathon in 2014. “Over the summer, someone gave me this jacket. It’s from the 2013 marathon and I look at it all the time and it gives me great inspiration,” he said. “Even though it’s a great jacket, I would never wear it unless I earned it and hopefully next year I will have one to wear that I have earned.”
Murphy submitted an essay to the Boston Athletic Association, hoping to get one of the invitational entries this year set aside for those most impacted by the bombings.
“People who were injured on that day, physically and mentally every day for them is a marathon so for me to train to run 26 miles I think is very little,” he said. He’d like to run for charity and will pick one if he ends up getting an entry. “The people who have supported me through this are the people that have been personally and profoundly hurt by what happened on that day and I think that it would be a bit of healing for everyone including the people who have supported me through this,” he said.
Murphy says he realized a lot of people were more directly affected by the events of April 15th, 2013, so he’ll understand if he isn’t chosen. He completed a half-marathon last month and enjoys running with his sons, Connor and Reilly.
Photos: Watertown Manhunt
Running or just cheering, he’ll be there for what he says will be an inspirational Marathon Monday. “I think it is going to be a healing moment,” he said.
“For some reason better or worse, I’ve become part of this group and they really want me to run this.”
Murphy’s submission and others will be reviewed by a selection committee appointed by the B.A.A. The decisions are expected to be announced next week.
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