You'd ask him, what did you do, Larry? And he would say 'I flipped'
Larry Murphy's devastated brother describes the horror of having a monster in the family
THE brother of Larry Murphy yesterday described how evil took control of a young boy who "everybody liked". According to his devastated brother Thomas, there was no sign of the predator Larry Murphy was to become when he was a youngster growing up in Wicklow.
Larry, he said, gave the impression that "butter wouldn't melt in his mouth".
Speaking only days after the suspected serial killer was set free to roam Irish streets, his devastated brother said the sins of Larry Murphy had ripped his own family apart.
"No one would ever think that Larry Murphy would do something like that. You'd think, to speak to Larry, that butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. He was very well liked.
"He had never been in trouble. Never, never, never. He liked his football. He liked socialising, never was in any sort of trouble."
In an interview to RTE's Charlie Bird, Thomas Murphy described the fateful day when he learned of his brother,s actions.
"His wife Margaret rang me when we were working on a house that Larry and myself had bought together. And I was staying in the house working on it, but this Saturday morning in March I got a call at 7.30am, I think it was, and it was Margaret and she was in an awful state and was barely able to talk to me and she said, 'Larry is after doing something terrible.'
"And I was there wondering what this was, because the conversation just had stopped at this stage, she wasn't able to continue. So I tried to get her to talk to me and she eventually told me that Larry was after raping a girl last night. But she wasn't able to tell me any more -- she just left it after that.
"I couldn't ring my parents from a mobile phone to tell them this, I had no way home, I didn't drive, I was stuck there. So eventually a brother-in-law of Mags came to pick me up and he said to me, we have to get you home quickly, your mother and father, none of the rest of your family knows, the news is going to break soon.
"I went home to tell them and it was just pure shock -- they just couldn't believe it. They just could not believe what was after happening."
Asked how they coped with the fallout from Larry Murphy's monstrous crime, he said: "Cope? I wouldn't say cope. They just struggled through it. Trying to find out exactly what he did. We were hearing all sorts of different rumours but we never actually got the truth. You'd pick up the paper. One paper would have one story, another paper would have another story. And then someone else would come and tell you they were after hearing something else.
"You'd go in and ask Larry, 'What did you do, Larry?' And Larry would say, 'I flipped.' And every time I asked him I got the same answer -- 'I flipped.' Until eventually one day I went into him and he said to me, 'When I get the book of evidence I'll give it to you to read it,' but I never received the book of evidence and until the day Larry was sentenced I never was told the truth about exactly what Larry did."
Asked how his family felt when they eventually learned the full evil of his crime following his sentencing, he said: "Total shock; total shock. I heard it on the five o'clock news the evening he was sentenced -- exactly what he had done.
"It was very, very hard to believe. No one would ever think that Larry Murphy would do something like that. You'd think, to speak to Larry, butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. He was very well liked."
Describing how he had quizzed Larry on the other disappearances of young women in Ireland, he said: "I have asked him about others and the answer I got was 'no'. And he would just sit there and just look at me as if to say, 'How could you ask me that question?'"
Asked whether he believed his brother is responsible for the disappearances of the women, he said: "Well, as I said, I couldn't put my hand on my heart and say he did it, but I couldn't put my hand on my heart and say he didn't do it either, because there's 10-and-a-half years gone by and no other woman has gone missing.
"The guards have said there's no evidence, but that element of fear and doubt is there, and you'd hear of a body being found, listening to the news, and the hairs on the back of my neck would stand with fear, thinking, 'Is this something Larry might be involved in?'
He continued: "Larry never thought about what he was doing to that girl. That girl has a life sentence. She will never forget what happened to her -- and his own family, his own kids, his wife, the sentence that they carry for the rest of their lives, its something that's there on them two little boys and it'll never leave them.
"I would say it has destroyed our whole family. He didn't think of his sisters, his mother or father, myself, either. My kids are suffering for the crime that Larry committed. It's a knock-on effect for everybody.
"He couldn't tell me the truth of what he did. He wouldn't have counselling when it was provided to him. The man refused help. A person who doesn't want to help themselves can't be helped."
Asked what he would say to his brother if he was listening to the interview, Thomas said: "I would say to Larry, number one, he was wrong to refuse help when he was in Arbour Hill. It was readily available for him. Number two, I think Larry Murphy should be very, very ashamed of himself. He has [duped] everybody who was any way involved with him down to the ground.
"And he came out of Arbour Hill last Thursday morning with his head held high and I think if he had any decency he would have least stopped at the media and said sorry to this woman involved. The victim. There was never even was a sorry, there was no remorse. And I don't know how anyone could carry out a crime like that and not at least say sorry to the victim."
Asked would he forgive his brother if he showed remorse, he said: "No, no. I don't want him in my life and my sisters, I'd say, would be talking on the same lines themselves, but as I said I can't speak for them fully, but he won't be accepted back into their homes."