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Sunday, 6 September 2015

RIP Warren Murphy co-creator of an American Legend

It is with sadness that I type these words and record the death of yet another legend of the pulp fiction field - Warren Murphy, born in 1933, and best known for the Destroyer series of paperbacks which number more than  a 100 titles and was also the basis for the 1985  movie, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.

Warren Murphy co-created the Destroyer series  with fellow writer, Richard Sapir. The two men worked together for a great many years on the series but when the relationship strained, Sapir left the series and Murphy continued the series with the aid of a series of co-writers to keep up with the considerable demands of series fiction. Sapir briefly returned to the series in 1980 but after his death in 1987, Murphy once again continued the series on his own. He would continue with the series until the 107'th book in the series.

 The series however would be continued by other hands. For in creating Remo Williams the authors had birthed a character that will live on. Indeed Shane Black is currently developing a new movie which will be called, The Destroyer.

"My apparent versatility is really based upon a character flaw: I have the attention span of melting ice cream."  Warren Murphy

Warren Murphy died on 4th September and his daughter, Deirdre wrote on her Facebook page -

Yesterday my heart was broken and my tears fell. My father, Warren Murphy passed away. He was loved and loved by family, friends and fans and I have been amazed and humbled to read the tributes from so many people who he touched. I was so lucky to be able to call him Pop, but I wasn't the only one he touched, each of his children had very special relationship with him and he treated each of us in his own unique way. He truly was an amazing man, he spoke his mind and he influenced so many people. If you were lucky enough to have met him then you are truly blessed. I don't know how I'm going to survive the upcoming political season without him to tell it like it is. Pop you are loved and loved and you will always be in my heart.

As well as his novels Warren also wrote for movie and worked on many scripts including The Eiger Sanction ( he was asked to work on the script by Clint Eastwood himself) and Lethal Weapon II, but it is for the Destroyer books that he will be best remembered. The series was incredibly popular and as well as the books, there was the movie and even a comic book adaptation from Marvel comics.

“Murphy…is the professional’s professional, the hallmark of work of consistently high quality produced in spite of the mercenary peccadilloes of a constantly changing publishing scene. A warm, generous man, he is often the victim of ‘ricochet discrimination.’ The sharp, snide cutting one line retorts and highly prejudiced viewpoints of some of his characters are wrongfully taken to reflect the author’s personal feelings. Nothing could be further from the truth but such phenomena characteristically fail to bother Murphy. He simply philosophizes, ‘It goes with the territory.’”
— St. James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writers. 

Warren's own website HERE carries the following tribute from his son Brian:

It is with great sadness that we must report the passing of my father, Warren Murphy, on Sept 4, 2015.  Murphy passed away peacefully in his Virginia Beach home.  The literary world- no, the  world in general- has lost a true champion.
One of “The Good Guys,” this loss will be felt by many.  Please keep our family, friends and his ever-faithful fans in your thoughts and prayers.
You’re loved and loved, Champ!

Rest in peace, sir - but through your work you will live on.

The Destroyer series:

  1. Created, The Destroyer (1971)
  2. Death Check (1972)
  3. Chinese Puzzle (1972)
  4. Mafia Fix (1972)
  5. Dr. Quake (1972)
  6. Death Therapy (1972)
  7. Union Bust (1973)
  8. Summit Chase (1973)
  9. Murder's Shield (1973)
  10. Terror Squad (1973)
  11. Kill or CURE (1973)
  12. Slave Safari (1973)
  13. Acid Rock (1973)
  14. Judgment Day (1974)
  15. Murder Ward (1974)
  16. Oil Slick (1974)
  17. Last War Dance (1974)
  18. Funny Money (1975)
  19. Holy Terror (1975)
  20. Assassin's Play-Off
  21. Deadly Seeds
  22. Brain Drain
  23. Child's Play
  24. King's Curse
  25. Sweet Dreams
  26. In Enemy Hands
  27. The Last Temple
  28. Ship of Death
  29. The Final Death
  30. Mugger Blood
  31. The Head Men
  32. Killer Chromosomes
  33. Voodoo Die
  34. Chained Reaction
  35. Last Call
  36. Power Play
  37. Bottom Line
  38. Bay City Blast
  39. Missing Link
  40. Dangerous Games
  41. Firing Line
  42. Timber Line
  43. Midnight Man
  44. Balance of Power
  45. Spoils of War
  46. Next of Kin
  47. Dying Space
  48. Profit Motive
  49. Skin Deep
  50. Killing Time
  51. Shock Value
  52. Fool's Gold
  53. Time Trial
  54. Last Drop
  55. Master's Challenge
  56. Encounter Group
  57. Date With Death
  58. Total Recall
  59. The Arms of Kali
  60. The End of the Game
  61. Lords of the Earth
  62. The Seventh Stone
  63. The Sky Is Falling
  64. The Last Alchemist
  65. Lost Yesterday
  66. Sue Me
  67. Look Into My Eyes
  68. An Old-Fashioned War
  69. Blood Ties
  70. The Eleventh Hour
  71. Return Engagement
  72. Sole Survivor
  73. Line of Succession
  74. Walking Wounded
  75. Rain of Terror
  76. The Final Crusade
  77. Coin of the Realm
  78. Blue Smoke And Mirrors
  79. Shooting Schedule
  80. Death Sentence
  81. Hostile Takeover
  82. Survival Course
  83. Skull Duggery
  84. Ground Zero
  85. Blood Lust
  86. Arabian Nightmare
  87. Mob Psychology
  88. The Ultimate Death
  89. Dark Horse
  90. Ghost in the Machine
  91. Cold Warrior
  92. The Last Dragon
  93. Terminal Transmission
  94. Feeding Frenzy
  95. High Priestess
  96. Infernal Revenue
  97. Identity Crisis
  98. Target of Opportunity
  99. The Color of Fear
  100. Last Rites
  101. Bidding War
  102. Unite and Conquer
  103. Engines Of Destruction
  104. Angry White Mailmen
  105. Scorched Earth
  106. White Water
  107. Feast or Famine
  108. Bamboo Dragon
  109. American Obsession
  110. Never Say Die
  111. Prophet of Doom
  112. Brain Storm
  113. The Empire Dreams
  114. Failing Marks
  115. Misfortune Teller
  116. The Final Reel
  117. Deadly Genes
  118. Killer Watts
  119. Fade To Black
  120. The Last Monarch
  121. A Pound of Prevention
  122. Syndication Rites
  123. Disloyal Opposition
  124. By Eminent Domain
  125. The Wrong Stuff
  126. Air Raid
  127. Market Force
  128. The End of the Beginning
  129. Father To Son
  130. Waste Not, Want Not
  131. Unnatural Selection
  132. Wolf's Bane
  133. Troubled Waters
  134. Bloody Tourists
  135. Political Pressure
  136. Unpopular Science
  137. Industrial Evolution
  138. No Contest
  139. Dream Thing
  140. Dark Ages
  141. Frightening Strikes
  142. Mindblower
  143. Bad Dog
  144. Holy Mother
  145. Dragon Bones


oscar case said...

It's tragic to see another fine writer pass on. RIP.

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