“You deserve this,” she told Murphy yesterday. “You were out there by yourself.”
Before TV cameras, a grateful Murphy offered her gifts, including a poster of a famous Norman Rockwell illustration showing a police officer treating a “runaway” boy to a meal at a soda fountain. It was signed by a retired trooper who worked with Rockwell in creating the work.
“A lot of people would be proud to have you as their head of social media,” Murphy told her.
Until now, said Beloff, she kept her name and involvement a secret. Married with two kids, she works at a country club. She worried that releasing her name might backfire on her 9-year-old son. There was some reason to worry.
“I got a lot of negative comments,” she said, describing the people responsible as “crazies.” Their words were promptly removed from the site. Inspired in part, perhaps, by Rolling Stone-type photos, Tsarnaev has attracted sympathizers.
“It’s amazing that there are people who believe that what happened right outside this window was a conspiracy,” Murphy said.
The bulk of people logging on were supportive, even urging Murphy to run for office, she said. “They were proud of him.”
One purpose of her effort, she said, was to try to prevent any sanctions being taken against the trooper, who violated department rules by posting the photos without authorization. Murphy served a brief suspension, was transferred to another assignment and lost vacation days. Then he retired.
Beloff expressed disappointment that he no longer has his job. “That’s a shame,” she said.
On the other hand, Murphy said he has no regrets. He described the night of Tsarnaev’s capture as “as real as it gets — everyone came together.” He added that he bears the state police no ill will.