"I really have to tell you something. I love you."
Alex James Murphy was a dutiful, upstanding and mild-mannered Detroit Police Officer who was brutally killed in the line of duty by infamous crime boss Clarence Boddicker. Some of his organic components were later integrated into the cybernetic law enforcement entity: RoboCop - OCP Crime Prevention Unit 001, by the mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products.
Murphy was the son of James Patrick Murphy, an auto worker and later employee of OCP when it was in its infancy. The younger Murphy witnessed the death of his father, who was killed by stray sniper fire.
He served at the Metro South Precinct prior to being transferred to Metro West. Murphy was married to Ellen and together had a son, James, to whom he promised to mimic the fancy moves of T.J. Lazer to impress him. The family lived at 548 Primrose Lane.
He was a devout Irish Catholic.
Transfer to Metro West
Murphy was transferred to the Metro West Precinct as part of OCP's drive to restructure the police department. Murphy walked through the doors to find the precinct in turmoil, its staff overworked, the cops underfunded – male and female officers even forced to use the same locker room – and crime spiraling out of control. Officers such as Kaplan and Starkweather were even threatening strike action. Only Sergeant Warren Reed seemed to be keeping everything from falling to pieces. Murphy's cool-headed ethic to duty, his objective style of thinking, optimism, and mild-mannered attitude rendered him immune to the vitriol exuded by his comrades.
Pursuit of the Boddicker Gang
Murphy was partnered with Officer Anne Lewis, herself a hardened veteran of Old Detroit. As the two were getting to know one another in Sector Nine in unit 154, they received their first call: a robbery in progress; the Boddicker Gang escaping the scene in a van and heading hard down Industrial Way. After an intense, running firefight, ending when gang member Bobby was thrown onto their windshield, the two police officers caught up to the van at an old steel mill and decided to split up.
After ambushing gang members Dougy and Emil Antonowsky, Murphy was forced to shoot Dougy, then tried to arrest Antonowsky, telling him in no uncertain terms when he tried to take his shotgun "Go ahead and do it... Dead or alive, you're coming with me." However, unbeknownst to Murphy, Lewis was punched off a high ledge earlier on and incapacitated. Alone, and knowing his shot must have alerted other nearby enemies, Murphy became more frantic, but the suspense was broken when Steve Minh and Leon Nash appeared in the room, both armed with shotguns. Murphy was disarmed, surrounded, and made to face the gang's kingpin, none other than Clarence Boddicker, cop killer, murderer and unofficial crime boss of Old Detroit.
Clarence spent no time in beating information out of Murphy concerning the whereabouts of his partner, but Joe P. Cox, having just entered the room, rashly assured the rest of the gang that he had dealt with Lewis, before bringing his shotgun to bear on Murphy with the rest of the gang. Clarence then began to torture Murphy for fun, shooting off his right hand, then leaving him to the tender mercy of his boys. Emil subsequently shot the remainder of his right arm off, then the gang opened fire in unison, peppering his body from head to foot, dropping him to his knees in terrible anguish. Before they could finish him off, they ran dry of ammo. The gang looked on in astonishment as Murphy struggled, still alive. Emil signaled this fact to Clarence, who sauntered over, raised his pistol and fired a final shot into Murphy's head.
Clinging to life, Murphy was soon found by Lewis and was taken by a MedEvac team, who rushed him to the hospital, where a team of surgeons desperately tried to save his life, although it was clear their efforts were coming to naught. His condition rapidly deteriorated as flashbacks to his life took over reality. Defibrillation proved unsuccessful, even after a shot of adrenaline to his heart. After shocking him one last time, the surgeons pronounced him dead, at the age of thirty-five.
Having signed a waiver for OCP to do what they pleased with his body, the megacorporation used Murphy's face and portions of his brain as part of Bob Morton's RoboCop program, which produced OCP Crime Prevention Unit 001, better known as RoboCop.
Not long after his activation, RoboCop began to remember moments from Murphy's life, such as memories of his family and his murder. With these recollections, RoboCop avenged the Alex Murphy he had once been and took on his name.