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Moran’s ‘Life Detonated’ documents NYC terrorist bombing

MADISON – Redstone Arsenal and local residents will welcome an author whose new book documents an early act of terrorism in the 1970s that killed her husband.

Kathleen Murray Moran has written “Life Detonated: The True Story of a Widow and a Hijacker.” “Kathleen’s story is fascinating and timely and appeals to a broad group of readers,” spokesperson Sandra O’Donnell of Huntsville said.

“As America sat immobilized while planes hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Kathleen Murray Moran’s own September 11th, 25 years earlier, came flooding back. Watching the towers crumble brought back the day, September 11, 1976, when her husband Brian Murray, a member of the New York City Police Department Bomb Squad, was killed by a bomb that Croatian freedom fighters placed in a Grand Central Station locker before hijacking TWA Flight 355 from LaGuardia Airport,” O’Donnell said.

Moran’s book details the hijacking of TWA Flight 533 from LaGuardia, her correspondence with the wife of the hijacker, who seduced her with letters, her release from prison due to Murray’s appeal, and the final face-to-face meeting where the truth of who the hijacker was, O’Donnell said.

“As she waited for her husband to return home that evening, the hijacked flight landed in Paris,” O’Donnell said. “As Kathleen kissed her little boys good night, Brian moved the device from Grand Central Station to a disposal site. As she slept, the bomb exploded.”

“Life Detonated” is the story of events that led to the loss of her husband and the life they had built, O’Donnell said. “It is the story of resilience in the face of senseless tragedy and of evil villains and surprising superheroes. The subplots include the second husband who coaxed Kathleen back to love; Gracie, her heroin-addicted sister who gave her hope; and how Brian’s death brought back an estranged mother.”

On Oct. 17, Story Tree Farm Retreats, a writing retreat facility in Harvest, will host a reception for Moran. In addition, the Hazardous Device School on Redstone Arsenal will honor Moran on Oct. 18. The late Brian Murray attended one of the early classes at the school.

Moran earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in English from SUNY Stony Brook. She has taught writing and literature at Suffolk Community College for 25 years. She co-founded Survivors of the Shield, a group that advocates for and provides support and assistance to families of NYC police officers killed on duty.

To buy the book, call Midpoint Trade Books at 212-616-2020 or email orders@midpointtrade.com.

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