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Mike Mather is an Emmy-winning and Murrow-winning investigative reporter.

In his 25-year career, he has reported nationally and internationally for NewsChannel 3, The Daily Press, The Virginian-Pilot, CBS News, and The New York Times. His stories have earned dozens of journalism awards, including a Pulitzer nomination.

Career highlights:

-Proved Norfolk city leaders were not telling the full truth about the death of a police recruit. The city’s police chief later lost his job.

-Tracked down a murderous fugitive in Russia and secured the man’s return to the United States. He was convicted.

-Exposed a broken system that allowed a Norfolk auctioneer to repeatedly pocket clients’ money, without consequences. Mike’s story led to a state investigation and felony charges.

-Gained a pardon for a man wrongfully convicted of rape.

-Revealed how the FBI lost control of secret evidence in the Colonial Parkway serial murders, leading the agency to re-open the cases.

-Uncovered fatal mistakes in Virginia Beach’s foster-care system that led to the death of a child. The state launched an investigation because of Mike’s stories, and the director resigned.

Mike is one of the only journalists in the nation to graduate from a police academy and SWAT academy, where he got an inside look at how officers are selected and trained. He and his wife Elizabeth have four boys, including triplets. One of Mike’s triplets, Owen, has Cerebral Palsy. Mike helped found a charity running team in Virginia Beach dedicated to including disabled children in athletic events. Mike is also a volunteer instructor for Wintergreen Adaptive Sports, where he helps teach people with disabilities, including his son, to ski or snowboard.

Mike was born and raised in Virginia Beach but now lives in the Ghent section of Norfolk. He enjoys running, photography, snowboarding and volleyball, and he is a private pilot. He and several NewsChannel 3 colleagues sometimes pool their musical talents to play in a band. Mike plays guitar.

Follow him on Twitter, @mikemather

Recent Articles
  • Grammar goof or clues in a crime?

    In several interviews with television stations and on an Internet podcast, the adoptive father of missing college student AJ Hadsell repeatedly spoke of her in the past tense, even though no one at the time knew she was dead.

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    Conflict of interest sparks search for outside judge in Virginia Beach bank robbery case

    A crucial hearing for a pair of accused bank robbers also charged with shooting a state trooper ground to an unexpected halt this morning in Virginia Beach when all the lower-court judges declined to hear the case.

  • Former Navy fliers teaching Top Gun tactics to civilian pilots

    Chesapeake, Va. – A group of former Naval aviators in Chesapeake is teaching Top Gun tactics to civilian pilots to help them survive mid-air emergencies. “A lot of times they make the wrong decisions,” said Vanessa Christie, a vice president at Prevailance Aerospace, a new company partnering with Epix Aviation at the Chesapeake Regional Airport. “That’s why there has been a tremendous loss of life.” This year, the National Transportation Safety Board included “Loss of Control” accidents in general-aviation airplanes as one […]

  • NTSB: Plane low on fuel, tossed by turbulence before Botanical Garden crash

    Federal investigators say the small private plane that crashed into the Botanical Garden killing all three aboard was low on fuel, rocked by turbulence and was less than a mile from the runway when it wandered to the right and smashed into trees.

  • Petition seeks to keep child killer in prison

    A petition circulating through Facebook and endorsed by some current and retired Virginia Beach Police officers aims to convince the Virginia Parole Board to keep child-killer Shawn Novak in prison.

  • Beach Councilman: Big tax increase coming to Virginia Beach

    Virginia Beach, Va. – Virginia Beach Councilman John Moss is telling his constituents that the city manager tomorrow will push for a six-cent increase in the real-estate rate. That would boost the Beach’s rate from $0.93 per $100 of assessed value to $0.99. The tax bill for a  house assessed at $300,000 would increase $180 a year. Moss wrote on his official Facebook page that two cents of the increase would be earmarked to help fund a light-rail extension from […]

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    Newly unsealed document reveals Maureen McDonnell’s plans to take the blame

    A year-old declaration from one of Maureen McDonnell's lawyers was just unsealed and it could be the linchpin in former governor Bob McDonnell's appeal.

  • Photo by Mike Mather

    One person in custody after stolen car hits Norfolk school bus

    Norfolk, Va. – Police have one person in custody after a stolen car struck a Norfolk school bus Tuesday morning in the 600 block of Shirley Avenue. No students were on the bus at the time. According to the school bus aide, the bus was traveling down Shirley Avenue in the Stockley Gardens section when teens in a stolen car came the wrong way down the street. The car hit the bus and NewsChannel 3’s Mike Mather saw it crash onto the […]

  • Virginia Beach photographer sparks national controversy over picture with baby wrapped in American flag

    Virginia Beach, Va. – A Virginia Beach photographer’s image of a Navy dad supporting his newborn in the American flag — and the criticism of it as improper — has sparked a national controversy pitting letter-of-the-law flag sticklers against those who say the snap is immensely patriotic. Vanessa Hicks told NewsChannel 3 an anonymous Facebook site named “You Call Yourself A Photographer” dished a dose of vitriol at the Navy veteran, her photography business, and the sailor who posed with […]

  • Manteo Police: There’s a fungus among us

    Manteo, NC – The eight-officer Manteo police force is preparing to evacuate headquarters after a chronically leaking roof has sparked a spread of mold in the building. The police department is on the second floor of Town Hall, where years of leaks and patches have dampened attics and drywall. Recently, officers started noticing mold on the walls, around vents, and in the lights. “We’re taking it very seriously, but we caught a little break on the severity of it,” town manager Kermit […]

  • Norfolk Botanical Garden president after fatal plane crash: ‘Life is indeed too short’

    Norfolk, Va. – For the time since a small plane crashed in Norfolk Botanical Garden, the facility fully opened to visitors with the director saying the day was one to reflect and heal. “Hug your families tonight, call your loved ones and be kind to a stranger,” garden president Michael P. Desplaines said in a statement. “Life is indeed too short.” At the same time, the family of Dr. Michael Buxton, the pilot killed while trying to land a Mooney M20 at […]

  • UPDATE: Local doctor, two others dead in plane crash at Norfolk Botanical Garden

    Three people have been confirmed dead in a plane crash at Norfolk Botanical Garden, according to State Police. The aircraft was found in the Enchanted Forest section off of Azalea Garden Road.


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