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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’s studying to be a 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
  • Data backs claims of sex assaults at Virginia Wesleyan College

    A lawsuit filed Friday against Virginia Wesleyan College claims the small liberal-arts school has one of the highest sexual-assault rates in the state, and records from the Department of Education, analyzed by NewsChannel 3, back the charge.

  • Gun owners say proposed law targets them, not thieves

    Virginia Beach, Va. – The Virginia Beach City Council plans to ask state lawmakers to hold accountable gun owners who don’t quickly report firearms lost or stolen, an idea that is already running into opposition. The request to the General Assembly is part of the Council’s “Legislative Agenda,” a wish-list of issues and concerns the city’s leaders would like to see made into law. The proposal seeks to make it a Class 1 misdemeanor if a gun owner does not report a […]

  • Could a new law actually target legal gun owners?

    If a thief steals your gun, you could be the one going to jail. Investigator Mike Mather found how Virginia Beach city leaders are pushing for a new law that some say targets not the criminals, but the legal gun owners. Night after night, in city after city, gunshots crackle and brass shells rain to the pavement. Many of the guns used to rob and kill are stolen. No one really knows how many, but Virginia Beach leaders say it’s […]

  • UPDATE: 10th-grader who admitted to murdering parents because they took away iPod sentenced

    A smart and talented Norview High School 10th-grader admitted in court today he killed his parents a week before Christmas because he was weary of their seemingly routine punishments, "like my dad taking away my iPod and stuff."

  • Mother who lost child says Elizabeth City dealership caused her to relive pain of baby’s death

    The April tornado spun across a rural road in Chowan County, tearing apart houses and tearing apart families. Four months later, the scars are still visible in the neighborhood. Even today, some are still rebuilding. For the first time, a mother who lost a toddler is sharing the awful details about how it happened. When the tornado hit, Ashley Bain shielded her infant Gavin as her house fell around her, pinning them in the wreckage. All alone for several moments, […]

  • Widow of dead Norfolk police recruit cannot sue the city

    The widow of a Norfolk police recruit who died from head blows during training cannot pursue a wrongful-death claim against the city, according to a Virginia Supreme Court decision released today. The justices in a written opinion said that Patricia Kohn, widow of John Kohn, must rely upon the Virginia Worker’s Compensation Act to collect any money from the death. Through lawyers, she had claimed police officers and the city were negligent because her husband was repeatedly struck in the […]

  • Military surplus program debated in Congress

    Members of a Senate committee today asked if a military-surplus program that stocks police with battlefield gear has gone overboard. The surplus program has armed thousands of police departments large and small with M-16 machine guns, battle gear, grenade launchers, airplanes and helicopters, even mine-resistant trucks, all at no charge. The “1033 program” as it is called has come under scrutiny since police in Ferguson, Mo., faced protestors upset about an officer’s shooting of an unarmed black man. Some officers […]

  • Norfolk’s commonwealth’s attorney sides with police in every case reviewed

    Norfolk’s top prosecutor has ruled police were justified in shooting an elderly mentally ill man in his apartment. It turns out in every single case reviewed by the commonwealth’s attorney, he has sided with police. The 72-year-old neighbor in an apartment tower was mentally ill, and he was getting sicker. Police were part of a team sent to help. Lawrence Faine grabbed a knife. Police shot him. It was the second time that month police killed mentally ill men, provoking […]

  • One-drink limit: Feds pushing for lower DUI standards

    Members of the National Transportation Safety Board are lobbying Virginia and other states to reduce the threshold for drunk driving to 0.05 from the current national standard of 0.08. NTSB member Mark Rosekind made the pitch again Wednesday in New England, at a conference moderated by the area’s American Automobile Association. Rosekind make a similar presentation to Hampton Roads police officers at a Virginia Beach conference earlier this year. Supporters say the tougher standard will save lives, but critics say […]

  • Attorney says police shooting ‘unnecessary and preventable’

    A Norfolk attorney who has viewed bank surveillance video showing police killing an unarmed check forger in a drive-through says the shooting was “unnecessary and preventable.” John Cooper, of the Cooper Hurley Law Firm, said he got involved only after Norfolk police refused to let the family of Joshua “Omar” Johnson see the video of the young man’s encounter with officers in May, 2013. Cooper sued Norfolk to get the tape. According to Cooper, the bank video does not support […]

  • One police shooting, three official accounts

    A federal-court lawsuit has offered a third account of a controversial police shooting last year in a drive-through lane at a Ghent Wells Fargo bank. All three official accounts of the shooting that left a suspected check-forger dead in his car agree on some facts, but differ wildly on others. Those differences will be pivotal in the family’s excessive-force lawsuit against two Norfolk officers. The biggest and perhaps oddest discrepancy is how one of the responding officers got hurt. A […]

  • Judge outlines facts that contradict officers’ account of deadly Wells Fargo shooting in Norfolk

    A judge in a federal civil suit has outlined a series of facts in a deadly May, 2013, Norfolk police shooting that directly contradicts what officers said happened at a Wells Fargo bank in Ghent.


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