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
  • What’s next for the Old Cavalier Hotel?

    Virginia Beach, Va. – All around the grounds of the Old Cavalier Hotel, there are nods to the building’s heyday. But it’s hard to see past what the hotel is now. “I just had no idea that there was going to be that much destruction. It was like Baghdad.” The hotel has been rotting for decades In the breezy oceanfront air. A court order forced the previous owners to sell. Bruce Thompson was one of the buyers. “We only had […]

  • Just who is allowed to solicit money from you in traffic?

    Norfolk, Va. – Norfolk firefighters are asking drivers to fill the boot. The money collected in this annual fundraiser goes to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. And this is perfectly legal. The firefighters have a permit from the city. It turns out, they are one of only four groups that do. Last week, City Councilman Tommy Smiegel said he’s fielded concerns about kids in traffic looking for cash. “A lot of complaints have been coming in about the young children on […]

  • Police looking to prevent murder-suicides in Hampton Roads

    About once every four months in Hampton Roads, family relationships end in murders and suicides. Records show it happens most often in Virginia Beach and Suffolk– 13 times in four years in Hampton Roads. Lisa Furr is convinced that with the right tools, police and social workers can predict these murders, and prevent them. She works for the Virginia Attorney General. That office wants to put a simple 11-question survey in the hands of police officers, to predict, scientifically, who […]

  • Police shootings increase in Hampton Roads; two ruled crimes

    After years of declines, the number of police shootings in Hampton Roads spiked in 2014 and 2015. That data is included in the homicide logs each police department sent to NewsChannel 3 under the Freedom of Information Act. The logs include entries for all intentional killings, including police shootings. And for the first time in memory, two of the police shootings in those logs have been ruled crimes. Records and news accounts show at least 17 people have been killed […]

  • Portsmouth police have solved only half of city’s homicides over a four-year period

    Portsmouth, Va. – In a four-year period, homicide detectives have solved just half of the city’s killings, raising the ire of families who say police should have done more to bring murderers to justice. Spreadsheet: Unsolved Hampton Roads murders “I never in a million years thought I would be waiting this long,” said Calenthia Golliday, whose son Leon “Jay” Golliday was shot to death at his home in 2011. She, along with her husband, a retired police officer; and her […]

  • Spreadsheet: Unsolved Hampton Roads murders

    NewsChannel 3 requested documents commonly called “homicide logs” from all seven cities for the years 2011-2014. Suffolk is the only city that does not keep such a log, but police there agreed to create one for us. In many cases, police detectives exercised their discretion under the Freedom of Information Act to redact portions of the records, especially in cases where there has not been an arrest. Portsmouth blacked out all information for all of its unsolved homicides. Which Hampton […]

  • Which Hampton Roads city has the highest number of unsolved murders?

    Every year, more than 100 people are murdered in Hampton Roads. You hear about them on the news, but how often to police solve the crime and close the case? Spreadsheet: Unsolved Hampton Roads murders Investigator Mike Mather gathered four years of homicide records from across Hampton Roads – 463 homicides in all – and analyzed the data. In fact, in one city, police have solved less than half of the murder cases.

  • More cases to be dismissed after Virginia Beach officer suddenly resigns

    Virginia Beach, Va. – The tally of Officer Christopher Skinner’s dropped DUI cases is growing this week. Since Monday, nine more DUI cases were dropped. Three drug charges were let go, and nine traffic tickets went away. Since Christopher Skinner’s resignation, roughly 30 DUI defendants had their cases dismissed. Another 30 or so will probably get the same break. And the fallout extends beyond drunk drivers. A man at the Oceanfront faced trial this week for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, […]

  • Virginia Beach officer accused of sending sexually harassing texts to women he arrested, sources say

    Virginia Beach, Va. – Court records show Officer Christopher Skinner was one of Virginia Beach’s most productive cops. He won an award for his relentless pursuit of drunk drivers. But he was under investigation for what was happening after some of those arrests. Multiple legal and law-enforcement sources say Skinner was communicating with women he had arrested, and sometimes those communications turned sexual. Sources with direct knowledge of the investigation said some of the women who had received the texts […]

  • Muhammad to Norfolk Police: ‘Do your damn job’

    “I am calling on the Norfolk Police Department to step up and do your damn job.”

  • Police investigating cases where robbers’ cell phones left with victims

    Virginia Beach, Va. – Virginia Beach police are investigating two unrelated cases where, both times, a robber’s cell phone was accidentally left with the victim. And in both cases, according to a pair of search-warrant affidavits, detectives are using the phones to identify the robbers. In the first, a man parked near Nelms Lane to mow a field in late July. Later, he noticed a man going through his car. He ran off with $150 from the center console. The […]

  • Officer’s sudden resignation jeopardizes 60 drunk-driving cases

    Virginia Beach, Va. – The fallout from the sudden and unexplained resignation of a Virginia Beach police officer is far worse than 10 dropped drunk-driving cases officials previously disclosed. A NewsChannel 3 investigation shows prosecutors had to drop another 10 cases days later, and there are about 40 more drunk-driving arrests in jeopardy. Many of the drivers who have gone free, or soon will, once faced mandatory jail time for high alcohol levels. Several others were being prosecuted as repeat offenders. And more […]