Former NYPD detective and TV newsman Mike Sheehan loses battle to cancer, dies at 71
The former detective was known for his investigative work in the cases of 'Preppy Killer' and the 'Central Park Five'
A former NYPD detective known for his investigative work in the cases of 'Preppy Killer' and 'Central Park Five' died on Friday at the age of 71 after losing his battle against cancer. Mike Sheehan, who turned into a TV news reporter after his police career, succumbed to his illness at around 8 pm at the NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, reports said.
According to a report in New York Post, Sheehan's former partner and Detective Investigators’ Association president Jack Freck said, "We were partners for years. He was a great guy and a great detective."
Sheehan also reportedly suffered from kidney problems.
Sheehan, who grew up on the Upper East Side, was a bartender before joining the New York Police Department in July 1969. Former NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Stephen Davis and Sheehan were promoted to detective together in 1980 and were responsible for catching the two men responsible for 11 murders in Harlem and the shooting of police officer Mary Bembry, the first female cop to be shot in NYPD history.
Bembry was off duty on Feb. 9, 1980 when she, her uncle and their accountant were shot in a robbery in the accountant’s office. While Bembry survived, her uncle and the accountant were killed.
Recounting their encounter with the two killers, Davis told New York Daily News, "We got the jump on them first. We jumped out of the car just as he was about to pull the gun from his waist."
Speaking about when he met Sheehan in the hospital two weeks ago, Davis said, "I was belly laughing. I was getting embarrassed. He was remembering some stories that I prefer would be forgotten.”
Sheehan was on the force for 25 years and retired in 1992 and then joined Fox 5 as a reporter. He was fired from his position in 2009 after being arrested for hitting an NYPD horse with his car. He had pleaded guilty to driving drunk and slamming into the horse.
Sheehan is survived by his wife Denise and daughter Clair