Alleged Samantha Murphy killer unmasked as Patrick Stephenson, son of former AFL player Orren Stephenson

Headshot of Remy Varga
Remy Varga
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Patrick Stephenson, the son of AFL player Orren Stephenson, has been charged with the murder of Samantha Murphy.
Patrick Stephenson, the son of AFL player Orren Stephenson, has been charged with the murder of Samantha Murphy. Credit: Supplied.

Patrick Stephenson appears to have had a childhood that would be the envy of kids throughout the football-obsessed state of Victoria.

His dad Orren Stephenson played football for Richmond and Geelong, giving the then-adolescent Patrick the opportunity to muck around with players between games.

His parents were high school sweethearts, with his father following his mother Whitney from his home city in Wagga Wagga in NSW to Ballarat, about 115km northwest of Melbourne, in 2002. Their first child, Patrick’s sister, was born when the couple were just 17.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

On Thursday, Patrick Stephenson, 22, faced court charged with the murder of much-loved mother-of-three Samantha Murphy in Ballarat after a suppression order was lifted on Friday morning.

His lawyer David Tamanika told the court Mr Stephenson, a tradie, had no mental health or drug issues.

Victoria Police have yet to reveal details of the murder, only describing the alleged crime as deliberate, and little is yet known about the murder accused outside his father’s football career.

Patrick Stephenson is the middle child and has two sisters Sophie and Emilie. He once appeared in a local newspaper feature about road safety and played for the Redan Football Club under 19s.

Patrick Orren Stephenson (right) and his former AFL footballer dad Orren in happier times
Patrick Orren Stephenson (right) and his former AFL footballer dad Orren in happier times Credit: Unknown/Supplied

Orren Stephenson told the Richmond AFL club in 2012 that his kids were rarely absent on gameday and son Patrick, then aged 12, had been blessed with the opportunity to “roll around the rooms” with players from Richmond and Geelong.

“Patrick last year was rolling around the rooms with the Geelong Cats and this year he’s rolling around with the Richmond Tiger boys,” said Mr Stephenson.

“He wouldn’t pass it up for quids.

“He loves it and the girls have had a lot of fun with it as well.

“It’s a massive bonus that we can share these pretty good times in our lives with our kids.”

Former AFL player Orren Stephenson is the father of accused murderer Patrick Stephenson.
Former AFL player Orren Stephenson is the father of accused murderer Patrick Stephenson. Credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Before Orren Stephenson began kicking a football around full time he worked as an electrician and a telecommunications technician.

Stephenson’s parents Orren and Whitney reportedly live in Mount Clear where detectives believe Murphy was killed on the day she disappeared on February 4.

Police said Stephenson, a resident of nearby Scotsburn, had not disclosed the location of Murphy’s body.

The arrest on Wednesday followed weeks of searching by officials and concerned locals, with police vowing to find Murphy’s for her family.

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 19-04-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 19 April 202419 April 2024

World on edge as Israel hits Iran in missile strike.