Former DEA Special Agents Steve Murphy and Javier Peña will talk at a special event in Folsom about how they took down a drug kingpin. Courtesy photo


DEA agents tell the ‘true story’ of Pablo Escobar

By From page B2 | September 13, 2017

The inspiration for the Golden Globe nominated series “NARCOS” comes to Stage One at Harris Center, in the season opening presentation for the Folsom Lake College Speakers Series.

Entitled “The True Story of Pablo Escobar,” former DEA Special Agents Steve Murphy and Javier Peña detail this decades-long story, which found them at the center of the largest, most complex and high-profile investigation of its time. With tactful humor and rarely seen visuals, Murphy and Peña share their experiences in hostile and often life-threatening conditions — all leading to the capture and downfall of the world’s first narco-terrorist, Pablo Escobar.

Murphy and Peña’s incredible journey — pursuing the world’s first narco-terrorist following his brutal reign as head of the Medellin cartel — began in the 1980s and continues into the early 1990s, delving deep into the history books to reveal inside stories from a good-versus-evil battle. It is a tale that, as it has been retold both on Netflix and elsewhere, often seems too wild to be true. And yet true it is. They share lessons they learned on effective leadership, teamwork and split-second decision making amid extreme circumstances.

Nominated for 18 awards over its first two seasons — including both Emmys and Golden Globes — season three of the Netflix series “NARCOS” began Sept. 1 without the Murphy character (played by Boyd Holbrook). Peña’s character, played by Pedro Pascal, returns. Reportedly, both Javier and Steve’s “characters” will reappear together in season five as the story shifts to the Cocaine Cowboys of Miami in the 1980s.

In a recent interview Murphy and Peña commented, “We love the fact that ‘NARCOS’ has been so successful, and the show and the actors/actresses are the superstars, but no one was more surprised than us that people would be so interested in this event … The true heroes of that entire event are the Columbian National Police — something we acknowledge at every one of our presentations — for the sacrifices they made and the diligence they displayed in fighting an evil threat.” (The Know Magazine)

Steve Murphy & Javier Peña will deliver their lecture, “The True Story of Pablo Escobar,” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28. Tickets are $29 to $54 with premium seats available for $64; students with ID pay $12. Purchase tickets online at or from the Harris Center ticket office at (916) 608-6888 from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.

The Folsom Lake College Speakers Series continues with Jeffrey Toobin, author, legal expert and CNN journalist, on Jan. 28, 2018, and inspirational swimmer and athlete Diana Nyad on March 11, 2018.

Harris Center For The Arts


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