June 8, 1960
Los Angeles County, California, United States
Zoey Tur (born Bob Tur, June 8, 1960) is an American broadcast reporter, and scientist best known for designing and building the first modern news helicopter used for live news reporting. As a broadcast reporter, and eventual 10,000 hour commercial pilot, Tur created the Los Angeles News Service with fellow reporter, Marika Gerrard. Their news service was the first to use an AStar helicopter in a major city for the coverage of live breaking news, and the first to televise a high-speed police chase. Other noteworthy reporting included the attack on Reginald Denny during the L.A. Riots on April 29, 1992, and she was the first to locate and televise O.J. Simpson's infamous slow-speed chase in 1994.
As a team, Tur and ex-wife Marika Gerrard received three Television News Emmy Awards; two Edward R. Murrow Awards for broadcast excellence (for her reporting on the Loma Prieta/San Francisco Earthquake, and a feature on American Jews leaving their homes for Israel at a time of war); An Associated Press National Breaking News award; The NPPA Humanitarian Award; several Golden Mikes; and numerous other local and national citations.
In 1988 Tur was credited by the Los Angeles Times with saving the lives of 54 people during a freak southern California storm in January of '88. At the request of a local fire department, Tur piloted her AS-350B Eurocopter helicopter through 60 knot winds, at night, to airlift stranded tourists from 22 foot seas that pounded apart their hotel, the Portofino Inn. Timing the interval of the waves, Tur and her camera operator, Byron Alperstein, made a dozen near zero visibility takeoffs and landings without losing a single victim. Both Tur and Alperstein received numerous awards for their heroism.
Tur was called to cover what she describes in "Ultimate Police Chases" as the "weirdest chase" she had been involved in approximately 1995. She was at home when requested to fly over the LA Freeway. When she and her team arrived at the location they found several police units chasing a bus. The person who stole the bus earlier requested work in the bus company's office but was informed that he was underqualified and had no experience. Angered by this, he stole the bus. Tur later said, "He was rejected from a job driving a bus, but boy could he drive that bus". The police eventually managed to capture the person, and he was sentenced to prison. However, he was deemed as mentally incompetent and was sent to a mental institution and was released 10 years later in 2005.
In August 2006, Tur was cited by Israeli medics for saving the life of an IDF soldier during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict  During a Katyusha rocket attack, Bob and her television news crew found a 19 year-old soldier trapped in his crushed automobile. With the soldier unconscious, and not breathing, Tur, who had been shooting a documentary for an American satellite news operation, performed an emergency tracheotomy, intubating the man and restoring his breathing. The rescue, which was caught on tape by another reporter, aired as part of a news package dealing with life on the Israeli-Lebanon border.
In 2007 Tur hosted her own documentary series on NBC's cable news network, MSNBC, called Why They Run. The show reported on why criminal suspects ran from police, and included interviews with those actually involved in the country's most notorious police pursuits.
Tur has also been credited with locating nine missing aircraft, including Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771. The Pacific Southwest Airlines passenger jet suddenly dropped from radar, crashing in a remote mountain range near Paso Robles, California. An FBI investigation into the crash that killed all 44 people aboard found that a deranged and suicidal airline employee named David Burke smuggled a .44 Magnum revolver aboard the flight, using it to murder both the pilot and copilot while the doomed plane cruised at its assigned altitude of 22,000 feet (6,700 m).
Tur has also been featured in well over two dozen programs, including NBC's Today, ABC's Nightline, Inside Edition, Rescue 911, and a two-part episode of the ITV documentary Police Camera Action! with Alastair Stewart in December 1996, called The Man Who Shot OJ. Tur is also a regular on the talk show circuit, frequently appearing on Fox News, CourtTV, and CBS.
As a scientific researcher, Tur used her training in emergency medicine to design a range of medical auto-injector syringes that will reduce the time necessary to administer I.V. drugs on the battlefield, or in other stressful environments, including helicopter transport.
BP Deepwater Horizon Spill
In the months following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (April 2010) by BP, Tur was hired by BP to conduct scientific studies to locate the submerged oil that threaten the sealife swimming through hydrocarbon plumes deep below the Gulf. Tur was successful in being able to track up to 1,400 square miles (3,600 km2) a day for deadly MS-252 toxins, results confirmed by Ken Lukins, BP's consulting director of their High Interest Technology Test (HITT) Team, but despite the results that could keep neurotoxin dosed fish, and crabs from those that consume Gulf seafood, BP has been unwilling to green light Tur's scientific helicopter based sensor program.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Tur is regarded as a leading authority on U.S. copyright law winning six times before the United States 9th Circuit. Tur's cases are widely considered some of the most important cases cementing the right of artists, photographers, writers, publishers, advertisers, scientists, and other creators of intellectual content right to control how, and where their works are published. This has led to Tur traveling the U.S. lecturing law school students, practicing lawyers, and others about the application of copyright and the dangers facing intellectual property creators.
On July 14, 2006, Tur's news operation was first to file a historic lawsuit in U.S. District Court against YouTube, to protect the rights of copyright holders. The lawsuit alleges hundreds of copyright infringements that have led to hundreds of illegal downloads. Among the works involved is the attack on Reginald Denny by a mob at the intersection of Florence and Normandie in South-Central Los Angeles, shot minutes after four white Los Angeles police officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King.
On April 5, 2012, the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Tur, and her fellow plaintiff, media giant Viacom, Inc., ruling that the plaintiffs had presented enough evidence against YouTube to warrant a trial, and the case should not have been thrown out in summary judgement because "a jury could conclude that Youtube had direct knowledge of the infringing activity." The court did uphold the ruling that YouTube could not be held liable based on "general knowledge" that users on its site were infringing copyright. The case will be sent back to the District Court in New York to be tried. The case is worth more than $1 billion in statutory and actual damages.
Tur was credited by the Los Angeles Times with saving the lives of 54 people during a freak Southern California storm in January 1988. At the request of a local fire department, Tur piloted her AS-350B2 Eurocopter helicopter through 60-knot (110 km/h) winds and driving rain at night, to airlift stranded tourists from 22-foot (6.7 m) seas that pounded their hotel, the Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club in Redondo Beach. Timing the interval of the waves, Tur and her camera operator, Byron Alperstein, made a dozen near-zero visibility takeoffs and landings without losing a single victim. Both Tur and Alperstein received a number of awards for their heroism.
In 1994, a Superior Court jury in Los Angeles awarded $550,000 to Tur in a malicious prosecution suit against the Los Angeles Fire Department. Two complaints from 1988 and 1991 alleged Tur's helicopter lights and downdraft interfered with rescue operations, allegations later disproved.
In August 2006, Tur was cited by Israeli medics for saving the life of an IDF soldier during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. During a Katyusha rocket attack, Tur, a licensed medic, and her high-definition television news crew encountered a 19-year-old soldier trapped in his crushed vehicle. With the soldier unconscious and not breathing, Tur, who had been shooting a documentary for an American satellite news operation, performed an emergency tracheotomy, which restored his breathing. The rescue, which was caught on tape by her reporter, Dave Barker, aired as part of a news package focusing on the quality of life for the residents living on the Israeli-Lebanon border. Tur's cinematography, coupled with Barker's commentary, helped earn Cablevision the highly prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award. It was Tur's second Murrow.
Tur has also been credited for her work in copyright protection by proving that news photography is copyrightable because photographers exercise creative control over their photography by choosing the composition, focus, and exposure of the subject matter. To date, Tur and her ex-wife Marika Gerrard have won seven United States 9th Circuit decisions dealing with intellectual property protection, establishing that news videotape is copyrightable, and a landmark victory that bars a "fair use" defense by an infringing news organization that copies the video images of another news organization and then broadcasts the work as their own. Tur and Gerrard's work in copyright are widely considered by legal experts as a series of major victories for creators of intellectual property, allowing writers, actors, producers, directors, and union members to be fairly compensated for their work.
Tur's marriage with Gerrard came to an end in 2003. The couple have two children: Katy (born October 26, 1983), and James (born November 19, 1985), a physics graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, who's currently attending medical school. Following the breakup, Tur dated Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher; they split in late 2005. Tur's daughter, Katy, is an Emmy Award winning local and national NBC News reporter, who also reported for MSNBC during the 2010 Winter Olympics, held in Vancouver, BC. The 30 year-old, like her parents, is an expert videographer who enjoys covering dangerous stories.
On June 12, 2013, Tur appeared on Talk Radio One's Marc Germain Show to announce that she is using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) transitioning to live as a woman, and will be changing her name legally to Zoey. Within days, the story made headlines, both nationally, and internationally.
An in-depth interview with Tur by Public Radio KPCC host John Rabe can be heard here:http://media.scpr.org/audio/upload/2013/06/13/OR-TUR-CHANGE-061513-WEBLONG.mp3
- Date of birth found on the California Birth Index 1905-1995 under TUR, ROBERT A, on June 8, 1960, in Los Angeles County.
- New Yorker Magazine-August 1, 1994
- FAA pilot records
- Jerome, Richard; Young, Stanley (September 12, 1994), "Chopper Newshounds Bob and Marika Tur are L.A.'s Prying Eyes in the Sky", People, retrieved October 1, 2009
- "YouTube Hit With Copyright Suit". NY Times. JULY 19, 2006. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- CBS News, 60 Minutes-The Man That Shot O.J.
- Gerard, Jeremy (June 7, 1993). Variety and Daily Variety Television Reviews, 1993-1994. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- KCBS News Radio-San Francisco-Loma Prieta Earthquake-October 17, 1989
- "NATIONAL PRESS PHOTOGRAPHERS ASSOCIATION Humanitarian Award". NATIONAL PRESS PHOTOGRAPHERS ASSOCIATION. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Gathering More Than News" Editorial Section-January 20, 1988
- HDNews (VOOM), News 12-Long Island
- Ariens, Chris (September 4, 2007). "MSNBC Ramps Up Doc Production". Media Bistro. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "BP Oil Spill Aftermath". Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- Los Angeles News Service v Tulo, Los Angeles News Service v KCAL, Los Angeles News Service v Reuters
- Cheng, Jacqui (June 19, 2007). "SueTube: sex, copyright, and rock & roll". Ars Technica. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "More parties join Google copyright lawsuit". Reuters. Aug 7, 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- Los Angeles Times-January 19, 1988
- "Reporter wins malicious prosecution suit; jury awards $550,000 - See more at: http://www.rcfp.org/browse-media-law-resources/news/reporter-wins-malicious-prosecution-suit-jury-awards-550000#sthash.B9geRbSn.dpuf". Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. September 20, 1994. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- Justice Kim Wardlaw, U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals transcript
- Date of birth found on the California Birth Index 1905-1995 under TUR, KATHARINE BEAR, on October 26, 1983, in Los Angeles County.
- Date of birth found on the California Birth Index 1905-1995 under TUR, JAMES BEAR, on November 19, 1985, in Los Angeles County.
- NPR radio
- TalkRadioOne.com Internet Radio At Its Finest (2013-06-12). "Famed LA Reporter Bob Tur Disclosing Sexual Identity Disorder". Prlog.org. Retrieved 2013-12-02.