Farquhar was born in Broken Hill, New South Wales. He attended Broken Hill High School and served in the Australian Army in the Second World War. After his military service, he studied law, practised as a solicitor and was appointed a magistrate in 1962. He was appointed Chief Stipendiary Magistrate in 1971.
A Royal Commission conducted by Sir Laurence Street into the alleged involvement of both Farquhar and Premier of New South Wales Neville Wran in the acquittal of former head of the Australian Rugby League, Kevin Humphreys  on fraud charges, resulted in Farquhar in March 1985 being sentenced to four years' gaol for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. During his trial, it became clear that Farquhar had deep roots in the criminal community, including connections to George Freeman and Nick Paltos. Much of the investigative work in the Farquhar case was due to the efforts of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Four Corners program and The Sun-Herald newspaper.
In March 1991 Farquhar was acquitted of receiving stolen paintings. He had a fatal heart attack in 1993 while on trial for conspiracy to obtain stolen passports.
- Reeves, Tony (2005). Mr. Big: The True Story of Lennie McPherson and His Life of Crime. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-74114-516-3.
- It's an Honour. Retrieved 2 December 2015
- "Interview with Peter Manning". Four Corners. ABC News Australia. 20 August 2001. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
- Brown, Malcolm (1 January 2004). "Doc descended into underworld". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
- "Turning 40". Four Corners. ABC News Australia. 20 August 2001. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
- Morton, James; Lobez, Susanna (2011), Gangland Sydney, Victory Books, ISBN 978-0-522-85870-9
- Farquhar, Murray (c. 1986). Nine words from the grave: the real story as revealed by Murray Farquhar. Sydney: M. Farquhar (self published). ISBN 0-9588504-0-2.
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