Jeff Harrell is an award-winning career journalist originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. After graduating with a degree in Journalism from Ball State University, Jeff moved to Florida to pursue careers in music — performing professionally as a drummer, percussionist, singer and songwriter — and newspapers, where he earned multiple writing awards from the Florida Press Association for sports, news and entertainment reporting, most notably “Columnist of the Year.”
In 2000, Jeff moved to New Jersey. He garnered more writing honors from the New Jersey Press Association for his work with the Montclair Times, including “Columnist of the Year” in 2001, and was the lead writer on the Times’ award-winning coverage of 9/11.
Jeff landed in Staten Island in 2003, covering police and crime for the Staten Island Advance. For eight years Jeff served as the Advance’s bureau chief in “The Shack” at the New York Police Department headquarters, and as bureau chief at Staten Island Supreme Court and the Eastern District of New York’s federal courthouse in Brooklyn. Notable trials Jeff covered included the trials of John (Junior) Gotti, the “Mob Cops” Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, New York City police detectives convicted of conducting hits for the mob, and the death penalty trial of Ronell Wilson, convicted in the murders of undercover New York City detectives James Nemorin and Rodney Andrews.
In 2011, Jeff moved back to Indiana to cover news, music and entertainment for the South Bend Tribune. Jeff first broke the story of the “Police Tapes” scandal that rocked the South Bend Police Department and the administration of newly-elected Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He left the Tribune in 2017.
A lifelong musician, Jeff has shared the stage with a who’s-who list of rock, blues and jazz notables, including the band War, jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, and Motown stalwart Billy “Stix” Nicks. His album of original music, “Inipi,” is being promoted on his website, jeffharrellmusic.www.zyebj.com, and the Jeff Harrell Facebook page. Jeff’s YouTube channel also features videos and music from “Inipi.”
Jeff is currently finishing his latest writing project, “Rockne of Ages,” a book that investigates the plane crash that killed legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne. His exclusive piece on the crash, “Mob Bombs Rockne Plane,” appears in the current spring edition of Notre Dame Magazine. Due to be released this summer, “Rockne of Ages” is being promoted on knuterockne.www.zyebj.com.