If you happen to read this post and you are living in America then you probably know this story back to front but over here in the UK it is fairly new news to us. Well it is to me anyway. I actually hadn’t heard of the Murdaugh murders at all until I saw a piece on the BBC News about Alex Murdaugh being convicted of the murders of his wife and son Maggie and Paul. The first I had heard of this case was that the bodies of mother and son Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were found on their huge family property, they had both been shot and killed. The footage I saw was of Alex Murdaugh in the courtroom being told he had been found guilty and then being taken away to await sentencing. It must have been mentioned as part of the story that there was a Netflix documentary on this family so I immediately began watching as I am a big fan of true crime podcasts and documentaries.
Like I said I hadn’t heard anything about this case so I started watching the Netflix documentary ‘Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal’ expecting it to be all about the double murder mentioned above. I was quite shocked and intrigued to find that the documentary starts with Paul very much alive and allegedly responsible for the death of Mallory Beach in a boating accident in February 2019. Poor Mallory was thrown from the boat when it crashed in to a bridge and her body was not discovered for a week. It seems fairly obvious that Paul was driving and he was charged with causing her death. He was facing up to 25 years in prison when he was himself killed, but the charges were obviously later dropped as quite simply a dead person cannot stand trial.
The documentary then went on to throw suspicion on the death of Stephen Smith who was found ‘murdered’ in the middle of a country road (it was originally classed as a vehicular death) in July 2015. There is still an investigation going on now into his death, both Paul and his older brother Buster are rumoured to be involved in this case. Apparently it is said locally that there was allegedly an incident with a baseball bat involving Paul and Stephen, but how could this ever be proven now?
The shocks keep coming because in 2018 the Murdaugh family housekeeper died after falling down the steps outside their home. Alex Murdaugh stated that he was there and she made him aware that she had tripped over the dogs and fallen backwards but there are a couple of mysteries surrounding this incident as well. Firstly there was according to media sources a paramedic that reported Alex was not there at all. He had still not arrived when they left in the ambulance, so therefore not possible for Gloria to have spoken with him. Secondly Gloria had found out Alex had a painkiller addiction and had spoken to Paul about it, any sort of drug addiction would have been a huge scandal for this powerful family. Then thirdly and perhaps most suspiciously an insurance policy was taken out on the property just a month before the accident which as it transpires Alex claimed $4.3million dollars from which he had initially promised would go to the family including two sons of Gloria. But they never received a penny and didn’t even know about any pay out. So he basically sued himself and then kept the settlement.
Then and honestly Hollywood is going to love this blockbuster of a movie, Alex was shot ‘superficially’ in the head on the side of the road 3 months after his wife and son were murdered. By this point he was really having a bad time because his own law firm had him disbarred for embezzlement and he was taken from rehab directly to jail. He would be charged later with frauds dating back to 2016 of his colleagues and even family friends including Gloria Satterfield.
All this was going on over in the US in the state of South Carolina for the last few years and finished up in February with the court case that I spoke of at the beginning where Alex was tried and convicted of murdering his own wife and child! It is such an unbelievable story I just know that eventually it will make a pretty fascinating movie. There are still so many unanswered questions and this blog post does not (understatement of the century) do the whole saga justice. I have found a really brilliant podcast I would highly recommend if like me true crime is your thing and you do want to hear more in depth information about the entire case. It is called Murdaugh Murders Podcast with Mandy Matney, she is an extremely thorough journalist and hasn’t missed a single beat in this story.
It’s scary how a seemingly upstanding trustworthy person could be hiding such an evil side to his personality. Where did it all go wrong??