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S2 / EP17: The Murdaugh Murders

This case has all the makings of a tv special or a movie, without a doubt. The case has saturated the media, in large part due to the high profile family that is linked to the case, but also do to a pending trial involving the son of the Murdaugh family, Paul, as well as the mysterious death of a young man in 2015.


It will be interesting to follow the developments of this case, and when there are updates (aka "arrests") I'll be sure to post a follow up to the episode. In the interim, enjoy this episode, and be sure to post your comments and questions on Instagram and/or Facebook!

 

Check out our INSTAGRAM for additional photos related to case!

 

Transcribed Episode / S2 EP17: The Murdaugh Murders


[Host]

This podcast contains content that may not be suitable for some listeners - listener discretion is advised. Be sure to head over to thecrimeshack.com for all available episodes, merchandise, and show notes and also listen and subscribe to us for free wherever you get your podcasts. Want more true crime content? Become a Patreon member to get access to exclusive episodes, crime scene photos, and more!


[Intro Music Begins / Fades]


[Host]

A prestigious law firm with a legacy spanning over a hundred years, a mysterious cold case, a fatal boating crash, and the murder of a wealthy mother and her son. All the elements of a mystery novel or even a movie perhaps.

In this episode, I’ll be giving you some insight into the world of the elite of South Carolina, where everything may not always be what it seems on the outside, where secrets are kept and families are protected...sometimes at all costs. So hold onto your hats, because we’re going to take a wild, winding road into the Murdaugh family and the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh…

Colleton County, South Carolina lies in the southernmost part of the coastal state, also called the “lowcountry” with a population of about 38,000. Within Colleton is a small town called Islandton, about 65 miles west of Charleston. When you hear the name “Island-ton” I’m sure you’re picturing beachy landscapes and palm trees swaying in the wind right? Well not exactly...Islandton is a mainly unincorporated, rural area, speckled with trees and farmland and home to less than 70 people. The homes in Islandton range from simple mobile homes to lavish estates, usually hidden behind rows of trees.

If you’re in the county of Colleton and you happen to mention the name “Murdaugh,” everyone immediately knows who you’re referring to. The Murdaugh family is a prominent family and practically an institution in the state, with three generations of Murdaughs having served as solicitor in the South Carolina fourteenth judicial circuit since 1920 through 2006. During this episode I’ll be using the term “Solicitor” quite often - a solicitor in South Carolina is essentially the same as a District Attorney in all the other states, South Carolina just likes to be a bit “extra” in its prosecutorial titles.

The State of South Carolina is divided into sixteen judicial circuits or districts. These are basically separate court systems that cover certain jurisdictions or areas in the state, and there is one resident judge appointed to each circuit. If you google “judicial circuits in South Carolina” and select “images” you will actually see that the 14th circuit is at the southernmost tip of the state, and it encompasses five counties: Colleton, Allendale, Hampton, Beaufort and Jasper counties.

The law firm of Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick in Hampton South Carolina is the dominant firm in the 14th circuit, not to mention one of the most powerful firms in the entire state -- and this is exactly where the Murdaughs history is entrenched and why they are viewed as a legal dynasty.

The firm has accumulated an impressive roster of 17 attorneys and has extracted a dozen multimillion dollar payouts from companies such as Ford, Nissan and CSX. For a long time, it held a reputation for suing large corporations, particularly railroads.

Richard Alexander or “Alex” Murdaugh was the son of Randolph Murdaugh III, also a prosecutor turned consultant. Randolph Murdaugh passed away on June 10, 2021 at the age of 81 after suffering from extended health problems. Alex - following in his father, grandfather and great-grandfather’s footsteps - works at the family law firm as a personal injury lawyer alongside his brother Randolph Murdaugh IV. Alex also works part-time as a solicitor for the 14th Judicial Circuit and occasionally assists fellow 14th circuit solicitor Duffie Stone’s office on some of their cases.

As you’ll find throughout this episode, the Murdaughs love keeping their names in the family, almost as much as they love law.

Now that we’ve got the history of the Murdaughs somewhat covered - let’s talk about Richard “Alex” Murdaugh. Alex, born in 1968, met Margaret “Maggie” Kennedy Branstetter, also born in 1968, while they both attended the University of South Carolina in the late 1980’s.

The couple eventually married and had two sons, Richard Alexander “Buster” Murdaugh Jr. in 1996 and Paul Terry Murdaugh in 1999. The boys were raised in Hampton, South Carolina, where the family enjoyed boating on their 17 foot Sea Hunt Powerboat, and spending summers at their beach house in Edisto. Following high school, Buster and Paul both became students at the University of South Carolina. The Murdaugh’s also had a 1770 acre estate in Islandton where they had a hunting lodge, and a “river” house on the Chechessee River in Beaufort County. The locals dubbed the hunting lodge property “Moselle” as it was located on Moselle Road. Maggie preferred to stay at the lodge where her two sons liked to go hunting.

Property records list the owner of the Islandton land as being Margaret B. Murdaugh. The land sits on two counties, Hampton and Colleton counties with about 870 acres in Hampton and less than 900 acres in Colleton. The property includes two buildings, one one-story single family home and one two-story single family home. Several smaller buildings, a dog kennel and sheds are also at the property.

Alex and Maggie Murdaugh’s notorious family was well known in their community - but not always for being on the right side of the law.

On February 23, 2019, Paul Murdaugh planned a group date night with five of his friends: Paul’s girlfriend Morgan Doughty, his friend Anthony Cook with his girlfriend Mallory Beach, Anthony’s cousin Connor Cook and his girlfriend Miley Altman.

Their plans that afternoon included taking Paul’s father’s 17 foot Center Console Fishing Boat to a friend’s oyster roast on Paukie Island and then heading to spend the night at Paul’s parent’s river home in Beaufort County which the group called “Murdaugh Island.”

It was a cool and foggy evening, with temps in the upper 50’s, so not necessarily the ideal night for a boat ride, but the group concluded that if they planned to drink that night, it was better to take the boat to the oyster roast - which was 18 miles away - than to drive to it, because there was going to be an alcohol checkpoint along the route. As it was going to be dusk by the time they would be on the water, the group planned to bring along flashlights for visibility, as the boat didn’t have working lights.

Although each member of the group was between the ages of 18 and 20 and under the legal drinking age of 21, they were all planning on enjoying some alcohol that evening.

Prior to meeting his friends and heading out on the water, Paul made a stop at Parker’s 55 Gas Station in Ridgeland at around 5:30pm. He picked up some White Claw, Natural Light, and Michelob Ultra. The clerk asked Paul for his license, and when Paul produced it, the clerk glanced quickly at it, didn’t question Paul about his age, and completed the transaction. A witness at Parker’s recalled seeing Paul with the alcohol at the counter and thinking that Paul looked “too young to be drinking.” Paul paid for the item and the clerk - who knew of Paul’s family and of them having a law firm - told him “Y’all be careful tonight.” Another one of Paul’s friends - a female - had also purchased alcohol from Parkers that same day, using a fake ID she’d purchased online from “ID God,” a fake ID website.

Paul then packed up the alcohol in coolers in the Parker’s parking lot and drove with his friend Connor Cook to the Lemon Island Bridge where they met the others and boarded the boat.

When the group arrived at the house party on Paukie Island, witnesses stated that the group had already been drinking. The party was at the home of Kristy and James Wood, who were present during the party. The three couples stayed at the party for about five hours, drinking the alcohol that they had brought with them.

Several adults at the party, including Mallory Beach’s boyfriend Anthony Cook who was the oldest in the group - urged them to get an Uber due to the amount of alcohol they’d consumed. One member of the group said that everyone at the party was talking about how they shouldn’t be driving the boat back in their condition. The adults that were present at the party did not provide alcohol to Paul or his friends.

When the group left the party, Paul was adamant about driving the boat, even though he was heavily intoxicated.

Paul then decided that he wanted to stop at Luther’s Rare and Well Done, a bar in downtown Beaufort, to get another shot. So he drove the boat to the Beaufort Waterfront, with only a flashlight lighting the way.

While at Luthers, Paul and Connor each bought two rounds of shots - a Lemon Drop and one “Cup” of Jägermeister. Paul began to get belligerent, becoming what his friends referred to as his drunk alter ego “Timmy.” His eyes got wide, and he began to do erratic movements with his arms, almost getting into a fight with another patron and starting throwing chairs. After being in the bar for only about 10 minutes, the pair left and got back on the boat with the others.

The boat left downtown Beaufort around 1am eastern time with Paul at the helm. Paul was still in “Timmy” mode, and it was obvious to his friends that he shouldn’t be driving. Paul started off driving the boat very slowly, almost too slow. He then began taking his clothes off and acting strange, like he was on drugs or something. Paul would be driving the boat, then leave the wheel to walk to the front of the boat to yell at Morgan, while Connor would take over the wheel. This happened about three times.

By this time, tensions were getting high among the group - four members of the group had not wanted to stop in Beaufort and just wanted to go home. Paul’s erratic driving, sometimes even driving in circles, and his belligerent behavior irritated the group. They were all trying to talk Paul into letting Anthony drive, but Paul said no.

Mallory told Anthony that she was scared and Paul told her to shut up which got Anthony angry with Paul, and the two began arguing. Paul then walked up to the front of the boat and pushed, spit on and slapped Morgan, his girlfriend, in the face. Mallory and Anthony had enough of it, and Mallory yelled at Paul to STOP.

Paul turned and pointed at Mallory, about to tell her something, when Anthony told him “not to make that mistake.” Paul turned around and walked back to the wheel. Paul then accelerated the boat rapidly, entering Archer’s Creek.

Anthony was sitting on the bottom of the boat, holding Mallory in his lap, trying to comfort her. Just seconds later, a little after 2am, the boat struck a piling near Archer’s Creek Bridge, just outside of Parris Island. All six passengers were flung into the dark, cold water. Each member of the group surfaced and crawled their way out of the water….all except for Mallory. One of the friends jumped back in the water, trying desperately to find Mallory to no avail. Another person called 911 while the others tended to their wounds on the shoreline:

[911 CALL, FEBRUARY 24, 2019]


Dispatcher

911 Where's your emergency? Hello? Police, fire or ambulance? Hello?


Unknown Male

We're in a boat crash on Archer's Creek.


Dispatcher

Where, whereabouts on Archer's Street?


Unknown Male

On Archer's Creek, the only bridge on Archer's Creek.


Dispatcher

Archer's Street?


Unknown Male

Archer's Creek.


Dispatcher

Archer's Creek. Archer's Creek...


Unknown Male

(Inaudable)



[Host]

Authorities were called to the scene of the crash and began their search for Mallory. Each member of the group was described by law enforcement as being “grossly intoxicated.” Two of the responding deputies had ties to the Murdaugh family’s law firm. Media reports state that Paul was not given a breathalyzer test because his father and uncle arrived at the hospital and prevented it, however blood was taken from him when he arrived at the hospital.

Mallory’s body was found 7 days later by two boaters, five miles from the crash site. The cause of her death was blunt force trauma and drowning.

Mallory’s father Philip Beach, had this to say about Mallory’s sudden death:


[ABC NEWS SEGMENT: PHILIP BEACH]


Philip Beach

"There's moments that we have that things remind us of Mallory...and we break down at times, like that's normal, that's part of the grieving process. I never knew nothing like, I never knew what it would be like to go through something like this."


[Host]

On April 18th, 2019 - ironically the day that Mallory would’ve turned 20 years old - Paul Murdaugh was charged with one count of boating under the influence causing death and two counts of boating under the influence causing great bodily harm. In May of 2019, he pled not guilty to all charges and was released on bond awaiting trial. His case was being tried by South Carolina attorney general Alan Wilson. If he was convicted and found guilty of all charges, Paul faced up to 40 years in prison.


Following the crash, the Murdaugh family, with their political and law connections, was thrust into the spotlight. The crash dominated headlines for months throughout the state of South Carolina. Critics questioned whether Paul had received preferential treatment due to his family’s influence in the region.

Alex Murdaugh was not excluded from that spotlight...sources confirmed to Fitsnews.com that there was “an open inquiry into the fallout from the boat crash … (one) which involves Alex Murdaugh and possibly other members of his powerful family.”

As an example of how deep the Murdaugh’s ties to the judiciary run, when a civil lawsuit was filed in Hampton County by Mallory’s mother Renee Beach in March of 2019 in relation to the boat crash, the judge that it was assigned to recused himself and passed the case to another jurist, who also recused herself. The state Supreme Court ultimately gave it to a judge from York County, on the other end of the state.

The civil case accuses Parker’s 55 Gas Station in Ridgeland, S.C. of selling alcohol to Paul Murdaugh, who was underage, in the early evening hours of Feb. 23, 2019. Witness statements have alleged that Paul used a fake ID that should’ve been flagged by the cashier before the transaction but passed due to poor training by Parker’s Corporation. The lawsuit frames up Parker’s as an enabler - that if they wouldn’t have illegally sold the alcohol to Paul, the crash likely would’ve never occurred. The lawsuit also names Kristy and James Wood for enabling the teenagers and that they should’ve known they were underage and taken action to protect the inebriated teens from driving or boating that evening.

Renee was also seeking damages from Randolph Murdaugh III (Alex’s father), “Buster” Paul’s brother, as well as from Paul’s father Alex Murdaugh, alleging that both of them facilitated his underage drinking and Buster allowed Paul to use his ID to purchase alcohol the day of the crash.

The civil suit followed shortly after Alex Murdaugh had settled another wrongful death claim. On February 26, 2018, 57-year-old Gloria Satterfield, died as a result of a “trip and fall” accident in Hampton County. Court documents didn’t exactly state where Gloria had died. Her family settled the lawsuit with Alex Murdaugh for $505,000, with $177,500 of that going to the law firm Moss, Kuhn & Fleming.

Gloria’s obituary stated that she “loved Alex and Maggie Murdaugh and their family."

With the impending trial for Paul on the horizon, things were not going well for the Murdaughs...but nothing could have prepared them for what would happen next.

On the night of June 7, 2021, 52 year old Maggie and 22 year old Paul were at their hunting lodge in Islandton. Alex Murdaugh had left to take his elderly father to the hospital and then was going to check on his mother before returning to the lodge. By the time Alex got home, it was just after 10pm. He walked towards the lodge when he came upon a horrific scene. Maggie and Paul’s bodies were lying on the ground...and both had been shot multiple times. Alex called 911 at 10:07pm to report his wife and son had been shot.

[ABC NEWS SEGMENT]


News Anchor, Robin Roberts

A mystery in South Carolina where a mother and son from a prominent family were found dead. Eva Pilgrim is there in South Carolina with the latest.


Field Reporter, Eva Pilgrim

Robin this is where the murder happened. The Murdaugh property is remote, it spans hundreds of acres. And the feeling in the community, whoever killed the Murdaughs didn't end up here by accident, or randomly.


Double murder mystery. This morning investigators trying to find who killed two members of one of South Carolina's most prominent legal families.


22 year old Paul Murdaugh and his 56 year old mother Maggie found shot to death near the dog kennels outside the family's hunting lodge last week. County investigators turning the case over to state law enforcement. Paul Murdaugh had been awaiting trial, accused of being under the influence in 2019 while crashing a boat, killing 19 year old passenger Mallory Beach. Murdaugh had pleaded not guilty in the case.


[Host]

After Alex called 911, he called his brother John Marvin Murdaugh, telling him to ‘Come as fast as you can. Paul and Maggie have been hurt.’

Upon receiving the 911 dispatch, the Sheriff’s office arrived at the Murdaugh residence. Sgt Daniel Green wrote the initial report at the scene, and he called for backup upon arrival. Additional officers began arriving at 10:25pm and at least 11 officers from the Sheriff’s office were on scene.

SLED, the State Law Enforcement Division, was contacted at 10:28pm to assist with the investigation. SLED Lowcountry Regional agents arrived at 11:47pm and began immediately working with deputies to evaluate the scene and take the lead on the investigation.

SLED crime scene agents then arrived at 12:07 a.m., and worked through the night and early morning of June 8th, collecting evidence at the property. Adding to the difficulty, it began raining that night, causing investigators to use tents to preserve the evidence surrounding the bodies.

The shootings occurred sometime between 9:00 and 9:30pm that Monday night. Paul’s cell phone was located near his body at the scene, but Maggie’s cellphone wasn’t found. Interestingly, the next day on June 8th, a family member used their phone to “ping” Maggie’s cellphone, locating it on his digital phone map and found the cellphone on the road just outside the property.

Since the murders occurred, SLED has released very little information on the investigation. What we do know is that Maggie and Paul were both shot multiple times and possibly - although not confirmed by SLED or the medical examiner - with two different firearms: a shotgun and a military-style rifle. The police have not publicly stated if any weapons were found at the scene. According to the source The State newspaper, Alex allegedly told police that he found Paul’s body lying on the ground more than 100 yards from the main house. His body was severely disfigured from shotgun blasts. A distance away from Paul was Maggie’s body, also riddled with shots.

Although we have limited information on the actual murder investigation, there are a couple interesting things to note. Authorities have said that there is “no immediate threat or danger to the public,” even though the perpetrators are still on the loose, and authorities or SLED haven’t asked the public for any assistance in identifying the suspects.

Public interest in the Murdaugh murders has been rampant as well as theories and speculations about who the killers might be, as well as why Maggie and Paul would’ve been targeted. Theories include that Paul was “targeted” and murdered in some kind of vigilante vengeance due to his role in the February 2019 boat crash.

Each of the boat crash survivors, including Mallory Beach’s family members, have all submitted to voluntary questioning by authorities in reference to the murders. All of them have agreed to provide DNA samples “for the purpose of exclusion.”

Due to his connection with the Murdaugh family, solicitor Duffie Stone has recused himself from the boat crash investigation, but has not yet recused himself from the murders.

The attorney for the Murdaugh family said that the boat crash investigation is ongoing because the attorney general’s office doesn’t want to open the investigative file on the boat crash to disclosure because there may be information related to the murder investigation. Although the investigation into the crash is ongoing, the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office said in light of Paul’s death, the charges against him would be dropped.

Other focus has been on Alex Murdaugh, as he wasn’t present when the murders occurred and was the first to the scene. Alex was initially named by law enforcement as a “person of interest,” however, he has a solid alibi and is cooperating fully in the investigation.

Investigators have pulled phone records, computer records, vehicular GPS data among other forensic information.

The Post and Courier paper has filed lawsuits against the Colleton County Sheriff’s office and SLED accusing the two agencies of violating the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act by not releasing public information on the case. In June the State Law Enforcement Division released 18 pages of supplemental reports which included eight pages that were almost entirely redacted. The reports redacted where Maggie and Paul’s bodies were found and also redacted information pertaining to the number of shell casings that were found at the crime scene. Attorney Edward Fenno, who represents The Post and Courier, stated that ultimately “it’s up to the judge to make the decision on whether the Sheriff’s office and SLED have been too heavy-handed in blacking out portions of the reports.”

As of the date of this podcast, June 30, 2021, (also say July 1, 2021) no arrests have been made for the two murders, and investigators are keeping a tight lid on possible leads or evidence they’ve discovered in the case in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation, and SLED has declined to officially exclude anyone as a suspect at this point.

The murders have also prompted police to open up an inquiry into another death, a case that occurred six years prior. At 3:57:43 a.m on July 8, 2015, a man called 911 to report a while male lying in the middle of Sandy Run Road. South Carolina Highway Patrol officers were dispatched to the scene and officers arrived just before 5am to find 19 year old Stephen Smith dead in the middle of Sandy Run Road, about 10 miles from the Murdaugh home.

Stephen Smith was an openly gay teen who lived in the small town of Hampton, South Carolina. Stephen attended high school with the Murdaugh boys and shared many of the same friends. Stephen and Buster Murdaugh were both on a team that was coached by Buster’s father, Alex.

When officers arrived on Sandy Run Road the morning of July 8th, they found Stephen sprawled out in the middle of the road with head trauma. His car was three miles down the road and no other vehicle or individuals were present. His car doors were locked, the car was out of gas, and the gas cap was open. The vehicle was in “Park”, and the battery was functional but the vehicle would not start. Inside of the car were Stephen’s wallet. His car key was found in his front left pocket, and his cellphone was found in the pocket of his pants.

Per the incident report, the officers at the scene initially thought Stephen was dead from a gunshot wound, due to his head trauma. The pathologist ruled the death as a hit and run, but Stephen’s mother Sandra Smith had always questioned how that was determined as it didn’t match the scenario of what could’ve happened. Investigators began questioning whether or not Stephen’s injuries were more consistent with a homicide, and not a hit and run. A South Carolina Department of Public Safety Incident Report indicated that there was "no evidence to suggest the victim was struck by a vehicle.”

An autopsy was conducted the day of his death by Medical University of South Carolina Pathologist Dr. Erin Presnell. Dr. Presnell concluded that Stephen was struck by a car, stating that the evidence was consistent with a hit-and-run only "because he was found in the road.” That was literally the only evidence she stated of why it would’ve been a hit and run. Former South Carolina Highway Patrol Detective Todd Proctor, the investigator who was at the scene, questioned Presnell as to the possibility of someone striking Stephen with a baseball bat in a moving car, Presnell stated, "well I guess it's possible” asking the detective if they found a bat as evidence. Then she added that it was "his job to find out what struck him, not hers."

The Hampton County Coroner’s office conducted the autopsy on Stephen, and listed minor cuts to the inside of his left arm, cuts and bruises on his right hand and cuts on his fingers, and 12, 3 inch irregular to angulated abrasions on his right arm. He had a 7.25 inch gaping hole in his skull above his right eye and his right arm had cuts on it, including a 6 inch irregular cut on the inside of his arm and his right shoulder was partially dislocated.

Stephen’s clothes were still on, including his shoes.

Stephen’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, and it was stated that the trauma most likely occurred from a mirror on a passing vehicle - the make and the model of the vehicle were unknown. Investigators believe that Stephen was on his way home from college when he ran out of gas about five miles from his house, was struck by a passing vehicle, possibly a truck, that side-swiped Stephen as he was walking down the road.

In an interview in 2015, Stephen’s mother said that Stephen always had car troubles, and recalled a night that Stephen ran out of gas and called his sister for help. She said “he called his sister one night he ran out of gas and he hid in the woods and would not come out until he was sure it was her. We know for a fact it was not a hit and run. Stephen would not have been in the roadway.” Stephen’s mother Sandra believes that her son was killed at another location and that his body was placed on the road.

Another interesting item was that Stephen’s black Nike shirt that he was wearing that night was tested and they found blue chips of paint on it. Sandra Smith was told by investigators that the blue paint was from either an industry tool or a Toyota. The Murdaugh’s had a dune buggy or a mule that had the same color - now whether that was Sandra’s own observation or what an investigator told her hasn’t been confirmed.

In an interview with Inside Edition, Stephen’s twin sister Stephanie Smith said that the last time she saw her brother he was having car issues again. He’d called her because his car wouldn’t start and she had to help him jump start it. She did remember Stephen acting on edge and she felt he thought he was being followed.

Stephen’s cell phone was also confiscated by SLED. An FBI agent, Tiffany Baker, wanted to pull information from Stephen’s cellphone, and the FBI also wanted a rape kit done and a gunshot residue test on Stephen, but SLED did not allow it.

No arrests have been made in that case, but there were multiple persons of interest. SLED took over the investigation of the case on June 22, 2021 because of the connection to the Murdaugh murders. On December 7, 2015 detectives received an anonymous email tip stating that a person by the name of “Dontereo Aiken” along with another black male and a white male [Murdaugh] were involved in the death of Stephen Smith. Although The Murdaugh name was mentioned over 40 times throughout the course of the investigation, neither Buster and Paul were named as suspects and they were never charged.

Sandra Smith has stated that she does not suspect Buster is related to her son’s death at all, that Buster was a nice kid.

The family of Stephen Smith told police that they were contacted by Randy Murdaugh who was actually the second person to call’s Stephen’s father after the coroner on the day of Stephen’s death. Randy said that he would take Stephen’s case free of charge, but the family was skeptical of the offer and thought it was odd.

By the end of 2016, the case went cold with no further leads. Sandra Smith is hopeful now that Stephen’s case is being reopened by SLED due to new developments:

[ABC NEWS4 NEWS SEGMENT FEATURING SANDRA SMITH]


ABC News Anchor

Dean, Stephen's mother Sandra told me agents visited her home yesterday afternoon. They told her that SLED was reopening her son's case in connection with the double homicide of the Murdaugh family earlier this month. Smith's case is now with SLED Midlands and out of the hands of SLED Lowcountry. It's something she's been fighting for for years, to find her son's killer.


Sandra Smith

I was ecstatic, very ecstatic. Been waiting on this for six years. It's not going to bring Stephen back, but I will have a peace of mind, to know whoever did this is going to pay.


[Host]

Whether the 2019 boat crash or the 2015 mysterious death of Stephen’s Smith has any connection to the murders of Maggie or Paul is unknown at this point. Authorities have stated that they do believe Paul was the possible intended target that night and that Maggie was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On June 17th 2021 two of Paul’s uncles, Randolph “Randy” Murdaugh IV and John Marvin Murdaugh appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and they had this to say about their murders and if they knew of anyone that would want to harm Paul:

[ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA FEATURING RANDOLPH MURDAUGH IV AND JOHN MURDAUGH]

Randolph Murdaugh IV

Well the person that did this is out there, there's information, however big or however small it is.


Field Reporter

Did they have any enemies?

Randolph Murdaugh IV

I really don't know of any enemies, you hear all this talk on the social media with regards to Paul, but I don't know of anybody

John Murdaugh

No...


Randolph Murdaugh IV

...that would truly be, that would truly be an enemy or truly want to harm them.

Field Reporter

The Murdaughs telling us Paul had been receiving threats from strangers, people they say, they didn't know. Were they violent threats?

John Murdaugh

I didn't think it was a credible threat, if it was I would've tried to do something or notify someone, but I guess maybe I made a mistake.

[Host]

SLED, who is leading the investigation, has set up a tip line which it plans to operate 24/7. If you have any information on this case, the tip line number is 803-896-2605.

On June 25th, 2021 Alex Murdaugh and his son Buster announced a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.


In a statement released to the press on June 25th, Alex stated: “I want to thank everyone for the incredible love and support that we have received over the last few weeks. Now is the time to bring justice for Maggie and Paul. Buster and I, along with Maggie’s mother, father and our entire family, ask that anyone with helpful information immediately call the SLED tip line or Crime Stoppers.”

To be eligible for the reward, which will be administered through the law firm of Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick, the tip must be called into SLED’s tip line that I mentioned previously - once again that number is 803-896-2605 and the tip(s) must be received by Sept. 30th. The total reward will be allocated equally among all individuals who provide information that leads to the conviction of the killers.

The autopsies for Maggie and Paul Murdaugh are estimated to take approximately six weeks.

The funerals for Maggie and Paul were held on June 11th and hundreds were in attendance. The service for Randolph Murdaugh III was held on June 13th - all three Murdaughs were buried at the Hampton Cemetery in Hampton, South Carolina. A judge who spoke at the funeral for Randolph had this to say: “There is probably not a single person whose life has not been influenced by Randolph Murdaugh.

Through their attorney, the Beach family released this statement: “Having suffered the devastating loss of their own daughter, the family prays that the Murdaughs can find some level of peace from this tragic loss...it is their most sincere hope that someone will come forward and cooperate with authorities so that the perpetrator of these senseless crimes can be brought to justice.”

There’s a lot to unpack in this case and it seems to get more convoluted with each new piece of information. As investigators try to put the pieces of this puzzle together, we are hopeful that the investigation will lead to the arrest of a suspect or suspects in the murders. In the event that arrests are made, I’ll be sure to provide an update on the case in my podcast. In the meantime, I’ll reiterate what I stated in my opening...everything is not always what it seems, and I think in the case of the Murdaughs, we may even be surprised at the outcome.


[Ambient Segment Music Ends; Outro Music Begins]


[Host]

Thank you for listening - please check out our website at thecrimeshack.com where you can find links to ALL our social media platforms. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, the only platform where I do giveaways for cool stuff! Did you know I’m also on TikTok where I do 1 minute mini-crime stories? Check out my profile at @shellzcrimeshack!


[Outro Music Ends]

 

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