Sunday, September 5, 2021

The Murdaugh Family Mystery

 

Maggie & Paul Murdaugh

Maggie Murdaugh (52) and her son Paul Murdaugh (22) were found shot to death inside their family's estate in Colleton County, South Carolina on June 7th, 2021. Their bodies were discovered that evening shortly after 10 PM by Alex Murdaugh--Maggie's husband and Paul's father. Alex told police that he found his wife and son after returning from visiting his dying father in the hospital. No arrests have been made in the case, nor have any suspects been publicly named

The Murdaugh's are a wealthy and well-known family in South Carolina's Lowcountry. There are three generations of state prosecutors in the family, and they are believed to have political connections and strong influences in their community. It's very possible that their status and history of prosecuting many people have made the Murdaugh family a target for revenge. However, the only named person of interest in the case so far is Alex Murdaugh. Alex and Maggie were rumored to have been struggling with marital issues before the shootings. Investigators have obtained digital communication records between Alex and Maggie, but they have not revealed their findings. Despite being named a person of interest, Alex has NOT been named as a suspect. Alex's alibi has appeared to hold up--as it was confirmed that he was visiting his father on the day of the shootings. His father died just three days later.

Another theory that is being investigated is that the murders of Maggie and Paul are connected to Paul's pending legal troubles. At the time of his death, Paul was awaiting trial for charges connected to a February 2019 boat crash that resulted in the death of 19 year-old Mallory Beach. Paul is believed to have been driving the Triton boat while under the influence of alcohol when it crashed into a piling below a bridge on Parris Island. Nearly two months after the crash, Paul was indicted on one count of boating under the influence causing death, and two counts of boating under the influence causing great bodily injury. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Mallory Beach

Paul never had his day in court, as he was killed before the trial began. Two months after his death, the charges stemming from the boat crash were dropped. However, many believed that the Murdaugh's influential power would have allowed Paul to walk free from any consequences regardless. It has been inevitably questioned whether or not this was a motive in his murder. The events surrounding both the crash and the murders of Paul and Maggie have left many lingering questions, further deepening this mystery.

--CONTINUED STORY:

The boat crash occurred during the early morning hours of February 24th, 2019. On the evening of the 23rd, Paul met up with his friends Anthony Cook, Connor Cook, Morgan Doughty, Miley Altman, and Mallory Beach at his house. Paul then drove the group by boat to an oyster roast at the home of Crystal Cook in Hampton County. The group of kids were all under 21 years-old at the time, however they were reportedly drinking throughout the night. 

Anthony Cook, Connor Cook, Mallory Beach, Miley Altman

The group left the oyster roast shortly after midnight to go to bars on the Beaufort waterfront. Paul used his older brother's ID in order to be served alcohol at the bars. As the night continued on, Paul was reportedly getting more and more intoxicated and belligerent. Noticing his drunken state, Paul's friends suggested that somebody else drive the boat back, or that they take an Uber. Paul reportedly insisted on driving the boat, and he and his friends left the Beaufort waterfront shortly after 1 AM. 




Paul reportedly continued to act belligerently on the boat ride back. He got into a verbal altercation with Morgan Doughty, which resulted in him hitting her and spitting on her. He also reportedly argued with both Mallory Beach and Anthony Cook, who was Mallory's boyfriend at the time. At some point, Paul reportedly hit the throttle, causing the boat to go from 2 MPH to a high rate of speed.

According to testimony from Anthony Cook, once the boat accelerated, several of them were thrown to the back of the boat. Seconds later, the boat ran into the piling, causing Paul, Anthony, and Mallory to be thrown into the water. Paul and Anthony were able to swim to the shore, while Mallory never resurfaced. Her body was found seven days later. 

Although Paul was later charged for his involvement in the boat crash, many have speculated that law enforcement did not properly investigate. In fact, an attorney for one of the surviving passengers has called for the questioning of the responding officers about "a possible effort to shift blame away from Murdaugh, a member of a powerful Lowcountry family." These allegations came about after a recording revealed that Anthony Cook told a responding officer that Paul was the one driving the boat at the time of the crash--but the officer wrote in his notes that Anthony was not sure who was driving. 

It was also revealed that a few of the responding officers were represented by Murdaugh's law firm in previous unrelated cases. This has led many to question if these officers felt a sense of loyalty to the Murdaugh family. The officers in question have denied this, stating that they did, eventually, charge Paul for his involvement in the boat crash. 

Paul was bonded out very shortly after his arrest, and he remained out on bond as he awaited trial. As previously stated, both Paul and his mother Maggie were killed before the trial began. It's been theorized that Paul was the intended target in the June 7th shootings, and that Maggie was killed simply by 'happenstance'. Reports state that Paul and Maggie were killed by different weapons. An article from the Island Packet states that Paul "was shot in the head and upper body with a shotgun, while Maggie Murdaugh, 52, was killed with what appears to be an assault rifle." The theory about Paul being the intended target has not been confirmed. The investigation is still ongoing.

It is also possible that the murders of Paul and Maggie were completely unrelated to the 2019 boat crash. As previously noted, Alex Murdaugh was named as a potential person of interest. Still, he has not been formally named as a suspect--nor has anyone. The murder case remains unsolved. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please go here to submit an anonymous tip. 
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UPDATE (September 2021): Just months after the shooting deaths of his wife and son, Alex Murdaugh was also shot on September 3rd, 2021. The shooting occurred while Alex was changing a tire on the side of a rural road in South Carolina. He was reportedly shot in the head, however he was able to call his brother after the shooting to explain that "the shots came from a truck that initially passed him as he worked on his vehicle and then circled back and opened fire." Shortly thereafter, Alex was airlifted to a hospital in Charleston--where he is expected to make a full recovery.

As of now, no arrests have been made for this shooting. Authorities are investigating whether or not this shooting is related to the murders of Maggie and Paul.

2 comments:

  1. And where was the older brother 'Buster' during all these happenings?

    ReplyDelete
  2. So in summary, the death of his wife and son are very convenient for Alex.... Not a bit odd that he survives a shot to the head? Are we really suppose to believe this? All smoke and mirrors for a family who seems to have gotten away with at least two suspicious deaths......... now up to four...

    ReplyDelete

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