The convoluted stories surrounding the Murdaughs, a prominent South Carolina family, have taken strange twists and turns involving homicide, a fatal boating accident and a botched suicide attempt — all since early June.
If you’ve been keeping up, but think you have missed something, or if you’re totally new to the whole shebang, we have you covered with a timeline compiled from various news sources over the last few months.
June 7: Bodies of Margaret and her son Paul Murdagh found dead.
Agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) responded to a 911 call late at night, finding thee two bodies on their 1,770-acre property where the family had a hunting lodge. Source: The Island Packet and Associated Press.
June 10: Randolph Murdaugh, family patriarch dies.
Tragedy struck the family a second time days after the double homicide when patriarch and well-known local prosecutor Randolph Murdaugh III, 81, died, reportedly of natural causes. Source: Bluffton Today/Augusta Chronicle
June 22: SLED announces investigation into death of Stephen Smith.
SLED opened an investigation in the the death of Stephen Smith based on information gleaned during the course of the investigation into the double homicide of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh. Source: Bluffton Today/Augusta Chronicle
July 7: Investigations reopen into civil conspiracy possibly connecting law enforcement and Murdaugh family after a fatal boat crash in 2019.
Paul Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to charges of one count of boating under the influence and two counts of causing great bodily injury in 2019. 19-year-old Mallory Beach’s body was found a week after the accident. Paul Murdaugh was released on a $50,000, leading to near immediate claims of a cover-up or missteps.
Aug. 15: 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone recuses himself from homicide case.
Solicitor Isaac “Duffie” Stone III — the chief prosecutor who succeeded the late Randolph Murdaugh III — officially stepped away from the Murdaugh double homicide case. Source: USA Today/Bluffton Today
Sept. 4: Alex Murdaugh shot while changing a tire, family attorney says.
News broke nearly two months later that Alex Murdaugh, brother of Paul, was shot in the head in Hampton County. He survived after being airlifted to a hospital, prompting an investigation into what SLED officials believed was an “attempted murder.”
SLED officials listed the injury as “superficial” despite there being a clear entry and exit wound, a skull fracture and minor brain bleeding in two locations. Police believe the report to have been a mistake.
Sept. 7: Alex Murdaugh’s law firm reports missing $1M.
According to The New York Times, sources said Alex Murdaugh was confronted regarding a missing $1 million from his law firm the day before he was shot. His license to practice law was temporarily suspended by the state Supreme Court Sept. 8. Less than a week later, SLED opened an investigation into allegations that Alex stole the funds. Read more: The State, USA Today/Bluffton Today
Sept. 15: Suspected shooting turns into “assisted suicide” incident
Authorities alleged Alex Murdaugh attempted to arrange his own shooting death in order for his surviving son to get $10 million in life insurance money. SLED agents arrested Curtis Edward Smith, the man allegedly hired to kill Alex Murdaugh, and charged him with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
Additional charges involving the case are expected to come as the investigation continues, according to law enforcement officials.
Sept. 15: Investigation into death of Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield reopened.
The death of the Murdaugh family housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, in 2018 sparked a criminal investigation and civil suit against the parties allegedly involved, including Alex Murdaugh.
Sept. 16: Alex Murdaugh turns himself in, granted $20,000 bond.
Alex Murdaugh was arrested in Hampton County, according to State Police around noon after turning himself in. He was charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report and was granted a $20,000 bond.
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