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Murdaugh Family Murders Explained What You Need to Know

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The story of the Murdaugh murders stems from a 100-year family legal dynasty in Hampton, South Carolina, which was owned by fourth-generation attorney Alex Murdaugh.

But what took a century to build collapsed in June 2021, when Alex called authorities after he shot and killed his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and his youngest son, Paul Murdaugh, at their 1,770-acre hunting lodge at 4147 Moselle Road. islandton, South Carolina.

These crimes sparked a series of family revelations, which HBO Max will unpack in the new true crime documentary, Low Countries: The Murdaugh Dynastyaired on Nov. 3.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Maggie Murdaugh via Facebook.

Who are the Murdaugh family?

The Murdaugh family began in South Carolina at the turn of the century and is leading attorneys in the state for decades. Starting with Alex Murdaugh’s great-grandfather, Randolph Murdaugh Sr., who started Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth & Detrick by 1910, generations of his family continued to work with the company, including his son, Randolph “Buster” Murdaugh II, grandson, Randolph Murdaugh III, and his great-great-grandsons Randolph “Randy” Murdaugh IV and Alex Murdaugh.

The company has been successful with personal injury cases using a South Carolina law that allows people to sue in any county and not where an incident occurred — often leading to favoritism and Hampton County on the run. 2004 list of “Judicial Hellholes”However, this made the Murdaugh group the “go-to” lawyers in the county.

Randolph Sr. also became the first elected attorney (or prosecutor) of the 14th Judicial Circuit (district) in 1920. Randolph Sr. held this position for 20 years until his death. His son, Randolph “Buster” Murdaugh II, was elected to the next position. He worked from 1940 to 1986, until his son Randolph Murdaugh III took over, from 1986 to 2006. Alex volunteered and worked part-time at the law firm after graduating from USC Law School in 1994 until 2021.

The Murdaugh family were lawyers in South Carolina for 86 years; leading criminal prosecutions for their district, and playing a key role in deciding which cases to prosecute (and when) from 1920 to 2006.

What happened to Paul and Maggie Murdaugh?

Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were shot and killed on June 7, 2021. Alex Murdaugh called 911 around 10 p.m. and claimed he had discovered the bodies. However, the coroner found that the two had died between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. NPRand they had been shot at with different weapons – Maggie with an assault rifle and Paul with a shotgun.

In October 2021, Alex was named as a stakeholder in the case, although his lawyer denied the allegations, saying he had no motive for the crimes, according to the report. People.

According to NBC Newssources close to the investigation said authorities have found video evidence from cell phones that places Alex at the crime scene.

On July 14, 2022, he was indicted by a grand jury in connection with the murders of Paul and Maggie. He was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of possession of weapons while committing a violent crime.

Alex Murdaugh’s lawyers maintain his innocence.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Maggie Murdaugh via Facebook.

What other crimes were discovered after the Murdaugh murders?

As investigators investigated the deaths of the mother and son, other unsolved crimes related to the Murdaugh family were uncovered.

Two years earlier his death, in February 2019, youngest son Paul, 22, had been involved in a boating accident that killed his friend, Mallory Beach, after being thrown from the boat. Although several witnesses said Paul had been driving the boat while he was drunk, according to a previous report NBC documentary on Peacockthe main evidence in the case had disappeared.

Paul was charged with boating once while drunk and twice for causing bodily harm, although people suggested he received special treatment thanks to his family’s legacy. He was released on bail and a date for his trial was never set. per people.

In addition, two weeks after the double homicides that occurred in June 2021, the state reopened an investigation into a 2015 case of a man, Stephen Smith, who was found dead by the side of the road.

While South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) did not disclose what evidence prompted them to reopen the case, per NPR, Murdaugh’s name kept popping up in connection with the case. Sources speculated that Buster Murdaugh, the eldest son of Alex Murdaugh who also worked at the family law firm, was in a relationship with Smith, according to the report. Daily mail.

In addition, although Smith’s death was considered a hit-and-run, he had a gunshot wound over his right eye and his injuries were inconsistent with those of vehicle trauma, according to the Daily Mail.

Buster has not been named as a person of interest in Smith’s death.

What happened to Gloria Satterfield?

In addition to Smith’s death, SLED began investigating another case involving the Murdaugh family. In 2018, the family’s housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, died after Maggie Murdaugh called 911, claiming that Satterfield had fallen down the stairs. It was noted that Paul was present during the conversation.

Satterfield was a longtime caretaker of the family, and according to sources in Discovery + documentary Murdaugh Murders: Deadly Dynastyshe had told several people that Paul would kill small animals and often disregarded authority.

Her cause of death remains unclear.

At the funeral, Alex approached Satterfield’s sons and said that since the accident happened on his property, he would charge himself with wrongful death so the boys can get some insurance money, according to The New York Times.

With all legalities handled by Alex, the sons were told to wait for a settlement.

Alex and his insurers reached a $4.3 million settlement in the months after Satterfield’s death, but the Satterfield family did not. see a dime.

Satterfield’s sons filed a lawsuit against Alex Murdaugh in September 2021, and SLED decided to exhume the body for autopsy in June 2022. WCSC in South Carolina. That same month, Alex agreed to pay the Satterfield family $4.3 million.

Where is the Murdaugh law firm now?

The alleged misappropriated funds in the wrongful death case exposed several other financial crimes, including Alex stealing millions from clients and his family law firm. The New York Times.

He was then forced out of the house by his partners in September 2021, just three months after the double murders. The firm changed its name to Parker Law Group, LLP in January 2021, according to: WOTC South Carolina.

Alex was also indefinitely fired from his South Carolina attorney’s office, and his name was removed from the firm once known as the “Murdaugh Law Firm.”

What happened to Alex Murdaugh?

The next day, after Alex was forced to leave the company, he was shot in the head while changing a tire on the side of the road. The shot caused only minor damage and he was able to call for help.

Days after he was shot, he entered a rehab facility for opioid addiction. It was there that he admitted to lawyers that he hired Curtis Eddie Smith to kill him so his son Buster could collect $10 million in insurance money.

On September 16, 2021, he turned himself in to Hampton County law enforcement in connection with the suicide-for-hire scam, per People.

Later, on October 14, 2021, Alex was arrested on charges of misusing millions of the Satterfield estate and obtaining property under false pretenses, per NPRand was hit with dozens of charges related to numerous financial crimes and deaths in the months that followed.

He was charged with murder on the deaths of his wife and son in July 2022.

Image Credit: Tracy Glantz/The Island Packet/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Where are the Murdaughs now?

Alex Murdaugh is currently in prison and will face trial in January for the murders of his son Paul and wife Maggie in June 2021. If convicted, he could face 30 years to life in prison without parole and could qualify for the death penalty, according to USA today.

Murdaugh faces a total of 90 charges, many of which include financial crimes such as stealing from the family law firm, money laundering through a drug gang, and committing insurance fraud.

As for the rest of the surviving Murdaugh family, eldest Son Buster was last reported to be “not doing well at all” since his father was arrested for the double murders, sources said. People in July 2022.

Despite previously working at his family’s law firm, Buster . seems no involvement with the renamed Parker Law Group.

Meanwhile, Alex’s brother Randy still works as a… practicing lawyer at now renamed Parker Law Firm. He denounced Alex’s actions, claiming he was not involved in mishandling company funds in a statement to: People in September 2021.

Randy is too Sue Alex for thousands of unpaid loans.

How much are the Murdaughs worth?

It’s unclear how much wealth the Murdaugh family once had, but several bills and properties were found to be worth millions.

When Murdaugh was held on a $7 million bond for 51 criminal charges, the court gave details of Murdaugh’s assets, including numerous real estate and even small islands, according to Greenville News.

In addition, the court found a retirement account valued between $2.1 and $2.2 million, and an IRA pension fund worth $350,000 to $400,000.

He would also receive a trust in an undisclosed amount upon the death of his father Randolph Murdaugh III in June 2021, plus estate assets after his wife’s death that same month.

In addition, the family hunting lodge where Paul and Maggie were murdered in February 2022 was listed for $3.9 million.

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