One year later: Still no arrest in Murdaugh murders
COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – It has been one year since a mother and her son were found shot to death at a property in Colleton County, South Carolina, and still no arrests have been made, no suspects identified.
The bodies of Paul Murdaugh, 22, and Margaret Murdaugh, 52, were discovered by father and husband Alex Murdaugh near dog kennels at a property off Moselle Road on the night of June 7, 2021.
“I need the police and an ambulance immediately. My wife and child have been shot badly,” Alex can be heard telling a 911 dispatcher that night, audibly shaken.
With the sound of dogs barking in the background, he described the scene, telling dispatchers his wife and son were on the ground no longer moving or breathing. “I’ve been up to it now, it’s bad,” he said, repeatedly asking for law enforcement to hurry.
Autopsy results revealed the two had been shot multiple times, but little additional information about what happened that night has been released.
While his own attorneys have admitted that Alex is considered a person of interest in the double homicide, the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has provided no insight into other parties who may be involved, nor have they offered additional information on what might have led to the shootings.
Following the shooting, Alex and his eldest son, Buster, announced they were offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. It came shortly after SLED unveiled a dedicated tip line.
“I want to thank everyone for the incredible love and support that we have received over the last few weeks,” said Alex in the announcement. “Now is the time to bring justice for Maggie and Paul.”
At the time of the killings, Paul had been awaiting trial on three felony charges related to the 2019 boat crash that left 19-year-old Mallory Beach dead. Documents and witness accounts allege the youngest of the Murdaugh sons was intoxicated and driving erratically with multiple people on board when he drove the boat into a piling near the Archer’s Creek bridge in Beaufort County, throwing multiple passengers into the water. Beach’s body was found a week later.
Paul previously pleaded ‘not guilty’ to Beach’s death in May 2019 and did not spend any time in jail. The South Carolina Attorney General’s office announced in August that charges against Paul were dropped just weeks after his death, but said an investigation into the deadly boating crash would remain open.
Several other passengers have since brought suits against Alex Murdaugh in connection to his alleged actions before and after the crash, just one thread in an ever-growing web of corruption that has been unraveling since Paul and Margaret’s murders.
On September 4, 2021, Alex was found shot along a rural Hampton County road. He claimed that he was attempting to change a flat tire on his SUV when someone drove by and shot him, but it was later revealed that he orchestrated his own shooting along with an accomplice, longtime acquaintance Curtis Smith, so that Buster could collect a $10 million life insurance policy.
Murdaugh later resigned from his family’s law firm after it was discovered that he misappropriated millions of dollars in funds, and his license to practice law in the state was suspended by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
While in jail on charges connected to the botched suicide attempt, more suspicious elements of Alex’s past came under new scrutiny.
Alex is in some way connected to investigations into at least five untimely deaths, including those of Beach, Paul, and Margaret.
The 2015 death of Stephen Smith, who was found along a rural Hampton County highway with a traumatic head injury, was attributed to him being hit by a car. But investigators in the case were skeptical, and evidence at the scene allegedly did not provide strong support for the theory.
The 2018 death of the Murdaugh family’s longtime housekeeper – Gloria Satterfield – after she allegedly tripped and fell down the stairs at their home turned out to be the key to Pandora’s Box, unlocking years worth of Alex’s financial crimes.
After Satterfield’s death, Alex told her sons to sue him for death settlement money. He set them up with his longtime friend Cory Fleming as their legal representation. Alex then funneled over $4 million that was awarded to the Satterfield Estate into his own accounts, a practice that had apparently been commonplace for him.
Since the family was thrust into the spotlight with the brutal murders of Paul and Margaret in June of 2021, Alex has been indicted on 79 charges for schemes to defraud victims of over $8 million. He is currently being held in a Richland County jail.