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A Southern Scandal: Everything You Need to Know About the Murdaugh Murders

The Murdaugh family has been notorious in South Carolina for decades, but now they are nationally known for their connection to multiple murders. The Netflix series “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandel” dives deep into their involvement with these deaths in Hampton, SC.

Alex Murdaugh, Morgan Doughty, Paul Murdaugh and Maggie Murdaugh. Image: Netflix

You have been living under a rock if you haven’t heard about the Murdaugh family by now.

The small-town southern family has been the topic of interest in true crime due to their connection with multiple murders. Not only has a docuseries been released on Netflix about their family entitled “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal,” but also, Alex Murdaugh’s trial just finished where he has been found guilty of murdering his wife and son.

Before we get into that, here is a breakdown of the family and their town of Hampton, SC.

The Murdaugh family has a 100-year-old legal dynasty in Hampton and are well-known in this “everybody knows everybody” community. Randolph Murdaugh, the great-grandfather of Alex, started the practice that has been growing ever since with Murdaugh’s men.

Alex Murdaugh has two sons, Richard “Buster” and Paul Murdaugh. Paul Murdaugh is the focus of the first episode of “Murdaugh Murders” because of his troubling past. This episode was a proper introduction to the family because it highlighted their power and thought process regarding the law. Safe to say, they all thought they were above it.

Paul Murdaugh’s 2019 Boat Crash

According to CBS, Paul Murdaugh was driving a boat with his five friends one night in 2019 when he crashed into a bridge. The docuseries has interviews with the friends on the boat with him that night, and they all said he had been drinking a lot and should not have been driving. The friends included Anthony Cook, Mallory Beach, Connor Cook, Miley Altman, and Morgan Doughty. Altman, Doughty, and Beach were all good friends and worked together in Hampton. Doughty is Paul’s ex-girlfriend and is also doing her best to keep Paul from driving, but unfortunately, she couldn’t even contain him.

Altman (right) and Beach (left) at their high school graduation. (Netflix)

The boat crashed head-first, which flung Anthony and Beach off of the boat.

Overview of where everyone was sitting when the boat crashed. (Netflix)

After the crash, everyone swam ashore except for Beach. She wasn’t found until more than a week later, downriver to where the boat initially crashed.

In the docuseries, the friends talk about how Paul reacted to the crash and how unsympathetic he was towards Beach. He first called his grandfather and his dad, Alex Murdaugh, to tell them that Connor was driving the boat when it crashed. They then came to his rescue and spoke to the cops.

Connor, who was initially blamed for driving the boat while intoxicated, said in the docuseries that he was scared for his life and didn’t know what the Murdaugh’s were going to do to him to be able to keep this narrative going. That’s how powerful they are!

You’re probably wondering how Alex Murdaugh is on trial right now after all this has happened with his son. Let me say it gets worse.

Alex Murdaugh’s Trial

Fast-forward to June 2021, Paul and his mother, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, were shot and killed on their property, “Moselle,” in Islandton, SC. Alex Murdaugh was on the property earlier in the day but texted his wife Maggie to tell her that he would see his parents, who don’t live far.

According to CBS, Alex Murdaugh admitted lying about his whereabouts because of an unsent Snapchat video on Paul Murdaugh’s phone. His voice is evident in the background, giving up his previous alibi of not being at the scene.

While police were under the impression that Alex found the bodies, they looked into other people that could have been responsible. They eventually went to the father Beach, who died in the boating accident with Paul, to which he said he was surprised it took them that long to reach out. Even though he had no involvement, he was skeptical as to why the police did not pin him to be the first suspect.

The police also looked at some of Paul’s friends, including ex-girlfriend Doughty.

“Do not overlook Alex Murdaugh,” said Doughty as she explained her encounter with the police in the second episode of the docuseries.

Alex Murdaugh pleaded not guilty in his trial and pushed the narrative that his son and wife were killed as a form of revenge for Paul’s 2019 boat crash, which took the life of Mallory Beach.  

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I am a senior journalism major Chinese minor at Texas Christian University. I have worked in student media since beginning my time at TCU and have since found my passion to be multimedia storytelling. I enjoy conducting extensive research for stories to make them as well-rounded as possible.

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