It looks like someone took an inventory of the sordid elements and stuffed them all into a crime thriller so that it was only fictional.
But the insidious story of the Murdoffs, a prominent South Carolina family with shadowy secrets, is real. And it is far from over.
The story took a new turn this week when investigators arrested Patriarch Alex Murdaugh for allegedly hiring a hit man to kill him in a failed attempt to collect millions in life insurance for his surviving son, Buster. took. It came three months after Murdaugh’s wife and other sons were shot at the family’s secluded property.
These events prompted authorities to launch an investigation into several other mysterious deaths – dating back years – with apparent ties to Murdoff.
Now the legacy of the family’s influence is crumbling and the countryside around the Hampton, about 75 miles west of Charleston, is buzzing with principles. The emerging saga has inspired at least one podcast and captivated amateur investigators across the state and country.
The mystery is actually a tangled web of characters and events. To uncover all this, we have to go back at least six years.
Family history of power and connections
The Murdoffs have long been a powerful legal dynasty in this part of the Carolina Lowcountry, a quiet stretch of farms, woods, marshland, and small towns about 60 miles south of Charleston or even Hilton Head. The tourists feel away from the hustle and bustle.
Randolph Murdoff III – Alex Murdoff’s father – then replaced him and served through 2005, the family litigated in the area for 87 consecutive years.
But the prosecutor’s office is no longer running with the family, their ties are deep.
Murdoff, including Alex and his younger brother Randy, have long been partners in a regional law firm that has offices in three counties. They have focused mostly on personal injury litigation and have won great settlements for their clients.
a boat accident at midnight
Murdoff’s troubles began in February 2019, at least in the public eye.
Alex Murdaugh’s younger son Paul Murdog was piloting his father’s motorboat with five of his friends on the morning of February 24 when it collided with a bridge over Archer Creek near Paris Island. He was 19 at the time and a student at the University of South Carolina.
One of their passengers, Mallory Beach, also 19, was thrown from the boat. His body was found a week later.
911 was called from the crash site at around 2:30
Officers accused Paul Murdaugh of boating under the influence, causing great bodily harm and the death of Beach.
He pleaded not guilty and was still awaiting trial when tragedy struck the family again.
A mother and son murdered in family property
On June 7, emergency dispatchers in Coleton County received a 911 call from a distraught Alex Murdaugh.
He told them that he had arrived at the family’s 1,700-acre estate in Islandton, an unincorporated village, to find the bodies of his wife Maggie and son Paul lying on the ground by their dog kennel.
Maggie Murdaugh, 52, was shot multiple times with a semiautomatic rifle. Paul Murdog, 22, had been shot at least twice by then.
“And are they breathing?” asked the dispatcher.
“No ma’am,” said Murdoug.
Alex Murdoff, 53, has denied taking responsibility for the murders, which are still unsolved.
“My brother loved Maggie and loved Paul like nothing else on this earth…” Randy Murdoff told ABC News. “So there’s no possible way he could have anything to do with it, I can assure you.”
The murders brought the family into the national spotlight and have so far baffled the police.
They also brought in new investigations for the previous two deaths.
A mysterious body on a country road
In June, when investigators investigated the shooting deaths of Alex Murdog’s wife and son, they made a shocking announcement.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) said it was opening an investigation into the death of 19-year-old Stephen Smith, whose body was found on a rural road about 8 miles west of the Murdog Estate on July 8, 2015.
At the time, police said Smith had a major wound to the head and believed he may have been hit by a vehicle. None of the suspects were ever indicted.
Officials have not disclosed what new information they received to reopen the investigation into Smith’s death.
Smith and Buster Murdaugh, 25, were classmates at Wade Hampton High School.
Murdoff has not been charged with wrongdoing in his case, and no evidence has linked the family to Smith’s death.
The reopening of the investigation was long overdue, Sandy Smith said.
“We’ve been waiting on this forever,” she told the affiliate. “Stephen has always been put on the back burner. It’s like no one is looking for answers. Stephen had no justice.”
A Peculiar Roadside Shooting
Most of the summers passed uneventfully. Then, on September 4, the Murdog saga took another turn.
A spokesman for the family said the family was hopeful that Murdaugh would recover and demanded privacy, saying “the Murdog family has suffered more than any single family could have imagined.”
But a week later, Murdoff admitted to officers that he had conspired with the man—who police had identified as Curtis Edward Smith—to kill him as part of an insurance fraud scheme, a former Murdoff. was the customer.
Murdoff wanted to end his life, but believed his life insurance policy contained a suicide exclusion, said his lawyer, who said his client wanted to protect his only surviving child. The affidavit states that Murdaugh presented Smith with a shotgun and asked him to shoot him in the head.
Murdoff also announced that he had resigned from his law firm following allegations of misappropriation of funds, adding that he was entering rehab, which was later diagnosed by one of his lawyers as an opioid addiction. had specified.
“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life,” Murdoff said in a statement. “I’ve made a lot of decisions that I really regret.”
Then the mystery deepened.
Fatal Fall of a Homeowner
SLED said it is launching an investigation based on a request from the Hampton County coroner that uncovered discrepancies in the manner in which Satterfield died, as well as information gathered during other ongoing investigations involving Alex Murdog.
This week, Bland also filed a civil suit, alleging that Murdog offered the housekeeper’s two sons to sue him so they could settle their mother’s life insurance. Bland said Murdog then introduced the sons to a fellow attorney, to represent them at trial, without telling them that the lawyer was a close friend.
The lawsuit states that Satterfield’s sons received a partial settlement of $505,000, but to date has seen none of it.
Granthshala has contacted Murdaugh’s lawyers for comment.
And the twists and turns can be too far
Alex Murdaugh has been charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and filing a false police report. His law license has been suspended.
“It’s such a crazy state of events,” said Charleston attorney, Anastopolo. “Those who know him (Murdogs) are very surprised that this happened, because he is a respected lawyer.”
Murdo was arrested on Thursday and presented in court in handcuffs before being released on bond. The redhead, known to friends as “Big Red,” looked thinner and browner than in previous family snapshots. Once he was seen wiping tears from his eyes.
In a statement to Granthshala, his lawyers, Dick Harputlian and Jim Griffin, said his clients “are not without fault.” But he blamed his issues on an opioid addiction.
“These individuals took advantage of their addiction and their ability to pay substantial money for illegal drugs,” the lawyers said. “One of those men took advantage of his mental illness and agreed to kill Alex by shooting him in the head.”
Murdoff has announced a reward of $100,000 for leading to the arrest and conviction of the parties responsible for the deaths of his wife and son.
Meanwhile, criminal investigations are on on several fronts. Reporters are scouring the area for anyone who may have knowledge of Murdoff. And everyone wonders what’s coming next.
Credit : www.cnn.com