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US Murdaugh family killings: A timeline of murder and mystery in South Carolina

07:25  14 september  2021
07:25  14 september  2021 Source:   cnn.com

Alex Murdaugh, Member of Prominent South Carolina Legal Family Rocked by Murder, Has Been Shot in the Head

  Alex Murdaugh, Member of Prominent South Carolina Legal Family Rocked by Murder, Has Been Shot in the Head Richard Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh, a member of a prominent South Carolina legal family which was rocked by double murders this summer, was shot in the head on Saturday. The post Alex Murdaugh, Member of Prominent South Carolina Legal Family Rocked by Murder, Has Been Shot in the Head first appeared on Law & Crime.Richard Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh, a member of a prominent South Carolina legal family which was rocked by double murders this summer, was shot in the head on Saturday.  That’s according to reports from Charleston, S.C.

For 87 years, the Murdaugh family name came to represent a legal dynasty in coastal South Carolina , where three successive generations controlled the local prosecutor's office.

The mystery of the Murdaugh murders has exploded into a Netflix-ready Southern Gothic thriller that’s part Grisham, part Faulkner, with more than a dash of Capote’s “In Cold Blood.” The untouchable family ran the prosecutor’s offices in the five counties that make up the Lowcountry while also, incredibly, operating a powerhouse litigation firm, Peters, Murdaugh , Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, with tentacles in the highest echelons of the red state — despite being Democrats. The story also features an apparently deranged heir in Paul Murdaugh , who allegedly had a dangerous alter ego — called

For 87 years, the Murdaugh family name came to represent a legal dynasty in coastal South Carolina, where three successive generations controlled the local prosecutor's office.

a man and woman posing for a photo: This undated photo shows, from left, Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh. © Handout This undated photo shows, from left, Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh.

But in recent years, the family has been closely connected to bloody tragedy. There was a fatal boating crash in 2019, the killings of two family members in June, the shooting of a family member last week and allegations of fraud and drug abuse.

No one has yet been arrested in the shootings, but authorities have pledged to get to the bottom of them. And the investigation has taken them in unexpected directions; while looking into the killings, investigators decided to reopen an unsolved death case from 2015.

South Carolina lawyer whose wife, son were killed misused funds, law firm says

  South Carolina lawyer whose wife, son were killed misused funds, law firm says Murdaugh, whose wife and son were shot in unsolved killings in June, had said he was taking time off "after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders."On Monday, hours after Murdaugh, 53, said in a vague statement that he had resigned from his position to enter rehab and that he "made a lot of decisions that I truly regret," the law firm revealed that he allegedly "misappropriated funds.

Exclusive: The murders of two members of a prominent family of South Carolina lawyers and the mysterious events that followed are to be explored in a multi-part doc series for HBO Max. The streamer is developing Murdaugh Family Mysteries (w/t) with Campfire Studios, the company behind Hulu doc WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a B Unicorn. The series will investigate the mysterious , still-unraveling events surrounding the murders of a mother and son from a prominent family of lawyers in small-town South Carolina .

A Mother and Son Are Found Murdered , Deepening a Mystery in South Carolina . The authorities are opening a new investigation into an unsolved 2015 death as a result of information gleaned after two members of a prominent family were killed. Buster Murdaugh , center, received a hug during the funeral service for his The police have made no arrests and have not identified a suspect or a motive, but the killings have fueled speculation about whether the family ’s long and tangled history in the region could have a connection to the crime. The case has also put renewed attention on two previous deaths over

Here's a timeline of what we know about the Murdaugh family's illustrious history, the killings of Margaret Murdaugh and her son Paul, the shooting of Alex Murdaugh last week and the course of the investigation throughout.

1920-2006:

Over three generations, a member of the Murdaugh family serves as the 14th Circuit Solicitor, which leads prosecutions for Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties in the southern part of South Carolina.

Randolph Murdaugh Sr. is elected to the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office in 1920 and serves in the position until his death in 1940.

His son Randolph Murdaugh Jr. then takes over the position and serves until his retirement in 1986.

His son Randolph Murdaugh III then is elected to the role in 1987 and serves through the end of 2005.

After Being Accused of Misusing Funds, Alex Murdaugh Has His Law License Suspended

  After Being Accused of Misusing Funds, Alex Murdaugh Has His Law License Suspended Days after Alex Murdaugh was shot in the head, his law firm accused him of malfeasance and cut ties with himOn Wednesday, five days after being accused of diverting funds from his law firm, Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth & Detrick, the South Carolina Supreme Court placed Alex on an interim suspension, according to an order obtained by PEOPLE.

A murder mystery deepens after Alex Murdaugh , 53, a prominent lawyer in South Carolina was allegedly shot in the head just months after the murders of his wife and son. News of the murders of Paul Murdaugh , 22, and his mother, Maggie Murdaugh , 52, led to national news headlines on June 7 “The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life. I have made a lot of decisions I truly regret,” Alex said. “I’m resigning from my law firm and entering a rehab that has been exacerbated by these murders . I am immensely sorry to everyone I’ve hurt, including my family

The prominent South Carolina attorney who was shot in the head just a few months after he found his wife and son murdered at the family estate suffered only a superficial wound and called 911 himself, authorities said Sunday. The shooting of Alex Murdaugh on Saturday in Charleston is the latest twist a drama that has But the incident remains largely shrouded in mystery , with both the motive and a suspect still unidentified. Murdaugh ’s lawyer told The State that his client was driving on a remote road to Charleston to when his car malfunctioned. He got out to change a tire on his black Mercedes-Benz

In 2006, then-Gov. Mark Sanford appoints attorney Duffie Stone to serve as the 14th Circuit Solicitor, making him the first non-Murdaugh in the position. He has been elected to the position three times since, most recently in 2016.

2019:

A boat crashes at a bridge near Parris Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina, on February 24, killing 19-year-old Mallory Beach, according to court documents from CNN affiliate WTOC.

a group of people standing in front of a tree: Buster Murdaugh, center, receives a hug in the rain during the funeral service for his brother, Paul, and mother, Maggie, on June 11 in Hampton, South Carolina. © Kacen Bayless/AP Buster Murdaugh, center, receives a hug in the rain during the funeral service for his brother, Paul, and mother, Maggie, on June 11 in Hampton, South Carolina.

Six people were on board the boat at the time of the crash, including 19-year-old Paul T. Murdaugh. His father, Alex Murdaugh, a local attorney and the son of Randolph Murdaugh III, owns the boat.

Stone, the 14th Circuit Solicitor, recuses himself from the case because of the personal connections.

Unsolved Murdaugh shootings yield misconduct claim, conflicting accounts — and more questions

  Unsolved Murdaugh shootings yield misconduct claim, conflicting accounts — and more questions On June 7, deputies in South Carolina discovered a grisly scene at one family's hunting lodge property: Paul and Margaret "Maggie" Murdaugh were shot to death.A frantic 911 call had been placed by Alex Murdaugh, a personal injury attorney, at 10:07 p.m. His voice quivered as he told a dispatcher that his wife, Margaret, and son, Paul, were not breathing.

The mystery surrounding the June murders of a mother and son from a powerful South Carolina dynasty exploded over Labor Day weekend, with shocking twists and turns that few, if any, saw coming. Since June, residents of South Carolina low country have waited for word as to who killed a mother and son from a prominent local family on the grounds of their 1,770-acre hunting lodge. With no arrests and authorities saying little about the investigation, theories abounded about who could have murdered Maggie Murdaugh , 52, and her son, Paul Murdaugh , 22, of Islandton, about an hour from

South Carolina Family Murder Mystery Deepens With Shooting of Patriarch. After the notification to the South Carolina Bar and other legal entities in the state, the chief prosecuting agency in the area—an agency the Murdaughs previously helmed from 1920 to 2005—announced that Murdaugh would In South Carolina , any attorney that is accused of misconduct is investigated and sanctioned by the state’s court system. It is not clear, however, if the Commission on Lawyer Conduct has opened a case into Murdaugh . “This [saga] has been a lightning bolt through the Lowcountry,” one Hampton

Paul Murdaugh is indicted in April on charges of boating under the influence (BUI) causing great bodily harm and causing death in connection to the crash, court records show. He pleads not guilty.

a bench in front of a brick building: © Michael M. DeWitt/The Augusta Chronicle/USA Today Network "Keep Out" signs marked one entrance to the Murdaugh family property in Islandton, where a double homicide occurred.

June 7, 2021:

Alex Murdaugh, 53, calls 911 and reports he found his wife Margaret, 52, and son Paul, then 22, shot dead outside of their home in Islandton, a small community about an hour north of Hilton Head Island, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

Colleton County Sheriff's deputies determine both victims had multiple gunshot wounds.

June 10:

Randolph Murdaugh III dies peacefully at his home at age 81, according to his obituary.

June 15:

SLED releases basic information about the killings on June 7, saying Alex Murdaugh had called 911 at 10:07 p.m. and investigators collected evidence that night and the next morning.

"We continue to pursue all leads and the investigation is certainly active and ongoing at this time," the agency said. "We will continue to submit all forensic evidence to SLED's forensic lab. SLED is committed to conducting a professional and thorough criminal investigation to bring justice in the deaths of Paul and Maggie."

Death of Murdaugh housekeeper who fell in home yields criminal investigation

  Death of Murdaugh housekeeper who fell in home yields criminal investigation Alex Murdaugh's legal woes continued when the family of a former housekeeper filed a lawsuit accusing him and others of failing to pay a wrongful death settlement.A spokesman for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said the death of Gloria Satterfield has prompted a review following a request from the Hampton County coroner and based on "information gathered" during a separate investigation involving Alex Murdaugh, the legal scion whose wife and son were fatally shot in June.

June 17:

Alex Murdaugh's brothers, John Marvin Murdaugh and Randolph "Randy" Murdaugh IV, speak to "Good Morning America" about the killings. They say Alex called them "distraught" with the news that his wife and son had been shot. They say they do not believe their brother is involved.

"My brother loved Maggie and loved Paul like nothing else on this earth, just like he loves (his other son) Buster," Randy told "GMA." "So there's no possible way he could have anything to do with this, I can assure you."

June 21:

SLED acknowledges the interest in the case and asks the public to withhold judgment until the investigation is complete. The division also releases redacted copies of supplemental incident reports from the Colleton County Sheriff's Office.

"This case is complex, and we will not rush this or any investigation. Investigative decisions we make throughout this case must withstand the scrutiny of the criminal justice process. SLED agents continue to interview possible witnesses, collect and process potential evidence, and investigate every lead with the same diligence we devote to every case," SLED Chief Mark Keel said in a statement.

"SLED agents are working tirelessly with our partners to build a case against any person responsible for the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh to ensure that justice is served," Keel added.

Disgraced Legal Titan Arrested in Assisted-Suicide Fiasco

  Disgraced Legal Titan Arrested in Assisted-Suicide Fiasco First his son faced criminal charges over a fatal boating accident. Then his wife and the same son were murdered outside a family estate. Then he reported being shot in the head while dealing with a busted tire—before announcing he was going to rehab for a drug addiction and facing accusations of misusing funds from his own law firm. Oh, and authorities decided to investigate the death of a housekeeper on his property years ago. Now, AlexThen his wife and the same son were murdered outside a family estate.

Stone, the 14th Circuit Solicitor, releases a statement saying it is "neither prudent nor proper" to comment on the case and says that his office will act "promptly and ethically" if conflicts of interest arise in the case.

He notes there is no clear suspect in the double killing and contrasts that with Paul Murdaugh's 2019 boating case.

"That was not the situation when I recused my office in the aftermath of the 2019 boating crash for which Paul Murdaugh was eventually charged," Stone said in the statement. "In that case, it was immediately apparent Mr. Murdaugh would be a suspect, that his father owned the boat in which those involved were travelling and that other passengers were related to employees of my office. Thus, any comparison of these cases simply is not apt."

June 22:

SLED reopens an investigation into the unsolved death of 19-year-old Stephen Smith, who died in 2015 in Hampton County. The agency says the probe is being reopened based on information gathered while investigating the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, CNN affiliate WCSC reports.

June 25:

Alex Murdaugh and his other son, Buster, announce a $100,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the killings of Margaret and Paul, according to WCSC.

July 22:

SLED releases redacted audio of Alex Murdaugh's 911 call the night of the killings. In the audio, a distraught Murdaugh advises dispatchers his wife and son had been shot, are on the ground and are not breathing.

August 11:

Despite his earlier statement, 14th Circuit Solicitor Stone writes a letter to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson saying he intends to recuse himself from the Murdaugh death investigations, WCSC reports.

‘He Is Not A Man of Significant Means Anymore’: Suspended S.C. Attorney Alex Murdaugh Pleads Poverty at South Carolina Bond Hearing

  ‘He Is Not A Man of Significant Means Anymore’: Suspended S.C. Attorney Alex Murdaugh Pleads Poverty at South Carolina Bond Hearing Suspended South Carolina attorney Richard "Alex" Murdaugh appeared in court for the first time to face charges that he asked a former client to kill him. The post ‘He Is Not A Man of Significant Means Anymore’: Suspended S.C. Attorney Alex Murdaugh Pleads Poverty at South Carolina Bond Hearing first appeared on Law & Crime.Suspended South Carolina attorney Richard “Alex” Murdaugh appeared in court Thursday afternoon for the first time to face charges connected to what authorities say was an admitted plot to end his own life by asking a former client to kill him.  By ending his own life, Murdaugh hoped his son would obtain the proceeds of a $10 million life insurance policy.

He writes that the request comes "considering the events of today in SLED's investigation" but does not provide further details.

Friday, September 3:

Alex Murdaugh resigns from the law firm Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick (PMPED), according to the firm.

Saturday, September 4:

Murdaugh calls 911 and reports he was shot early Saturday afternoon on a road in Hampton County, according to a statement from SLED spokesperson Tommy Crosby. He was taken to a hospital in Savannah, Georgia, where he was treated for a "superficial gunshot wound to the head," the statement said.

"At this time no arrests have been made," the statement said.

Monday, September 6:

Murdaugh releases a statement through his attorney, Dick Harpootlian, to CNN affiliate WCSC saying he is resigning from the PMPED law firm and entering rehab.

"The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life. I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret," he says in the statement. "I'm resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders. I am immensely sorry to everyone I've hurt including my family, friends and colleagues. I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships."

Tuesday, September 7:

The law firm says Murdaugh resigned "after the discovery by PMPED that Alex misappropriated funds in violation of PMPED standards and policies."

"This is disappointing news for all of us. Rest assured that our firm will deal with this in a straightforward manner. There's no place in our firm for such behavior," the law firm says in a statement. PMPED says it plans to retain a forensic accounting firm "to conduct a thorough investigation" and has contacted law enforcement and the South Carolina Bar.

Wednesday, September 8:

The South Carolina Supreme Court issues an order suspending Alex Murdaugh's license to practice law in the state.

Alex Murdaugh is being sued by the survivor of a boat crash that involved his late son

  Alex Murdaugh is being sued by the survivor of a boat crash that involved his late son Alex Murdaugh, the prominent South Carolina attorney who has become embroiled in a scandal involving drug abuse and a botched life insurance fraud plot, is now being sued by a survivor of the 2019 boat crash involving his son. © Mic Smith/AP Alex Murdaugh sits during his bond hearing September 16, 2021, in Varnville, South Carolina. The lawsuit claims that Alex Murdaugh, 53, attempted to orchestrate a campaign to falsely blame Connor Cook for the boating crash that left one person dead.

According to the court, his license "is suspended until further order of this Court." The 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office also confirms to CNN that Murdaugh has been stripped of his privilege of prosecuting cases as a volunteer.

Randy Murdaugh IV, Alex Murdaugh's brother and also an attorney at PMPED law firm, releases a statement about the resignation.

"I was shocked, just as the rest of my PMPED family, to learn of my brother, Alex's, drug addiction and stealing of money," Randy Murdaugh writes in the statement.

"I love my law firm family and also love Alex as my brother. While I will support him in his recovery, I do not support, condone, or excuse his conduct in stealing by manipulating his most trusted relationships," Murdaugh says. "I will continue to pursue my client's interests with the highest degree of honesty and integrity, as I always have."

Thursday, September 9:

Attorney Jim Griffin specifies that Alex Murdaugh has an opioid addiction. Griffin says his client is in the early stages of treatment at an undisclosed location.

Friday, September 10:

A family spokesperson issues a statement about Alex Murdaugh's shooting that indicates the injury was more serious than a superficial wound.

"After the shooting, Alex had an entry and exit wound, his skull was fractured and it was not a self-inflicted bullet wound," according to the statement.

The spokesperson also added more details about what led up to the incident.

"Alex pulled over after seeing a low tire indicator light. A male driver in a blue pick-up asked him if he had car troubles, as soon as Alex replied, he was shot," the statement said.

"We know that SLED is continuing to work diligently to find this person and the person or people that murdered Maggie and Paul Murdaugh," the statement said.

Monday, September 13:

SLED releases a statement announcing it has opened an investigation into Alex Murdaugh "based upon allegations that he misappropriated funds in connection to his position as a former lawyer with the Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, & Detrick (PMPED) law firm in Hampton, South Carolina."

"As Chief of SLED, I continue to urge the public to be patient and let this investigation take its course. Investigative decisions we make throughout this case and any potentially related case must ultimately withstand the scrutiny of the criminal justice process," said Chief Mark Keel.

"As with all cases, SLED is committed to conducting a professional, thorough, and impartial criminal investigation, no matter where the facts lead us."

a person driving a car: Evidence markers sit at a location where Alex Murdaugh reported to police he had been shot in Hampton County, South Carolina, on September 4. © WTOC Evidence markers sit at a location where Alex Murdaugh reported to police he had been shot in Hampton County, South Carolina, on September 4. a man wearing a suit and tie: Alex Murdaugh, the fourth generation of a powerful South Carolina dynasty, leaves a hearing in a personal injury lawsuit at the Richland County Courthouse. © John Monk/TNS/ZUMA Press Wire Alex Murdaugh, the fourth generation of a powerful South Carolina dynasty, leaves a hearing in a personal injury lawsuit at the Richland County Courthouse.

Alex Murdaugh is being sued by the survivor of a boat crash that involved his late son .
Alex Murdaugh, the prominent South Carolina attorney who has become embroiled in a scandal involving drug abuse and a botched life insurance fraud plot, is now being sued by a survivor of the 2019 boat crash involving his son. © Mic Smith/AP Alex Murdaugh sits during his bond hearing September 16, 2021, in Varnville, South Carolina. The lawsuit claims that Alex Murdaugh, 53, attempted to orchestrate a campaign to falsely blame Connor Cook for the boating crash that left one person dead.

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