The Murdaugh family holds a prominent position in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina. For nearly a century, three consecutive generations named Randolph Murdaugh served as circuit solicitor, the elected prosecuting attorney, for the state’s 14th judicial district. This familial succession of power led the locals to refer to the five-county district as “Murdaugh Country. The family’s legal influence traces back to Randolph Murdaugh Sr. who established the civil litigation firm that is now known as the Parker Law Group LLP in 1910, located in Hampton, South Carolina. Over the years, the firm has specialized in personal injury litigation.
However, the Murdaugh family’s standing began to crumble in 2019 when Paul Murdaugh, the youngest son of Alex Murdaugh, a prominent attorney in the family firm, was involved in a tragic boating accident that claimed the life of a 19-year-old woman. Paul faced charges including boating under the influence causing death, but he evaded trial.
In June 2021, Alex Murdaugh made a distressing call to 911, reporting the shocking discovery of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, shot dead at their rural estate. These murders sent shockwaves through the community and triggered an extensive investigation into the Murdaugh family and their associates.
Subsequently, in July 2022, Alex Murdaugh was indicted on two counts of murder and two weapons charges. Although he pleaded not guilty, a jury convicted him in March 2023, resulting in a life sentence in prison.
The Murdaugh family scandal has also prompted investigations into other deaths associated with the family, including the 2018 death of their housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, and the 2015 death of a local teenager named Stephen Smith.
The Murdaugh family saga is a complex and tragic tale that has exposed the dark underbelly of power and privilege in South Carolina. Their downfall has also raised significant questions about the state’s criminal justice system and the role of law enforcement in rural communities.