We, humans, are weird. We are never satisfied with anything. For some unknown reasons, the grass always appears greener on the other side. Those who are financially weak think money is the solution to every situation. On the other hand, people with money crave peace or covet more. This circle of demand is a vicious one, not just in an economics textbook but in social life as well. In the recent Netflix docuseries, “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal,” we see the cold-blooded murders that dampened the century-old reputation and name of the prominent Murdaugh family in South Carolina.
The new three-part series will focus on the scandalous murder that ends up exposing dark secrets and untrustworthy family members. It all began with what looked like a case of cold-blooded murder, and that unlocked several other unsolved crimes committed by the family. Following the trail that led to the deaths of two family members comes the eternal web of lies, betrayal, greed, and corruption. Before diving deep into Netflix’s take on the family, let’s quickly get familiar with the family and the scandals they were caught up in.
Who Are The Murdaughs?
A very reputed South Carolina family is popular for a high-ranking and distinguished legal firm. Alex Murdaugh descends from a legal dynasty that handled personal injury cases at the beginning. Soon, they were popular and well-known among the elite and had established a strong foothold in all of South Carolina. Alex was married to Margaret Branstetter, who was popularly called “Maggie,” in 1993. The couple had two sons, Buster and Paul. Like any spoiled brat, Alex and his sons were often the “talk of the town.” From Durg and alcohol addiction to insurance scams and embezzlements, allegations against the family seem to never stop. Inspired by that, the family lived an opulent, guilt-free life. They had the ownership of a couple of private islands, a beach house, and a wide-stretched land famously known as Moselle.
What Are The Other Crimes That Were Linked To The Murdaughs?
While investigating the joint murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh, the investigators found several unsolved crimes related to the family.
Case of Mallory Beach (2019): Back in 2019, Paul, who was 22 years old then, was involved in a boat crash that reportedly killed his friend Mallory Beach. Although there were a number of witnesses who claimed that it was Paul who was driving the boat in an intoxicated state, key pieces of evidence against him soon went missing. Paul was charged with two counts. One was driving a boat while intoxicated, and another was charged with bodily harm. Fortunately for his legacy, he always received special treatment and was released on a bond. Guess what? The next trial date was set after his release.
Case of Gloria Satterfield (2018): Gloria Satterfield was a longtime housekeeper who died inside the house of Murdaugh. Apparently, Maggie had dialed 911, the emergency number, to notify that Gloria had a Deadly fall through the stairs. Upon investigation, the cause of the death remains unknown. However, Paul was present at the so-called crime scene. According to Disney+Hotstar’s documentary “Murdaugh Murders: Deadly Dynasty,” Gloria had mentioned to several people Paul’s affinity for killing small animals. So, was Paul behind Gloria’s fall? The mystery remains unsolved. To stir up suspicion, we had Alex Murdaugh, who approached Satterfield’s sons during her funeral, saying he would sue himself. The reason for such a comment was that the accident took place on Alex’s property. So, if he sues himself, Gloria’s sons could receive insurance money. Was it a genuine offer? Or was it another power show? However, the mourning family didn’t receive a penny. However, in 2021, when Satterfield’s sons decided to file a lawsuit and the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) decided to exhume Gloria’s body for an autopsy, an amount of 4.3 million dollars was promised to her son by Alex.
Case of Stephen Smith (2015): Allegedly, the elder son of the Murdaughs, Buster, was in a relationship with Smith. Buster, too, worked at the firm, and several times Murdaugh’s name came up during the investigation of Stephen Smith’s death. Smith was found dead on the side of the road. South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), however, has not revealed anything about the case, but speculations about Buster being connected to the case are high. Smith’s death was ruled a hit-and-run; however, he had a gunshot wound above his right eye, which is difficult to rule as vehicle trauma.
Mystery and misfortune seem to be integral parts of the Murdaugh family. If you are intrigued by the family, you must know why and how all these cases resurfaced.
What Happened To Margaret And Paul Murdaugh?
On June 7, 2021, both Margaret (Maggie) Murdaugh and her son Paul Murdaugh were found dead. Alex Murdaugh reportedly found the bodies and called 911 at around 10 p.m. However, while investigating, the coroner found the deaths occurred between 9:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The victims were murdered with two different weapons. While Paul was killed with a shotgun, his mother, Maggie, was murdered with an assault-style rifle. Undoubtedly, the suspicion pointed straight at Alex. Being the emperor of the century-old legal dynasty, Alex’s lawyers proved that he had no intention or motive. Even though this initially released him, on further investigation, cell phone video evidence connected Alex to the crime scene.
On July 14, 2022, on the verdict of the grand jury, Alex was detained as the prime suspect in the cold murders of Maggie and Paul. There were two counts of murder charges and two counts of weapon possession during a violent crime against him. Undoubtedly, Alex is still enjoying the perks of being associated with an established legal dynasty. He has pleaded not guilty, and so far, his lawyers have been successful in proving his innocence.
Expectations From The Documentary
As far as the trailer can be deciphered, it is clear that the audience will be on a roller coaster ride, taking a close look at cases that are entangled with the Murdaugh family. There will be quite interesting interviews with witnesses and the community, and we will know the family more intimately.
Netflix will begin streaming “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal” on February 22, 2023.