As a Netflix original documentary series that lives up to its title in every way imaginable, ‘Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal’ can only be described as equal parts bewildering and haunting. After all, it comprises not just archival footage but also first-hand accounts to really shine a light upon the impact of the once-prominent Murdaugh family in their tight-knit South Carolina community. Amongst those to thus feature here were young Paul Murdaugh’s then-girlfriend Morgan Doughty’s parents — Diane and Bill Doughty — so now, let’s find out more about them, shall we?
Who Are Diane and Bill Doughty?
Originally from Long Island, New York, Diane and Bill are proud parents of three beautiful daughters, with whom they’d seemingly relocated to Low Country, South Carolina, around the 2010s. They are hence not always considered “full Southerners” despite the fact they genuinely prefer the quiet, comfortable lifestyle of the region they call home rather than the hustle-bustle of big cities. However, since they mostly keep to themselves, they had no idea the Murdaugh name held great local significance until their middle daughter Morgan actually began dating their youngest, Paul.
The truth is Paul was always there for Morgan when they first got involved during their junior year of high school, and he also made special efforts to celebrate every major occasion with her. Whether it be her birthday, valentine’s day, or prom, he showed up with gifts as well as banners before showering her with affection, making Diane and Bill believe he was a “wonderful young man.” Though little did they know even the best days turned sour for Morgan once her boyfriend began drinking because he could never do it in moderation, according to the Netflix production.
Morgan did tell Diane at one point that she was worried about Paul’s partying habits, especially as she had gone as far as to approach his mother for help but was essentially ignored. “His family just looked the other way and thought it was funny,” Bill stated in the docuseries. “That should’ve put such a blemish on [them]. They didn’t want to choose the option and say, ‘Let me send him to rehab.'” Yet the one aspect the couple’s little girl didn’t reveal to them initially was the fact her boyfriend turned abusive while intoxicated, the extent of which they still don’t know for sure.
One of the primary reasons Diane and Bill even know of Paul’s tendencies now is that Morgan had split up with him by February 2019, only for a subsequent casual group hangout to go terribly wrong. The 19-year-old was out of his mind drunk following a house party as well as a bar trip, yet he refused to let any of his five friends steer his family’s boat back home, resulting in a horrific crash. While Morgan’s fingers were cut, Connor Cook’s jaw was crushed, and Miley Altman sustained minor injuries; Paul, Anthony Cook, along with Mallory Beach were thrown overboard, just for the latter to never resurface alive.
Where Are Diane and Bill Doughty Now?
Mallory Beach’s tragic death honestly broke Diane and Bill’s hearts nearly as much as it broke Morgan’s since the two girls had been the closest of friends, classmates, and co-workers for years. Nevertheless, they did find silver linings in the fact her body was wholly recovered in early March despite eight days having gone by, plus their own daughter was alive and doing as okay as she could be. Paul being indicted on criminal charges in connection to this matter three months later further brought them all a sense of closure, but he never actually stood trial for the same as he was suddenly slain on June 7, 2021.
Coming to Diane and Bill’s personal standing, from what we can tell through their online platforms, the happy, healthy, stable couple currently leads a quiet life in Ridgeland, Jasper/Beaufort County, South Carolina. They evidently stay in close touch with their three girls, all the while balancing their professional experiences as a prison nurse and a landscaper designer, respectively. While Diane is employed by the South Carolina Department of Corrections at the moment, Bill serves as the owner-operator of Professional Landscape LLC with over 30 years of experience.
Read More: Where is Miley Altman Now?