As a scion of a prominent legal dynasty in South Carolina, 53-year-old Alex Murdaugh seemed to have everything. However, in the recent past, his life has fallen apart in ways no one could’ve ever imagined. From losing his job at the family law firm to being accused of embezzlement and from going into rehab for opioid addiction to allegedly hiring a hitman to help him die by suicide, Alex has been through it all. As explored on NBC’s ‘Dateline: Murdaugh Saga,’ it spiraled with the double homicide of his wife Maggie and younger son Paul.
How Did Alex Murdaugh’s Wife and Son Die?
Margaret “Maggie” Branstetter Murdaugh was a bright and cheerful woman who met her future husband while attending the University of South Carolina. She graduated in 1991 and eventually built a family with Alex Murdaugh, raising their two sons, Richard “Buster” Alexander Jr. and Paul Terry Murdaugh, in Hampton, South Carolina. The latter was born on April 14, 1999, and reportedly had a positive character. However, it seems like Paul also got into a couple of legal troubles; these included an alleged hit and run and a 2019 fatal boat crash.
Back in July 2015, 19-year-old Stephen Smith’s remains were recovered from the middle of Sandy Run Road in Hampton County. Initially, officials deemed he was shot to death, but soon, the ruling was changed to a probable hit and run. With no credible leads, the case went cold for years, yet in 2021, investigators somehow connected the Murdaugh family to this matter. Then, there’s the 2019 boat crash death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach, which allegedly stemmed from Paul driving the Murdaugh family boat they were in while drunk and in a reckless manner.
Paul was charged with boating under the influence, causing death, along with two counts of boating under the influence, causing significant bodily injury. He pleaded not guilty, and on June 4, 2021, it was ascertained that the case would go to trial. Unfortunately, just 3 days later, on June 7, Alex discovered his son and wife’s remains near the dog kennels of their sprawling 1770-acre hunting residence in Colleton County. Authorities identified their cause of death to be the multiple gunshot wounds all over their bodies. We should mention that the criminal charges against Paul were dropped following his demise.
Who Killed Maggie and Paul Murdaugh?
The details of the inquiries into Margaret “Maggie” and Paul Murdaugh’s murders have not been made public as of yet because they’re still ongoing. In other words, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division detectives are actively searching for their assailant/s. With that said, Alex Murdaugh has been named a person of interest. Officials haven’t identified a possible motive, but as per reports, Maggie went to see a divorce lawyer just six weeks before the harrowing incident, which could be connected. As of writing, no charges have been filed.
The only thing that has been made clear is that Maggie and Paul were shot with two completely different firearms. Since Alex was allegedly visiting his mother, who has dementia, at the time of the homicides, he can’t be placed at the scene with 100% certainty at the moment. The demise of the 52-year-old woman and 22-year-old junior at the University of South Carolina could be related to something else as well. So, if you have any information, please do not hesitate to come forward. The Murdaugh family is also offering a $100,000 reward for any viable tips leading to the apprehension of the duo’s killer/s.
Read More: Where is Richard “Buster” Alexander Now?