The mystery surrounding the fatal shootings at the home of a prominent South Carolina family connects to the deaths of two teenagers and a roadside shooting.
The map above shows locations of key events connected to the saga of the Murdaugh family.
1. Death of Stephen Smith, July 8, 2015. The 19-year-old nursing student was found dead with a head wound on Sandy Run Road near Crocketville. His car was three miles away. The coroner declared the death a hit-and-run collision. Six years later, state police opened their own investigation because of information they had gathered in the aftermath of the Murdaugh deaths. They have not made any statement about it since.
2-5. Death of Mallory Beach, Feb. 24, 2019. On the evening of Feb. 23, the 19-year-old Beach was among six friends who boarded a 17-foot boat at the Murdaugh family’s “river house” on Chechessee Creek (2) for a 25-mile run to an oyster roast on Paukie Island (3). The boat was driven by Paul Murdaugh, then 19. The other passengers were Murdaugh’s girlfriend, Morgan Doughty; Beach’s boyfriend, Anthony Cook; Anthony’s cousin, Connor Cook; and Connor’s girlfriend, Miley Altman.
At 2:20 the next morning, the boat — driven by the allegedly intoxicated Murdaugh — slammed into a piling in Archers Creek (4). Beach was thrown overboard and went missing; her body was found on March 3 near the Broad River Boat Landing (5).
A wrongful-death suit filed by Beach’s mother names Paul Murdaugh’s father and older brother, alleging they facilitated his underage drinking.
6. Deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, June 7, 2021. Alex Murdaugh called 911 around 10 p.m. to say he had arrived at the family’s Islandton home and found his wife and 22-year-old son fatally shot in the driveway. Police say each was shot multiple times with a different weapon. The case remains unsolved.
7. Shooting of Alex Murdaugh, Sept. 4, 2021. Alex Murdaugh called 911 around 1:30 p.m. to report he had been shot at the side of Salkehatchie Road. A family attorney later elaborated that Murdaugh had been changing a tire when he was shot, possibly by someone in a passing pickup truck. He suffered what police described as a “superficial head wound.” Two days later, he announced he had quit his law firm and was entering a rehabilitation program.