A timeline: Murdaugh Murders family in South Carolina

Murdaugh Murders
Fourth generation South Carolina dynasty member Alex Murdaugh departs the Richland County Courthouse for a hearing in a personal injury case. Image Source: CNN

Murdaugh Murders in South Carolina

Image source: CNN

In coastal South Carolina, the Murdaugh family name came to stand for a legal dynasty for 87 years since three successive generations ran the district attorney’s office there.

But, the family has recently had a very intimate connection to a tragic, bloody event. A sad boating accident occurred in 2019, two family members were killed in June, a family member was shot this week, and there were claims of money being siphoned and drug use.

The history of the Murdaugh family, the deaths of Margaret Murdaugh and her son Paul, the shooting of Alex Murdaugh last week, and the investigation’s progress are all summarized in the following article.

From 1920 to 2006

A member of the Murdaugh family served as the 14th Circuit Solicitor, overseeing the prosecution of cases in the southern South Carolina counties of Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper.

In 1920, Randolph Murdaugh Sr. was elected to the office of 14th Circuit Solicitor, where he stayed until his passing in 1940.

After that, Randolph Murdaugh Jr. assumed control until 1986, when he retired.

In 1987, his son Randolph Murdaugh III was chosen to fill the position, and he held it until the end of 2005.

Attorney Duffie Stone becomes the first non-Murdaugh to hold the job of 14th Circuit Solicitor in 2006 after being appointed by the then-Gov. Mark Sanford. Since then, he has been chosen for the role significantly, the most recent being in 2016.


Mallory Beach, 19, died on February 24 when a boat crashed at a bridge close to Parris Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina, according to documents from the state’s attorney general that CNN was able to access.

Paul T. Murdaugh, 19, was one of the six passengers aboard the boat when it crashed. Alex Murdaugh, the son of Randolph Murdaugh III and a prominent local attorney, owns the ship.

The 14th Circuit Solicitor Stone withdraws from the lawsuit due to the ties to his personal life.

According to court documents, Paul Murdaugh was charged in April with boating under the influence (BUI), inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH), causing death, and causing the crash. His defense is not guilty.

According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, on June 7, 2021, Alex Murdaugh, 53, dialed 911 to report finding his wife Margaret, 52, and son Paul, aged 22, shot to death outside of their home in Islandton, a small town approximately an hour north of Hilton Head Isle (SLED).

According to Colleton County Sheriff’s deputies, both victims suffered several gunshot wounds. According to his obituary, Randolph Murdaugh III died peacefully on June 10 at 81.

June 15:

Image source: CNN

On June 7, SLED released a summary of the deaths, noting that Alex Murdaugh had called 911 at 10:07 p.m. and that detectives had gathered evidence that evening and the following morning.

The agency stated, “We continue to pursue all leads, and the investigation is unquestionably active and ongoing at this time. “We will keep providing SLED’s forensic lab with all available forensic evidence. SLED is dedicated to conducting a skillful and exhaustive criminal investigation to ensure that Paul and Maggie’s deaths are adequately investigated and prosecuted.

John Marvin Murdaugh and Randolph “Randy” Murdaugh IV, Alex Murdaugh’s brothers, discuss the killings on “Good Morning America” on June 17. They claim that after hearing the news that his wife and son had been shot, Alex called them “distraught.” They claim that their brother is not involved in the incident.

“My brother loved Maggie and loved Paul like nothing else on this earth, just like he loves (his other son) Buster,” Randy told “GMA.” “So there’s no possible way he could have anything to do with this, I can assure you.”

June 21:

Image source: CNN

SLED acknowledges the interest in the case and asks the public to withhold judgment until the investigation is complete. The division also releases redacted copies of supplemental incident reports from the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.

“This case is complex, and we will not rush this or any investigation. Investigative decisions we make throughout this case must withstand the scrutiny of the criminal justice process. SLED agents continue to interview possible witnesses, collect and process potential evidence, and investigate every lead with the same diligence we devote to every case,” SLED Chief Mark Keel said in a statement.

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