The Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal landed on Netflix in the midst of its main subject’s real life murder trial—which has finally reached it’s verdict.
Alex Murdaugh, former lawyer and head of the prominent Murdaugh family has been found guilty of murdering his wife and son, and will face 30 years to life in prison without parole, once sentenced.
According to prosecutors, Murdaugh shot his wife and son to distract from a litany of financial crimes, which he committed to support his expensive lifestyle and addiction to opioids.
The case, which involves five deaths, millions of stolen dollars and one all-powerful South Carolina family, has not only gripped residents of South Carolina but a fascinated global audience, who have been keeping up with the tale.
Below, a timeline of the events that led to Murdaugh’s guilty verdict.
Who Is The Murdaugh Family?
The Murdaugh family is a powerful family from Hampton, South Carolina. The family have been practising law since 1910 and are well known for their century-old family law firm.
According to AP News, three generations of the Murdaugh family have served as solicitors on the 14th Judicial Circuit, with Alex Murdaugh’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather being the elected prosecutors in five South Carolina counties for 87 years straight.
When Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial began, the judge even had to order a portrait of Murdaugh’s father, which hangs in the courthouse, to be removed
What Is the Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal About?
The three-part documentary series is based on the chain of events that led to the downfall of the Murdaugh family dynasty and the deaths of five people: Paul Murdaugh (Alex’s youngest son), Maggie Murdaugh (Alex’s wife), Mallory Beach (a friend of Paul Murdaugh), Stephen Smith (a friend of Richard Murdaugh) and Gloria Satterfield (the family housekeeper), as well as the alleged attempted murder of Alex himself.
It will cover the Murdaugh’s rise to power, their influence over South Carolina law enforcement and the circumstances surrounding the five suspicious deaths.
The Murdaugh Family Murders Timeline
Paul Murdaugh, the family’s youngest son, attends a gathering on Parris Island and allegedly drives a boat while drunk. The boat crashes into a bridge and results in the death of Paul’s friend, 19-year-old Mallory Beach. Her body was found a week after the gathering.
Paul is arrested and indicted on the charges of one count of boating under the influence (BUI) causing death and two counts of causing significant bodily injury. Paul pleads not guilty to the charges and is released on a US $50,000 (approx. AU $73,000) bond.
Paul and his mother Margaret ‘Maggie’ Murdaugh are found dead at the family’s 1,1170-acre hunting lodge in Islandton, South Carolina. Only days after the murder, Alex’s brothers appear on Good Morning America. They suggest that Paul was threatened online and that Alex had nothing to do with the murders.
Three days after the murder, 81-year-old Randolph Murdaugh III dies.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division announce that it’s opening a new inquiry into the death of Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old man whose body was found on a road not far from the Murdaugh home.
Alex Murdaugh is shot but survives. The local authorities classify it as an attempted murder,
Alex Murdaugh is accused of stealing US $1 million from his law firm. His law licence is suspended and an investigation begins.
Authorities reveal that Alex Murdaugh organised his own shooting in an attempt for his surviving son Richard ‘Buster’ Murdaugh, to receive US $10 million in life insurance.
Alex turns himself in to the Hampton County Law Enforcement Center.
A new twist appears when the authorities announce they are re-opening an investigation into the 2018 death of the Murdaugh’s housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.
Satterfield died in what was—at the time—considered to be a trip-and-fall accident at the family home in Hampton, South Carolina.
Alex Murdaugh is revealed as a person of interest in the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh.
A grand jury charges Alex Murdaugh with 27 counts of financial misconduct after it’s revealed he stole more than US $6.2 million from victims.
The family estate where the double homicide took place is put up for sale for US $3.9 million.
Alex is charged with two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
The Murdaugh trial begins.
Alex Murdaugh is found guilty of murdering his wife and son on their South Carolina estate. Prosecutors conclude the murder was meant to distract from Murdaugh’s financial crimes.
Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal is currently streaming on Netflix.