The horrifying true story behind Netflix's Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal

Netflix's Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal is set to be released next month, but what's the true story behind this shocking documentary?

true story behind Murdaugh Murders
(Image credit: Netflix)

Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal was released on Netflix on February 22, 2023, but what happened in the Murdaugh Murders? here's the true story behind this shocking documentary. 

Netflix's latest true-crime documentary, Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, delves into murders that took place in 2021. The story involves the death of three different people, two of which are still unsolved, plus a faked assassination attempt, and a corrupt family with wealth and control over a small town that goes back for decades. 

The series was released on February 22, and the real-life trial is currently taking place in South Carolina. So here is everything you need to know about the true story behind Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal...

Was Mallory Beach ever found? 

In 2019, 19-year-old Mallory Beach went missing after Paul Murdaugh drunkenly crashed his boat into the piling of a bridge and a number of drunk passengers were thrown off board. Witnesses said that Paul was insistent on driving the boat, despite being extremely drunk and not fit to drive safely. 

The first episode of the Netflix series is titled Where Is Mallory and focuses on Mallory's disappearance after the boat crash. The episode sets up the relationship dynamics with the people involved in the crash but the episode ends with a question hanging over the episode, where did Mallory go?

It was then revealed in the second episode that sadly Mallory was found dead a week after the boat incident. The water search and rescue found her body five miles from the crash site and the coroner's office confirmed that she died from blunt force trauma and drowning. Her family and friends spoke about the impact that her death had on them, but this was only the start of the puzzling story...

Murdaugh Murders

(Image credit: Netflix)

The true story behind Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal

Mallory's death then led to lawsuits from Mallory's family who accused Paul of driving under the influence, which he denied and pled not guilty. 

Paul came from the Murdaugh family, the rich and influential family of the local town and many believed that he would get out of these charges because of his father's influence in the legal sphere (as a prominent lawyer). This is when pressure began to mount on the family and accusations about how they would weasel their way out of a death of a young woman and try and force a cover-up took place.

Murdaugh murders

Paul Murdaugh and his girlfriend Morgan Doughty

(Image credit: Netflix)

However, in a shocking twist, Paul and his mother Maggie were found dead in June 2021, just ahead of the trial.

Paul and his mother Margaret were murdered in a double homicide and were shot and killed at the family's hunting property near Islandton – known locally as Moselle. Paul appeared to have been shot with a shotgun and Maggie seemed to have been attacked with an assault rifle. At the time, Margaret, also known as Maggie, was estranged from her powerful husband Alex and was living at their beach house and reportedly looking into divorce proceedings. 

Alex (Paul's father and Maggie's estranged husband) discovered the bodies and was the person to call 911. But his difficult relationship with both his son and wife led to Alex becoming the prime suspect in this double homicide shooting. In July 2022, Alex was accused and formally indicted for their murder. 

In another bizarre twist, in September 2021, just months after his son and wife's murders, Alex Murdaugh called 911 claiming that a stranger shot him in the head after stopping to help him with his tire. This took place just after he stepped down from the family business because of numerous embezzlement accusations.

Later, Alex confessed that he hired a hitman for himself to shoot and kill him so that his only son, Buster, could get a life insurance payout of $10 million. Alex was then also arrested for conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.

Murdaugh Murders

Miley Altman and Mallory Beach

(Image credit: Netflix)

Where is the Murdaugh house?

The Murdaugh house, which was known as Moselle or Moselle Farm is located in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. The address for this property is 4147 Moselle Road and was the place where Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were murdered.

According to House Beautiful, the property sprawls over 1,770 acres and was listed for sale in February 2022. The property is surrounded by woodland and reportedly features; 'two miles of river frontage for freshwater fishing and kayaking, dog kennels, plenty of turkey and deer for on-site hunting, and a custom-built home newly constructed in 2011.'

It was also reported that the property is valued at $3.9 million and has been sold. It is reported that the proceeds of this sale will got towards a settlement between the Murdaugh estate and Mallory Beach's family.

Murdaugh Murders

Alex Murdaugh on trial

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Murdaugh Murders trial update

Currently, the trial of Alex Murdaugh for the murder of his wife and son is ongoing in South Carolina. The courthouse is in the town of Walterboro and is just around 10 miles from where Maggie and Paul's bodies were found.

Alex has pleaded not guilty to the murders of his wife and child. As well as the death of Mallory Beach, investigations are taking place into the death of Stephen Smith, a suspected lover of Murdaugh’s only living son Buster, who was found dead in 2015 in the middle of the road, and a family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, who died in 2018 and subsequently a concealed insurance payout was discovered.

The trial began on Monday, January 23, 2023. If charged with the double homicide, Alex faces life imprisonment. Although the death penalty is legal in South Carolina, it was confirmed by officials in December 2022 that State prosecutors will not pursue capital punishment as a punishment for this crime.

A Netflix Documentary Series, Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal was released on Netflix on Wednesday, February 22, 2023.

Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.

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