The Murdaugh family are the subject of Netflix’s latesttrue crime documentary, The Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, which follows the killing of a young man and his mother. The series was released on Netflix whilst the murder case it covers was still being heard in court.
The shocking three-part docuseries follows a series of scandals that have dogged a prominent American law family for almost a decade. The series hears from the victims of the the family’s crimes, and their relatives, and explores allegations of corruption which first came to the fore almost a decade ago.
Things really started to go south for the Murdaughs when a young woman was killed in a in a boating accident in 2019, but the body count would continue to grow.
Today (3 March) family patriarch Alex Murdaugh has been jailed for the horrific double murder that features in the documentary. This is everything you need to know about The Murdgaugh Murders:
What happened to Paul Murdaugh?
Paul Murdaugh was a 19 year old in February 2019 when he and five friends, including his girlfriend Morgan Doughty went out partying in South Carolina. In the early hours of the morning, Murdaugh, despite being drunk, insisted on driving his friends back in his boat.
He crashed the boat and three of the passengers fell into the icy water - one of the friends, Mallory Beach was lost in the accident - after a major search her body was discovered eight days later.
Morgan suffered serious injuries in the accident and was taken to hospital as soon as help arrived at the scene - she survived. Paul was found to have been three times over the legal blood alcohol limit, although the police didn’t take him to jail immediately after the crash.
Paul was eventually charged with three felony counts of boating under the influence, including one charge of boating under the influence resulting in death, for which he could have faced 25 years in prison. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was awaiting a trial date when he was shockingly killed.
In 2021, Paul and his mother Maggie were found dead at the Murdaugh family hunting lodge - they had died of gunshot wounds. Richard ‘Alex’ Murdaugh, Paul’s father, was on trial at a courthouse in South Carolina on a double murder charge for the killings.
All charges against Paul were dropped as a formality following his death - Morgan broke up with Paul following the crash but features on the documentary, claiming that in the months leading up to the accident he regularly drank too much, sometimes becoming violent.
Who is Alex Murdaugh
Alex Murdaugh is part of a major and formerly influential legal family from South Carolina. From 1920 to 2006, three different members of the family served as District Attorney for South Carolina’s 14th District.
Around 2014 the family’s respectability was tarnished when some members were investigated over crimes including murder and corruption. Paul’s arrest over the death of Mallory Beach, and Alex’s current trial have further damaged the family’s reputation.
Murdaugh’s trial for the murder of his wife and son came to a conclusion on 3 March - he was found guilty of killing his wife and son. During his trial allegations of fraud came to light, which Murdaugh acknowledged. He faces 30 years to life when he is sentenced. Prosecutors decided not to pursue the death penalty.
Is there a trailer for Murdaugh Murders?
Yes there is, and you can watch it right here:
When is Murdaugh Murders on Netflix?
The Murdaugh Murders is a three part series - all three episodes will land on Netflix on Wednesday 22 February.