State investigators in South Carolina said Thursday that their probe into the June double murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh has led to “other potential crimes that warrant further investigation.”
The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division took over the investigation into the murders of Maggie Murdaugh, wife of prominent attorney Alex Murdaugh, and their son Paul shortly after their bodies were found on a Murdaugh estate in Colleton County. SLED has not revealed if it has a suspect in the murders.
While SLED’s statement didn’t specify what crimes have been uncovered — or if there may be other crimes that have not been in the headlines about the Murdaughs since those June 7 shootings — the agency has been investigating Alex Murdaugh’s alleged suicide for hire scheme, the 2018 death of Murdaugh housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, Alex Murdaugh’s alleged misappropriation of funds at his now-former law firm, and the death of Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old who died on a rural road in Hampton County in 2015.
SLED has not announced any involvement in a potential investigation into a 2019 boat crash involving an alleggedly intoxicated Paul Murdaugh that killed a 19-year-old woman. Mallory Beach’s family has filed a wrongful death suit against Alex Murdaugh, his older son Buster, and a convenience store that reportedly knowingly sold a then-underage Paul Murdaugh alcohol. Another passenger on the boat, Connor Cook, has also filed suit against the Murdaughs, claiming they interfered in the investigation to paint Cook — an “innocent teen” — as the person “criminally and civilly” responsible for the fatal accident.
Paul Murdaugh was eventually charged with driving a boat while intoxicated and was awaiting trial at the time of his death; those charges were dropped after he was killed.
Gloria Satterfield’s family has also filed suit against Alex Murdaugh, claiming they never received payment of a $500,000 wrongful death settlement after her death. Murdaugh convinced Satterfield’s sons to hire his former college roommate to represent them in the suit, without telling them of his association. According to a request to the court to approve a settlement, Satterfield died from a head injury after “a trip and fall accident” at the Murdaugh home. SLED announced its investigation after the county coroner said that her office was never informed of the death and that Satterfield’s death certificate said she died of “natural” causes.
SLED announced early on in the investigation of the double murders that they’d found evidence leading them to reopen the case of Smith’s death, although investigators have not said what that evidence was. Smith’s death was officially ruled a hit and run, but rumors of a cover-up involving the Murdaughs have surrounded the case since 2015.
Most recently, of course, was the “shooting” of Alex Murdaugh on September 4, when he called 911 to say he’d been shot in the head by an unknown person. As it turned out, that shooting came just a day after the law firm founded by his great-grandfather forced him out over alleged misappropriation of fund — rumored to be in the millions. The shooting itself drew quick scrutiny, as law enforcement said Murdaugh had been taken to a hospital in Savannah while his attorney said he was in Charleston.
Two days after the shooting, Murdaugh was released from the Savannah hospital and announced he was going into treatment for substance abuse as SLED investigated the shooting. Within days, the agency announced it was charging a former Murdaugh client with insurance fraud and conspiracy commit insurance fraud, saying that Murdaugh had hired him to kill him so that Buster Murdaugh could claim a $10 million insurance payout. Murdaugh himself was arrested immediately after, charged, and released on his own recognizance to return to treatment.
In the midst of that hectic week, SLED announced it was investigating the alleged embezzlement, the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said it was barring Murdaugh from prosecuting any cases for them as he’d done for years, and the state Supreme Court suspended his law license.
“SLED agents continue to work diligently to bring justice to all victims in these cases,” agency chief Mark Keel said Thursday, according to WRDW. “As I have previously stated, our agents remain committed to following the facts no matter where they lead us.”
Keel also said that the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina has assisted with the investigations.
“From very early on in this investigation SLED has utilized federal resources as needed,” he said. “We will continue to call upon our federal partners as their assistance is needed to successfully investigate and prosecute specific aspects of these cases.”
SLED has a dedicated tip line for the multiple Murdaugh cases: 803- 896-2605.
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[Featured image: The Murdaughs, L-R: Buster, Maggie, Paul, Alex/Facebook]