Two Consecutive Life Sentences for a Double Murder


Logan Kraft, Writer

“Good morning, your honor. I am innocent,” Alex Murdaugh said when addressing the court during his trial, “I would never hurt my wife Maggie, and I would never hurt my son, Paw-Paw. Thank you.”

Concluding the Murdaugh Trail on the afternoon of March 3, Alex Murdaugh has been found guilty and convicted of two counts of murder on his wife and son, Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, while also having two counts of possession of a weapon during this violent crime and 99 charges of financial crimes.

Alex Murdaugh faces life in prison without parole for over 700 years when adding up all his convictions. 

Before the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, Alex was a lawyer at his generationally-owned family law firm named Parker Law Group LLC.

With the power of owning the law firm in this small county, the Murdaugh family was able to get away with many criminal acts, some are still unaccounted for. This family constantly had the power to do acts above the law thanks to their position of power within the small community.

School Safety Specialist and former police officer Andy Falcon said, “It’s hard to kind of wrap your mind around the idea that you could have a small town politics like that where one family would basically be in positions of Authority or power and basically everybody would work with them.”

Some of the crimes alleged to have been committed by the Murdaugh family are the death of Stephen Smith, Gloria Satterfield, and Mallory Beach.

Stephen Smith, who is said to be the friend of the eldest son, Buster Murdaugh, was said to be killed in a hit-and-run on July 8, 2015. Knowing that Smith died due to blunt force trauma to the head, the police suspected a semi-truck had hit Smith’s head with the side view mirror.

There were a few details that didn’t add up with the cause of death. The details were that there had been no evidence that a vehicle had hit him, Smith was laid out in the middle of the road, placed unnaturally, and Smith produced so much blood that at first glance, the police thought it had been a gun wound to the head. 

Even though this evidence didn’t add up to the conclusion of the incident, the case was closed and swept under the rug.

Another alleged victim, Gloria Satterfield, had been the nanny and housekeeper of the family. The story told was that Satterfield was going to the Murdaugh family household, and while walking up the steps, the dogs owned by the family tripped her, and she fell backward, hitting her head. 

She was admitted to the hospital on Feb. 2, 2018 when the incident happened. She fell into a deep coma and then later died. Her death was said to be an accident.

Alex Murdaugh decided he wanted to sue himself because the event happened on his property and then that money would then go to the siblings of Satterfield. This didn’t happen though. The death settlement for Satterfield had been $4.3 million which wasn’t accounted for.

Years later, Murdaugh was sued by the Satterfield family for stealing this money. He later admitted that these allegations were true.

19-year-old Mallory Beach was another alleged victim of the Murdaugh family. Beach was killed in a group boating accident driven by Paul Murdaugh, the youngest son.

Murdaugh was heavily drunk and refused to let anyone drive his boat, but while he walked away from the wheel, the boat then hit a pillar of a water bridge. This impact created every passenger to fly out of the boat and into the water.

Everyone was accounted for except Beach. She had been presumed missing, but she was later found dead. The cause was drowning and blunt force trauma from hitting her head against a rock.

Paul Murdaugh had three felonies under his belt due to this incident. These charges were boating under the influence, causing the death of Beach, and injuring two other passengers.

Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to these crimes, but couldn’t stand trial due to the fact that he had died before the case made it to court.

Stephan Smith’s case has been reopened and Gloria Satterfield’s body will be examined once more due to the recent trial against Alex Murdaugh.

Another mystery that has yet to be determined is the death of Randolph Murdaugh on July 18, 1940. This death is odd because on his way home, his car stopped on train tracks and a few minutes later, a train approached. He died instantly in the accident.

It is questioned if his death had been because of suicide or alcohol. But later his son, Randolph Jr. sued the railroad company and gained $100,000.

This also sounds oddly similar to Alex Murdaugh’s recent suicide attempt. There is evidence that Alex Murdaugh paid his cousin to shoot and kill him, so then Murdaugh’s eldest son could get money from his death.

Alex didn’t die because his shooter only nicked his head, which didn’t cause any major injuries.

All of this information is just the tip of the iceberg that comes from this family, but evidently murder and money both lie deep within the family roots.

On top of the murder allegations and convictions, the family has been tied to misuse of millions of dollars from clients and the firm, embezzlement and fraud

So how did they get away with it until now?

After Alex Murdaugh was released from a drug rehabilitation facility in ____, he was arrested on Sept. 16 2021, due to the suicide scheme that went south. This finally led many lies to unravel publicly.

For those who would like to learn more about this topic, there have been two documentaries released recently: Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal” which can be found on Netflix and Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty” which can be found on HBO Max.