At least two long guns – one rifle and one shotgun – were reportedly used to carry out a brutal double homicide in Colleton county, South Carolina earlier this week. This case has attracted statewide and national attention as the victims are members of one of the Palmetto State’s most powerful families.
It is not immediately clear whether the weapons used in the commission of this crime have been recovered by agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) – the lead investigative agency in the case. Nor is it clear whether these were the only weapons used in the killings.
Reached for comment late Wednesday, SLED spokesman Tommy Crosby referred me to a statement he provided earlier today.
“No additional information is available while we are conducting an active investigation,” Crosby said.
Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her son Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found dead by R. Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh – Maggie’s husband and Paul’s father – at around 10:00 p.m. EDT at the family’s 1,700-acre hunting lodge near Islandton, S.C., an unincorporated community located just north of Varnville, S.C.
Paul Murdaugh was reportedly killed by a pair of shotgun blasts – one to the chest and another which struck his arm and head, sources on the ground told me Wednesday afternoon. No information is available at this time regarding the wounds that claimed the life of Maggie Murdaugh.
Earlier today, my news outlet reported that Alex Murdaugh was a person of interest in connection with the investigation – however, I noted at the time this was not all that surprising given that he is the one who discovered the bodies (and given his status as husband and father of the two victims).
Also, I noted Murdaugh reportedly provided investigators with an “ironclad” alibi for his whereabouts at the time of the shootings – which police believe took place sometime between 8:50 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. EDT on Monday evening.
Since then, I have been able to obtain additional information related to Alex Murdaugh’s alibi. According to my sources, he was visiting his dying father – former S.C. fourteenth circuit solicitor Randolph Murdaugh III – at the time of the killings.
Sources close to Murdaugh told me late Wednesday he was “not a suspect” in connection with the ongoing investigation and had been “cooperating fully” with SLED.
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The Murdaughs are one of the most powerful families in the Palmetto State – especially in the historic Lowcountry region of South Carolina. Three generations of Murdaughs served as fourteenth circuit solicitor from 1920-2006, and three Murdaughs – including Alex Murdaugh – currently work for the prominent Hampton, S.C. law firm of Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick (PMPED).
The family – which has been known to flex its political muscle – is no stranger to controversy.
Paul Murdaugh, readers will recall, was accused of multiple felony charges in connection with a tragic February 2019 boating accident that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach. Murdaugh had pleaded not guilty to those charges, and was awaiting his day in court at the time he was murdered.
As of this writing, no one has been apprehended or charged in connection with the murders of Paul Murdaugh or his mother. Also, police have not provided any information to the public as to possible suspects. However, local and state law enforcement agencies have gone on the record in the aftermath of the savage slayings saying there is “no danger to the public.”
Many have interpreted this declaration as an indication investigators know (or believe they know) who committed these shocking murders … which sparked a flood of speculation on Tuesday that had many South Carolinians comparing the saga to a John Grisham novel.
This is a developing story … check back for updates.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that lime green Daytona Tortugas’ batting practice lid pictured above).
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