Crime & Courts

Green Pond Massacre: Additional Murder Charges, Sex Crimes, Arson Charge Filed

Horrific details revealed …

The initial reports from last month’s Green Pond Massacre in Colleton County, South Carolina were nothing short of horrific – but this week’s announcement of additional charges tied to this mass stabbing/ arson attack hinted at something even more gruesome.

The lone suspect in these savage slayings, Ryan Lenard Manigo, 34, of Walterboro, S.C., is now facing additional murder charges – and sex charges – in addition to the murder and attempted murder charges he was previously facing.

According to Colleton County sheriff Guerry L. “Buddy” Hill and S.C. fourteenth circuit solicitor Duffie Stone, new information has come to light about the graphic scene which unfolded prior to 11:00 a.m. EDT at 779 Folly Creek Lane in Green Pond on July 2, 2023.

Six people died at this address that Sunday morning – four adults and two children. A seventh victim, a 13-year-old girl, escaped with multiple cut and stab wounds. This young woman has been praised for heroically helping authorities identify and apprehend Manigo – describing what she witnessed even as she was being airlifted from the scene to a hospital for treatment of the severe injuries sustained in the attack.

Manigo remained incarcerated in the Colleton County detention center where he is now facing a total of 21 criminal charges tied to the massacre. Prior to this week’s announcement, Manigo was facing two charges of murder for causing the deaths of his sister-in-law, 50-year-old Michelle Wright, and his daughter 11-year-old Sariyah Manigo. He was also facing one charge of attempted murder tied to the 13-year-old survivor, whose name has not been released.

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This week, Manigo was further charged with the murders of 49-year-old Jefferson Burnell, 73-year-old Amose Magwood, and 7-year-old Shamiah Rutledge. He was also charged with first degree arson for starting the fire that killed 101-year-old Maggie Magwood – the homeowner and matriarch of the family. According to sheriff’s deputies, all of the victims killed that day except for the elder Magwood were murdered when Manigo – who was previously employed as a butcher – attacked and stabbed them multiple times.

According to Stone, each of the murder charges carries a minimum sentence of thirty years – meaning Manigo is facing at least 150 years behind bars on those charges alone.

Manigo has also been charged with one count of burglary and six counts of using a deadly weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Arguably the most disturbing charges brought against the repeat offender, though, were two counts of kidnapping, two counts of criminal sexual conduct, two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and one count of incest.

The ongoing investigation into these slayings – and the accompanying horrors visited on multiple young children – is being conducted by sheriff’s deputies and the solicitor’s office with assistance from the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Colleton County Fire and Rescue, and the Colleton County coroner’s office.  

As this news outlet previously reported, Manigo has an extensive rap sheet in the S.C. fourteenth judicial circuit. That sheet includes arrests for kidnapping, armed robbery, burglary and criminal sexual conduct.

Several of these charges were controversially dismissed over the years by Stone’s office. Specifically, a 2008 burglary charge was categorized as “dismissed – not indicted.” In 2010, Manigo pleaded guilty to an armed robbery charge and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison by S.C. circuit court judge Perry Buckner. Most of that sentence was suspended, however, and Manigo spent less than three years in the custody of the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC) – from March 31, 2011 to August 1, 2013.

He was released to probation in Colleton County.

Manigo ran afoul of the law again not long after his release – but a 2015 kidnapping charge was not prosecuted by Stone’s office and a 2017 arrest for criminal sexual conduct was listed as “no billed.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR ...

Callie Lyons (Provided)

Callie Lyons is a journalist, researcher, and author whose investigative work can be found in media outlets, publications, and documentaries all over the world – most recently in the Parisian newspaper Le Monde and a German documentary for ProSieben. Lyons also appears in Citizen Sleuth – a 2023 documentary exploring the genre of true crime.

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