Crime & Courts

Green Pond Massacre: ‘Under Cloak Of Darkness’

Warrants released for Ryan Manigo, the butcher of Colleton County …

New arrest warrants issued in the aftermath of the horrific Green Pond Massacre grimly describe the tragic events that unfolded on July 2, 2023 when six people were killed – and a seventh was seriously injured – at a rural Colleton County, South Carolina residence.

The accused killer – Ryan L. Manigo, 34, of Walterboro, S.C. – remains behind bars at the Colleton County detention center. He has been held without bond since his arrest – which was made after the surviving victim provided police with his name and description (along with a description of his vehicle).

The 13-year-old girl who survived this gruesome massacre was badly injured, but her statements to law enforcement resulted in the almost-immediate apprehension of the suspect – and her explanation of what transpired within this house of horrors resulted in some very specific charges being filed against him.

According to the arrest warrants (.pdf) obtained by this media outlet, Manigo – a grocery store butcher – entered the home at 779 Folly Beach Drive in Green Pond “under the cloak of darkness while armed with a knife.”



Most of the victims of this massacre – four adults and three children – were related to each other. All of them had gathered for the Fourth of July holiday weekend at the home of the family matriarch, 101-year-old Maggie Magwood. According to the warrants, five of the victims – 73-year-old Amose Magwood, 50-year-old Michelle Wright, 49-year-old Jefferson Burnell, 11-year-old Sariyah Manigo (the accused killer’s daughter), and 7-year-old Shamiah Rutledge – were stabbed to death by Manigo.

Centenarian Maggie Magwood died of smoke inhalation – a result of the fire Manigo allegedly set prior to fleeing the scene. Family members say Maggie Magwood took Manigo into her home and took care of him – making the violent murders all the more senseless.

Found on the front porch of the residence, the surviving victim juvenile victim was stabbed multiple times and had to be air-lifted from the scene to a trauma center where she was treated for serious injuries. Before she was transported, though, she told the responding deputies what happened – and who did it.

After stabbing the family members to death, Manigo “unlawfully seized and confined the juvenile and her juvenile cousin inside the residence, forcibly raping them both at knife point,” according to the warrants. He then proceeded to “set the house on fire and stabbed both juveniles multiple times, killing the juvenile cousin,” the warrants alleged.

(Click to view)

Sariya Manigo (Provided)

It is not immediately clear how long the attack lasted, but if Manigo indeed arrived “under the cloak of darkness” that would put his arrival at the residence well before sunrise at 6:18 a.m. EDT. Police were first dispatched to the scene prior to 11:00 a.m. EDT.

Of note? Law enforcement is not relying exclusively on the word of the courageous young survivor of this horrific attack – who reportedly played dead to avoid being finished off by the killer. According to the warrants, probable cause for Manigo’s arrest on the charges was based “on witness statements” but also on “evidence collected from the scene, the defendant’s residence and his vehicle.”

All told, Manigo is facing 21 criminal charges – five counts of murder, six counts of possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, first degree arson and burglary. He is also facing two counts of kidnapping, two counts of criminal sexual conduct, two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and one count of incest.

Last week, Manigo’s public defender asked the court to prevent the disclosure of his communications from jail. Several media outlets. Including FITSNews, have submitted FOIA requests for audio recordings of his monitored phone calls. Attorney Matthew Walker has asked for a ruling that would require a hearing before media requests are considered.

Manigo’s next court appearance is scheduled for September 15, 2023 at the Colleton County courthouse in Walterboro, S.C.

Dania Magwood, one of the relatives of the victims, made it clear at a recent bond hearing the sort of justice she wants to see meted out in this case.

(Click to view)

Firefighters enter the residence of Maggie Magwood in Green Pond, S.C. following the horrific ‘Green Pond Massacre.’ (Colleton County Fire & Rescue)

“I wish you death,” Magwood said at a court hearing last month. “I wish you the death penalty.”

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

Several of these charges were controversially dismissed over the years by the office of S.C. fourteenth circuit solicitor Duffie Stone. 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.”



(Via: Colleton County)



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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Joy Gammon Top fan August 16, 2023 at 5:06 pm

Calli, thanks for the report, and please stay on it. Walterboro must be a horrible place to live, with drug gangs roaming the streets with no morals and taking advantage of the residents of this small town. I wonder if this could be where drugs are bought and sold, as in the Murdaugh story. If the people he was involved with and heavy hitters in the drug trade in SC, would that not be a RICO case that could round up the whole people involved, the rich and poor? I asked a lawyer that I followed yesterday and got no response. I don’t know if the SC Justice Department knows about RICO; they should; it is about organized crime and brings down many crooks simultaneously. I am no old country lawyer, but I am interested in this case.

Goody3 Top fan August 16, 2023 at 6:17 pm

Pardon my French – the hell with RICO!!! This guy needs to fry. Plain and simple. I shuddered at the family members’ names and their ages + the additional info re his rape of 2 young victims. There is a special place in Hell reserved for child abusers/rapists such as this maniacal sadist.
I’m usually not this vitriolic – today is a totally different story. God may have mercy on his soul – but not me.

CongareeCatfish Top fan August 17, 2023 at 5:06 pm

I think the RICO references were directed at catching others in this dude’s orbit, not himself. He needs a slow trip through a fast wood chipper.


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