Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by worm, Jun 8, 2021.
The Post & Courier of Charleston has sued to get the 911 call and other case details released.
Thank you for posting this so I could read it! This is so kind of you.
Wow. After reading about this family and the murder and death surrounding them, I feel like I am reading one of my mom's Sidney Sheldon books.
With respect to other deaths and tragedy that the media is linking to the family, I would take all of that with a grain of salt. I mean this is an extremely well known family that has VERY deep pockets. Unfortunately, just because of the wealth, they would be targets for greed. I don't know if that is always the case, but it is something to consider.
I think Paul had become a liability.
Seriously. If even half of what has been written about PM is true, the guy was a complete <modsnip>
I mean, just in the previous week, I have read that he smacked around his girlfriend, was known for stripping down to his undies when he drank, and was disrespectful- often screaming and cussing in public- to his mother.
I am trying to reserve judgement and am not out to speak ill of a murder victim, but the gloves are off for PM and the media - true or not, he has been painted as a spoiled and entitled brat suffering from "affluenza".
As of now, we don't even know that he (or his mother, for that matter) was the actual murder target. But trying to keep an open mind is difficult.
Quotes I use are from the NYPost and Daily Mail articles.
Paul Murdaugh murder: The OTHER mysterious deaths linked to South Carolina legal dynasty | Daily Mail Online
Inside the toxic Murdaugh family of South Carolina
For generations, as prosecutors and as personal injury lawyers, this family has been in the business of punishing people. And they have been quite successful at it
From the NYPost article…
‘The untouchable family ran the prosecutor’s offices in the five counties that make up the Lowcountry while also, incredibly, operating a powerhouse litigation firm, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, with tentacles in the highest echelons of the red state — despite being Democrats.’
But, fairly or not, in comments under articles and social media posts, it has been obvious from the first reporting of the murders…that many people believe that this family that purports to be THE LAW…has lived exempt from that law themselves. As we can now discuss, this did not begin with the death of Mallory Beach. More from the NYpost article.
The Murdaughs have also been relentlessly targeted arounPd town and on social media, without proof, in the haunting death of 19-year-old Stephen Smith. Early on the morning of July 8, 2015, the young gay man from Hampton was found dead in the middle of a rural road outside town. His skull was partially crushed and bloodied. There was a gaping hole in his fore-head, and his shoulder had been dislocated.
Stephen’s mother Sandy Smith, 55, who lives in a trailer at the end of a dirt road, told The Post she’s been fighting publiclyfor six years to find out what happened to her son. “I’ll never stop fighting to find out what happened to Stephen,” she said. “He was my rock star.”
‘From the Daily Mail…
‘And in 2015, gay teen Stephen Smith was found dead in the road with horrible injuries in an unsolved case the medical examiner ruled a hit-and-roun -- a conclusion cops questioned after receiving tips linking Paul as a person of interest.’
Next the maid died in their home.
‘Alec was the only defendant listed in the settlement, which stated that Gloria Satterfield died as a result of injuries sustained during a 'trip and fall accident, in Hampton County.'
The document does not state where the fatal incident took place, but Satterfield was reportedly a housekeeper for the Murdaugh family, and her obituary named them as 'those she loved as her family.'
Court documents did not specify why Alec was accused of fault in the woman's February 6, 2018 death.’
This all preceded the death of Mallory Beach. But her death and the perceived difference in the way that PM’s case was handled, with no sobriety test, no restriction on travel, no ankle bracelet, etc certainly intensified feelings about a double standard.
Add to that questions about a change in the autopsy result and the investigation into the death of Stephen Smith, the gay young man whose Mother still is seeking resolution. Here is a link to an excellent article and interview with Stephen’s mother. Remember this article and this death preceded the death of Mallory Beach.
'Mrs. Maggie don't deserve this,' neighbor Gabby Thomas, 62, whose hunting club is next to the Murdaugh estate where the murders occurred, told the New York Post.
'She'd give you the shirt off her back,that one. Wonderful woman. Them others? I don't know. But she sure spoiled Paul. I heard him talk back to her once so bad in the beauty parlor once that I made him apologize.'o
I wonder if this new publicity because of the murders…will cause the Stephen Smith case to be reopened? Meanwhile there is still the Mallory Beach civil suit and the grand jury investigation into ‘obstruction of justice.’
Typically in these situations (which are common in the Low Country), the owners will run their property as a hunting estate, meaning, that traveling sportsmen can come and hunt for a fee....it's a business. Back when I lived in that area (1988), daily fees for hunting could run anywhere from $150 to $1000, usually with a minimum stay (3 to 5 days) required. Sometimes an additional "trophy fee" will be assessed if a hunter kills a record-book buck. I don't have any idea what those fees range to now.
Another practice is to lease the hunting rights to a local hunting club, which charges a yearly fee to its members, and sometimes also an initiation fee. Usually these clubs have long waiting lists for admission.
Thanks Oakie - with this knowledge, it's no stretch to believe a lot of folks knew Moselle and the surrounding properties quite well and could easily have come and gone undetected.
Change the "by-no-means wealthy" to wealthy for me and I'll deal with the boring.
Updated full story, Mother of slain H.C. teen states possible "hate crime"
“Stephen’s body was found on Sandy Run Road, near Crocketville on July 8, 2015. He was apparently walking to his home, on Joe Miley Road, after running out of gas on Highway 601. His death certificate states that he died due to severe blunt force trauma to his head, which investigators claim resulted after being struck by a vehicle during a hit-and-run incident.
Stephen was a straight A student and a 2014 graduate of Wade Hampton High School. He was actively pursuing a career in nursing at OC Tech, with thoughts of helping those in need urging him to complete his training. He was, in fact, on his way home from a night class when the incident occurred.
There have been rumors in the county about the death of Stephen Smith. The H.C.’s coroner’s report, according to Smith, claims Stephen was struck by the mirror of a large truck. This is an account of her son’s death that Smith cannot, and will not, accept.
“It just doesn’t make sense to me. He was struck in the head by a truck mirror? I just can’t see that happening, he would have got out of the way. The reports state that he was walking in the middle of the road and was found 2.7 miles away from his car,” said the heartbroken mother. “The way his body was laying in the road, with his arm dislocated and bent back behind his body, I just don’t believe that he was struck by the mirror of a vehicle.”
She went on to state that, in her opinion, if her son was, indeed, struck by a mirror, that there would be pieces of broken plastic or glass on the ground or in his wounds, which there was not.
According to Smith, rumors regarding her late son have circulated around town, and not just about his tragic, and extremely brutal, death. Questions regarding her son’s sexual preferences have been whispered amongst Hampton County residents following Stephen’s death.
“Stephen was in the process of discovering himself and his sexuality,” said Smith. “He was gay. One rumor is that he may have had a man stalking him, the authorities asked me about that, but I’ve heard other stories I believe more.”
Smith will not give the names of the people she feels are responsible for her son’s death, but does feel strongly that she knows exactly who killed her child.
“One of the guys that supposedly did this, Stephen told his twin sister that he had ‘a fling’ with the boy. He also told me that he and the boy had a deep sea fishing trip planned for July. Stephen died on the eighth of July,” stated Smith. “It doesn’t matter what his sexual preferences were, he was still my son and he was not messing with anybody and was going to school to better himself.”
“I guarantee you that Stephen was not in that road. They took him from his car; everybody knew his car because he had the ugliest little ‘banana’ [car] in town,” Smith stated passionately. “These boys were coming from a baseball game and I think that they were right behind him, so when he had to pull over, they were right there,” she explained. “I just don’t believe my son would have been walking in the middle of the road like that. He would have seen headlights coming and got off the road. It just doesn’t make any sense,” she continued. “The worst part is that some of the individuals responsible were Stephen’s classmates.”
“This was a fight that he didn’t have a chance to win. I know my son and he was strong, one person didn’t do this because Stephen would have fought back,” she said.
Idk what to think about all this…. actually the first thing I think is that libel laws - the restraint on printing unverified stories turning PM into a serial killer - don’t apply to the dead. So now it’s open season on anything bad that’s ever been said about him and allegations against him are surely bringing in web traffic…
beyond that …. If the woman who worked in their home & died in a ‘slip & fall’ was in any way injured in the home, the homeowner is likely to be technically liable whether there was any wrongdoing or not. EG if (MOO made up speculation) she stepped onto an old staircase with a rotting riser that no one knew about & had a tragic fall - or even if the M family had told her the staircase was unsafe & to stay off it - the M family would most likely be held liable if sued.
This is because they maintained the staircase in unsafe condition & didn’t try hard to enough to keep her off it …. no actual wrongdoing or even knowledge needed, more of an administrative turn of law to incentivize people to make sure their property is safe. These are general principles of law - no idea how it plays out in SC but the principles are the same all over the US.
Similarly, the M family should’ve had workers comp insurance to compensate any on-the-job injury, which would’ve protected them from lawsuit …. this is a very basic aspect of maintaining a workforce & cannot imagine the Ms didn’t have it. All that, plus them being named as beloved to her in her obituary, makes me think JMO what happened to her was most likely a tragic accident where the M fam stepped up to the plate to help with expenses & support her survivors w/o any implication of fault or wrongdoing by the M family…. MOO
as for the young man who was killed in the road …. that one sounds more curious. Altho the allegations making it curious do come from his broken-hearted mother & they don’t all quite make sense, fit together, or even nec point to PM ….. but regardless of any PM involvement, that one sounds like it could use another look MOO …. thanks to whoever started a thread for the young man Stephen Smith, I’m going to follow that too.
Your points are well taken. And in fairness, we need to factor in envy and even fear…of this very wealthy and powerful family. I don’t think much would have been made about the death of the housekeeper, and you have explained exactly why…but she died after Smith and before Beach. A storyline of rumors was building.
The rumors around the death of Stephen Smith were exacerbated by the way the investigation was handled…perhaps having nothing at all to do with the M family…but that’s how rumors become wildfire. And Mrs Smith deserved as much attention and a through investigation to her son’s death…as the M family are receiving today.
Then there was Mallory Breach’s death…and this family of prosecutors arrive almost immediately and prevent sobriety tests. Essentially, in my opinion, they used their law expertise to protect their family member…as is their right…but how often, over decades, did they use that same expertise as prosecutors and personal injury lawyers…against other families to see that their loved one was punished?
As a parent, I understand what they did. But decisions made by the court are more baffling to me.
All my opinions only.
You can bet there are locals that know exactly what happened to Stephen Smith, the housekeeper, and maybe even PM/MM, but they keep their mouths closed in fear of retribution.
My parents grew up in LA (lower Alabama) and my dad would tell me stories about how Alabama justice would kick in if the regular justice system didn't produce the "correct" result.
I guess I wonder how could it be ‘justice-oriented’ if it took his mother MM too ? Given that, attempted robbery gone awry feels like a better fit MOO ….
I'm in the "PM as the target" camp so simply because she was a witness to PM's murder and could not be left alive.
I think that Maggie does a lot to illustrate many of the points of discussion in this case. If the family is a target of envy and greed why is it all but impossible to find any criticism of Maggie beyond that she liked to wear fur, which is really more of a philosophical/political matter? Literally every interview on the family in which she was specifically mentioned, she was spoken of positively.
So why was she also killed? I speculate that she was simply in the wrong place at the wrong moment, struck by the same initial barrage of gunfire as Paul who was then definitively executed by shotgun. I've weighed a lot of different scenarios in my mind given the incredibly limited reporting and at this time, that scenario seems the most likely to me.
Edited to add: Her immediate maternal instinct may have caused her to shield Paul as soon as they came under fire
Thanks for this information, @WildHeart!
I just read the article (below) and see that they are pressuring to have the police report on the double murders released as well as the 911 call.
They point out that legally the police report has to be released to the public, even if it's heavily redacted.
Almost 2 weeks since SC Murdaugh killing, police have offered few details — and a tip line
The details of what happened at Moselle on June 7 are still largely unknown to the public, and investigators have refused to release even the most basic records related to the killings."
"The Post and Courier sued SLED and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office on June 17 for violating the state’s Freedom of Information Act. That law requires police to release their reports on recent incidents to any member of the public who comes to their offices."
"When the newspaper’s reporters visited the sheriff’s office in Walterboro and SLED headquarters in Columbia, the agencies would not release the reports. The sheriff’s office deferred to SLED, and SLED would not open its doors."
"While law enforcement agencies are allowed to redact certain information to protect their investigations, SLED has refused to release even redacted reports."
"The newspaper’s lawsuit also seeks recordings of any 911 calls reporting the shootings."
I don't understand their reticence over releasing the initial police report.
In my opinion, withholding the police report does the opposite of quelling rumors. It serves no purpose.
Hopefully the Post and Courier's lawsuit over this will be heard soon.
Given that the parents in this case are apparently perceived as enablers of the bad behavior of their youngest son, it doesn't surprise me at all that someone seeking to kill Paul would also kill MM, if only to eliminate witnesses. MM may have just been unlucky. Who would try and rob a dog kennel? Wouldn't a robber break into the house or at least attempt to make the victims hand over their ATM cards and jewelry? If it was a robbery, it was terribly planned and only two murders occurred as a result of it.
Who brings long guns (two different kinds) to a household robbery?