A scandal of the Murdo family shook a small town in South Carolina


Hampton, South Carolina (AP) — To 2,600 residents of this town in South Carolina They know Alex Murdo, And you will probably nod soon. Almost everyone goes in Hampton. Hampton is a small place with only two lanes on every road.

But when he talks about Madau, he shakes his head firmly and continues, “You’re not going to quote me, right?” No one wants to talk about an influential lawyer whose wife and son were killed. Condemned in a series of controversies — At least not open.

Over the past century, Murdo has manipulated much of the legal world in this remote corner of South Carolina, north of Savannah, Georgia, and far from interstate highways. By running the Prosecutor’s Office and a large civil law firm, Murdo was able to do that quietly until recently.

Murdo’s wife, Maggie, son Paul Killed on June 7th, Was shot multiple times on the vast grounds of the family. No one was arrested for their death. It brought scrutiny to every corner of Murdo’s life.

Killed, stolen money, Concealment of death And September 4th Shooting bullets grab Murdo’s head On a lonely highway. Police said he arranged for his own death and tried to ensure that a $ 10 million life insurance policy would be rewarded for his surviving son.

Murdaugh’s shooting was charged by Curtis “Eddie” Smith, a former client of a workplace accident. Smith said they became friends and was surprised that Madau’s lawyer had fired him as a ruthless drug dealer.

“With such a friend in need of an enemy,” Smith said, roaming around his property in Walter Boro, checking his store and rescue dogs. He said nothing more and claimed to have discussed the case with Murdo. At this point.

Like many in town, Smith was entwined with Murdo in a court in Hampton County. The population is 20,000. Where the family is accustomed to taking power, Not asked.

If you steal something or something is stolen, Murdaughs has filed your proceedings for the state.Alex Murdo’s father, grandfather, great-grandfather Elected prosecutor 87 years in a row.

If you get injured at work, Murdaughs has taken you as a client. The family founded a law firm a century ago. Currently, it employs dozens of lawyers, and its brick headquarters occupies the entire block. There is no sign-out on the front. Everyone knows it’s a Murdaughs company.

And if you had a charity or other reason, Murdaughs donated. The family has donated millions of dollars to projects of all kinds. Alex Murdaugh’s father was the grand marshal of the town’s marquee watermelon festival parade a few years ago.

But many people talk quietly about what happened when Murdo crossed.

Connor Cook said in 2019 he knew his friend Paul Murdo was drunk. He drove a crashed boatKills a 19-year-old passenger. However, Cook said Murdow’s tried to lock him in as a driver, according to a tort proceeding.

In the Deposition, Cook stated that he was afraid of his family. I’ve always been told that. “

On the night of the crash, Alex Murdo and his father visited the hospital. Murdo scrutinized the committee, where staff tried to track the patient and talk to everyone on the boat, the nurse told investigators.

The crash paid attention to what Madau always tried to avoid, and was successful for decades. According to a local newspaper, it took several months to prosecute Paul Murdo for drunk driving. Many in town wondered if their families were exerting considerable influence.

Paul Murdo was waiting for a trial when he died. State police are currently investigating whether Madau interfered with the investigation. They are also investigating the 2018 death of family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield.

She died after falling to Murdo’s house, but the death was not reported to the coroner. The document seems to indicate that Murdau’s insurance paid more than $ 4 million for tort claims. However, Satterfield’s sons’ lawyers have agreed to use Madau’s college buddy lawyer to handle legal affairs and another banker’s friend as an executor, and have since agreed to use a dime. Said he hadn’t seen.

Documents have signatures allegedly from judges, but some are not recorded in publicly searchable court records. Others did not seem to follow the state rules for reconciliation.

Despite being away from the headlines for a long time, Murdaughs are not strangers to their own legal issues. Alex Murdo’s great-grandfather, Randolph, founded a family law office and was elected prosecutor in five county districts, including Hampton County, in 1920. Randolph Murdo died when his car hit a train when he got home from a poker game in 1940.

His son Randolph “Buster” Madau Jr. took over the position of law firm and prosecutor. He worked for 46 years, except for a few months waiting for a federal trial over overturning local moonshine and moving his stills. Eighteen of the 23 defendants were found guilty.

However, according to federal records, “Buster” was acquitted and acquitted. “He couldn’t go back and face the people,” the judge said, even if he was Madau.

The “buster” is bigger than life in court and has been repeatedly warned by the State Supreme Court about inappropriate discussions. He told the jury that he would not attempt another death sentence or would release the rapist awaiting trial if the verdict did not proceed.

Randolph Murdo III, following his father, took over in 1986 and served for almost 20 years. Alex Murdo worked as a volunteer prosecutor before his legal license was suspended in September, but neither of his sons took him to a lawyer’s chair. Dismissed from family PMPED law firm Millions of dollars are missing.

Under civil code, Murdaughs was known to sue railroads. South Carolina law, which is now abolished, allowed anyone who wanted to sue railroads to choose a state county. Murdaughs found a sympathetic jury and made Hampton County known for its seven-digit verdict.

PMPED’s company has dozens of lawyers and practitioners in all 46 counties in South Carolina.Its website list 14 Awards Over $ 1 Million — A railroad company that did not log vegetation at an intersection, a cancer patient injured by chemotherapy, and a 9-year-old burned by an SUV gas tank.

Alex Murdaugh’s brother Randolph Murdaugh IV still works for the company. He did not answer the email asking about his family.

Law firms have issued a statement stating that many of their lawyers grew up in the area and are closely associated with their communities and churches. The company said no one knew that Alex Murdo was a drug addict and no employees were involved in his “plan.”

“He lied and stole from us,” said a PMPED statement.

Alex Madau, 53, stays at a rehab facility outside the state, awaits trial on suspicion of insurance fraud, and submits false reports to police.

Through a lawyer, Murdo categorically denied that his wife Maggie, 52, and his son Paul, 22, had nothing to do with the death. Morning America. “

While people around Hampton pay attention to talking about Murdo, hints about their influence appear. The addendum at the beginning of the tort proceedings over the death of the housekeeper contains all these lines in capital letters.

“Plaintiffs are victims. Plaintiffs are vulnerable. Plaintiffs are scared.”


Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.