Netflix has become a streaming service known for its true crime documentaries, especially now with its newest one, "Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal," which was released at the end of February. Detailing the lives of the Murdaughs, a formerly well-known upper-class family in Hampton County, SC, the docuseries reveals their hidden motives and criminal activities.
Recently taking the world by storm, here's a list of shocking revelations from the new series:
The Murdaugh family thought they were above the law
In the first episode of the series, viewers are introduced to the Murdaughs, explaining their historical lineage and their rise to wealth and local name recognition in Hampton County. All of the men in the family worked in law enforcement as solicitors or lead prosecutors, which made them the "law and order" of the county, according to Michael Dewitt, an editor from The Hampton County Guardian.
"They ran both sides of the legal ledger, from civil cases to criminal cases," Dewitt said in the series. "They had a network that varied from judges and lawyers, to law enforcement to sheriffs, to the average man on the street who served on the jury. They were the law in this area."
In particular, Paul Murdaugh, the son of Alex Murdaugh, thought he was above the law, abusing his privilege by acting out and getting away with dangerous acts. His ex-girlfriend, Morgan Doughty, said that Alex would buy his son and his underaged friends alcohol, causing all of them to be extremely intoxicated and hostile.
Additionally, the docuseries reveals that in one incident, Paul drove his truck, with beer and guns in the back, into a ditch while under the influence, proving his lack of consciousness and disrespect for the law.
The boating accident that killed Mallory Beach
On Feb. 23, 2019, Doughty agreed to hang out with Paul, along with her friends Miley Altman, Connor Cook, Anthony Cook and Mallory Beach, the group all going to an oyster roast party. After partying all night, the friends went back on Paul's speed boat, causing the scene of the night to turn dark because of his drinking habits.
Drunk, the series explains that Paul's control of the boat got worse as he began speeding, causing the group to become more concerned over his physical state. In the first episode, Doughty said, "Anthony was getting extremely pissed. Paul is yelling at me and he's like, 'Why don't you have my back?' And I was like, 'Why would I have your back? You're screaming at us and you're not making sense. You're acting crazy.'"
She also said, "And he looked at me and he said, 'You know what's crazy? Your father not making enough money to support your family.' I started crying and that's when Paul got in my face and he just started screaming and that's when Paul slapped me."
Shortly after that, Paul's boat crashed into a nearby bridge, and all of their friends were thrown into the water. Beach was nowhere to be found, though, causing the friends to panic. Yet, Paul was found unresponsive and calm.
Altman gave details of the moment, saying, "Once we were actually on our way, Paul called his grandad and was like, 'Yeah we were in a boat accident,'" Miley said. "Like, 'Oh yeah, they can't find Mallory.' And was just like, 'It was Cotton Top that did it.' Cotton Top is Connor's nickname.'"
Seven days later, Beach was found dead.
Along with Beach, The Murdaughs were allegedly involved in the deaths of others as well
Four years before Beach's death, Stephen Smith, one of Paul's classmates, was found dead in the middle of a highway in Hampton County. On the day of his death, police recordings found that Smith had mechanical problems with his car, running out of gas on his way home. Looking for help, he was seen walking on the deserted highway. Shortly after, Smith was found lying in the middle of the road with severe head trauma. Weirdly, his shoes and clothing were still on, and his phone was in his pocket.
The docuseries details the investigation behind his death, saying that the police recordings and the evidence at the scene did not correlate. Journalist Will Folks said, "If someone's going to be the victim of vehicular strike, you're probably not going to find them in the middle of the road. You're probably not going to find them with loose-fitting shoes still on them. You're probably not going to find them with the blood patterns the way they found the blood patterns. Probably not going to find them, again, positioned the way he was positioned."
Furthermore, the police suspected that Smith's death resulted from foul play, but the investigation and case were soon dropped. Yet, the report they wrote said that Buster Murdaugh, Alex's oldest son, may have been in a romantic relationship with Smith and that Paul was also a possible suspect.
One of Smith's friends spoke on this accusation in the series, saying, "As soon as the Murdaugh name was tossed into the mix, of having something to do relationship-wise with Stephen, I feel like the view on his case changed entirely. It went from finding justice for Stephen to defending the Murdaughs and making sure that everyone knew they had nothing to do with it."