Murdaugh Murder Mystery Timeline: Officials open investigation into claims against Alex Murdaugh

Here's a breakdown of all the events surrounding the Murdaugh murder mystery.


A son and mother found shot to death on their South Carolina property.

News of the deaths of Paul Murdaugh, 22, and Maggie Murdaugh, 52, has led to national headlines. Not only for the mystery surrounding their murders but for the ties to other death investigations: Stephen Smith in 2015 and Mallory Beach in 2019.

Here you will find a timeline of all the events surrounding the Murdaugh murder mystery:

July 8, 2015: Stephen Smith, 19, is found dead on in Hampton County, South Carolina. No arrest is made.

Feb. 24, 2019: Mallory Beach, 19, goes missing after a boat crash near Parris Island, South Carolina. A 911 call is placed from the scene of the crash.

Photos from the scene capture damage to the boat, blood stains and numerous containers of beer.

March 3, 2019: Following a week of searching, a boater discovers Mallory's body in a marsh area near the Broad River boat landing in South Carolina.

March 2019: The Beach family files a wrongful death lawsuit against a South Carolina bar, convenience store and two homeowners all of whom, the suit claims, served Beach and her underage friends alcohol the night of the crash. The lawsuit was later amended to only name Richard Alexander "Alex" Murdaugh Sr., Richard Alexander "Buster" Murdaugh Jr., and Parker's convenience store.

April 18, 2019: Paul Murdaugh is indicted on charges of boating under the influence causing death and two counts of boating under the influence causing great bodily injury.

May 6, 2019: Murdaugh pleads not guilty to all charges.

June 4, 2021: Court-ordered mediation in the wrongful death lawsuit fails, which appears to make the case bound for trial.

June 7, 2021: Alex Murdaugh discovers the bodies of his son Paul and wife Maggie at their 1,770-acre hunting lodge. A 911 call is placed at 10:07 p.m.

"I need the police and ambulance immediately," Alex Murdaugh says in the 911 call. "My wife and child have been shot badly!"

The Colleton County Sheriff's Office responds and secures the scene. South Carolina's State Law Enforcement Division is contacted at 10:28 p.m. to assist. SLED agents arrive at 11:47 p.m.

Murdaugh family friend Tangie Ohmer tells sister station WJCL: "It was just siren after siren..."

June 8, 2021: Authorities confirm the identities of the deceased, referring to the incident as a double homicide. However, they say there is no threat to the public.

June 11, 2021: A graveside service is held at Hampton Cemetery for both Paul and Maggie Murdaugh.

June 14, 2021: The Colleton County Coroner confirms both Paul and Maggie Murdaugh died from multiple gunshot wounds. The estimated time of death is somewhere between 9 and 9:30 p.m.

June 16, 2021: SLED creates a 24-hour dedicated tipline for the case: 803-896-2605.

June 17, 2021: Alex Murdaugh's brothers, Randy Murdaugh IV and John Marvin Murdaugh, appear in an interview with ABC News in which they plead with the public to come forward with any information. They say they don't know whether the family has enemies but Paul Murdaugh had received threats.

June 21, 2021: SLED releases a handful of heavily-redacted documents shedding light on what deputies discovered the night of the murders.

June 23, 2021: Based on information gathered in the Murdaugh investigation, SLED says it is looking into the 2015 death of Stephen Smith. SLED does not elaborate on what information it obtained.

June 25, 2021: Members of the Murdaugh family formally announce a $100,000 reward for information that leads to arrest in the double homicide.

July 7, 2021: Attorneys representing a survivor of the boat crash that killed Mallory Beach filed a petition alleging law enforcement tried to shift the blame from Paul Murdaugh to their client, Connor Cook.

July 14, 2021: During a court hearing, Circuit Judge Bentley Price said he would review the redactions made by SLED in publicly-released documents pertaining to the case and if he felt they weren’t legal, order more information released.

July 22, 2021: SLED releases the 911 call placed by Alex Murdaugh the night Paul and Maggie Murdaugh were killed.

Aug. 6, 2021: People magazine spotlights the double homicide of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh.

The South Carolina Attorney General's Office drops all charges against Paul Murdaugh in the death of Mallory Beach due to his own death.

Aug. 11, 2021: 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone sends a letter to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson stating he intends to recuse himself from the investigations into the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.

Aug. 17, 2021: Following a Freedom of Information Act request, WJCL receives photos and videos from the South Carolina Attorney General's Office collected as evidence following the boat crash that killed Mallory Beach.

Sept. 4, 2021: Alex Murdaugh, father of Paul and husband to Maggie, is shot in the head while changing a tire, according to a family spokesperson. SLED is investigating. He is hospitalized in Savannah, Georgia, and said to be conscious and speaking.

Sept. 6, 2021: Alex Murdaugh releases a statement that says, in part, he is resigning from his law firm and entering rehab.

Later that day, the PMPED law firm says Murdaugh was stealing money from them.

“This is disappointing news for all of us. Rest assured that our firm will deal with this in a straightforward manner. There’s no place in our firm for such behavior,” the law firm said in a statement.

Sept. 8, 2021: The South Carolina Supreme Court suspends Alex Murdaugh's law license, effective immediately.

Sept. 9, 2021: Following a Freedom of Information Act request, WJCL receives an incident report from the Hampton County Sheriff's Office regarding law enforcement response to Alex Murdaugh's shooting.

Sept. 10, 2021: A spokesperson representing Alex Murdaugh releases a statement saying, in part, Murdaugh's shooting was not self-inflicted, he sustained a skull fracture and the gunman was driving a blue pickup truck.

Sept. 13, 2021: SLED announces it has opened an investigation into claims Alex Murdaugh was misappropriating funds from his former law firm.

Sept. 14, 2021: Curtis Edward Smith, 61, is arrested in connection to the assisted suicide shooting of Alex Murdaugh. Authorities say Murdaugh admits that the scheme was set up so his surviving son could collect a $10 million life insurance policy.

Attorneys representing Alex Murdaugh issue a statement that Murdaugh has battled opioid addiction for 20 years and Smith was one of his drug dealers.

Sept. 15, 2021: Smith appears via video conference in a Colleton County court for the charge of distribution of methamphetamine. Because it was his first offense, he was able to post a $5,000 bond. His next appearance is set for November 8.

Smith is transferred to Hampton County court to face charges in connection to the Murdaugh shooting.

Sept. 15, 2021: Alex Murdaugh is named the chief plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the sons of longtime Murdaugh housekeeper and nanny, Gloria Satterfield. SLED announces it is opening a criminal investigation into Satterfield's 2018 death. Read more here.

Sept. 16, 2021: The man accused of shooting Murdaugh appears in court.

Sept. 16, 2021: Murdaugh turns himself into police.