Earlier this week, we reported on the news that the notorious millionaire murderer Robert Durst was found guilty of killing his best friend Susan Berman back in 2001.
Durst was the subject of a 2015 true crime documentary entitled The Jinx, and there were fans of the genre felt that Dust’s story — especially with its hastily dismembered corpses; decades on the run (often while disguised in drag); and bizarre, televised confession — was about the most shocking they would ever encounter.
But in the past two weeks, two other real-life crime dramas reminded us that truth is so often stranger than fiction — especially with regard to extreme behavior.
First, the death of internet personality Gabby Petito, whose fiance is still hiding from the authorities.
Now, social media is captivated by the bizarre deaths of several members of the Murdaugh family, the latest generation in a longstanding South Carolina legal dynasty.
The deaths themselves are strange enough, but the investigation has uncovered a web of small-town grudges and entanglements that bring to mind Mare of Easttown.
The story begins back in 2019, when 19-year-old Paul Murdaugh was involved in a boat crash that resulted in the death of fellow teen Mallory Beach.
Beach’s family filed wrongful death lawsuits against Paul’s father Alex, as well as his brother 25-year-old Richard Alexander “Buster” Murdaugh Jr.
The plaintiffs claimed that both parties had supplied the teens with alcohol before the trip.
After many delays — which locals attributed to the Murdaugh’s clout and connections — Paul was eventually indicted on charges of Boating under the influence causing death and two counts of boating under the influence causing great bodily injury.
He was released on $5,000 bail pending trial.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck before Paul ever got his day in court.
Shortly after the bail hearing, Alex Murdaugh returned home to find his wife Maggie and son Paul dead multiple gunshot wounds.
Two of Alex’s siblings later went on Good Morning America and revealed that the family had been receiving threats, and there was fear that justice would not be served because of the Murdaugh’s connections.
“I see words like ‘dynasty’ used, and ‘power,'” Randy Murdaugh asserted.
“But we’re just regular people that are working hard and trying to do right. And I think when you do those things, people respect you. We had great opportunities.”
The case took yet another bizarre turn on September 4, when Alex was shot while changing a tire by the side of the road.
He survived, but shortly thereafter, he checked into rehab, as his law firm publicly accused him of misappropriating funds.
Last week, Alex revealed that he had paid a hitman $10 million to kill him so that his wife and son might benefit from his health insurance policy.
The hitman Alex hired has since been arrested, but that’s far from the end of this drama.
Details in this case have led the authorities to re-open recent closed murder investigations, one in which the victim was a Murdaugh family friend, the other in which one of the Murtaugh’s longest-running houseeper was killled.
The family of the housekeeper already received $500,000 from Paul as part of settlement deal.
We don’t want to say for certain that Paul definitely murdered all of these people.
But it wouldn’t certainly be quite a coincidence if he didn’t!
We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.
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