Tuesday, June 7, marks one year since Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and Paul Terry Murdaugh, 22, were shot and killed at the rural Colleton County estate.
Even as state police continue to investigate the killings, with no arrests to date, as well as probe multitudes of alleged financial crimes involving Alex Murdaugh, the communities of Hampton County and the surrounding S.C. Lowcountry remember the lives lost in this tragic crime saga, as well as the many alleged financial victims.
Remembering lives lost
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Five deaths — and homicide investigations — are now connected to Murdaugh in some way, deaths that occurred in Beaufort, Colleton and Hampton counties from 2015 to 2021.
In Hampton County, which was home to all of these victims at one time or another, many people still mourn and remember the lives of friends, neighbors and loved ones lost, while hoping for answers and justice.
Stephen Smith was found dead with major head injuries on the night of July 8, 2015, along Sandy Run Road in Hampton County. During the course of investigating the double homicides of Maggie and Paul, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division opened an investigation into Smith’s death in June of 2021.
Smith was a “straight A” student and a 2014 graduate of Wade Hampton High School. He was actively pursuing a career in nursing at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, with thoughts of helping those in need urging him to complete his training. He was reportedly on his way home from a night class when the incident occurred. Friends and family remember him as a happy, fun-loving young man with big dreams of helping others – dreams cut short by his mysterious and unsolved homicide.
Since his death and the reopened investigation, the South Carolina LGBTQ community has taken action, raising money for his family’s legal and memorial needs and raising awareness of LGBTQ issues in small, rural counties like Hampton.
Gloria Satterfield was described as a “housekeeper and nanny” for Murdaugh and his wife, Maggie, but she dearly loved working for the Murdaugh family and considered them her own. She died in February of 2018 after what was reported as a “trip and fall” incident at Murdaugh’s home, but since then her death has become linked with a major insurance fraud scheme involving Murdaugh and others. On Sept. 15, 2021, SLED officially opened an investigation into her death and the handling of her estate.
According to an obituary prepared by her family, Satterfield enjoyed tennis, loved kids and her favorite color was purple. “Most of all, she will be remembered for her laughter and her outgoing personality,” her family said.
Murdaugh recently signed a $4.3 million confession of judgment to her heirs, and the Satterfield family has decided to launch a charitable foundation in her memory to help other struggling, needy families in Hampton County.
Mallory Beach was only 19 years old when she was taken from her family and friends in a very public, tragic way.
Following a Feb. 24, 2019 boat crash, it took search and rescue teams a week to locate her body and bring closure to her grieving family. While this tragic loss of life can never be replaced, or the family’s pain erased, the boat crash incident sparked civil actions against and investigations into Murdaugh and a series of events that is still unfolding today. The S.C. Attorney General’s Office continues to investigate the crash that killed her and its aftermath.
Beach, who had been attending classes at the University of South Carolina, worked at a local retail shop in Beaufort and was known as a kind and caring animal lover. A charity, Mal’s Palz, was founded in her memory to raise money for the Hampton County Animal Shelter.
Maggie and Paul Murdaugh
Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, a mother and her younger son, were shot multiple times and found dead together outside their rural Colleton County home, Moselle. Their friends, family and community members await answers as no one has been charged in these killings.
Friends and family members remember Paul as an energetic young man who loved college football tailgating and being outdoors hunting and fishing. He had pleaded not guilty to three counts of felony boating under the influence in the 2019 boat crash case and was awaiting trial when he was killed.
Maggie is remembered as a loyal friend who loved entertaining and always made her guests feel welcome. She enjoyed summers at the beach or river, college football games, and taking exercise and painting classes. She was often thought of as a “second mom” to her sons’ many friends.
A roll call of alleged financial victims
Murdaugh is accused in a decade-long, multi-county, multiple-victim financial crime spree in which he allegedly stole more than $8 million.
According to state grand jury charges, Murdaugh stole from family, friends, partners and clients who trusted him. He allegedly stole from the living, from the injured and the grieving, and even the dead.
Here is a roll call of all the known financial victims, according to attorneys and state indictments. This list may be incomplete, as this is a complex case, and there may be other victims not yet named by law enforcement.
The Estate of Donna Badger
Estate of Sandra Taylor
Thomas L. Moore
The Estate of Blondell Gary
Tony Satterfield, Brian Harriot, and the Estate of Gloria Satterfield
The Estate of Hakeem Pinckn
The attorneys and partners of the PMPED law firm