(NewsNation) — Alex Murdaugh is set to stand trial for the murder of his wife and son. But, those close to the case say the murders are just one piece of an extensive web of incidents that surround the family, including mysterious deaths, alleged fraud and reported lies.
WSAV reporter Andrew Davis has been following the case since the very beginning. Out of the tangled net of events, Davis says the boat crash that left Mallory Beach dead may be the most significant for the murder trial.
“I think you have to look at the boat crash being the most significant because it was a key factor in some of the financial information coming out,” Davis said.
Many, like Davis, have pointed to Feb. 24, 2019 as the day the Murdaugh dynasty began to tumble down. It’s the day Mallory Beach, 19, disappeared after a night with friends on a boat.
The boat that belonged to the Murdaugh family crashed in Beaufort County, South Carolina. Police noted that those on the boat were intoxicated, but no blood alcohol levels were checked on scene.
“It all stemmed from the boat crash and really it all comes tumbling down the moment that boat hit the piling,” Davis said.
Beach’s boyfriend at the time reportedly told authorities Paul Murdaugh, the family’s youngest son, was the captain of the boat. The Murdaugh family had close connections with law enforcement on many cases in the area.
According to reports, almost two months passed by before Paul Murdaugh was criminally charged and then released the same day on a $50,000 bond and surrender of his passport.
“There’s the question of how much shame did Paul bring to this family, which a lot of people have wondered by? And also, was there just a riff somewhere connected to the boat crash itself,” Davis questioned.
The case also resulted in a number of civil suits from people involved in the crash, including from Beach’s mother. Three days before Paul Murdaugh and Alex’s wife, Maggie, died, mediation to end the Beach lawsuit failed, which means the family’s finances could go on full display at a trial.
“A week after when these killings happened, there was supposed to be a full financial accounting coming from the civil case connected to Mallory Beach’s death in that boat crash. So, Alex would have had to reveal those financial documents which would have shown a lot of these crimes that he apparently committed on the financial sides of things,” Davis said.
Alex Murdaugh’s defense team maintains his innocence in the double murder case.