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tv   Low Country The Murdaugh Dynasty  CNN  February 19, 2023 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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going on right now. multiple shell casing signs here -- ten at least. we now know that it was somewhere after 1:30 today that alec murdaugh was shot in the head. >> if you didn't know the murdaughs, you wasn't from hampton. and whether you knew 'em or not, they knew you. >> they've been the solicitors non stop for a hundred years. >> money, position, power. >> kings of the low country. >> you're friends with them and you appreciate them, but at the same time you have to beware of them because if something goes down, you're going to be the one in trouble, not them.
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>> good evening, everybody. andrew davis out here in hampton county right now with a story that really everybody is talking about. we now know officially that alex murdaugh was shot. >> alex murdaugh was changing a tire on the side of the road in rural hampton county saturday when a car passed him, turned around, and someone shot him in the head. >> this is when you wonder if they just started making things up or it was a soap opera
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somewhere. it seems like it's a tv show more than it seemed like real life, because in this case, how does this get more unusual? and then was it the same person that shot maggie and paul or what may happen as you spin through your mind? >> murdaugh called 9-1-1 shortly after 1:30 in the afternoon to report he'd been shot. he was airlifted to a hospital in savannah for treatment. >> there was an entry and exit wound. murdaugh's skull was fractured and there was minor brain bleeding as well. >> when i first got that call, i was fearing for the worst, like, oh, my god, like he was just killed like another, you know, another death in this family. >> it's a long, twisted, crazy tale of awful things for this family, for everybody concerned. but what we know right now, sled is investigating, hampton county sheriff's are investigating. alex is right now hopefully expected to recover. >> things go dark and i see the light and i'm going to the light. now, for a second, i thought to myself, you know, in my head, it didn't take me long to realize i
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wasn't dead. then the next thing that occurred is, oh, my god, i'm really going to be messed up. i'm going to be blind, you know, and then i could reach back and feel my head and i knew my head wasn't missing. i was bleeding, but i could tell like it wasn't like a big section of my head blown off. >> my initial thought is, what the [ bleep ] is going on? i was shocked beyond belief and bewildered and concerned because someone is trying to kill me. the family needs to know because they are concerned for their safety. >> can you give me a description of the person that shot you or shot at you? >> yes, ma'am. i mean, it was a white fella. i'd say a fair amount younger than me.
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really, really short hair. >> someone's going through great distances to punish this family. they didn't think maggie and paul were enough. i'm sure there's a couple of enemies out there. a lot of people hold grudges. the list of it could be endless. how many family members has he put in prison? how many people are mad that, you know, the privileged state. >> at the time, the investigator told me we didn't find a gun. his tire had been slashed. it certainly is very disturbing that there would be vigilantes out there who just was going to take justice into their own hands. >> this is yet another tragic event for the murdaugh family. this past june, alex murdaugh found his wife maggie and youngest son paul shot to death at the family's colleton county property. no suspects have been arrested. in any sort of death
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investigation, it's extremely common for investigators to immediately look at who had grudges on people that have died. paul was awaiting trial for mallory beach's death. so it would make sense for sled to immediately look at all of the boat crash victims and their families to see if they had any sort of involvement. at the end of the day, sled deemed that none of them were suspects, which created a bigger question of, well, then who would want to hurt these people? but this was not the first time that the murdaughs had been implicated in some sort of crime.
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>> hampton county 911, what is your emergency? >> hello, um, i was going down along crocketville road. i see somebody laying out. >> is it in the road or on the side of the road? >> in the roadway. i didn't moved him or nothing like that, but somebody's going to hit him and it's dark. somebody's going to hit him. >> all right. we'll get an officer headed out that way. >> i was taking my dad to work and we were taking sandy run road. we pull up to a scene. we didn't know what it was. we just seen state troopers all around the road. no lights. cars are just sitting there running. finally, after waiting like 15 minutes, we took the long way. i dropped my dad off and i was
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like, hey, i'm going to try to take that way back home because it's a small town. if you see something like that, you you're going to be nosy. so i went back through. they were still there. so i took the other back way home. >> i think i heard it on the radio at like 7:30 i called and stephanie answered. i said, are you ok? i heard that somebody threw a body out on sandy run road. >> she was like, who do you think it is? i said, i don't know. but i was like, mama, did you hear from stephen any? i was like, stephen never came home. >> and that's when i knew. that it was him.
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stephen was a rambunctious person and he just always made you smile. his quirkiness, he was intelligent and dramatic. sometimes he could fake cry in a minute. in public. >> growing up with a twin, like there was never a dull moment. i was the shy one. he was the more outspoken one. >> he knew himself. he knew who he wanted to be. he knew who he was. he just was a fun person, like that annoying big brother that you just love. you know how like you see in
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movies and stuff, there's always the popular group and then there's like the odd ones that don't fit in. well, we were the odd ones. we were kind of like the outcasts, but at the skate rink, that was our safe place so we could be who we wanted to be. and you didn't have to worry about somebody coming in and trying to beat you up or jump you just because you were different. the first time i met stephen, we were all dancing and he loved to dance, like he could move. he was the center of attention and everybody would just follow along. most of the popular groups are people's family that have money, big names like the murdaughs. if your name's not powerful, like my last name compared to the murdaughs, it's on the bottom. you're either here or you're here. so it's like i'm here.
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it's like some people can just do whatever they want and then they just throw their last name out there and then they get away with it. i guess if you don't have money, you're a nobody. if i did have the things that the murdaughs are accused of, i would be under a jail cell. >> we didn't have a lot, you know, growing up, but stephen understood something that a lot of kids don't understand and that this is not forever. that we were deserving of more and that a dream is what you make it. >> he didn't let nobody get in his way of what he wanted. he said he was going to start out in nursing and work his way up to a doctor because he wanted to go overseas to help children that don't have doctors. and he would have been -- he would have been the best, because always what he put his
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>> investigators in hampton county are still piecing together clues after a teenager was found dead beside a rural road. they said it appears to have been a hit and run that killed 19-year-old stephen smith.
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>> a young white male lying in the roadway with a severe head trauma. >> i was the first sergeant. i received a call early in the morning before my shift started saying we think there's been a hit and run involving a pedestrian. when i get on scene, the sheriff's department is already there. so is the coroner. i looked at his injuries. i walked the scene to look for vehicle parts. i mean, that road essentially was clean. nothing on it. no parts, no glass, no fragments, no anything. i was confident when i left. this is not a wreck. this is a murder. no one has ever that i've worked with on the highway patrol think this is a hit and run. but the sheriff's department and the coroner, they say it is a wreck and the only reason it's a
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wreck, according to them, is because his body was in the road. no other evidence. we are the ones that specialize in wrecks, not the sheriff's department, not the coroner. but they essentially refused to take the case back and investigate it as foul play. when you think of what's going on, that seems like somebody's trying to cover something up. >> that morning when they found stephen, joel, stephen's dad, was called in to go to the sheriff's department at like 8:00.
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and then before the sheriff came in, randy murdaugh was calling. he was doing a workman's comp claim for joel. and so he called joel and offered to investigate. all he wanted was his electronics, his passwords, his facebook, and he didn't ask any questions. i just need those electronics. it just didn't make no sense. and then when i was going to the funeral home to set up arrangements, i seen randy murdaugh and alex murdaugh on the scene where stephen's body was. stephen's body left the roadway at 9:30 and it had to be about 10:30, 11:00 the same day. >> i heard randy murdaugh went to the scene and joel said that he told him that he would represent him for free. but why was he there in the first place? how did he know that stephen was killed?
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>> pmpd, by and large, made money as a personal injury firm. why would they want to help stephen smith's family with a death investigation? you wouldn't put yourself out there to try to help or damage control a situation like it kind of seemed that randy was doing unless you're trying to save your own family from something. >> the murdaugh law firm did have an investigator show up after a couple of days had gone by. we're out there still trying to comb that scene to try to find something because no other law enforcement is willing to help. he shows up with a camera and wants to come in the crime scene. i said, i'm sorry, you can't come in here. i told him if he wanted to take
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pictures, he could take them after we were gone. but it wasn't about taking pictures. it was about seeing what we were doing to try to get one step ahead. this whole thing makes sense to me. if you wanted pictures, you could have got those at any time. makes you wonder, is murdaugh involved in that? >> stephen's case, we know very well, or at least certainly publicly, his body was found in the middle of the road. he had blunt force trauma to his head. they were able to locate his car, which was several miles away, parked on the side of the road. the car was not running. the gas cap was off and hanging. the implication being that he was walking home to his father's house. the pathologist had issued a report that it was a hit and run. she said that the reason she thought it was a hit and run is because his body was found in the road.
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>> when they told me that stephen got hit by a car, you know, i told them, i said, no, he couldn't have. growing up, me and stephen, we walked the roads all the time. it didn't matter what time it was. we'd sneak out the house and walk down our rural country road. 3:00, 4:00 in the morning, if a car came, we would jump in the woods. you know, we were more afraid of what was on the road than what was in the woods. because stephen always said, you know, nobody's going to kidnap his sexy behind. so we always were cautious. >> stephen was different. when he got to high school, that's when people started noticing that he wasn't like them. >> the family knew ever since stephen was a little that he
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would possibly come out as being gay. but he never really told anybody. we just knew. so we just accepted, you know, who he was. that didn't make a difference. you know, stephen was still stephen. >> it was hard. i mean, he couldn't like really go out and be his self. hampton was such a small, prejudiced community. so he got bullied a little bit, but he never let it bother him. >> being gay is the worst thing to be around here. they're going to shun you. you get shut out of the community and people talk about you so bad. >> you can't feel safe in a little county. you can't feel safe, because everybody knows your name and everybody knows your business. >> the coming out process is really hard to describe. and straight people will never understand it. the looking and checking yourself.
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it might be noticed. the scanning the room to see whether there's danger. a young man like stephen who may have been more openly effeminate, he probably did that on a constant basis. >> stephen opened the door for a lot of kids our age to come out and be proud of being different. he helped other people come out about being gay or bisexual, even when it was hard at home to be accepted. he was the strong one coming up, like it's ok to be different. not everybody has to like you. >> stephen put his own crown on his head and he wore it proudly. i think he liked standing out. >> i've always taught my children you be who you are and what you are. you don't have to explain nothing to me. but stephen had to be different because he had to hide more.
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not from us, but from other people. >> south carolina, like every state in the country, homophobia is not gone. i mean, it's there. and i think every young person who is coming out, one of their greatest fears is that they'll be the victim of a crime of violence. >> this is corporal duncan, south carolina highway patrol, mait oc. case number on this will be cl-062-15. it's a reference to a collision in hampton county on sandy run road. >> there was not a whole lot done in that investigation until mait became involved. we are an investigative unit, specifically in the area of car accidents. >> as far as evidence here, there's only evidence of where the body was found. there's no parts to a car or truck or any other vehicle.
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i also took pictures of the body at the mortuary. there is some scrapes and scratches on his left and right arm, on his knuckles, some across his face. but his injuries pertain to his head area, does not appear to be, in my opinion, struck by a vehicle. >> there were several red flags from the start in this investigation. things that were not there should have been there. for example, there's no glass. with that type of force, it would be glass on the ground or possibly in the body. there's no tire marks. there was no paint from the vehicle, no oil transfer. the phone didn't even fall out of his pocket. the phone didn't shatter. the way the body's laying in the roadway, there's no tumble to the body. the blood itself is just a pool of blood. when you have a body that is hit by a car traveling at 55 miles an hour, they're going to tumble down the road. so why aren't there spots in different areas of the roadway?
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>> generally, if a pedestrian is hit, they don't keep their shoes on. this guy still had his shoes on. he didn't have the type of injuries you would see when somebody lands violently in a road. it essentially looked as though he was dropped there. wedding and anniversary rings. only at kay. ♪ we all have a purpose in life - a “why.” maybe it's perfecting that special place that you want to keep in the family... ...or passing down the family business... ...or giving back to the places that inspire you. no matter your purpose, at pnc private bank, we will work with you every step of the way to help you achieve it. so let us focus on the how. just tell us - what's your why?
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>> on the night that he died or the morning that he died, had you talked to him at all that day? >> before he left that day, he was at brunson exxon getting
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cigarettes for my dad. and he called me and told me his car wouldn't crank. so i checked his car. i went to go jump it off, and it's like somebody loosened his battery connections. so i tightened them back up, and i followed him all the way home. he hopped in the shower, got out, and left at exactly 6:00. and that was the last time. >> did he say where he was going to? >> no. >> you said he started acting real funny about two weeks prior to his death? >> he was acting a little secretive. >> his vehicle was three miles from where he was at. because it was classified as a hit and run, it was never tested for prints or tested for dna. >> when they said that he ran out of gas, i'm like, he had a phone. he could have called me. he's called me plenty of times. >> the car was out of gas. but did somebody go out there and drain the gas to make it look like it was out of gas?
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or was it really legit out of gas? >> why would you unscrew the gas cap and not put gas in the car? and the fact that he left his wallet in the car. >> if you're walking to go get gas, why did you leave your money in the car? and if he was going to get gas, he was walking in the wrong direction. >> there was so much about the wallet, the phone, the car. why wouldn't you just stay with the car, make a phone call? it did not make any sense. it was very frustrating from the start because it's like a puzzle. but we were missing a whole lot of pieces that we should have not been missing. >> me and my older brother, we
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went to the funeral home. and seeing stephen in the morgue. it wasn't my brother. his face was gone. he was so beautiful on one side. but then the other side, you couldn't even tell . >> when we made arrangements, i told my mom and dad, i don't want to offend anybody, but i do
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want to leave the casket open. i was like, if that's the last time i got to see my brother, it's going to be the last time everybody else has to see my brother. so they can live with what i have to live with. just like emmett till's mother, i wanted to pretty much make that same remark. like, look what they did to my brother. you just left him in the middle of the road like a piece of trash, like he didn't matter. and my dad, he couldn't handle it. when we had the service, he didn't go near him because he couldn't bear seeing his son like that. >> i wanted everybody to see what they did to my child. because somebody did this. >> hello.
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>> how you doing? this is trooper proctor with the south carolina highway patrol. i am calling you in reference to some information about stephen smith. >> hello. >> how you doing? this is trooper proctor with the highway patrol. i got some information that i guess is kind of like a word-of-mouth type deal. >> yes, sir. >> obviously it's in reference to the stephen smith murder investigation. >> yes, sir. >> can you give me a rundown of what you heard or what you know? >> as we started the investigation, we were pretty much starting with nothing except for a body and a car. so we started where we thought
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we needed to, you know, with friends, the last person who talked with stephen. >> i did hear a few names, but i don't want to, you know, say it over the phone. >> it was very frustrating because people that you wanted to talk with wouldn't talk with you or just avoided you altogether. they would say, well, this is a small community, you don't understand. >> the rumors that's going around hampton that everybody keeps coming up to me and saying it was murdaugh boys. >> the murdaugh boys? >> yes. >> i had known about the murdaughs through years of being in law enforcement. the murdaughs were very supportive of law enforcement
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and first responders. so i knew that they were a very powerful family in that area. >> the only name that was given to me was the murdaugh name. and of course, everybody's kind of shy to say, to say that out, you know what i mean? because of the name, you know, it brings a certain standard when you say murdaugh in hampton county. >> when their name started coming up, i knew immediately, ok, we need to talk with others about this. >> the murdaughs have had so much control of that area for so long, you know, they've built a relative empire. they have, you know, friends, connections everywhere. >> that's the political aspect of it. making sure that you take care of the people who take care of you. let them know, hey, you're part of this family, this institution. and we want to make sure that we continue to do the things that's going to empower us to maintain dominance. and not only this community, but in this region, statewide. >> it's a whole network. they could pick up the phone and call and somebody will do them a favor, make some phone calls for them, things like that. and that's just kind of how it is around here.
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>> this direct line to law enforcement and the legal system in general in hampton county is so direct that the murdaughs knew of stephen's death before probably some of even stephen smith's family members did. i mean, it just makes it seem like there was something that the murdaughs knew that investigators or the public didn't know. >> you're the ninth person that i've talked to in reference to this rumor. you know, i was in hampton yesterday and i kind of stirred up a lot of dust yesterday. somebody's bound to slip up and say something. >> our investigators went around and talked to these people and they said, yes, we heard these things. well, a lot of these people disappeared after that. they didn't answer their phone. they weren't at their residence. it was as though some of these people just upped and left town. >> do you have a way that i can get in touch with [ bleep ]? >> his phone is off right now. no, not really. >> there was talk some of these people were paid to leave town, paid vacation, that they were incentivized to not be available, to not present possible evidence that would lead to an answer. >> regular people don't want to talk about this if they know
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them. they're afraid of something, whether it's retaliation physically, whether it's monetarily, whether they could do something to their job, to their position, to their family. >> i definitely don't want them knowing that i had anything to do with it, you know what i mean? >> yeah, yeah. >> just to be -- i just don't want to get into all that because hampton is a small town. >> yeah. >> and that's how, obviously, you see how quick word of mouth travels. >> can you tell me what you heard about the stephen smith incident? >> i just heard that one of my classmates did it. >> and who was that? >> buster murdaugh. >> i don't want to drag somebody's name through the mud unless it's necessary. in this case, the murdaugh's name was brought up at least a dozen times, possibly more. so when you have that name constantly brought up, you know,
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you have to take it serious. >> what i'm seeing is that a lot of people seem a little hesitant to speak about buster or the murdaughs in general. do you kind of see that? >> yes, sir. because when someone told me that it was buster, you know, it was like they were saying if it's him, nothing was going to be done about it because of who he was. >> just go ahead and tell me what you heard. >> i heard that these two, maybe three, young men were in a vehicle. they were riding down 601, saw the car on the side of the road, i guess saw the boy walking. they turned back around. i guess they were attempting to, i don't want to say, you know, mess around with him or something like that, and stuck something out the window and it, you know, hit him in -- i don't know if it hit him in the head or the back or where it hit him.
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and then that's pretty much all i heard. i did hear names. i heard a name, and that name was, he goes by buster murdaugh. >> i went to school with buster. and when we were younger, stephen played baseball with buster and a few classmates. and buster's grandfather and dad were the coaches of the team. he was, how do i put it, like you could tell he had money by the way he acted, and like privileged but not like a snobby, privileged person. he was quiet when i was around him. >> i don't really know buster that well. i mean, we see him, you know, whenever he's down with john or that sort of thing. >> that's very rare. >> right. i mean, i haven't had conversations about his life
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goals or where he sees himself in 20 years. >> you just don't really hear a lot about buster. he's paul's older brother. he went to wofford college in south carolina. he was kind of slated to follow in his father's footsteps. >> paul and buster were night and day. jacob and esau. paul was the outdoor guy. buster liked to hunt, but he was a studious person and took his studies seriously. what i'm told by people who were close to him that, you know, buster was the favorite child. >> when i originally heard this, i was thinking of the younger murdaugh boy, buster's little brother paul, because paul's more of the, i won't say troublemaker, but he's a little more, my last name is murdaugh, i can do whatever, you know what i mean? >> yeah. >> so when i first heard it, it was buster.
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it kind of caught me off guard because he's never been that type of person. >> we found a document for seniors at wofford saying where they're going, and he said he was going to work for the family law firm in the summer and then go to the university of south carolina law school. we don't really know what happened after that. >> he kind of just disappeared, like, after everything happened with stephen. like, you didn't hear about him. it's like a ghost. >> i would kind of check his facebook, and i would never see no activity anymore, like no activity. and then they said that he went away for school, he went out of the country. >> when we started investigating stephen, where he'd been or who he'd been with, i was told by sandy that before he died, stephen was planning on going on a trip. >> he said that he was going deep-sea fishing, i think the third week in july, with a
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prominent person. that's all he said. he wasn't giving a name. but he was murdered before he could go. >> he said he was messing with a man from hampton county that was high in power and that everybody would be shocked at who it was. i think his words were, if i say who this is, the whole hampton county is going to be shook. >> he was getting into an influential group at that time. it wasn't something typical of his past. with the information that we gathered, you could only presume what name would have been brought up. it would possibly have been the murdaughs. >> now, who passed this information on to you that buster was involved in this? >> [ bleep ] >> and did he say where he heard
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that from or how he was backing that up? >> no, sir. >> so he just said, oh, i heard buster did it. >> yes, sir. >> did he say how he did it or what happened? >> no, he didn't. yes, he did. he said they beat him up and threw him out of the truck. >> beat him up and threw him out of the truck? >> yes, sir. >> one of the rumors that we heard was that buster and a couple other guys had been out seeing stephen and they'd gotten some type of argument and that a 2 x 4 or a bat was used to strike stephen in the head area and that's what caused his death. >> did anybody look at the autopsy and try to figure out if it was consistent with a bat? >> yes, and we actually looked at it and it is consistent with some type of blunt force object.
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>> early on, apparently there were attempts to talk to buster. in the united states, we can't compel somebody to talk to law enforcement. and if somebody exercises their right to remain silent, there's very little law enforcement can do. >> buster was not making a big point to either be a part of the investigation or try to dispel rumors. he seemed to be extremely uninterested and uncaring, which also i think speaks to a classic martyrdom mentality of thinking he was completely above the law and that ignoring the problem would make it go away. >> i hate to only be able to give you hearsay, but the main thing is whether that is the case or not the case, there is still somebody that lost a child, lost a brother, lost a
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family member, and that's just not right. i hope y'all can get this figured out. >> yeah, absolutely. i mean, let's give this family some closure, you know. appreciate you taking the time to talk to me. i'm going to go ahead and stop this recording. >> there's different stories and different versions out there. i've heard paul. i've heard buster. those names have been brought up numerous times consistently by people. but there's nothing we can point to and say, mm-hmm, that's what happened. >> my family kind of separated after stephen died. my mom took it hard. my dad took it real hard, but it was more of in silence. like the day stephen died was the same day that my dad died inside.
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>> joel kind of just gave up on life after that. in his last days, he said that he was seeing stephen was coming to visit him, and i think he just couldn't cope. >> how many months was it after stephen died? >> it was three months exact. the coroner said that he passed away of a heart attack in his sleep. >> i just think he just died of a broken heart. in you. sometimes you're so busy taking care of everyone else you don't do enough for yourself, or your mouth.
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>> i still remember seeing joel in the casket, and you could just tell he wasn't at peace because he wanted to know what happened to his child. the day he died, he told me, them murdaughs killed my son. he would tell anybody, or you
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could ask joel, joel, what happened to your son? the murdaughs killed my son because he was gay. how do you know? i know my son. i know he was seeing buster. how can you prove it? i can't, but i just know the murdaugh boys killed my boy. >> have you ever heard that stephen had any kind of a sexual relationship with buster murdaugh? >> there was rumors of that. i don't know if it was true. if buster was gay, he would have never came out about it. i don't think his family would have approved it either, because they are a big name. >> joel knew 100% of his heart it was buster. >> why didn't joel go and talk to the police? >> there's no need to do that.
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the police have got ties with the murdaughs. all the way from their great-granddaddy to their granddaddy to their daddy, they all got pulled through the law. they found paul and his mama dead. they had everybody from colleton county, hampton county, they're investigating it. when stephen dies, they just put him in a body bag. he was hit by a car. who cares? it's that name that got pulled. >> being the underdogs in town, i guess in their head, we're nothing, so who's going to notice nothing being gone? >> sandy had to stand by herself seeking justice for stephen because those in authority didn't feel like they were accountable to them to commit to solving this. poor people were not treated the
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same in hampton, and that's a tragedy, not just for the victims but for that community. >> i knew stephen was not going to get justice in hampton county . >> several people, several families have not gotten justice in hampton county. >> after paul and maggie were murdered, sled called my mom and told her that they were reopening stephen's case. >> for what reasons, we don't know, but it is back open, and
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that gives us hope. >> i found it real curious when they brought up stephen smith. what did they find? did they find something on the phone? did they find something on the property that relayed stephen smith's death to the murdaugh family? >> law enforcement hasn't released anything new about what led to the death of 19-year-old stephen smith or explained why the mysterious murders of paul and maggie murdaugh in the low country of south carolina led to his case being reopened six years later. >> hey, um, so buster, you know this stephen smith thing? well, this absolutely has
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nothing to do with you or our family or anything. >> oh, i mean, but could have told you that, but nobody wants to listen to me. >> but they put it out there. >> that was very surprising to me. there's no explanation. maggie and paul's death was so shocking. and as things unfolded and more information came out, it was so clearly an event in a much, much, much larger story. >> and now to the new details on the deepening mystery over the shooting of a prominent south carolina lawyer just months after his wife and son were killed. >> south carolina law enforcement announcing an arrest. >> officers from south carolina law enforcement arrested 61-year-old curtis smith for the september 4th roadside shooting. >> alex represented curtis smith, who was a logger who got hurt on the job, but he definitely didn't match the description of the alleged attacker. >> it was a white fella, a fair
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amount younger than me. really, really short hair. >> i got called probably within 10 minutes of that shooting getting reported. i knew instantaneously that alex's story, pardon my french, that was [ bleep ] >> from the start, the details of the shooting made many suspicious. it happened in broad daylight along a deserted road when alex murdaugh says he was changing a flat tire. now we're learning what actually happened may be even more unbelievable. >> law enforcement now believes murdaugh conspired with curtis eddie smith to kill him as part of an insurance fraud scheme. >> everything with alex has just been mind-boggling, because you know someone for so long and then a completely different side of him comes out. >> alex murdaugh apparently
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asked curtis eddie smith, who is friends with alex, who has done jobs for alex, to murder him so he can get the insurance money to give to buster, his son. >> if murdaugh died, his living son would have received an estimated $10 million as part of a life insurance policy. >> he didn't think it would pay if he committed suicide, so he wanted eddie to do the job for him so his son would get the money. >> when i heard about the suicide attempt, i didn't know if i believed it or not. the story about it all, it's kind of confusing. paying someone to come shoot you and then he misses. >> where we live, people don't miss. it don't matter if you're talking about a deer or a person, they don't miss. >> well, the suspect accused of shooting alex murdaugh in a failed murder-fraud plot claims he is being set up to be the fall guy. >> curtis smith says it was
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september 4th when his friend, south carolina attorney alex murdaugh, called claiming he needed help. smith says murdaugh was like a brother to him, so he didn't think twice before heading to meet him. >> alex went through all this trouble to establish such an insane story. every single part of it and everything that he said that day ended up being a hoax. >> trying to say someone shot at him and then trying to say that it was a suicide attempt, i don't believe for a minute any of that. i think he's trying to make it look like he was an intended victim. >> in a matter of hours, this whole thing just changed. and it was just like, you shake your head and, what is going on with this guy? what else is he hiding? >> honestly, i think there's still a lot to come out. >> the situation we're in right now, tell me how you're feeling. >> i feel that little bitty flake of snow that starts down that hill and just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. and i'm that little flake of snow stuck in the middle of it.
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that's how i feel. i feel betrayed. >> do you see the truth coming forward? >> i hope that when it's all said and done, that everybody will wind up being exactly where they're supposed to be . >> money, position, power. the murdaughs have had control of hampton county for close to a century. >> where the murdaughs go, death
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seems to follow. >> my wife and child have been shot badly! please hurry. >> someone's going to great distances to punish this family. >> it was like a domino effect. one right after the other. what else has he done?


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