Scandals

CityWatch: From Murdaughs to Marky Mark, SC scandals are on the rise | Colombia view


While South Carolina may be a small southern state, when it comes to scandals, we get big and national.

There is nothing quite like the ongoing saga of Murdaugh murders, mysteries and embezzlement. The story of death and deception in the Lowcountry is a Southern Gothic tale, which continues to become so from month to month.

Indeed, seven months have now passed since Alex Murdaugh called 911 to say he had just come home and found out his wife Maggie and son Paul had been shot. But in perhaps the most high-profile murder case in state history, few leads have been announced, little evidence has been revealed, no suspects have been named, and no arrests have been made. carried out in the brutal murders.

Conversely, Alex Murdaugh and the rural Murdaugh legal empire crumbles under the weight of civil lawsuits showing he has cheated on millions of clients.

Of course, all of this came in the wake of Mallory Beach’s death in 2019, who died after the boat she was in was sunk into a stacked bridge over Archers Creek in Beaufort County. Paul Murdaugh has been indicted to pilot the boat while intoxicated.

Is there a link? We do not know. Will we ever do it?

The same goes for the slip-and-fall death in 2018 of the Murdaugh’s longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfied, at their home and the hit-and-run death in 2015 of a young homosexual from the community, Steven Smith, who was a contemporary of the son Murdaugh.

Again, is there any connection between either of these cases and a member of the Murdaugh family? We do not know. Will we ever do it?

Hopefully, the Law Enforcement Division of SC moves quietly through all of these investigations so that anyone responsible can be charged and anyone who is innocent can be cleared.

While it is difficult to match the national profile of the Murdaugh case, several other scandals in South Carolina have at least come close in the past.

On the dark side of the spectrum, those old enough will remember the horrific story of Susan Smith.

In 1994, Union’s young mother tied her two toddlers in car seats and let the vehicle roll into John D. Long Lake, drowning them.

Worse (if that was possible), Smith, who is white, first claimed that two black men hijacked his vehicle with the children in the back seat.

Fortunately, no one believed her, no further violence ensued, and she was convicted of the murders. She remains in a South Carolina prison today and her first parole hearing is set for 2024.

On the lighter side of our scandals, South Carolina gave Nation Governor Mark Sanford a “hike” on the Appalachian Trail.

Now it’s entertainment. Or it was in the summer of 2009, when “Marky Mark” told his wife and staff that he was heading north towards the great walking path, when in fact he was heading towards the south aboard an airliner to Argentina.

There awaited the lovely Maria Belen Chapur, for whom Sanford would unceasingly declare his love for in the days to come, while publicly shedding tears and saying the kinds of strange things only he could say.

It went on for weeks. Or maybe it was months in a row. In fact, it seemed like years to me. And that was great national news.

In any case, he survived politically, serving his term as governor. In fact, he even managed to get elected to Congress a few years later.

He was knocked out in the Republican primary in 2018, appearing to end his political career. But you never know, he might marry a Kardashian and make another comeback.

That’s it for today, but there are plenty of other big scandals in South Carolina that have gone national. Do the names John Jenrette and James Holderman mean anything to you? Maybe a future column …

Kevin Fisher is president of Fisher Communications, a Columbia advertising and public relations company. He is active in local issues involving the arts, conservation, business and politics.