Randolph Murdaugh A Prominent Lawyer and a Family Patriarch

A politician and attorney from South Carolina, Randolph Murdaugh held the position of circuit solicitor for the 14th judicial district for 20 years. He also started a legal dynasty that lasted for 87 years and three generations. His family has recently been embroiled in several scandals and tragedies that have rocked the state. In this article, we will discuss Randolph Murdaugh career, early life legacy, death, and many more things about Randolph Murdaugh.

Childhood and Career

On February 28, 1887, Randolph Murdaugh was born in Varnville, South Carolina. He was the youngest child of Annie Marvin Davis, a distant relative of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and wealthy businessman Josiah Putnam Murdaugh II.

He attended the US Naval Academy and earned degrees in arts and law from the University of South Carolina (USC) in 1908 and 1910, respectively. In 1914, he married Etta Causey Harvey, and the two of them had two sons: John Glen “Johnny” Murdaugh and Randolph “Buster” Murdaugh Jr. In addition to serving as the town attorney, he established a one-man law firm in Hampton, South Carolina, in 1910. He received two-year appointments to the Hampton County school board in 1911 and 1915.

Circuit Attorney

Randolph Murdaugh ran in 1920 for the position of circuit solicitor for South Carolina’s 14th judicial district, which includes five counties in the state’s southern region. However,  he was the first Murdaugh to hold the position, and he won the election.

He held that position up until his passing in 1940. Furthermore, he was well-known for his commitment to justice and skillful handling of criminal cases. Therefore, he participated in politics as a Democratic Party member. Randolph “Buster” Murdaugh Jr., who held the position of circuit solicitor from 1940 to 1986, succeeded his father. From 1986 to 2006, Randolph Murdaugh III, his grandson, held the position of circuit solicitor. 

Legacy and Death

A train hit and killed Randolph Murdaugh at a railroad crossing near Hampton on July 19, 1940. He was 53 years old. He rests at Hampton Cemetery. His descendants carried on his legacy of superior legal ability and public service. They also expanded their legal services to cover civil cases and personal injury claims. They became one of the most prosperous law firms in the state.

However, tragedy and controversy have recently plagued the Murdaugh family. Randolph Murdaugh III died of cancer in June 2021 at the age of 81. A few days later, someone shot and killed his son, Paul Murdaugh, and his wife, Margaret Murdaugh, at their hunting lodge in an unsolved double homicide. Alex Murdaugh, his other son, hired a hitman to shoot him in the head in September 2021 in a staged suicide attempt. He wanted his living son to get his insurance money. He also stole millions of dollars from his clients and law firm to support his drug addiction.

Scandals and recent changes

Someone shot and killed Randolph Murdaugh’s grandson Paul and his wife Margaret at their hunting lodge in Colleton County in June 2021. This put the Murdaugh family under intense scrutiny and investigation. Paul faced charges for a boating accident in 2019 that killed Mallory Beach, a friend of his girlfriend Morgan Doughty. She was 19 years old. Paul, who was allegedly drunk, drove the boat and hit a bridge piling. Beach and two other passengers fell into the water. A week later, someone found Beach’s body.

On a rural Hampton County road in September 2021, someone shot Randolph Murdaugh’s son Alex in the head. He survived the shooting and claimed that an unidentified assailant tried to kill him. However, he later admitted that he hired a hitman to murder him. He wanted his son, Buster, who was still alive, to get the $10 million life insurance payout.

Alex Murdaugh’s trial

The Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, opened the trial of Alex Murdaugh on January 25, 2023. A number of media outlets live-streamed the six-week trial on television.  The prosecution called more than 60 witnesses, including forensic experts, law enforcement officers, members of Alex’s family, close friends, and former clients.  The defense only called six witnesses, including Alex, who gave his own testimony.  According to the prosecution, Alex killed his wife and son to collect their life insurance policies and to distract himself from his financial wrongdoing and drug abuse. They offered evidence that Alex was the final person to see the victims alive, that he lied to police about his whereabouts the night of the killings, that he had gunshot wounds on his hands, that he had access to the weapons used in the killings, and that he had a history of violence and threats. 

The reactions of the Murdaugh Family and the public

Reactions to Alex Murdaugh’s trial verdict from his loved ones, friends, and the general public were mixed.  His son, Buster, who had stood by him throughout the trial and provided evidence in his favor, watched his father be found guilty of killing his mother and brother while maintaining a composed demeanor. He briefly rubbed his eyes, but otherwise remained expressionless. As he was led away in handcuffs, his father turned to him and said, “It is okay.

Later, Buster made his first public statement in a Fox News documentary about his disgraced father, which aired in July 2023. He claimed to still love and think his father was innocent. He added that he wished his mother and brother were still alive and that he missed them both every day. The defense team and friends of Alex Murdaugh also expressed their shock and disappointment at the decision. They stated that while they respected the jury’s verdict, they had hoped for a fair trial and an acquittal. They added that they would support Alex through any additional legal issues by remaining by his side.

The Legacy Persists

The Murdaugh family overcame hardships, but their legacy lives on. The family’s dedication to doing what is right and serving their community are unwavering. They continue to leave a lasting impression in Randolph Murdaugh’s honor thanks to their tenacity and perseverance.


Triumphs, difficulties, and tragedy all played a part in Randolph Murdaugh’s life. We are reminded of the complexity of human existence by his contributions to the legal profession and his enduring legacy. We are left feeling in awe of him as we think back on his life and are reminded of how frail our own stories are.


Q1: Which of Randolph Murdaugh’s cases caught your attention?

Throughout his career, Randolph Murdaugh handled a number of notable cases, including [Case 1], [Case 2], and [Case 3]. His legal knowledge and strategic thinking were on display in these cases.

Q2: How did Randolph Murdaugh affect the legal profession?

In the legal profession, Randolph Murdaugh made a significant contribution. He served as an inspiration to many aspiring lawyers, and his unwavering dedication to justice, significant career, and inspiration had a significant impact on the future of the legal profession.

Q3: What murders took place in Hampton County?

The Murdaugh family was involved in a tragic incident known as the “Ampton County Murders,” in which several members of the family perished. This shocking incident attracted a lot of media coverage and public interest.

Q4: What connection does the active investigation have to the Murdaugh killings?

Numerous investigations into the Murdaugh Murders were conducted by law enforcement officials and journalists. The objective of the ongoing investigation is to learn the truth about the tragic incident.

Q5: Despite the tragedies they endured, how has the Murdaugh family’s legacy survived?

The Murdaugh family has persevered in their commitment to justice and their neighborhood despite the hardships they have faced.  Their tenacity and tenacity guarantee that Randolph Murdaugh’s legacy endures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *