Thanks to the email nudge, Mandy and David started recording the first podcast episode. While the process took hours and multiple re-records of the same sentences, on June 22, 2021 the first episode of Murdaugh Murders Podcast was published, “South Carolina’s Chappaquiddick”.

Good Morning America was one of the first national media outlets to do a segment what was happening in the Murdaugh saga. Randy and John Marvin were quick to talk about how Paul was being threatened and help the audience feel sympathy for the family. You can watch the segment here:

While the narrative that Paul was being threatened and the boat crash investigation was on-going, there was also talk that SLED was going to reopen an investigation into Stephen Smith’s death. This created a glimmer of hope for Stephen’s case. Sandy called Mandy later, telling her that SLED wanted to interview her about potential involvement in Maggie and Paul’s death – a slap in the face.

Mandy was encouraged to write about how SLED was investigating the Smith family but that didn’t sit right with her. She took off on a run to clear her head.

Need motivation for your next run? Check out Mandy’s running playlist:

Mandy arrived back home with clarity on how to write the story, from Sandy’s perspective and exposing the two systems of justice in South Carolina.

With a personal deadline to publish the first episode of Murdaugh Murders Podcast on June 22, 2021, Mandy and David got to work on producing the first episode. On the evening of June 21, Sandy called Mandy and informed her that SLED was going to reopen the case.

After quickly rerecording the closing minutes of the episode one, “South Carolina’s Chappaquiddick” was published.

In March of 2023, Bland Richter LLP and Sandy Smith hosted a press conference regarding the investigation into Stephen Smith’s death.

“I was so curious about the nuts and bolts of Mandy and David recording their first MMP episode because, to me, their kitchen table to #1 meteoric rise is truly incredible. How did they teach themselves everything they needed to know? How did they figure out how to write a script and edit audio? I loved hearing about all the trial and error they went through, and I had a feeling readers would, too. We also wanted to include commentary on the early national media pieces that came out over those weeks. The difference between Mandy’s local, boots-on-the-ground reporting versus the quick, sensationalized hits from outlets like GMA and Washington Post is a big theme of the book, and we wanted to make sure readers understood that great divide. I spent time watching as many news clips from the time and reading all the relevant articles I could find to deepen my understanding and add context. And of course Mandy’s conversations with Sandy Smith were pivotal in this chapter. Sandy is one of the emotional centers of the book, and it was so important to us for readers to feel invested in her journey and quest for answers.”

Carolyn Murnick

Stay tuned for additional videos relating to Chapter 11!

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