After months of hard work and late nights, Mandy, David and friends finally made it to the vacation home in Jamaica.

Since Liz was not able to make the trip, she and Mandy had to record the episode of Murdaugh Murders Podcast virtually, rather than sitting next to each other at the mic.

After the vacation, Mandy, David and Liz attended Stephen Smith’s headstone unveiling, which was possible from a multitude of donations to the Smith family.

Behind the Book

“Breaking news doesn’t care that you’re on a boat with your parents and your fiance. Breaking news happens when you least expect it, even if you’re trained to always expect it. The roadside shooting chapter is a perfect example of this phenomenon, and it has echoes of the Puerto Rico engagement trip chapter: in the blink of an eye, drama and chaos can find you in the midst of an otherwise peaceful time. Mandy showed me pictures of her boat ride that day, and we spent time talking through the before and after of her time on the water and how she had to rapidly shift gears into crisis reporting mode. I love that this chapter showcases Mandy’s talents as a resourceful and scrappy reporter, and it also shows the stresses she was dealing with from predatory producers trying to get a piece of her podcast action. The cannibalistic, true crime industrial complex is a big theme of the book, and this chapter begins to show the dark energy that so many unscrupulous people and groups bring to crimes as they start to gain a bigger profile. This chapter also details one of the most painful, public humiliations of Mandy’s investigation: when Dick Harpootlian was caught on a hot mic in court making a dumb, sexist joke about Mandy. We knew this anecdote was pivotal in Mandy’s journey, and it wasn’t easy for her to revisit the time. But we also knew so many women would see themselves in that moment—an established man trying to put a woman he saw as threatening in her place. It was outrageous for me to learn about, and so maddening to write these scenes, but we both knew they were so important to include.” – Carolyn Murnick

Stay tuned for more photos of Mandy and David’s time in Jamaica.

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