Connor Cook called 911 the night of the boat crash on Archers Creek. In the audio below, you can hear the raw emotions of Connor and the other girls that were on the boat as they called for help and realized Mallory was missing.

In the initial days after the boat crash, Mandy waded through the public’s reaction to rumors of who was driving the boat. If it was Paul Murdaugh, would he get away with it? Below is dash cam video from the night of the boat crash.

Four days into the search for Mallory, Paul Murdaugh’s name still hadn’t been mentioned in news articles as the possible driver of the boat. Mandy wondered if the lack of mention was because nobody had been able to validate claims that Paul Murdaugh was driving or if the incident would be covered up because of the Murdaugh name.

From alcohol sale to the moment of impact: watch this visual recreation of the tragic events of February 24, 2019.

What Happened to Mallory Beach?

With many overlapping relationships and instances of preferential treatment in the Murdaugh saga, it was hard to keep everything straight at times. The playlist below shares visually the tragic story of Mallory Beach’s death and the events that followed.

Behind the Book with Co-Author Carolyn Murnick

As we progressed into the beginning of Mandy’s Murdaugh investigation, there were so many important narrative elements we needed to lay out: the facts of the boat crash, the way Mandy and her team worked during a breaking news situation; some background on the Murdaughs and Hampton county; the dynamics in the newsroom at The Packet at the time, and how Mandy connected with her earliest Hampton sources. Mandy had so many original text messages and screenshots to share from that time, and it was fascinating for me to see those artifacts from the very beginning. Since so much had happened with the Murdaughs since 2019, we had to work to constantly bring ourselves back to the POV of those early weeks of reporting and put the reader in the perspective of Mandy learning everything for the first time.

Carolyn Murnick

Stay tuned for video playlists and documents relating to this chapter!

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