After Mandy and Liz noticed a local woman named Jeannine posting information about the boat crash on Facebook, Mandy reached out.

Jeannine responded within minutes and told her about a video circulating on Facebook that was taken moments before the crash occurred.

In the video, a person holds up a phone to show a Snapchat video posted by AntCook–Paul Murdaugh’s friend, Anthony Cook–17 hours prior.

The Snapchat shows Connor Cook (Anthony’s cousin) smiling and holding a beer next to Paul Murdaugh, who was driving a boat.

Jeannine then directed Mandy to a young woman named Olivia Boyles, a friend of Mallory Beach and the person who recorded the Snapchat video on another device.

Olivia was also who posted on Facebook about the boat crash, claiming that Hampton County’s “big names” were protecting themselves.

Mandy was anxious the first time she met with Olivia at Corner Perk coffee shop in Bluffton, South Carolina.

She knew deep in her gut that what she was asking Olivia could put both of them in danger, but she was determined to get justice for Mallory Beach, who was still missing as she and Olivia talked over coffee.

Olivia also mentioned that while she was primarily there to get justice for her friend Mallory, Stephen Smith’s mysterious death kept creeping into her mind. Olivia repeated same rumors Mandy had read online, that the Murdaugh boys were possibly involved.

Only a few days after the meeting, Mallory’s body was discovered about five miles from the crash site. Mandy recalled feeling intense empathy for the Beach family and remembering the piercing grief she felt when her older brother, Michael, passed away at the age of 9.

Behind the Book with Co-Author Carolyn Murnick

“For this chapter, Mandy and I talked a lot about the bravery of Olivia Boyles. While Olivia only appears in this one chapter, Mandy was adamant that this meeting and her ongoing relationship to Olivia was essential to everything that happened next. It was important that we honored Olivia’s role in the Murdaugh unraveling with these pages, and we also wanted to give the reader a glimpse at Mandy’s side of things. It took a lot of strength for both Mandy and Olivia to meet at Corner Perk that day. Mandy had heard so many fearsome rumors about the Murdaugh family; she had no idea what she was getting herself into. We also needed to introduce Stephen Smith and his story here, and of course: David! At the time we were working on this chapter, Mandy and David were just a few months away from getting married. We knew that we wanted to follow their relationship and show how it had supported Mandy’s work throughout the book, so we needed to introduce him right up front!”

Carolyn Murnick

Stay tuned for additional videos and content relating to Chapter 3.

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