Following Mandy and Liz’s first meeting with Sandy Smith, the two created a timeline of events related to Stephen Smith’s suspicious death while they balanced full-time jobs.

But after Mandy’s editor at The Packet assigned the Mallory Beach and Stephen Smith story to a male colleague, a fire was lit under her to fight for coverage.

To keep the story alive, Liz and Mandy continued to file FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests and gather information involving the Murdaugh family; that was when Mandy received the 911 call from the boat crash.

In this call, Connor Cook speaks to a 911 operator and explains the scene of the incident.

Mandy and Liz uncovered many elements of the Murdaugh saga through public records from submitting weekly FOIA requests.

To learn more about FOIA, read the article from Luna Shark researcher Beth Braden here:

As Mandy’s coverage of the boat crash case picked up, so did public attention. To promote her work, Mandy was told to create a Tweet thread with the link to her story attached to gain traction.

That’s when Mandy caught the attention of a man named Will Folks, the founder of FITSNews.

Stay tuned for more articles on how to further your own investigation, links and exclusive audio for Chapter 6.

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