At the end of 2019, Mandy found herself craving a pivot in life and reached out to Will Folks, the founder of FITSNews, about a position. By January 2020, she was hired as an editor and took over on the Murdaugh beat.

While it felt good to be supported in her reporting, Mandy still felt uneasy about not working by Liz’s side every day. But the transitions kept hitting, with David facing a job layoff and the two adopting a puppy: our company namesake, Luna!

When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, Mandy started taking over on the public health beat at FITSNews, putting the Murdaugh saga on the temporary back burner.

By June, Mandy tapped back into the Murdaugh story and was gifted a microphone to attempt recording her long dreamed-about podcast, then called On Archers Creek after the location of the boat crash.

Mandy continued to dig into the Murdaugh family and by October she was looking into Alex Murdaugh’s financial situation. It was in this reporting that Mandy introduced readers to the 2018 wrongful death suit of Gloria Satterfield, the Murdaugh family’s longtime housekeeper and a mother of two.

Gloria Satterfield

The Murdaugh family’s longtime housekeeper, died unexpectedly at the Murdaugh residence in February 2018.

According to Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, who allegedly witnessed the incident, Gloria hit her head on stairs outside the residence after the family dogs knocked her down. 

Alex told Gloria’s two surviving sons, Tony and Michael Satterfield, that they could file a wrongful death suit to make money from an insurance settlement. 

Eric Bland, co-host of Cup of Justice Podcast, is the Satterfield family attorney and directly represents Tony and Michael. 

Mandy and Liz discussed Gloria’s case in great detail in Murdaugh Murders Podcast EP 91.

Paul’s “huge drinking problem” was on full display Luther’s Rare & Well Done, the last public stop before he allegedly crashed in boat into Archers Creek Bridge.

In the midst of starting a podcast and continue to look into the corruption surrounding the Murdaugh family, Mandy was still covering other topics in the local news. When writing an article about an initiative to get internet into rural communities, Mandy made a connection that could speak to experience with the Murdaughs. That connection was lawyer, Justin Bamberg.

Justin Bamberg

Justin Bamberg is an attorney at Bamberg Legal, LLC in Bamberg, South Carolina and has served as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives since 2014. 

He is currently representing Clerk of Court Becky Hill after Alex Murdaugh’s defense team accused her of jury tampering during his murder trial. 

Bamberg also represents several of Alex Murdaugh’s financial fraud victims, including the family of Hakeem Pinckney, a young man who was involved in a life-altering car accident. 

Over the years, Bamberg has become a friend of the podcast and routinely drops on the feed to chat with hosts Mandy and Liz about his ongoing work.

Behind the Book with Co-Author Carolyn Murnick

This is the one chapter in the book that has a big time jump from the last chapter, and we had a lot to cover: Mandy leaving The Packet; starting at FITS; working from home, Covid, experimenting with podcasting, and more that would set the reader up for the fast-paced next chapters that cover the double-homicide. We also wanted to introduce key characters like Justin Bamberg who would show up later, and show Mandy’s work/life balance had dramatically shifted. This chapter, to me, felt like a big interstitial or a pause between all the rising action of the first part of the book in the leadup to what would be the most dramatic and hectic chapters about to come. I loved hearing about Mandy’s work-from-home life as I had also gone through that transition recently after leaving the magazine world right before Covid. Can’t imagine ever going back to an office! 

Carolyn Murnick

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