Paul Murdaugh, the murdered son of a prominent South Carolina lawyer acted so strangely when he was drunk that he is said to have had a drunk alter ego named 'Timmy' and he even stripped down to his underwear before allegedly causing a boat crash which claimed the life of a 19-year-old in 2019, according to court documents released last week.
Murdaugh, 22 and his mother Margaret, 52, were found shot dead at their hunting lodge in Islandton, South Carolina around 10pm last Monday. Murdaugh was facing trial in the alleged boozy death of Mallory Beach at the time of his death. Investigators believe that the Murdaugh was the intended target of his and his mother's murders.
According to court documents released last week, Murdaugh would often be high on alcohol and become a different person. Following the death of Beach, the girl's family had also sued Paul in civil court. The documents released reveal that the nickname 'Timmy' got popular among his friends three or four years before the boat crash, testified Anthony Cook, who is Murdaugh's cousin and was also Beach's boyfriend at the time.
"It's a different name because he turns into a completely - totally different person. So somebody will say, 'All right. Here comes Timmy. We got to go.'" The deposition was part of a civil case filed against Murdaugh by Beach's family, the report said.
Cook also testified that Paul had either slapped or pushed Beach and in 40 degree weather on the night of the crash. However, before that he had stripped down to his underwear as arguments broke out among six people onboard the boat, Cook said.
"He started taking his clothes off during one of the arguments, and it is 40 degrees outside," Cook said, according to the Daily Mail. "I've seen him do it a few times when gets drinks. I don't know why he does that."
Some passengers had requested Murdaugh to take the boat home, but he drove instead in circles, according to the report. The boat was in the waters near Hilton Head Island when it crashed and killed Beach, a University of South Carolina student, reports said.
The Other Side of Murdaugh
Cook's testimony paints a chaotic picture of Murdaugh and reveals that he would often lose control and get into arguments after heavy drinking. The same happened that night too. Murdaugh started an argument with the group of six as he continued to drive the boat in circles while others said they wanted to go home.
Cook said Beach "said he was stupid" and "it was time to go home." This perhaps made Murdaugh furious. "He turned and pointed at her, and I could tell he was going to say something, and I told him not to make that mistake, and he stared at me for a second went back to steering the boat," Cook said in his testimony.
"And I believe that's when the boat took off." He said the throttle was hit, but wasn't how or by who. "We went from a 2mph idle to the bow of the boat sticking up in the air," he said.
That said, the mystery might now remain unsolved after Murdaugh and his mother's death. Murdaugh and his mom Margaret were found dead with multiple gunshot wounds last Monday near a dog kennel on family property in Islandton, police said. Sources told The Island Packet that Paul was the apparent target, shot at least twice with a shotgun while Maggie was killed with what appears to be an assault rifle.
Paul was awaiting criminal trial on three felony charges of facing one count of boating under the influence causing death and two counts of boating under the influence causing great bodily injury over the death of Beach in 2019.
Paul pleaded not guilty and was due to stand trial before his murder. The charges will now be dropped against Paul but the civil lawsuit will continue.
Murdaugh's father, Alex, works for the prestigious law firm Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick – which was founded by Randolph Murdaugh in 1910.
Interestingly, three days after the dual murders, his grandfather Richard Murdaugh III also died at the age of 81, although his death is believed to have been the result of natural causes.