Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Murdaugh trial attracts true crime tourists to South Carolina

 Each morning, at around 6am, the crowd starts to gather, a loose line forming outside the Colleton County Courthouse for the murder trial of Alex Murdaugh, reports the BBC.

Mr Murdaugh, scion of a legal dynasty, has pleaded not guilty in the fatal shootings of his wife and son.

The trial in Walterboro, South Carolina - which has ended its third week - is just one piece of his stunning downfall, which features accusations of corruption and a faked assassination.

The case has captivated the state.

"It's the only thing happening in Walterboro - the only thing that's ever happened in Walterboro," said Cassie Headden, as she waited in line on Friday morning.

Spectators say they were fascinated by both the alleged crimes and the dramatic downfall of a storied southern family. From 1920 to 2006, three generations of Murdaughs served consecutively as chief prosecutors for the area, while their private family litigation firm earned them a small fortune.

"They ruled this area for years and years, and now that's starting to crumble - at least it looks like it," said Wally Pregnall, who travelled from Charleston to watch the trial.

Others have come in from across the country - California, Idaho, Wisconsin and Maine - turning this small city in the southern part of the state into a true-crime tourist destination.

One group of friends carpooled an hour's drive from Hilton Head Island to watch together; another family drove two hours from Aiken, South Carolina, and took the day off work. Earlier this week, a local middle school teacher brought her class of teenagers in as a field trip.

"I feel like it's being a part of history and we just wanted to be here to witness it," said Monica Petersen outside the court on Friday.

The regulars carried snacks and water in clear plastic purses - the only type of bag allowed in court - and packed coats and scarves to stay warm inside the heavily air conditioned courtroom. Some brought notebooks, scribbling along to the proceedings, after willingly giving up their mobile phones, which are banned for spectators.

"We've joked that if John Grisham wrote this novel that people would have said he's lost it, because it's too unbelievable," said Walt Flowers, also from Charleston.

To read more CLICK HERE


No comments:

Post a Comment