murdaugh mysteries it’s not

Regular updates on the status of the investigations for the five murders now associated with the name Murdaugh in South Carolina make news not just in our state but around the country, perhaps even reaching the far corners of the earth. Amazing the interest in this story which has made-for- movies written all over it. Ditto the shooting of the cinematographer on an actual movie set – the film called “Rust.” Regardless of who will be held responsible the idea of a movie star like Alec Baldwin pulling the trigger adds notoriety to the tragedy.

Even my sister in Texas asked me what was going on in the Murdaugh case? Alas, I had nothing more to offer than the updates she and I both saw in the news. Alex Murdaugh, household name from the state of South Carolina.

John Monk of The State newspaper gave an interesting update on a lesser known South Carolinian in an article that appeared in the Crime section of The State on October 28th. Paul Colbath of Fort Mill. Anyone ever heard of him?

Paul was charged with “disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Columbia. Colbath was arrested after a tipster contacted the FBI National Threat Operations Center to report that he ‘had been publicly bragging to friends and family’ about participating in the riots at the Capitol.”

According to Monk, Colbath appeared in court in Columbia on October 28th., and Judge Shiva Hodges released him on a $25,000 unsecured bond. In his FBI interview, Colbath denied an assault on the Capitol, saying instead he entered through an open door. The State article quoted court records indicating Colbath didn’t feel he’d done anything wrong but did feel guilty about his participation in the activities all of us witnessed with our own eyes live and in color that day.

Ten other South Carolinians have also been arrested for crimes allegedly committed by them in the Capitol on January 6th of 2021: Nicholas Languerand, Andrew Hatley, John Getsinger, Jr., Stacie Hargis-Getsinger, Elias Irizarry, Elliott Bishai, William Norwood III, George Tenney III, Derek Gunby, and James W. Lollis, Jr. From the upstate in York and Anderson Counties to The Citadel in Charleston, these folks who are our neighbors, our fellow citizens have been arrested and are currently participating in a different form of accountability that is our judicial process.

Monk’s October 28th. article continued with the following information.

“Some 150 police were injured in the riot and one alleged rioter was killed after she attempted to climb through a smashed door window leading to the House chamber. In the 10 months since Jan. 6, more than 650 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the Capitol, including more than 190 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of Columbia. The investigation is ongoing.”

The Alex Murdaugh murder mysteries are definitely intriguing with their twists of plot – I don’t want to miss the latest scoop. The investigations into the murder on the set of Alec Baldwin’s Rust will be international news as well, but I don’t feel anything personal when I hear the latest news reports on these cases.

I did on January 6th and do ten months later, however, feel very personally the attack on our Capitol which hadn’t been breached in that way since 1812. I watched in horror, with disbelief as my fellow countrymen and women tried to interfere with the democratic process on that day with such violence. So when I hear the verdicts for the people from my state, I will definitely feel a sense of personal relief if they are proven innocent or profound grief mixed with anger if they are found guilty.


Stay safe, stay sane, get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, racism, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to murdaugh mysteries it’s not

  1. Mmm, the Capitol arrests certainly made headlines here plus the Rust shooting. Don’t think I’ve heard of the Murdaugh case, will have to look it up.

    Liked by 1 person

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