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Content warning: This article contains references to murder some may find upsetting. Reader discretion is advised.
Netflix's new true crime series, Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, examines a deadly boating accident that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach and a murderous crime spree that left Paul and Maggie Murdaugh shot and killed and teenager Stephen Smith and Murdaugh family housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, dead under mysterious circumstances. Throughout the series, Netflix introduced Anthony Cook, who was dating Mallory at the time of her death and was present during the boating accident. His testimony played a significant role in a lawsuit against Paul's father, Richard Alex Murdaugh, who was convicted in March 2023 for murdering his wife and son. Read ahead to discover where Anthony Cook is now.
Who is Anthony Cook?
On February 24, 2019, Anthony and Mallory planned to attend a house party on Paukie Island, near their hometown of Low Country, South Carolina. The couple planned to meet with Anthony's cousin Connor Cook, his girlfriend, and Mallory's best friend, Miley Altman, Paul Murdaugh, and his girlfriend, Morgan Doughty.
Paul, who was 19 then, drove his family's boat to the party and used his older brother Buster Murdaugh's ID to buy alcohol at a neighboring convenience store. The group of six left the party at midnight, and then Paul and Cooner decided to go to a bar in Beaufort, South Carolina, where they had more drinks before heading back to the boat.
The group headed home around 1:00 am. According to the surviving victims, Paul, who was three times over the legal blood alcohol limit, got behind the wheel of the boat despite being visibly intoxicated. According to Anthony, Paul refused to let anyone else drive the boat. He even considered taking an Uber home with Mallory but decided against it because he didn't want to leave the rest of their friends.
Things got so intense on board that Anthony grabbed Mallory and put her in his lap while they sat at the bottom of the boat. Paul, who was arguing with Morgan, put the boat at full speed and crashed into a bridge near Parris Island, South Carolina, ejecting himself, Anthony, and Mallory. Both Paul and Anthony managed to make it to the surface, but Mallory remained missing for a week before she was found dead.
Paul was later charged with three counts of driving under the influence, but due to his father's close ties to law enforcement in their community, there was speculation that there were delays in the investigation. Paul would never have the chance to answer for his crimes. In June 2021, the 22-year-old and his mother, Maggie Murdaugh, were shot and killed on their property.
Where is Anthony Cook now?
Anthony filed a lawsuit against Paul's father, Alex, the convenience store where Paul purchased the alcohol, and the clerk who sold it to him in December 2021. According to Paul, Alex knew that Paul had falsely used his big brother's ID and that he was still drunk before permitting him to drive the boat.
Per a screenshot obtained by Daily Mail, Anthony posted about the tragic loss of his girlfriend nearly one month after the incident. "I have to live the rest of my life with the memory of getting thrown into the freezing pitch black water with the love of my life in my arms," he allegedly wrote on Facebook. "I had to swim against that current for 15 minutes in a panic screaming her name begging her to answer me. I had to swim to shore without her to save my own life and live in regret of that forever."
He has maintained a relatively low profile after the accident and subsequent murders. According to ABC News, Anthony suffers from painful symptoms similar to a PTSD diagnosis. While he reportedly went through a party phase after the accident, Anthony is believed to be employed as an electrical lineman in Southern USA.
Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal can be streamed on Netflix, with subscription plans starting at $9.99 per month.
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