In our most contemporary edition of Homicide Brides ever, we will discuss the recent conviction (Thursday) of Alex Murdaugh.
If you wonder what a soulless attorney from the Low Country has to do with the great sport of football, you may be surprised to find out that Alex Murdaugh was a USC Gamecock in college. His career was short due to a knee injury precipitating his alleged opioid addiction (30 pills a day, Alex? That would kill an entire 80s rock band).
The Murdaugh family has more skeletons in their closet than the Kennedys, The Duggars, and the Jacksons combined. The family has enough suspicious deaths tied to it to host their own season of Forensic Files. We’ll get into that later. First up is the crime at hand.
As we traverse the Homicide Bride series, we encounter many troubled people, hurting and murdering their loved ones; Murdaugh is one of the most diabolical, cold, and deplorable people we’ve met yet.
Generally, it’s hard to find any grain of goodness in someone who allegedly stole thousands and millions of dollars from quadriplegic teenagers, long-time family friends dying of cancer, and his own brother. Money that he used to do things like charter a private jet to a sporting event. He is so malevolent it’s flabbergasting.
Alas, we did not convene to discuss Alex Murdaugh’s alleged money smuggling, lies, or outrageous acts (really, Alex? Installing cop lights on your civilian car?). We would be here until the end of our natural lives and then some if we were to. It’s Homicide time.
It feels essential to lead with a disclaimer. Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were imperfect people who did many bad things. That does not make these murders any less heinous. That comes up a lot often when this case is discussed.
At this time, Buster Murdaugh’s alleged ties to a suspicious death (more on that later), he has never been charged or convicted in a court of law. With the presumed assumption of innocence every American is entitled to, Buster is not guilty of any crime. In time, that could change, but as of now, Buster is a young man who lost his father, mother, and brother and deserves basic human decency in his time of mourning.
Friendly Fire Familicide
Even when considering someone so abhorrent, it is still difficult to wrap your mind around a husband and father ending his wife and son’s life. Rae Carruth is giving teddy bear energy in comparison to this schmuck.
Last Thursday, Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of killing Maggie and Paul Murdaugh in 2021. Forensics imply that 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh’s life was extinguished in the family’s dog kennel’s feed room at their 1700-acre hunting grounds. Paul was fired at twice, the second bullet separating one of his organs from his body. Paul never even raised his hands in self-defense.
Maggie appeared to be running towards the feed room when Alex moved on to her next. She was facing him when he pulled the trigger three times. These injuries were not lethal. Forensics indicate that she was on her knees, one hand on the ground, when her husband discharged the assault rifle into her side. The firearm was fired into her head when she had already passed.
Alex Murdaugh: „Should we get rid of Mike
Dick Harpootlian:#MurdaughTrial #AlexMurdaugh pic.twitter.com/qrqCjjPX4r
— SuHe (@SuIsHeChu) February 21, 2023
The court case will not be explored in-depth here. It was long and was a clown show debacle far too often. The trial is available online on YouTube for free if that is of interest, but what feels particularly pertinent is that Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of familicide.
The trial uncovered many potential motives – Alex may have been trying to gain sympathy and community support at a time when his crimes were catching up to him. Maggie may have been trying to leave Alex; Maggie was allegedly becoming aware that the family was experiencing financial hardship (yes, even with the stolen money). Paul was a legal liability (more on that later); Paul was also a “little detective” that would track down his father’s pills and take them and hold his father accountable.
There was never a clear-cut motive established. Alex Murdaugh continues to claim he is innocent. However, Alex described the murderer as someone who had been contemplating this for a while, and hated Paul with anger in his heart. Is that Alex projecting? He said he would never intentionally hurt “Mags and PawPaw (the nicknames Alex only used during his testimony).” Did he do it “unintentionally?” It wouldn’t be the first time a murderer said something like this when trying to deny their guilt.
Man’s best friend
The puppers at the kennel were the conduits for Paul to identify his murderer from the grave. Man’s best friend provided the most damning evidence in the case.
Paul filmed a Snapchat video for his buddy of that young man’s dog, Cash. The pupper had an issue with his tail, and the friend wanted to see it so he could seek appropriate medical care. Paul was unable to send his friend the video as the cellphone reception was poor. The video lived on the phone until law enforcement could hack Paul’s iPhone.
In what famously is named the “kennel video,” Paul is attempting to capture a video of Cash’s tail. This proves challenging because Cash is such a good boi he wants to wag it around. In the background, you can hear Maggie and Alex discuss Bubba, another pupper, catching a chicken that he has brought in his mouth to his parents to show off.
Bubba was misunderstood and had extensive damaging character testimony during the trial, but he helped catch a killer. He wasn’t a chicken killer either (usually). Bubba just enjoyed the hunt. The chicken did pass away from shock later on. Alex’s voice in the video placed him at the crime scene four minutes before the deaths occurred.
Mr. Murdaugh initially claimed that he was not at the property. This video required him to admit he was lying and reframe his timeline so that he wouldn’t be present for or hear a firearm being discharged seven times in those four minutes. It came off as insincere. He didn’t call the cops until 10 PM.
In interviews, jurors indicated that the kennel video was crucial in finding Alex guilty. This is why they only deliberated for three hours before finding Alex guilty – an incredibly short time for a case with primarily circumstantial evidence. Some people feel that the jury got it wrong, and that is their right.
Thank you, Cash! Thank you, Bubba! May you get every rawhide, milk bone, and Kong dog toy your heart’s desire.
In Kennedy fashion, the Murdaughs are tied to many untimely and/or suspicious deaths. Most are related to the case in one way or another.
#1 Randolph Murdaugh Sr., 1940
The first Randolph Murdaugh, started the infamous law firm (PMPED) that Alex manipulated to steal money from people with. Randolph also helped create the family name that allowed generations of Murdaughs to be solicitors (DAs) in Hampton County, South Carolina.
Daddy Murdaugh was the first suspicious death we are aware of. In 1940, the family patriarch was struck by a train in his vehicle in the middle of a railroad crossing. The death was ruled as an accident. Historians have raised an eyebrow at this accidental death since it occurred.
The train engineer, W.W. Bartlett, told investigators he witnessed a hardly accidental scene. The engineer first saw Murdaugh Sr. when his vehicle was only 40 yards from the train. Allegedly, the man waved at the train, started his car, and drove onto the tracks.
The vehicle was propelled 900 feet forward on the tracks. Randolph Sr. was found deceased 150 yards from the crossing. Randolph Jr. sued the railroad company for $100,000 because he alleged the train was moving too fast, the bells were not ringing, and the whistles were not blown at the crossing.
The attorney also suggested the crossing area was rough, washed out, and in a dangerous condition. The lawsuit was settled outside of court for an undisclosed amount. This was the first railroad lawsuit of many for PMPED – they have won dozens of multi-million dollar judgments and settlements since. Make from that what you will.
#2 Stephen Smith – 2015
Stephen Smith was a free-spirited teen who was openly gay in a community that wasn’t exactly warm to that. The nursing student was allegedly telling his family that he was seeing Buster Murdaugh, and they were going to come out to Buster’s family soon.
They would never get the chance. Stephen Smith was killed in another suspicious death with sketchy police work. He allegedly was hit while walking in the middle of the road and was left. The wounds on his body indicated blunt force trauma to the head, not a hit-and-run. Rumor around town was that Buster was involved allegedly.
He was allegedly walking down the street after his car ran out of gas. However, this was not the first time he had run out of gas, and he would always call his twin sister. He actually had called her earlier that day to jump his battery. Why he wouldn’t call her instead of walking down long country roads is unclear.
Typical police protocols were not followed. The investigation was in full swing and then stopped as soon as it started. Things went quiet, and the case was closed. The case was re-opened in 2021 when law enforcement allegedly found evidence when searching the Murdaugh house at the time of the murders.
#3 Gloria Satterfield – 2018
Gloria was the housekeeper and nanny for Alex’s family for over 20 years, longer for the extended Murdaugh family. Satterfield was Paul’s surrogate mother, offering him the loving attention his parents did not give.
In 2018, Gloria allegedly tripped on the family dogs, fell down the stairs, and died. OJ Simpson is skeptical that this murder was an accident, and who better to identify a shifty death? He is not alone. Maggie Murdaugh was nicknamed Maggie Murder allegedly.
The Satterfield family does not believe that the death was suspicious. However, they were unappreciative of the insurance payout of several million dollars (and fraud) that Alex took in Gloria’s name and withheld from her sons.
#4 Mallory Beach – 2019
Mallory Beach died in a drunk driving incident when Paul Murdaugh allegedly drove a boat into a bridge when he was heavily intoxicated. Mallory was propelled into the dark water with the force of the impact. Her injuries prevented her from escaping the cold water, where she drowned.
Alex Murdaugh used his solicitor badge, which resembled a police badge, to allegedly get him, his father, and his wife to the crime scene. A place where Mallory Beach’s mother was not allowed. The police investigation was incredibly sketchy, and Maggie allegedly intimidated the victim’s boyfriend’s mother.
Alex Murdaugh and his father also rushed to the hospital the night of the crash. Allegedly, both men were walking in and out of hospital rooms and active surgeries to speak to every young adult that was at the scene of the crime.
The men allegedly intimidated them into staying silent and tried to create a narrative where Paul Murdaugh was not driving the boat – his friend with a broken jaw did. Hospital staff alleges that they heard Alex say on the phone ,”She’s gone. Don’t worry.” Many think the eight days it took to find Mallory’s body was orchestrated – as in, the intention was that she would never be found (allegedly). This case is still pending in civil court.
#5-6 Paul and Maggie Murdaugh – 2021
The last untimely murders in a long string of heinous crimes.
#7 Alex Murdaugh’s self harm attempt – 2021
Possibly taking inspiration from Randolph Sr., Alex Murdaugh allegedly facilitated history’s strangest hit-for-hire plot. Alex called the police and was waiving individuals driving on the road where the hit had gone down. Murdaugh claims that he was changing a tire when an unknown assailant came beside him and discharged their firearm in his head.
Alex was rushed to the hospital with superficial wounds to the head that bled a lot but weren’t particularly serious. He was discharged in two days. Police alleged that it was a hired hit, and Murdaugh relented. A money trail was found with multi-thousand dollar checks that Alex had paid to Cousin Eddie, the perpetrator allegedly.
Murdaugh allegedly confessed to hiring Eddie. Allegedly, Alex met his cousin somewhere and gave him a firearm, and the two men drove to Murdaugh’s selected location. Eddie pulled the trigger and drove away, disposing of the firearm allegedly. Murdaugh claims he committed insurance fraud so his surviving son, Buster, could access his life insurance. He was also depressed – he had been fired from his family’s law firm for fraud the day before.
If Alex said that was the reason, it probably wasn’t because he is a lying liar. Many feel this was a sympathy ploy that would get the heat off Murdaugh with all his evil deeds coming to light allegedly. He was arrested shortly after that.
One thought… how would Cousin Eddie, a resident of the Low Country, where gunpowder flows in people’s veins, babies sleep in the cradle with loaded firearms, and hunting gear is a decoration motif, miss. He allegedly could not successfully fire at a man’s head who was close to him without killing him. That seems like an intentionally lousy shot.
In the HBO Documentary on the family, an attorney who looked like he was born before the train incident mentioned Murdaugh folklore. One of the Murdaugh men in the solicitor role offered to hide a murder for a solicitor from another area after he did them a favor allegedly. It wouldn’t be shocking to believe that any number of hair-raising crimes are intertwined with the family’s legacy in more ways than we know.
Curious about what OJ Simpson thinks about Alex Murdaugh’s guilt? It’s your lucky day. Read more here.
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