unsolved mysteries

Alex Murdaugh’s Alleged Crime Spree Gets Crazier

Photo: Joshua Boucher/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The family of Alex Murdaugh was a dynasty in South Carolina’s low country, with his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather serving 86 consecutive years as the prosecutor in the region. But he’s flipped the family legacy on its head with a long series of bizarre alleged crimes and violence that could take years to fully investigate.

On Thursday, Murdaugh, 63, was charged with murder in the deaths of his wife, Maggie, and adult son, Paul, who were found shot outside the family’s hunting lodge last June. The grand-jury indictment alleges that the personal injury attorney killed his 52-year-old wife with a rifle and 22-year-old son with a shotgun, though they did not detail how investigators connected Murdaugh to the killings during a 13-month investigation. Murdaugh, who found and reported the bodies to law enforcement, has denied killing his family members; his attorneys claim that he was visiting his mother, who has dementia, when his wife and son were shot, and that a caregiver was present to corroborate his alibi. According to NBC News, two sources familiar with the investigation claim that authorities have cell-phone videos that put Murdaugh at the scene of the killings just before they took place.

The charges handed down on Thursday are the first connecting Murdaugh to the deaths of his family members. But he’s already been in custody for some time now due to a series of strange alleged offenses. Last September, he turned himself in after allegedly arranging for a hit man to kill him so his other son could collect $10 million of a life-insurance policy. Two days after the attempted suicide-for-hire, the century-old law firm his family founded said he was stealing money. During the murder investigation, authorities found that he allegedly stole $8.5 million from clients. In late 2021, he was indicted on 48 related counts, including forgery, breach of trust with fraudulent intent, and money laundering. In January, he was indicted on 21 counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent and six counts of computer crimes. His law license was revoked last fall and the state’s supreme court is now moving to disbar him.

Meanwhile, authorities have also reopened a case involving the 2018 death of Murdaugh’s housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, in what attorneys have described as a “trip and fall accident” at the his estate. Last June, investigators also reopened a case involving the death of a 19-year-old who died of a head injury “based upon information gathered during the course of the double-murder investigation,” according to authorities.

Alex Murdaugh’s Alleged Crime Spree Gets Crazier