Alex Murdaugh was officially charged last week for the murder of his wife and son. The motive of this now deposed powerful former lawyer remains unexplained.
In June 2021, Maggie Murdaugh and her son Paul were found dead in their hunting lodge in South Carolina. For a year, the mystery surrounding their murder remained unsolved. Last week, Alex Murdaugh, the husband and father of the two victims was officially charged for this crime, which he allegedly committed alone. The troubled role of this man, a former powerful lawyer in the region, from a respected but also feared family, has always raised questions. After the death of his wife and son, he himself had been shot and wounded while he was in front of his house. The investigation finally revealed that he had organized his murder – from which he came out alive – by hiring someone to allow his second son to receive the 10 million dollars in his life insurance.
To read : Murders, scams, disappearances… Welcome to the Murdaugh family
After this fake attack, the authorities discovered that Alex Murdaugh was under internal investigation by his firm, which accused him of fraud. Following these revelations, the man addicted to opioids, announced his departure from the family firm and his wish to go to rehab. His lawyers have in recent months confirmed that he was considered a person of interest in the investigation into the deaths of his wife and son, but claimed he was not involved because he was surrendering to this that time visiting his sick mother. “Alex wants his family, friends, and everyone else to know that he had nothing to do with the murders of Maggie and Paul. He loved them more than anything. It was very clear from the start that the police and the prosecutor prematurely concluded that Alex was responsible for the murder of his wife and son,” his defenders wrote in a press release. They added: “We know that Alex had no motive to kill them”.
“He’s up to something”
Last April, the local media FITSNews, quoting several experts, revealed the many damning elements surrounding this case, citing in particular traces of blood discovered in the hunting lodge, as well as a weapon belonging to the family, which would have been used this that day. The magazine “People” indicates for its part that the former lawyer would have trapped his wife, explaining to her that her 81-year-old father, Randolph Murdaugh III, was increasingly ill and that she should come to see him before dying. Maggie, who was on Edisto Island, in one of their seaside houses, initially refused to go to the family hunting lodge, offering her husband to meet him directly at the hospital. Police sources have indicated that the couple was going through a complicated period at the time of the tragedy.
Faced with her husband’s insistence, Maggie finally agreed to meet him at their home, specifying that she would follow Alex in his personal vehicle to the hospital. On the way, the wife would have sent a message to a friend in which she said to find the attitude of her husband “weird”. “He’s up to something,” she reportedly said. When she arrived at the hunting lodge where she was supposed to meet her husband before leaving for the hospital, she reportedly found her son taking pictures. What happened next is not officially established. Several high-powered shotgun blasts reportedly killed Maggie Murdaugh, including one that went through her back and another through the back of her head as she was face down. As for Paul Murdaugh, his death certificate indicates that he was shot in the head and another in the chest. It was the father who called the emergency services after finding the bodies, explaining that he had just visited his mother.
The files around Alex Murdaugh are numerous. In addition to these murder cases, the staging of his attack, and the frauds he is accused of by his former firm, he is also accused of stealing his former housekeeper’s life insurance money, victim of a fatal fall on the stairs of the Murdaugh property in 2018. The body of the latter should be exhumed in order to investigate the exact circumstances of her death. Before his murder, Paul Murdaugh was awaiting his trial after a 2019 boating accident in which a 19-year-old girl lost her life. He was at the helm and was extremely drunk at the time of the tragedy. “He’s a different person who transforms completely” when he’s intoxicated, the victim’s boyfriend, Mallory Beach, said at the time of the investigation. The boy transformed so much that his friends even gave him another name, “Timmy”, to describe him when he drank. On the evening of the accident, he allegedly argued with people on board. The charges against him were dropped after his death.
In June 2021, authorities also announced they had reopened an investigation into the 2015 death of a young man, Stephen Smith, who was found dead on the side of a road about 10 miles from the Murdaughs’ home. South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesman Tommy Crosby said the reopening of the case was ‘based on information gathered during the investigation into the double murder of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh. “. Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old nursing student, was found on July 8, 2015 with a head injury. Authorities concluded it was a homicide but found no further evidence and ultimately ruled the death likely the result of a hit-and-run. According to the young man’s mother at the time, the Murdaugh family would have influenced the conclusions of the investigation.