Murdaughs

$58 in Maggie Murdaugh’s Bank Account? What New Docs Tell Us About the Murdaughs’ Finances

More questions in the mystery…

Nearly 10 months after Paul Murdaugh and Maggie Murdaugh were found murdered at their Colleton County hunting property, new documents filed in probate court shed light on the powerful family’s suspicious financial situation.

Sources close to the multiple investigations told FITSNews since the double homicide that they were “following the money” to find answers in this case.

That trail has sent the investigation snowballing as it was revealed in September that Alex Murdaugh  — the only publicly named person of interest in the double homicide of his wife and son — allegedly stole millions of dollars from his clients.


Colleton County Probate documents filed this month reveal a troubling financial state for Maggie Murdaugh, the 52-year-old mother of two who was known to flaunt expensive clothes and purses.

John Marvin Murdaugh, Maggie Murdaugh’s brother-in-law, was made personal representative of the estate last year. This was after apparently Maggie’s sister’s name was scratched off as personal representative and someone wrote Randolph Murdaugh III’s name in the 2005 will (see a screenshot below).

John Marvin has been in the spotlight this week after he did two interviews with both The (Charleston S.C.) Post and Courier and The (Hilton Head, S.C.) Island Packet newspapers.

Previously, John Marvin only did one interview with ABC, which appeared on Good Morning America in June and 20/20 in January.

In the Packet article, John Marvin specifically stated that the reason he did the interview was to clear up any “rumors” about his role as personal representative of the estate.

“I talked to (Maggie’s family) and essentially what I told (them) is I’m going to discharge my duties as the PR in a lawful manner that makes them proud, Maggie proud and Buster proud,” he said in the Packet interview. “I want them to know that it’s being handled the best that it can. Everything’s transparent.”

Yet, the documents John Marvin filed in probate court recently present a confusing — and likely incomplete — picture of Maggie Murdaugh’s finances at the time of her death.

Here is what we learned from the documents filed March 22 in Colleton County Probate Court.

Was Maggie Murdaugh really cash poor?

According to the documents, Maggie Murdaugh had just $57.77 left in her Bank of America account — the only bank account solely in Maggie’s name listed — at the time of her death.

In Maggie and Alex’s joint Palmetto State Bank accounts, Maggie’s share only amounted to $4,154.14.

But nothing is ever as it seems when it comes to the Murdaughs …

Now, $4,154 is a lot of money to a lot of people, but not the Murdaughs. Especially considering that Alex Murdaugh is accused of stealing nearly $9 million from more than a dozen clients in the last decade.

One of those Palmetto State Bank accounts Maggie shared with Alex only had $16 in it.

So, did someone drain Maggie’s accounts around the time she died? Were the Murdaughs in deep financial trouble last June?

It is possible that these aren’t all of the accounts that Maggie Murdaugh had access to prior to her death.

John Marvin listed these accounts in the section “joint with right of survivorship” — specifically where he was asked to list “any non-probate property jointly owned” by Maggie Murdaugh.

According to documents, the total amount of money listed in Maggie Murdaugh’s account couldn’t pay her mortgages.

Maggie appeared to be asset-rich, sort of

At the time of her death, Maggie Murdaugh had an estimated worth of $4,160,0000 total in real estate holdings between her ownership of the Moselle property and the Edisto home.

Maggie Murdaugh was the sole owner of Moselle after Alex sold it to her in 2016 for $5.

However, around $2,178,669.57 was owed in mortgages on both of the properties.

  • $847,287 owed on the $1,000,000 Moselle mortgage initiated in 2015
  • $1,122,852.84 owed on the second Moselle mortgage of $1,311,865 from 2013
  • $208,529.46 owed on the Edisto mortgage (the home was purchased by Maggie and Alex in 2002 for $415,000).

It appears that they weren’t paying their mortgages


Recently, John Marvin Murdaugh sought to sell the Moselle property and pay off a more than $2 million mortgage held by Palmetto State Bank, a family-owned Hampton County bank that also has been accused of playing a role in Alex Murdaugh’s alleged financial crimes.

According to the probate documents, Maggie owned an estimated $111,500 in other assets, including:

  • $85,000 value for a 2021 Mercedes
  • $12,000 value for a 2014 Ford F-150
  • $8,000 value for a Ford F-150
  • $6,500 value for a 2012 Land Rover
  • $0 for household furniture, goods and appliances

Did Maggie Murdaugh have a life insurance policy?

This has been one of the biggest questions surrounding Maggie Murdaugh’s murder since last June.

Unfortunately, the documents don’t provide a full answer.

In the probate filings, John Marvin wrote “none” when asked to list the insurance on the life of the decedent, which is payable to the estate.

He also wrote “none” under life insurance that would be payable to the beneficiaries.

However, sources close to the investigation have said they have a hard time believing that Maggie Murdaugh didn’t have any life insurance.

For nearly a century, the Murdaughs made millions of dollars by suing insurance companies through their law firm.

Are we really supposed to believe that Maggie Murdaugh wouldn’t have had life insurance?

Especially when we know for a fact that Alex Murdaugh had a big life insurance policy on himself.

Remember, after his alleged “suicide for hire” ordeal, he told police that the main reason he wanted Eddie Smith to shoot him on the side of the road that day was so his son Buster could collect on his $10 million life insurance policy.

If is possible that there was a life insurance policy that wasn’t listed?

Absolutely.

But remember, John Marvin said he was being as transparent as possible when it came to his role as PR.

Also interesting?

In the documents, John Marvin Murdaugh claimed that Maggie Murdaugh didn’t have any stocks or bonds, nor did she have a retirement account. Specifically, he wrote “none” when asked to list any stock, bonds and retirement accounts payable to the estate or to the beneficiaries.

Maggie had a lot of unpaid bills

On top of owing more than $2 million in mortgages at the time of her death, Maggie Murdaugh owed $2,435.55 to Coastal Electric Cooperative Inc., likely for unpaid electric bills.

She owed $6,500 for unpaid bills to a Summerville interior design company. The bills were due in April and June 2021. Some of those items that were placed at the Moselle home before Maggie was murdered included:

  • $3,400 vintage curtains with English linen print
  • $2,500 drapery panels “fabricated in khaki and black antelope print” 
  • $500 small stuffed pheasant
  • $180 Turkish rug pillows

While these might seem like strange details to report on, these bills raise a lot of questions.

If Maggie Murdaugh was truly cash poor, why would she be spending this kind of money on redecorating Moselle?

She also owed more than $1,300 on her Belk Rewards Mastercard and more than $500 on an Amazon credit card. 

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According to The Daily Mail, a source close to the family said that Maggie had been worried about their financial situation in the months leading up to her murder. 

The source told the Daily Mail that Maggie was upset because a check she had written to a local charity had bounced a few months before the murders.

Did something happen to change the Murdaugh family’s financial state last spring?

FITSNews will continue to dig into this. Stay tuned...

Editor’s Note: This story is a news analysis by Mandy Matney, who has been covering the Murdaugh family since 2019.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR..

Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your tips to mandy@fitsnews.com.

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34 comments

Ron February 2, 2023 at 2:22 pm

I want to go live with Mandy Matney on Hilton Head in South Carolina that’s all I got to say.

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Raul February 7, 2023 at 1:29 am

‘Wondering how Mandy and her husband might feel about that ;)

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L F Bullard February 3, 2023 at 10:23 pm

Seems impossible that there was not big liability insurance on Moselle, a valuable property with a mortgage. Would think Alex figured he could find a way to collect big for two accidental deaths.

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Anonymous February 27, 2023 at 2:48 pm

I think he thought he had found a way. I don’t think he had considered just how deep, far and wide his actions may turn into because he was seldom, if ever met with serious opposition, and having to repeat himself with the events as they occurred, we have 3 versions, and he rode the fence to see which one resonated the best with LE and now jurors. When I saw 2 of the juror’s wiping their eyes during his pathetic testimony, I knew it was over. I’m calling a hung jury. . . which might as well be found innocent and life will go on. There is no clear evidence of Maggie or Paul having life insurance at time of death. Alex has a $10ml in place. Her family was surprised to hear she had no policy. Unlike her they said. BUT, it doesn’t have to be made public whether or not there was a life ins policy or not. And again, Alex Murdaugh has proven time and again how profoundly “gifted” he is at AVOIDING ANY TRUTH TELLING, AT ANY COST! He’s a f’ing professional for Godsake. Of course there was a life insurance policy in place! For both of them! That’s why they’re dead! Maggie had only become suspicious that their finances were in trouble 3-4 months prior to her death. Bills weren’t being paid. Notices were being sent out. Credit cards were being declined. But, it didn’t stop her spending. She was decorating the home she died in and had owed her decorator money for awhile. Mortgages were behind. Time was running out. Little did anyone know it was running out for Paul and Maggie. I hope I’m wrong and his peers are able to see through his BS, however, after what I saw during his testimony, akin to trying to nail jello to a wall, the sympathy card will be shown. I believe him to be GUILTY! BAM!

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Viola March 1, 2023 at 10:08 pm

I believe that Alex planned to kill Paul and Maggie with different guns to make people think they were killed by people that were angry with Paul for the boating death of the young girl., Mallory Beach . Alex knew that Same day his son and wife were murdered that he was in serious legal trouble for the millions he had Stolen at work. That was why he decided to kill them off on that day to turn the attention on to their deaths. He never thought they would blame him because he had always enjoyed a life working with the police and as a DA. He believed that people would automatically think it was a hit in retaliation for Mallory Beach’s death. ALEX IS GUILTY OF MURDER!!!

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Leigh Morton March 2, 2023 at 11:12 am

There was also a text from Alex to Maggie either the day of or day before the murders along the lines of Paul said you’re getting a pedi!! Call me when you’re done.

From the published transcript of text messages, Alex rarely used puncutation. I am inferring those 2 exclamation points meant he was upset she was spending money. Just my gut thought.

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Addydawn March 4, 2023 at 9:19 pm

I believe that Maggie and Paul were fed up with Alex’s addiction and its exorbitant amount of money to support. Maggie was confronting him about finances and Paul was confronting him about the addiction. Alex was already angry with Paul about the boating accident. It opened a can of worms of Alex’s dirty deeds! His world was crumbling and if Paul said anything about the addiction and financial con artistry going on with money; Alex’s entire life would be in the toilet in every way imaginable. Plus, the boating accident was about to reveal what Alex did with money entrusted to him. So, he probably had a confrontation with Alex about the drugs and anger that he had to get drunk, drive a boat, kill a woman and then the entire scamming would be revealed! That was the last straw for Alex. He was furious with Paul! Families can express a lot of hate over situations or circumstances. He couldn’t afford to have his empire tainted between Maggie and Paul. He’s from the south on land. He has a gun everywhere. Home, car, kennels and even could conceal carry a pistol. There probably were rifles at the kennels, already. It’s a hunting lodge and it’s the place where the dogs are kept. Of course there were rifles, there. I think it was more heat of passion! Rage! He killed Paul and had to kill Maggie because she was a witness. He couldn’t have her alive and be able to deny that he killed Paul. I just wonder if Buster had a part. Maybe in getting rid of the weapons while Alex dealt with the police. Well – Karma had a way of coming around, anyway and he made it completely worse for himself!

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Linda March 2, 2023 at 1:15 pm

I don’t see why the prosecutor didn’t zero in on the fact that Shelly said d that when Alex lay on the bed with his mom he was wearing the asperity boat shoes. When police was asked what he was wearing when they got there… they said some kinds of pinkest tennis shoes!?????

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Anonymous March 2, 2023 at 1:35 pm

Look at JM and Buster. Follow the money and lack there of. The fake suicide is a clue. The historically bad behaviour of Paul makes him a convenient distraction regarding a revenge theory. The brother and older son of Alex very likely knew about the embezzlement practices of Alex early on. Exposure of this would give them a lot to lose too. I d on’t think AM pulled the trigger, but i believe he knows very well who did. The money fraud likely came to light just before the housekeeper Gloria died. Paul loved her. I bet that haunted him. And even more when his dad stole her kids insurance money.

These are folks who being surrounded by law as lawyers for three generations- in small town America…. living “ above the law”.

Maggie and Paul were killed by someone who had access to Murdough owned guns – now missing. Either provided by Alex, Buster or John Marvin.

Alex will likely get off. May no5 have pulled the trigger, but guilty as hell in a colluded crime.

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LBorden March 4, 2023 at 4:19 pm

Interesting that the insurance policy that covered the house keeper’s death was obtained two months before she died. The fraud came to light when the house keeper’s family saw in the news where AM received an over $4 million settlement in their mother’s death. Sounds like Maggie and Paul were not first victims.

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Rik Wild March 9, 2023 at 7:23 pm

But was that particular deed ‘fraud,’ though? If he took out the insurance policy and paid for it, then he is entitled to the payout. I know of a number of companies that take out insurance policies on their most valued employees, which get paid to the corporation in the event of the employees death. Unless the housekeeper had taken out the policy on herself, or if it was a stated benefit of her job that she receive an insurance policy for her family, then her family has no claim on any insurance payout.

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Anonymous March 3, 2023 at 9:30 am

Possible mortgage insurance instead of life insurance.

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Teresa Williams February 15, 2023 at 10:00 pm

How do you spend &50,000.00 a week on drugs? I think that is what someone said today. There is no way in hell you can do that many drugs a week and not die! There is no way he did not have life insurance on his wife. If I knew I had less than $30 or 40 dollars in my checking account, I would not put gas in my car, let alone spend all that money redecorating. Keeping up appearances is important to people of wealth. I say he is quilts. Hope the jury sees that.

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Betty Caulk February 22, 2023 at 9:30 am

Did they or why didn’t they check the 1700 acres for the firearms? With all the steps he made on the property they should have come up with something. He was only on the property and drove to his mother’s…or either someone helped him out before the cops came. The maid never seen the clothes he was wearing at the time. Where are they? He is quilty!!!!

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Sharon February 24, 2023 at 1:43 pm

There was absolutely no reason Alex would have insurance on his wife and sons. If they died, he’s still young enough to be employed and fend for himself. He’d sell the properties and pay off loans. He had insurance on himself, that if he died, his wife would have money to live off for the remainder of her life. I don’t see any reason for Murdaugh to kill his wife and son. If I was on the jury, I’d vote Not Guilty. The state has not convinced me that he’s a murderer. He’s an embezzler, a liar and a drug addict, but he’s not being tried for that. Am I wrong? If so, what am I missing?

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Rhoda February 25, 2023 at 3:18 pm

I agree with you Sharon!

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Anonymous February 27, 2023 at 6:11 pm

I disagree. How do you not have a clue who might have killed your wife and son but you just happened to be at the scene of the crime time it happened. How do you not get any blood on yourself or clothing when your wife and kids are on the floor dead and you didn’t do it?
He’s a liar, murderer, crook and pathetic.

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Lynn March 2, 2023 at 11:37 am

I agree. They will never convict him.

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Linda March 2, 2023 at 1:21 pm

Why are the two guns missing?? He got rid of them on his way to his mothers. What about that rain coat??? From the very beginning I wondered why was the kennel so wet?? Then the caretaker said the hose was not rolled right. Old Alex wore the rain coat and hosed the off the coat and his self and took rain coat to mom’s

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Joann Longton March 2, 2023 at 6:03 pm

And I think the reason he lied about going into work at 8:30 when he actually never left until after noontime is he was home at home going over his plan and setting everything up for the murder—probably went and hid his change of clothes somewhere up by the kennels so he could change up there before driving the golf cart back. Also–how is it that, if he’d showered the night before there was STILL a puddle on the floor and a damp towel there the next morning? It should have all been dry by the time Blanca showed up the morning of the 8th. That shower was a set-up he did at the home before heading out to the kennels. He dropped a pair of (more than likely CLEAN) khaki pants next to the shower—(he had several pairs of them, remember) knowing people would assume that those were the same ones he’d worn that morning. Remember he did not leave a shirt there; just a damp towel, a small puddle and a pair of khaki pants. Crumbs he deliberately left to try and fool the investigators. He did NOT leave a shirt though—very strange, don’t you think? I believe he DID stay behind at the house—at first. Then he loaded up the weapons he had preloaded onto the golf cart (probably had the tarp draped over the seat) and probably hid it behind the shed when first arriving, so it wasn’t seen. After he shot them when they were off guard, he quickly stripped down and put the guns and his dirty clothes & rain jacket inside the tarp, wrapping them up, returned to the kennel to wash himself off and change into the clothes he had previously hidden there somewhere–or brought with him when he came with the golf cart. The dogs know the truth. They should have made him do an interview with the dogs present. They LOVED Maggie and would probably have attacked him if they ever saw him again…AND–with his entire life at stake, don’t you think if he was not guilty he would have simply produced the pair of khaki’s and the seafoam polo shirt that Maggie swore he had on that morning? If he had simply produced that shirt, they would have had NO CASE against him, and as a professional attorney, he knew that—yet he could not produce that shirt. WHY? Because it was covered with blood, and he had either hidden it or destroyed it—or had someone else like cousin Eddie burn it. How come Cousin Eddie was never put on the stand?

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Linda March 2, 2023 at 7:53 pm

You are wrong. He was heard on the tape just before his wife and son were murdered. He lies about that but the best evidence is he was there minutes before they were murdered but he was spared and not murdered that doesn’t happen. He lied about every damn thing and changed his story about his whereabouts as evidence came out proving his guilt. He is the scum of the earth
IMO!

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Anonymous March 3, 2023 at 10:40 am

To think that Alex Murdaugh was not guilty of killing his wife and son is ludicrous. He left a trail of lies for years and deaths surrounding his family. This is not a lifetime movie where he was framed. He was recorded at the scene of the crime minutes before they died.

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M. McDonald February 25, 2023 at 12:49 pm

Phone records and Paul’s phone video place Alex at the murder site within minutes (3 or 4) of the murder. He is guilty.

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Mike February 27, 2023 at 2:00 pm

What about a second to die policy? If they had one of those, then there would be no life insurance to be paid into the estate. It’s also consistent with him staging his death. I’m sure that life insurance was the motive, and I don’t know why that wasn’t argued by the state at the hearing on admissibility of the attempted killing of Alex.

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Sylvia Haikio March 1, 2023 at 7:00 pm

Life insurance is not a part of the estate. It is separate

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ab February 28, 2023 at 11:44 pm

What. They don’t know if there was a life insurance policy. That is B.S. Why is this not being proven that Maggie and Paul had a life insurance policy at the time of death. That would prove motive as well as the other reasons why he killed them. This guy is sooo greedy, you know he had life insurance policies on them with him as the co owner of their life insurance policies. Every murder case has to find out if the victims have life insurance policies. Of course, there was no money left in the accounts he had hidden it all already because he knew what he was going to do. He wrote all those checks to his cousin to hide his money. He was at the scene of the murders when they were murdered. He did not see any suspects because it was him. This is not a normal person like you and me, this is someone that has no feelings for anyone. People are just a means to an end for this guy. He looked the Saturfields and other clients in the eye and said consider me like family. I will take care of you and then he took all their money knowingly leaving the Saturfields homeless when he knew they could not pay the mortgage because he took all their money. He is heartless and souless. His eyes are dead!! There is no life there. A small house and an honest man would have been a much better plan for his whole family. At least the kids would have someone they could admire but he killed his wife and son to keep up with the Joneses. Who are the Jonses anywhay? This guy thinks he is smart but he is a couple of slices of bread short of a loaf!

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Joshua N. Jones March 1, 2023 at 7:40 pm

I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t mention my good family’s name in any reference to the Murdaugh’s and Alex especially. Lord knows that man is guilty and lord knows corruption has a long history in this family. This is an excellent example of how the “Good ol’ boy” legal system works.

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Anonymous March 1, 2023 at 11:55 pm

Alex may not have had life insurance policies to gain by their death but he could certainly file on his homeowners Insurance Policy and he tried . He tried to the tune of $6,000,000.00 but was denied because of the manner in which they died . So yes he planned to collect money off Of their deaths.

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Anonymous March 1, 2023 at 6:39 pm

Guilty,Guilty,Guilty… I joy your eternity in hell

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Kim March 2, 2023 at 7:03 pm

Don’t you think that the family of the girl killed in the boating accident knew Paul would get away with killing her. What the documentary about it. It was a cover up and I’m sure someone close to her hated that family. There is another motive from an outside person. I don’t care either way what happens to him , but that is reason to believe maybe he didn’t kill them . Also I don’t think there was life insurance on them so why kill they were not going to turn him in for stealing money , they used the money themselves. Just saying

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Joann Longton March 2, 2023 at 6:16 pm

Funny, not a single person on this thread thinks he is innocent. If he didn’t do it, then he colluded with someone else (Cousin Eddie?) who did–because he lured them to the property. No one else knew they would be there, so he had to have told them. He provided them with the family weapons—funny how he did the same thing with Cousin Eddie when he tried to fake his assassination. There is NO WAY he would have not heard those shots out there in the country—very loud and distinctive sounds. –would probably only have just arrived back at the house by then anyway. And he had no time to quickly fall immediately to sleep upon returning only to turn around and then leave at 9:07….so you tell me when he slept? The man is a liar. If he didn’t actually shoot them himself he set them up to be killed and provided the means (guns) and opportunity (luring them there) for someone else to do it/ Motive? Insurance. He tried to collect on his 6 million dollar homeowner’s Insurance policy. He would have them sold off all the properties he’s suddenly come into sole possession of and would have been able to pay off all his debts and clear his precious name before anyone could figure it out. But the ‘little detective’ foiled his plans….Rest in Peace with your Mom, Paulie. You got him!!!

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Bill W March 2, 2023 at 9:12 pm

Guilty, he will rot in prison…

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Anonymous March 3, 2023 at 9:36 am

They owed al ot of money, I am curious if they had mortgage insurance, but that would not explain killing his son.

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Tamra Lisetti January 1, 2024 at 12:45 am

When asked if he (Alex) killed Paul and Maggie he said NO While nodding his head YES. Body language is saying He’s LYING!!! Watch the show again if you don’t understand what I’m saying. Alex is a liar and if you truly watch him you can tell.
60 pain pills a day?! No way, he’d be dead. You can’t take that many in one day and still be able to continue breathing. That doesn’t make any sense.
Alex Murdaugh is GUILTY AND A LIAR.

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