by LIZ FARRELL, WILL FOLKS and MANDY MATNEY
As the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the office of state attorney general Alan Wilson appear closer to wrapping up the investigation into the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, more information is emerging about what happened on the night they were killed.
On Tuesday evening, FITSNews exclusively reported that high-velocity impact spatter was present on the shirt Alex Murdaugh was wearing June 7, 2021.
This evidence placed him physically at the scene at the time that one or both of his family members were shot. The high-velocity impact spatter — as well as other evidence — also contradicted what the Murdaugh camp was calling Alex Murdaugh’s “ironclad alibi” on the night of the murders.
Also revealed Tuesday by FITNews: Just weeks before the murders, the state grand jury had subpoenaed for Alex Murdaugh’s finances in connection with an obstruction of justice investigation connected to a fatal 2019 boat crash involving Paul Murdaugh.
Multiple sources close to the investigation have also confirmed to FITSNews that, prior to June 7, and at the time of her death, Maggie Murdaugh was living apart from her husband and alone at her Edisto Beach home.
FITSNews has been unable to independently confirm reports that Maggie met with a divorce attorney prior to the murders. However, a meeting like this would not have been inconsistent with what multiple sources have described as the strained status of their relationship — in part, because of a rumored affair Alex was having with another attorney.
Additionally, on the evening of June 7, Maggie drove to Moselle — the family’s 1,700-acre hunting property in Islandton, S.C. (about an hour and fifteen minutes from their Edisto Beach house) — because Alex had asked her to meet him there.
In other words, Maggie was “lured” to what would be the site of her murder, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.
These same sources say Maggie had expressed her hesitancy to meet with her estranged husband to at least three other people in her life, but ultimately decided it was the right thing to do.
It is unclear whether this information would have been contained on Maggie Murdaugh’s iPhone, which was found in the woods a short distance from Moselle on the day after the murders by investigators with the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office – and with help from Alex Murdaugh’s younger brother, John Marvin Murdaugh.
Paul Murdaugh’s phone was found with his body, sources say.
The reason Alex said he wanted his wife at Moselle: Randolph Murdaugh III was dying and Alex wanted Maggie to visit him and his mother, who has dementia, at their Varnville home, multiple sources have confirmed.
But, according to a report on Good Morning America just ten days after the murders, the narrative coming from the Murdaugh camp was that Alex had dropped off his father at a Savannah hospital earlier in the day of the murders and then went to check on his mother.
At the time of the murders, Alex Murdaugh says he was at his parents’ home in Varnville, less than 20 minutes away from Moselle.
His attorney Jim Griffin told Fox Carolina in October 2021 that Murdaugh was home watching a gameshow at his parents’ house “at the time the coroner says” Maggie and Paul were murdered.
“On the way over (to Moselle), he spoke to his friends and communicated about business and he called his dad who was in the hospital,” Griffin said. “He didn’t do it. I feel strongly he didn’t do it.”
After the murders, Alex Murdaugh went to stay with his in-laws — his wife’s sister and her husband — and remained closely in their presence for “around three months,” multiple sources tell FITSNews.
Prior to June 7, though, Murdaugh’s connection to the Branstetters wasn’t seen as particularly strong, according to multiple sources, and he often found excuses not to accompany Maggie and the boys on visits to them.
“It’s been said he didn’t particularly like them,” one source close to the investigation said.
Through his attorneys — both in interviews with the media and behind the scenes — Murdaugh has maintained his innocence in Maggie’s and Paul’s murders. He has also claimed to have cooperated with SLED agents from the beginning of their investigation into the double homicide.
In the days following Maggie’s and Paul’s deaths, friends of Alex say he seemed focused on his loss of Paul – lamenting that because of what happened Paul would never be able to prove his innocence in the 2019 boat crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach of Hampton, S.C.
The boat crash, in many ways, is at the heart of what many see as Alex Murdaugh’s unraveling.
In the weeks after the murders, it was also cited by multiple members of the Murdaugh family as the motive for the murders — hinting that Maggie’s and Paul’s deaths were a result of vengeance.
Randy Murdaugh and John Marvin Murdaugh appeared on Good Morning America in June 2021 to talk about the murders.
“It’s just hard to imagine somebody can be so sick as to do this, intentionally kill people like that. I mean, we see it in the world. We see it on the news. But you don’t think it’s going to happen in your small community, to your family,” Randy said.
Both men said that Paul had been receiving threats from strangers online. They called the threats “bothersome” but did not believe them to be credible.
“I don’t know of anybody that would truly be an enemy or truly want to hurt them,” Randy told Good Morning America.
(Click to view)
(Via: FITSNews/ YouTube)
Multiple sources have told FITSNews that Maggie Murdaugh was not a fearful person, but she did not like staying at Moselle.
At the time of her death, Maggie had just completed a redecoration of her Edisto Beach home and was embarking on a project to make Moselle “more homey.”
There was no indication prior to her death that Maggie feared for her life or Paul’s life — especially as it relates to “revenge” for the boat crash or any other incident in which her sons might have been involved, according to multiple sources.
Friends of Maggie say that Paul and Buster were the center of her life. Multiple sources have told FITSNews that “Maggie Murdaugh lived for those boys.”
She knew of their whereabouts at all times, and they knew hers. In fact, Buster had an app on his phone that showed his mother’s location through her phone. It is this app that helped investigators locate her discarded phone in the woods.
On the day of her murder, she knew Paul — who worked that day at his uncle’s equipment rental shop and ate dinner with his uncle’s family at their home in Okatie — would be at Moselle that evening.
Paul left Okatie for Moselle at around 6:00 p.m.
Maggie is believed to have arrived at Moselle sometime between 7:00 and 7:30 p.m.
This new information helps shed light on some of the circumstances surrounding the murders.
Sources close to the situation have told FITSNews that this physical evidence “could have only come from one thing.”
On the night of June 7, Maggie was shot multiple times with a high-powered rifle. She received a bullet wound to the back of her head while lying face down on the ground, multiple sources have told FITSNews.
Paul was killed with a shotgun, which caused multiple injuries. He, too, was shot in the head, according to his death certificate. He was killed with one round of birdshot and one round of buckshot, according to multiple sources.
Please send this along to prosecution: The prosecution should have the jury goto Moselle and stand at the couch where Alex was taking a nap during the shootings, have an officer fire the rounds from like guns that killed his wife and son and see how loud those shots were and if they are loud enough to wake him up. It would be a powerful understanding of the property and will bring clarity to the truth.
We live in an area in sc where we hear guns on a regular basis, they had a shooting range on their property as does someone that lives literally in my back yard and likely wouldn’t have thought anything strange was going on just based on the sound of gunshots. I literally hear them 2-5 times a week and I live in an area that has a lot of subdivisions and is highly populated.. him being on that property that was a hunting property I highly doubt it would have been unusual to hear gunshots at any time. I live in the upstate sc and have never seen this property on moselle, so I am not speaking to personal experience at his home but as a whole we regularly hear gunshots all throughout the county’s in SC. We can shoot anywhere as long as we aren’t in city limits and we aren’t shooting into a dwelling and it is a very common thing to do here and it usually isn’t disturbing to hear because it is so frequent. I live in upstate SC and his property is in the “low country” I am at minimum 3.5-4 hrs away from his property I am only speaking about what is a common thing here in the state because of our laws. I do not have any personal knowledge of this case, the people, or the particular property on moselle.
I don’t think the Murdaughs’ allowed anyone on their property without someone with them. So, if gunshots were heard at that time of the evening it would be unusual, I’m sure. Even though I have never visited their estate either.
Regardless, like the other person said. Shooting in SC and in a rural area like that would be considered normal.
The house appears to be soemwhat remote so I don’t think peope would be coming o that particular property to shoot randomly. Alexasked to meet his wife there & if nobody else but son as there is stands to reason that Alex killed them. He as not truthful to Maggie and was furious what the boating accident did to his reputation and his law firm. Plus Maggie wanted a divorce. Also per hearsay Alwx was having an affair. All this is plenty of proof he wanted these 2 dead. Plus he was a dug addict and his mental state was off the charts out of control. There is nothing drug addicts will not do to get access to money.
No one would relate gunshots to murder in that area. It’s a massive unguarded property, anyone that wanted to be there could be there undetected at night. The dogs were hunters not guard dogs plus surely with all their friend traffic they didn’t want attack dogs. Paul & Maggie were easy targets at night with those lights. Maggie was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
My problem with this is that the article says that both of them sustained injuries from gunshot wounds before a final gunshot to the head. Now when a person is shot and wounded they aren’t just quiet, they are going to scream at the top of their lungs. Now make that 2 people that were shot and wounded at not the same exact time; that is going to cause a decent amount of commotion.
Obviously gunshots are going to be louder, but with how easy and common everyone is saying a gunshot would be in this area, and fairly easy to recognize would lead me to think that 2 people screaming (bloody murder) at the top of their lungs would draw attention especially right after several sporadic gunshots.
That’s just my two cents based on what little I’ve heard about the case along with reading the article and others comments.
Have you seen the arial shots of how remote Moselle was? It’s 1700 acres and no one to hear screams.
Did the parents have cameras,maybe the clothes and guns are buried at the mother’s house,they need to go out there with a metal detectors, and if he’s parents had cameras
,what do they reveal
Are there any rivers, lakes or ponds on the way to his mothers house
There is a swamp outback at Moselle
Check Alex Murdaugh’s phone GPS locater in relation to any water on the way to his mothers house
Could he have hired a person or persons to do this horrific act??
There’s a lake on his property
My thoughts exactly, especially with all the money borrowing and stealing.
It is interesting to re-read this article from April of last year. Wonder if Maggie’s texts will come into evidence. Unless I am confused Alec told SLED that Maggie was at Moselle on the morning of June 7. Or did she travel over that day? The divorce attorney visit would have a huge impact based on the defense describing Alex and Maggie as a loving couple.
After watching the trial all these days and now the documentary on HBO Max anything evil seems possible from this man. So many unexplained deaths. They sound worse than the mob. It’s horrific. I don’t know the truth but I do know it doesn’t look good for Alex Murdaugh.
After watching trial, reading, watching Netflix, CNN series I really think rumor has piled on top of known facts concerning the Murdaugh family.
Maggie and Paul would not have killed their long time family housekeeper and almost a mother figure to Paul. His former girlfriend said Paul loved her and carried a photo of only her in his wallet. She was carrying a large tea and probably bag/purse in other other hand coming up many brick steps. They say the family dog knocked her over. I believe that. A dog, excited to see you can do just that. I’ve had a bloody nose from a golden retriever jumping up on me. With her hands full, nothing to break fall, it is logical.
Paul was most certainly guilty of the accident causing the death of the young woman. He was drunk and irrational as well as mean that night. I believe he would have been found guilty on some level had he not been killed himself.
The young man that was found in the road was probably murdered by someone. He had a head wound from blunt force trauma and though the initially the cornier said hit by car that was impossible. Big evidence is that his loose fitting shoes were still on his feet. Impossible when hit by car. Sadly, he was known to all in an area of less than 3000 people. He was gay and not a popular lifestyle in that area. There could be bad people that would ride by with a bat in hand and hit him as they passed. It does not mean it’s Buster Murdaugh. Unless someone knows and talks that will never be solved.
It seems unimaginable that Alex Murdaugh would kill his family. Yet, he absolutely could have as the amount of drugs he took could have altered his personality both professionally and at home. He himself admitted he lied about several things.
There are no winners in this saga. Only a sad story of loss of life and financial fraud committed upon dozens of victims. The outcome is now life in prison for Alex Murdaugh. How he will sleep at night seems impossible for him.
I would agree with everything you stated except for it being a dog that caused the housekeeper to fall. I believe one of the lawyers stated that Alex decided to blame a dog , because it was a slam dunk for the case being decided quickly in their favor . You can’t sue a dog and the insurance company will pay without disputing it ! Another lie!! And of course the money the insurance company paid out went all to Alex ; since he cheated her family and didn’t pay them one thin dime.
How she fell was accidental no doubt, but Clever Alex saw dollar signs for himself and he was not a patient person. So saying it was the dog’s fault made perfect sense for him!
Lured? You guys are a joke.
Did Paul kill mother in a fit of rage, then Alex kill Paul in self defense. He’ll hide facts for surviving son’s peace.
I think Alex had a well-thought out plan to kill his wife and son, leaving two guns in the feed room, and using both to make it look like two strangers did this, he went to his parents for an alibi, raced back and called 911. This would drop the case against Paul and garner some sympathy with his former partners who might then be willing to work out some payment agreement with him because they feel sorry for him. In his deceitful mind, he thought he could get away with this because he’d gotten away with so much for so long. He’s a selfish, smug, calloused and cruel liar with no regard for others – clients, friends, family, children, the disabled – there was nobody he wouldn’t crush like a bug. The evidence, and his character, make it clear that he did it.
If you were watching the trial you would hear enough facts to know that Alex was a self serving , pathological liar, thief and murderer. He certainly didn’t sacrifice himself in order to make peace for anyone. It’s not in his DNA ! He only cares about himself and he is very dangerous. The worst kind of human and mercifully he is doing time now . He will manipulate anyone and everyone until he dies!
Murdaugh is a classic psycho. Pathological liar. Self preserving. Polite (like Norman Bates in “Psycho.”) Totally unfeeling, ( so could steal from law clients.) Good actor, so was able to convince a lot of people of things. Psychos believe they’re smarter than everyone, so he thought he could outwit the prosecution.
Alex said NO ONE ELSE AT THE KENNLE, 3 PEOPLE! …CASE CLOSED!
Did they not have security cameras or deer cameras anywhere that might show something?
When Alex’s voice was recorded at the kennel moments before the shooting that was the biggest moment!! Everyone who knew his voice well said 100% that the voice was Alex .
Paul was recording the dog’s tail for his friend so his friend could help figure out what was wrong with the animal’s tail and Alex had no clue that Paul’s phone was on and it was RECORDING him!! It is So FITTING that his son’s phone did him in !!! That is DIVINE JUSTICE!!
Also , during the police questioning Alex asked more than once whether they were dead, he even said “ are they OFFICIALLY dead”” Bizarre!! But, he was terrified that he hadn’t finished the job and the question shows guilt and paranoia. SO Many lies !! And yes as Alex said on the stand “What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive “” His OWN web of lies tangled him up and he could not escape !