‘His Head Exploded Like A Watermelon’: New Details From Graphic ‘Murdaugh Murders’ Crime Scene

Also, new details on the video that exploded Alex Murdaugh’s alibi …

As defense attorneys for accused killer/ disbarred South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh continue to poke holes in the case against their client, graphic new details are emerging from the crime scene Murdaugh is accused of creating … as well as additional details regarding the moment his original alibi in this double homicide began to fall apart.

The double homicide Murdaugh stands accused of committing lies at the very heart of the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga. This still-unfolding Southern Gothic saga chronicles the fall of the “House of Murdaugh,” a powerful legal dynasty which ran the Palmetto State’s Lowcountry like its own fiefdom for more than a century.

To recap: Sometime after 8:44 p.m. EDT on June 7, 2021, state prosecutors say Murdaugh savagely dispatched his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and their younger son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, near the dog kennels on the family’s 1,700-acre hunting property – known locally as Moselle.

(Click to view)

(Via: FITSNews/ YouTube)

Paul Murdaugh was hit by a pair of shotgun blasts on that fateful evening – one to the head, the other to the arm and chest. Maggie Murdaugh was killed by multiple rounds from a semi-automatic rifle around the same time her son was killed. At least two of Maggie Murdaugh’s gunshot wounds were inflicted as she was lying wounded on the ground – consistent with initial reports we received of “execution-style” slayings.

Maggie Murdaugh’s body was found approximately thirty yards from the dog kennels where her son was murdered. Also found at the crime scene? Five spent .300 blackout cartridges and other ballistics evidence.

This evidence was logged by agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), which along with the office of attorney general Alan Wilson is leading the double homicide inquiry and multiple other criminal investigations tied to Murdaugh.

Here is a look at where Maggie and Paul’s bodies were found on the property …

(Click to view)

(Via: Google Earth)

Jurors in this case will be presented with exceedingly graphic evidence, according to multiple sources who have been granted access to view the crime scene photos.

“His head exploded like a watermelon,” one source who has viewed the photos told me, referring to the head wound sustained by Paul Murdaugh. “I mean, you can see his face, but the rest of it – his head – it’s just gone. Totally empty.”

“They were picking pieces of his brain off the walls,” the source added.

“It’s bad,” a second source who viewed the images concurred. “Large portions of his head are missing.”

A third source who viewed the photographs confirmed “significant parts of (Paul)’s head are simply not there,” referring to the shotgun wound to his head and neck area.

“Much of his brain was just blasted out,” the source said.

These descriptions are consistent with a depiction of the crime scene provided by Murdaugh’s attorneys – state senator Dick Harpootlian and veteran Columbia, S.C. trial lawyer Jim Griffin. According to a recent filing, Paul Murdaugh’s blood and brain matter were “spattered all over the closet door, walls, and ceiling” of the feed room at the Moselle dog kennels. Harpootlian and Griffin’s filing also noted an investigatory file which referenced forty-eight (48) “birdshot pellets from the left shoulder and head of Paul.”

One item of interest in the crime scene photos that was not referenced by Harpootlian and Griffin?

Paul Murdaugh’s cell phone is reportedly visible in the photos of his body – placed on his buttocks as he is lying face down in the feed room. According to my sources, Alex Murdaugh acknowledged handling his late son’s phone in the immediate aftermath of discovering the bodies.

Murdaugh claimed the phone fell from his dead son’s pocket as he unsuccessfully attempted to roll Paul’s body over. According to his statement to law enforcement, Murdaugh picked up the phone and briefly handled it prior to placing it on Paul’s buttocks.

Murdaugh reportedly told investigators he realized the phone could be evidence connected to the murders and did not want to handle it any further. Murdaugh’s attorneys have insisted Paul’s phone was dead by the time SLED agents got to him – an interesting claim considering it was functioning at around 8:44 p.m. EDT when he recorded a short video that obliterated his father’s evolving alibi.

“Paul’s phone was dead, (its) battery was dead when SLED agents got to him,” Griffin said during an October court hearing.

Maggie Murdaugh’s phone – which was not dead – was located approximately a quarter of a mile down the road from the entrance to Moselle the following day. It was reportedly located by investigators thanks to the assistance of Murdaugh’s brother, John Marvin Murdaugh.

(Click to view)

(Via: Google Earth)

That video – which Murdaugh’s attorneys insist depicts a “convivial family” – was described in some detail back in August by reporter John Monk of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper.

Monk’s report described a “short, cellphone video” of Alex, Paul and Maggie Murdaugh which was taken “right before Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were fatally shot.”

“There is talking, and it’s extremely playful and friendly,” a source claiming to have watched the video told Monk. “It sounds perfectly normal, like any happy family — mother, father and child — doing something together. They are spread out, it sounds like, and they are just talking back and forth.”

“They are talking about the different game birds out there,” Monk’s source continued. “I think one of the dogs was chasing or caught a chicken. There’s talk of that. You can hear a little bit of laughter.”

Monk noted the existence of this video was first reported by FITSNews back in June, but according to him our news outlet did not “characterize the contents other than to say it showed Murdaugh and Maggie talking by the dog kennels on the Moselle estate.”

That is accurate.

What, specifically, did the video depict? According to multiple sources who have viewed the nearly two-minute clip, the “convivial family” footage was filmed by Paul Murdaugh – who was sending it to a friend whose dog he was keeping in the kennels at Moselle. The dog – a chocolate Labrador retriever puppy belonging to Rogan Gibson – had an injured tail and Paul Murdaugh appears to have been trying to document its status for his childhood friend.

As I reported on September 28, 2021 – nearly four months after the murders – Rogan Gibson was one of the last people to speak with Paul Murdaugh prior to his death. Gibson’s name was included (albeit redacted) on a dispatch log released by SLED shortly after the killings.

It is not clear whether Gibson, 26, provided the video to SLED or whether it was recovered from Paul’s cell phone.

While Paul was filming his friend’s puppy, one of the Murdaugh hunting dogs – Bubba – began racing around the kennels with a chicken in its mouth. As the three family members – including Alex Murdaugh – called out for the dog by its name, Maggie Murdaugh speculated the animal in its mouth was a guinea, not a chicken.

She was quickly corrected on this point by both her husband and her son.

“It’s a chicken,” Alex told his wife.

“It’s a chicken, momma,” Paul confirmed.

Alex Murdaugh is not seen on the video, only heard. However, more than a dozen people – including Murdaugh’s own family members and former law partners – have confirmed to law enforcement that the voice on the footage belonged to him.

(Click to view)


(Via: FITSNews/ Will Folks)

According to my sources, Murdaugh (above) was confronted by SLED agents about his presence at the kennels during an interview conducted in August of 2021. Initially taken aback at the assertion, Murdaugh informed investigators they were wrong about this key point of information.

“No,” he told them.

Murdaugh later qualified his denial by saying there was no way he could have been at the kennels at the time the video was filmed “unless my timeline is wrong.”

In pretrial motions and hearings for Alex Murdaugh’s upcoming double homicide trial, lead state prosecutor Creighton Waters confirmed video evidence placed Alex, Maggie and Paul together at Moselle at 8:44 p.m. EDT. Waters further noted the state was prepared to show evidence indicating Alex Murdaugh left Moselle at 9:06 p.m. EDT to drive to his parents’ home in Almeda, S.C. – approximately twenty minutes away.

Right around the time Murdaugh departed for Almeda, both Maggie and Paul’s cell phones ceased “any meaningful activity” according to Waters. Colleton coroner Richard M. Harvey has also placed Paul Murdaugh’s time of death at 9:00 p.m. EDT, according to a certificate obtained by this news outlet. Maggie Murdaugh’s death certificate has not been released.

On his drive to Almeda, Alex Murdaugh called one of his longtime friends – Bamberg, S.C. attorney Chris Wilson – as well as his brother, John Marvin, his sister-in-law, Liz Murdaugh, and the caretaker of the Moselle property, C.B. Rowe.

Following his brief visit to Almeda – where a witness reportedly observed him “hiding evidence” – Murdaugh spoke with Wilson a second time en route back to Moselle. According to my sources, Wilson will testify that Murdaugh sounded completely normal during the two phone conversations he had with him that evening.

Readers will recall Wilson was referenced repeatedly during the recent federal trial of Russell Laffitte – the disgraced banker who was convicted on fraud and conspiracy charges related to his involvement in Murdaugh’s various financial schemes. Specifically, Laffitte approved a loan for Murdaugh so the latter could repay Wilson $350,000 he allegedly stole from him – money Murdaugh’s law firm was inquiring about.

In fact, we learned during the Laffitte trial that Murdaugh was confronted about these payments by the top financial officer at his law firm earlier that day. Russell Laffitte’s brother – Charles Laffitte III – also testified during the federal trial that Alex Murdaugh told him he was having trouble getting his wife to agree to an appraisal date for their jointly owned Edisto Beach, S.C. residence.

Maggie Murdaugh was living at this home in the months leading up to her murder, and owned a “one-half, undivided fee-simple interest” in the property, according to county tax records. As I previously noted, this could point to a possible motive for Murdaugh to kill his wife – whom sources have previously told this news outlet was “lured” to the family compound by her husband on the night of her murder.

At any rate, upon returning to Moselle at 10:07 p.m. EDT, Murdaugh placed his frantic 9-1-1 call after ostensibly discovering the bodies of his slain family members. Nineteen minutes later, the first deputies from the Colleton County sheriff’s department arrived at the scene.

Here, again, is the timeline …

  • 8:44 p.m. EDT – Video from Paul Murdaugh’s cell phone shows “convivial family” at Moselle.
  • 9:00 p.m. EDT – Coroner’s time of death for Paul Murdaugh.
  • 9:06 p.m. EDT – Alex Murdaugh departs Moselle for Almeda, S.C.
  • 9:20 – 9:50 EDT (approximate) – Alex Murdaugh at or near Almeda, S.C.
  • 10:07 p.m. EDT – Alex Murdaugh places 9-1-1 call from Moselle.
  • 10:26 p.m. EDT – First law enforcement responders arrive at Moselle.

Griffin gave perhaps the most detailed version of his client’s alleged comings and goings on that fateful evening during an extended appearance on HBO Max’s recently released documentary series entitled Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty.

According to Griffin, Alex arrived at Moselle from work at 6:30 p.m. EDT and drove around the fields with Paul “inspecting the property” – although there are significant questions as to whether Paul was actually on the property at that time.

Maggie Murdaugh is believed to have arrived at Moselle between 7:00 – 7:30 p.m. EDT.

According to Griffin, the three family members ate dinner together – even though Paul had previously dined with John Marvin’s family in Okatie, S.C. earlier that evening, according to Murdaugh family members.



After dinner, Maggie went to the kennels to “run the dogs,” and Paul went outside – but Alex did not know where he went, per Griffin. At this point, Griffin claimed Alex fell asleep on the couch at Moselle and woke up around 9:00 p.m. EDT – at which point he decided he wanted to check on his mother in Almeda. Griffin claimed Alex, upon awaking, called both Maggie and Paul on their cell phones but neither of them answered.

Shortly after 9:00 p.m. EDT, Murdaugh texted his wife that he would “be right back.” At 9:06 p.m. EDT, he left the property.

Upon his return, Griffin said Murdaugh went to the kennels – which is where he discovered the bodies of his family members.

“He rolls Paul over and Paul has been shot with a shotgun twice inside the feed room of the dog kennel – at a very close range,” Griffin told HBO. “Alex (then) goes and checks Maggie and there’s no pulse. Her body is found about thirty yards away from Paul’s. Maggie is shot multiple times from a distance. In her leg. Shot in her wrist. Another shot in her torso. And then there were two last shots while she was on the ground at close range.”

No matter how graphic the crime scene evidence is, prosecutors must tie it definitively to Murdaugh if they hope to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. And based on the latest filings from the defense, that doubt certainly seems to be building …



(Via: Phillippe Randolph Folks)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.



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Cranston Snord Top fan January 26, 2023 at 9:38 pm

Why is it no one is mentioning 2 huge facts ?

Paul’s car was driven away from the scene after he was murdered and left it on the our skirts of the county .

The shot gun Alex had at the scene was loaded with 16 gauge shells but it was a 12 gauge shotgun. It couldn’t fire a single shot .

Nutsnack February 24, 2023 at 8:28 pm

Alex didnt kill him with that shotgun, it had nothing to do with the murders. He loaded that after the fact.

Nutsnack February 24, 2023 at 8:33 pm

Pauls truck was found far away, but he had traded it already and it simply broke down.

Observer January 29, 2023 at 12:19 am


Kathleen A Corazzini February 13, 2023 at 5:23 pm

Why is no one mentioning the amount of water at the scene? It was a hot and humid day and in the video where you here Alex Murdaugj’s voice at the dog kennel you do not see water during the video. Did Alex Murdaugh kill them and wash off the blood on his body? Was he possibly naked under the. Blue tarp/blue jacket and after the killings put his clothing back on?{ Reminds me of what Lizzie Borden did) Accused Alex Murdaugh states he was never there at the kennel yet the video states otherwise. Didn’t Alex Murdaugh state his sons cell phone fell out of Paulss’ pocket when Alex states he tried to turn his sons body over supposedly after returning from his mothets’ home when Alex went to the kennels to check on his wife Maggie and son Paul. What significance does the water play in these horrific murders??

JC March 2, 2023 at 3:03 pm

Murdaugh name is spelled wrong, the word mother is spelled wrong, it should be one s after Paul name and then ‘.

Joseph Mamá March 3, 2023 at 1:37 am

You’re a dick.

Anonymous March 8, 2023 at 5:19 pm

Actually a possessive singular proper name should be ended with apostrophe-s ( ‘s ) except in the case of a proper name that already ends in s (such as Jones). Only then would you (optionally) use an apostrophe at the end of the name (with no following s).
If you’re going to be a jerk and correct someone’s grammar, at least get it right.

Anonymous March 9, 2023 at 4:55 pm


Ik February 11, 2023 at 4:15 am

Why both victims were laying facedown. Were they shot from behind?

Janna February 28, 2023 at 4:06 am

The son was shot from the back left side when he was bending down, and the wife was shot facing the shooter and also when she was down on the ground

flippindocks March 8, 2023 at 12:09 am

How can he be shot from the back, left side of the head and be lying face down, but also get shot in the chest with a shotgun?

Cynthia duPont Top fan February 19, 2023 at 11:09 pm

Did Maggie spend the night at Moselle June 6, or did she arrive at dinner time June 7? What is the significance of her pajamas on the floor?

Anonymous February 21, 2023 at 9:31 pm

Your diagram showing where the bodies were found is wrong

Richard February 27, 2023 at 6:47 pm

I see a lot of sources getting this completely wrong. Even the three part Netflix series that just came out has it all wrong. If they pay attention to the officer cam footage from that night, it’s pretty easy to determine where they are, because the bodies are blurred out. Paul is outside the storage room at the end of the kennels, and Maggie is just around the corner of the red roof overhang, somewhat close to the lone dog house. I keep seeing Paul depicted outside the pole barn on the OTHER side of the wrong building, and Maggie is depicted a good distance away from all buildings.

Janna February 28, 2023 at 4:05 am

Totally agree.

Janna February 28, 2023 at 4:04 am

There never was a blue tarp. It was a blue windbreaker jacket that Alex supposedly wore then attempted to hide at his parents house the following day. The blood spatter on his shirt was not human blood. In the evidence photos the bodies are shown in different locations, but on the cops video cam they’re shown Correctly.
By all accounts, it seems that Alex did this because of the humiliation and destruction of the family name due to Paul’s boating incident in 2019 I believe the financial strain, the humiliation and the upcoming trial of Paul pushed him over the edge. It’s unfortunate that these parents did not do a good job of raising their sons to be decent human beings. It’s unfortunate that these parents did not do a good job of raising their sons to be decent human beings. With people who think that they’re better than others have children and provide them with alcohol. Don’t teach them how to be good human beings, but rather. The parents thought they were better than other people, and that’s how they raise their sons to think. So the sons turned out to be selfish, entitled, cheaters, liars, drunks, and all of the above. They were simply following in their patents footsteps. If you raise children without integrity, consequences, respect or any kindness required, is it any shock that this family went down in flames?

Anonymous February 28, 2023 at 10:31 am

It’s obvious that the father was sick under the drugs and she was very dysfunctional to raise her children and here are the consequences for their dysfunctional behavior of the entire family. Sadly ?

Anonymous March 1, 2023 at 7:42 pm

Wow!!! I’ve never seen so many people try to rewrite the facts, go off in different directions, ramble on & on so that they’re repeating themselves, and then finish by bashing the son & the mother, the victims!, who were murdered by their father/husband. And make no mistake about it…he murdered them. Do any of you comprehend how brutal this was? I don’t think you do because it sounds like all you need to get you wound up is gossip & hearsay & you’re good to go! Forget about the facts; just concern yourselves with the mini-series that you’re already planning on picking apart. I’m glad I don’t live among you; I’d be embarrassed to say I know you. You’re all small minded & can’t keep a straight thought from running amuck. You’re the sad story here.

Anonymous March 2, 2023 at 10:26 pm

I disagree.

Anonymous March 2, 2023 at 10:29 pm

I disagree. The ones commenting are stating the facts and it’s the truth. Absolutely it’s all sad all around. But this evil in people that continue for so many years covering up things, sadly karma comes around. It’s a shame all around. But consequences are real when as he even said “oh what a tangled web we weave”.

Ashley schumacher March 7, 2023 at 5:19 pm

I think who ever liked Paul and his mom whould be buster murdock her is girlfriend

Brian March 14, 2023 at 3:29 am

Has anyone told Will that the depiction of Maggie and Paul’s body is WRONG on the above picture? Morons!


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