The South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) released a new batch of Alex Murdaugh’s prison communications to FITSNews this week – including information about how the convicted killer/ accused fraudster is entertaining himself behind bars.
Four months ago, Murdaugh was found guilty in the graphic 2021 murders of his wife – 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh – and younger son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh. He was given a pair of life sentences by S.C. circuit court judge Clifton Newman. His attorneys – Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin – are appealing those convictions and Murdaugh is awaiting trials on fraud and financial crimes in state and federal courts.
While he awaits word on his appeal – and attends additional hearings related to the myriad of civil and criminal cases facing him – SCDC reports that Murdaugh has been provided with a tablet that allows him to make phone calls, send and receive messages, play games, watch movies, and listen to music. In other words, he isn’t bored.
SCDC began issuing tablets in 2020 in an effort to provide a new outlet for incarcerated individuals to “learn, communicate, and channel their energy,” according to a press release by GTL Solutions – the company which provides the tablets. Inmates have the option of listening to audiobooks or music, reading free eBooks, playing games, and watching movies.
The tablets also provide ways to connect inmates with their family and friends, including phone calls and email-like messages.
This news outlet exclusively reported on the first round of correspondence sent to Murdaugh – a.k.a. Inmate No. 00390394 – using this system. We filed a subsequent report on the second batch of communications back in April, and this week we published the latest release. That batch of materials contained three audio files – two apparent hang-ups and one connected call between Murdaugh and his surviving son, Buster Murdaugh.
This was the first Murdaugh jailhouse call released since his conviction …
(Click to view)
According to SCDC policy OP-22.53, the agency does not incur any costs associated with inmate tablets and kiosks. The tablets and software are provided by GTL Solutions as part of a contract in exchange for the opportunity to sell entertainment subscription services to the inmate population. Suspension to tablet access can be utilized by the warden as part of disciplinary sanctions.
Murdaugh’s prison-assigned tablet takes a picture every time he logs in, and SCDC determined these photos were responsive to records requests from FITSNews. As a result, the login pictures taken by the tablet were included in 49 pages of fulfillment documents turned over to our outlet this week along with the details of non-exempt messages and phone calls.
From May 4 to May 26, 2023, Murdaugh received messages from four female admirers and one person who identified himself as a reporter with Fox News Digital. His most frequent correspondent, who sent more than 50 messages during that time, discussed traveling to see him – and asked if she would be added to his visitor log.
Another expressed her dismay at seeing her previous message on a news report and suggested a work around to keep future notes from being released to the media.
(Click to view)
Rachel B wrote a heartfelt message to Murdaugh on May 9, 2023, saying “how embarrassing. I figure that’s why you aren’t really responding to anyone because you don’t want anymore of your business out on social media …I get it.”
“I figure at some point you may want to write someone back to give you something new to do in there and not care what other people think about it,” she said. “Either way, I just hope I’m not bugging you … wish there was a way you could respond without them releasing information on it, it’s so dumb. Maybe you could have another guy in there write things for you lol I don’t know.”
Rachel told Murdaugh she hoped he would eventually respond when media coverage died down.
“I think it will eventually calm down and people won’t be as interested in your every move then you can do more?” she wrote. “I tried reaching out to your lawyer, Mr. Griffin early on, on Instagram and he followed me back and everything but as soon as I messaged him and asked how he thought would be the best way to write you he stopped following lol. I guess he might think some of us are just trying to get attention from the media but I’m definitely not one of them, I’m far too private of a person. But thought I’d mention it in case you wanted to have him look me up on there to make sure I don’t look like a weirdo.”
While many of Murdaugh’s admirers appear to have given up on connecting with him, one of his most frequent perspective suitors – Danielle H – remains undeterred in her quest to get to know the convicted murderer. On May 25, 2023 – just two days before Murdaugh’s 55th birthday – Danielle messaged him with an interesting proposal.
“Hope u get the birthday card I sent,” she wrote. “Hope you’re doing ok. Wished I could pop out of a birthday cake for you. On your birthday.”
The logs indicate Murdaugh does not usually spend long on the tablet. Unless he is watching a movie, he tends to be active for only a few minutes at a time. His most frequent use of the tablet is for games. Based on the number of times he has visited the app, his favorite game appears to be AdVenture Capitalist! – a money-making simulation game with a discussion board.
Here’s hoping he’s better at the simulated version of making money than he was in real life …
Research director Jenn Wood contributed to this report.
THE FILE …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Callie Lyons is a journalist, researcher, and author whose investigative work can be found in media outlets, publications, and documentaries all over the world – most recently in the Parisian newspaper Le Monde and a German documentary for ProSieben. Lyons also appears in Citizen Sleuth – a 2023 documentary exploring the genre of true crime.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to proactively address? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.