Crime & Courts

The Real Becky Hill Conspiracy?

Embattled clerk of court’s damage control campaign isn’t going so well …

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Embattled Colleton County, South Carolina clerk of court Becky Hill seems to believe a massive conspiracy is underway targeting her in connection with multiple recent misconduct allegations – not to mention jury tampering allegations that could give the Palmetto State’s most notorious convicted killer a new trial.

According to the clerk, the myriad claims against her aren’t merely false – they are deliberate smears intended to impugn her integrity. The reason behind these so-called smears? Taking her down a peg so that Alex Murdaugh – who was found guilty of murdering his wife and younger son nearly ten months ago following an internationally televised spectacle – can receive a new trial.

Last week, Hill blasted “unfounded, uncorroborated and unproven misinformation from a disgruntled former employee” as the basis for this alleged conspiracy. Meanwhile, Hill and her allies in the media – including two former employees of this outlet – appear to be going to great lengths to prove the existence of this anti-Becky confederation.

And accuse those of us reporting on the allegations against Hill as being part of it …

As this “Becky was framed” narrative takes shape, though, a bigger question is emerging – are Hill and her allies the ones who are conspiring to cover up the truth?

And if so, why?

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Hill and her defenders have been caught in several demonstrable lies as they advance her dubious version of events – leading many to question what else they may be lying about? To say nothing of their objective in spouting such falsehoods the first place …

To recap: Hill’s office oversaw Murdaugh’s six-week double murder trial earlier this year – an event which has been referred to as the ‘Trial of the Century’ in the Palmetto State. Murdaugh, 55, a disbarred attorney and confessed fraudster from Hampton, S.C., was found guilty of the graphic 2021 murders of his wife – 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh – and younger son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh.

Jurors deliberated for less than three hours before handing down their verdicts.

Hill was the one who announced Murdaugh’s guilty verdicts to a waiting world on the evening of March 2, 2023. The following day, S.C. circuit court judge Clifton Newman handed down a pair of life sentences in the case.

Does any of the scandal surrounding Hill make Murdaugh any less guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted back in March? Doubtful … but as her credibility takes a sustained beating based on glaring inconsistencies contained in her responses to investigators, his chances of a new trial are soaring.

Hill is currently under investigation by the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC) in connection with two separate complaints. One complaint accused Hill of “unethically and potentially unlawfully” using her office to enrich herself by obtaining and releasing confidential information – some of which later appeared in her book, Behind the Doors of Justice. The second complaint accused Hill of misappropriating public funds from multiple accounts – and then allegedly misrepresenting those misappropriations to county officials.

Both of these cases are expected to be referred to the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) – which was already probing allegations that Hill tampered with Murdaugh’s jury during his six-week trial in Walterboro, S.C. earlier this year. Those allegations were raised in early September by Murdaugh attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin.

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RELATED | BECKY HILL RIPS ETHICS COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST HER

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SLED is also probing allegations that Hill’s son – former Colleton County information technology director Jeffrey “Colt” Hill – wiretapped another county employee at his mother’s behest. Jeffrey Hill has already been arrested on one count of wiretapping for having “willfully and feloniously intercept(ed) electronic phone communication.”

Additional charges against Jeffrey Hill are expected, and as we reported last month Becky Hill’s cell phone was subpoenaed in connection with the investigation into her son. Hill’s bank records were also subpoenaed in connection with the two ethics investigations – and her work email address is currently being combed by both ethics and criminal investigators, we are told.

All of these cases could soon be headed to a statewide grand jury – as a request for the impanelment of such a star chamber is currently pending before S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson.

Earlier this month – as the details of all these investigations were becoming widely known – Hill appears to have directed a public purge of the website linked to her book. She also signed off on the muting of a Murdaugh Facebook page run by her business associates that was previously used to promote their book.

The purge was effectuated by Melissa Gordon, the photographer for Hill’s book and the wife of Hill’s co-author – Augusta Business Daily publisher Neil Gordon. The purge took place on December 2, 2023, one day after our media outlet published a detailed look inside the complaints against Hill.

In an email exchange obtained by this media outlet (dubbed “BDJ website”), Melissa Gordon told Hill and her husband that she “unpublished” the book’s website at Hill’s request (i.e. “as you requested Becky”). Gordon also hid the book’s promotional Facebook group – making it “invisible” to anyone who was not a member.

“The only other option for the Facebook page would be to delete it, and that of course would not look good,” Melissa Gordon wrote.

You think?

Hill acknowledged the purge with a brief response.

“All sounds great,” she wrote. “Thank you.”

Take a look …

(Click to View)

Email exchanges between Becky Hill and the co-authors of her book, Behind The Doors of Justice. (Provided)

As you can see, this exchange – provided to us by a non-governmental source – took place on Hill’s taxpayer-provided Colleton County email address. According to our sources, Hill has conducted vast amounts of book-related business on her government email address over the course of the past year – which would obviously raise a host of fresh ethics concerns.

Government employees are not allowed to use taxpayer resources to promote their personal business interests, according to state ethics law.

This is one reason ethics investigators (and SLED agents) are reportedly poring through Hill’s emails …

This media outlet has sought all of Hill’s recent emails – and other relevant files – via the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Colleton County officials recently responded to our request by asking us to narrow our search parameters. We are in the process of preparing a revised FOIA request based on the county’s response, although we suspect many of the documents we are seeking will be withheld under the law’s “active investigation” exemption.

As for Hill, her recent response to ethics investigators contained multiple claims that are not holding water.

For starters, she referenced an oft-discussed image of Murdaugh used by Melissa Gordon and her husband to drum up sales of their book. The photo showed Alex Murdaugh “resting in his holding cell while the jury deliberated.”

Hill claimed the photo in question was snapped by Gary Hale – a former law enforcement officer who is now a member of the clerk of court’s staff.  According to Hill, Hale snapped the photo with his cell phone from a publicly available monitor located in the main hallway of the courthouse.

This claim was parroted by a once-popular podcast which has been cheerleading the “Becky was framed” conspiracy.

Is it accurate? No.

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As we noted last week, “sources familiar with the photo’s origin say it was snapped from a large-screen television located within Hill’s office.”

This claim has since been verified – raising questions as to who really took the photo. It also raises questions as to why Hill would lie about something that could be so easily and categorically disproven … to say nothing of why those fancying themselves as “journalists” would mindlessly parrot such an obvious falsehood.

Perhaps the reason is that the truth goes directly to one of the claims in the ethics complaint against Hill – namely that she “used her political position and authority to obtain confidential information and digital images of the defendant and others during the trial.”

Which it now seems clear she did …

(Click to View)

Surveillance images – including one of Alex Murdaugh – appear on a Samsung monitor hung in the office of Colleton County clerk of court Becky Hill. (@LilyInLondon)

Of interest? Hill previously promoted her paperback book by referencing its inclusion of “sixteen pages of exclusive black and white photos.” She also promoted her deluxe hardcover edition by referencing its inclusion of “twenty-four pages of exclusive colored (sic) photos.”

References to these “exclusive” images disappeared on July 31, 2023, however.

Take a look …

(Click to View)

Promotional materials for Colleton County clerk of court Becky Hill’s book, Behind The Doors of Justice. (@MorticiaMcFly)

And of course the entire site has now been yanked offline … replaced by a “coming soon” masthead.

Hill made several other categorical claims in her response that are beginning to crumble under scrutiny. Among them? She insisted she did not personally lead any of the tours of the Colleton County courthouse which were conducted during – and in the aftermath of – the trial.

“None of these tours were conducted by Mrs. Hill,” the response asserted.

This news outlet has heard from no fewer than a dozen sources who say Hill personally led them on tours of the courthouse – including several who volunteered to provide images from those tours to ethics officials.

Hill’s response also categorically claimed that Melissa Gordon was “not once … ever allowed any special dispensations” by the clerk or her office in covering the trial.

Multiple witnesses saw it differently …

“She was let in the courthouse before us four times,” one attendee at the trial confirmed to this outlet. “Morning, after lunch, and the next morning and then after lunch for the two days we were there.”

Another source who visited the trial in February confirmed watching Gordon get “waved past the line” on multiple occasions by bailiffs. Both of these sources indicated a willingness to share what they witnessed with investigators.

Hill also categorically denied receiving gifts from members of the media during the trial, a claim which several media outlets covering the trial have reportedly refuted after being contacted by ethics investigators.

Additional errors and inconsistencies in Hill’s statements have been popping up on social media by the minute …

Again, none of the Hill revelations makes Alex Murdaugh any less guilty of the murders of his wife and younger son – at least not in the minds of most rational observers (or the mind of this author). Similarly, none of it necessarily means his constitutional right to a fair trial was infringed upon by Hill – or by anyone else – during those fateful six weeks in Walterboro earlier this year.

What it does mean, however, is that Hill and her allies have been caught in a series of lies – followed by a series of ham-fisted attempts to conceal those lies (now accompanied by proactive attempts to keep new lies from being exposed). Such amateur hour dishonesty makes Hill’s sworn denials in the jury tampering matter far more difficult to accept on face value – and this is before the contents of her cell phone, county emails and bank statements have been held up for public inspection.

Bottom line? So far, the only conspiracy this media outlet has been able to identify regarding Becky Hill is the conspiracy she is leading in an effort to conceal multiple ethical lapses she appears to have committed during the Murdaugh trial …

Will those lapses give rise to a new trial for Alex Murdaugh? We shall see …

In the meantime, however, we welcome Hill and her defenders to share with us any receipts they may have for the conspiracy they allege is targeting her.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

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 and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.

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15 comments

SubZeroIQ December 18, 2023 at 4:19 pm

Will, as an amateur photographer (but always, thank God, excelling at whatever I do), I must say that this is the best photo of yours so far. No glare, no stupid hats, and no fake facial expressions. Just the right mix of friendliness and gravitas.
Is number 8, God willing, a boy or a girl?
Also, you should have named your two former employees who, I OBJECTIVELY SUSPECT, allied themselves not only with Becky Hill but previously with Sanctimonious Sandi Smith (“SSS”) to push ludicrous and malicious claims that Stephen Smith (“SS”) was beaten with a blue baseball bat (“bbbb”) by BOTH Paul and Buster Murdaugh then transported from SS’s yellow car (where not a single drop of blood was found) to the middle of the road where SS’s body was found. SSS and your two former employees ruined many reputations and possibly lives in the process. Your two former employees’ new alliance with Becky Boo Hill (“BBH”) is set to ruin many more reputations AND LIVES unless YOU have the courage to name names and YES file more FOIAs OR lawsuits, including an accounting of what was done with the money SSS raised through Go-Fund-Me.
They could NOT buy Dr. Michelle Dupree although they hired her. She finally spoke out about the results of the second autopsy about which they made her shut up for way too long for her comfort.
YOU should do your best to get a full interview with Dr. Michelle Dupree.
And while you are at it, ask her about stomack contents and time of death.
Be a true journalist and take a fresh, unbiased look at the so-called evidence in Alex Murdaugh’s (“AM”) murder trial.
Otherwise, I repeat that South Carolina’s Attorney General, Solicitor Duffie Stone and the courts, should be conducting more investigations, specially into that juror who, according to Becky “Boo” Hill’s book, pages 58-60 got “thousands of dollars” from unnamed friends to stay on the jury instead of returning to work and getting replaced by an alternate.
Respectfully and succinctly, jury service (like voting) is NOT by conscription.
No one should be making money off voting or off jury service; nor should jury service be a paid vacation from a job.
The only possible non-corruptible (or less corruptible) way is some law for employers to grant employees paid leave for CONFIRMED jury service, which many civic-minded employers do anyway.
But what has happened here is WAY beyond the pale no matter how much lipstick is put on that pig.
Yes, you have to respond to a jury summons. But there are several mandatory and discretionary exemptions.
All that juror had to say at the initial jury selection OR as the trial went on was that jury service would impose a financial hardship on him.
Then that juror would have been excused from jury service to begin with OR he would have been replaced by an alternate. There were six alternates available. That is what alternates are for.
But for a juror to receive outside money, in the “thousands of dollars,” from unknown people is unheard of, at least by me.
I regret that you do not see this as an issue at all; but I am shocked to my core that it happened and even more shocked that Becky “Boo” Hill bragged about it.

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Kidd Top fan December 19, 2023 at 1:29 am

SubZeroIQ you’ve given yourself away. You should talk less and listen more!

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JustCallMeAva Top fan December 19, 2023 at 3:06 pm

Never has a user name been so factual.

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Anna Keesey January 5, 2024 at 7:55 pm

Wow. The tone of this is so snarky, it rapidly made me switch from wondering what was going on with Hill to confusion about the attitude. This deets are presented as though they’re obviously nefarious but it doesn’t seem that way to me. Huh.

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Fiasco Joe December 18, 2023 at 4:47 pm

If I were Becky I’d blame it on the Russians.

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VERITAS Top fan December 18, 2023 at 6:44 pm

Standing behind Rebecca Hill.

Response to SubZero IQ . . . you are a freakin’ nut case.

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J Monday Top fan December 19, 2023 at 7:16 am

So disappointed in you Will. Your beef with Mandy & Liz is driving you to…stretch things a bit. THAT is a contributing factor that could help secure a new trial for a convicted monster. I wholeheartedly believe that Becky Hill is being targeted by the defense team, beginning with good old boy Joe McCullough. He was there every day taking notes for a reason-to find grounds for appeal or to overturn the conviction. This is what they landed on. I’m not saying that she is completely innocent-Colleton County & the entire judicial district is rife with corruption. BUT, the jury tampering allegation is a witch hunt as shown by the statements of 10 jurors. The 2 that have advanced these allegations have their own motives-the egg lady & her tenant. The egg lady is really the only one alleging anything, and why? Because she was excoriated for running her mouth out of court. Whatever else may be going on with Ms. Hill does not change these facts.

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SubZeroIQ December 19, 2023 at 11:08 am

It was malicious Mandy Matney (“MMM”) and Liz Farrell who pushed three filthy accusations of the Murdaughs of which we now OBJECTIVELY know at least two to have been FALSE.
1. That filth about BOTH Paul and Buster Murdaugh beating Stephen Smith to death with a (blue) baseball bat (“bbbb”) has now been disproven by, not only one, but TWO AUTOPSIES the second of which was at Sanctimonious Sandi Smith’s (“SSS”) insistence after she raised tens of thousands on Go-Fund-Me yet got SLED to pay the second autopsy anyway. The result is the same: instant death AT THE LOCATION WHERE THE BODY WAS FOUND due to very high speed impact to the head by an object protruding from a fast-moving vehicle. That object is likely a metal-incased side mirror on a truck with mud tires. End of story.
2. That Paul and Maggie (or Alex Murdaugh (“AM”) with them or in their view) killed Gloria Satterfield at Moselle. Gloria died IN HOSPITAL 24 days after COINCIDENTALLY falling at Moselle. Her death was hospital-confirmed to be due to myocardial infarction, most likely caused by her chronic diabetes. At least a hundred thousand Americans die this way every year. End of story.
3. That AM killed Paul and Maggie. FITSNews is still invested in that. But if you see that the source of the two previous PROVEN FALSEHOODS is the same as these two (in my OBJECTIVE opinion wrongful) convictions, you should come to the conclusion that FITSNews’ beef with MMM and Liz Farrell has nothing to do with his exposing the lies in Becky Hill’s new conspiracy theory, come what may.
I never thought I would defend FITS like that. But maybe his number eight will be baptized as a Coptic Orthodox and FITS and Mrs. will let me be that child’s Godmother.
BTW, what are you raising your children as, FITS? You told us at least twice not Mormon and not Catholic. Okay, what?

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JustCallMeAva Top fan December 19, 2023 at 3:08 pm

Are we supposed to completely forget the lies that Pootie & ole’ Jim made, repeatedly, to the press in the run-up to that trial? Only a fool would believe anything those two have to say, and yet, here’s an entire piece gleefully trying to weave together random facts to crucify Becky Hill so they can get another crack at a trial since they failed so miserably to defend their criminal client last time around. Also? Will? Stop using Becky Hill as a proxy in your ongoing beef with two former employees.

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SubZeroIQ December 19, 2023 at 6:39 pm

What lies? That their client did not kill his beloved wife and younger son? That is the truth they failed to prove to an already-biased jury.
Also, after I learned the history of the City of Kherbert or Harpoot and its relationship to the Armenian Genocide, I am morally repulsed by anyone who tries to belittle an Armenian-rooted lawyer by associating the name of his city of origin with a child’s potty.
Would you make such fun of him if his name were Auschwitzer?
The time of death used to convict Alex Murdaugh (“AM”) is off by at least half an hour. When that SCIENTIFIC fact is accepted, it is clear that AM had an ironclad alibi which Becky Hill worked so hard to make the jury discount.
I pray that Jean Toal harkens back to everything good and just she was taught in Catholic school and holds true to the one thing I like most about her: her willingness to study the actual record, to the point of almost, if not actually, memorizing it, before taking the bench on any matter, big or small, before her.
Jean Toal, dogs are not gods. Wild boars are hunted at night. Victims who had a large dinner and a cup of coffee after 8:00 pm would have had WAY MORE than 500 ccs left in their stomachs if they had been killed as early as 8:45 pm on the same day. Ask any gastro-enterologist or pathologist. You know where to find at least one of each. God speed to you in exonerating the wrongly convicted.

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J Monday Top fan December 24, 2023 at 9:49 am

Sub Zero-Are you a Poot & Jim troll or just completely disassociated from reality? Take your meds.

Scott Bingham Top fan December 22, 2023 at 10:02 pm

I have never heard Mandy and/or Liz offer the theory that either Paul or Buster or both beat Stephen with a base ball bat. Can you cite the episode or article where they offer that theory?

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Cy Flow December 19, 2023 at 8:05 pm

Will, long time fan of yours here. Starting to be a lot of ex-employees. What’s up??

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Diana December 20, 2023 at 9:07 pm

I agree Will. Snakes in the grass everywhere and they aren’t all Murdaughs!

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Alan Kaufman Top fan December 27, 2023 at 9:44 am

Evfdence of Hill misusing her office has little to nothing to do with whether the jury would have returned a different verdict. I sense that Fits News gets all excited about any piece of paper they find. Its become very sensationalist here. Am cancelling my sub.

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