Both Netflix’s ‘Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal’ as well as NBC’s ‘Dateline: Murdaugh Saga’ dive deep into a perplexing case involving everything from murder to mystery and from theft to drug addiction. As the titles suggests, they follow the rise and fall of the Murdaugh family, who were once synonymous with the legal system in the 14th Circuit District of South Carolina but are now on the other side of justice. Alex Murdaugh, in particular, first came under fire in 2021 following several tragic incidents that resulted in the death of many connected to him in one way or another. So now, let’s find out more about him, his ordeals, and his current whereabouts, shall we?
Who is Alex Murdaugh?
Richard Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh followed in his ancestors’ footsteps and became a lawyer upon completing his studies at the University of South Carolina in 1994. He married Margaret “Maggie” Branstetter around that same time and had two sons, Richard “Buster” Jr. and Paul Murdaugh, to become a family man. Apart from volunteering at the solicitors’ office in the 1990s, he also joined the family firm, where he learned how to be a practicing attorney. Everything looked good for him, that is, until his wife and younger son were found shot to death in mid-2021.
According to Alex’s narrative, when he came home to the family’s 1770-acre hunting residence in Colleton County on the evening of June 7, he found Maggie and Paul’s bloody remains near the dog kennels. This pivoted the entire family into the national spotlight, especially as it came to light that Maggie went to see a divorce lawyer six weeks before the slaying, making Alex a person of interest. Two days later, the lawyer announced he was going to rehab for opioid addiction, following which he was fired from his own family’s law firm for alleged embezzlement.
With all this, Alex’s past was dug up and carefully examined. As per reports, he reportedly stole over $4 million from the estate of his housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, after urging her sons to sue him for her wrongful death when she mysteriously died due to a “fall” in his home in 2018. Though instead of giving them the money after the settlement, Alex supposedly pocketed it for his personal use. As if all this wasn’t enough, in September 2021, he unsuccessfully hired a hitman to have himself killed so that his surviving son could get the $10 million from his life insurance policy.
Where is Alex Murdaugh Now?
The bullet fired because of the suicide-by-hire plot only grazed Alex Murdaugh’s head, meaning he walked away without any substantial injuries. However, he was apprehended in Florida in mid-October 2021 over the missing funds in the wrongful death settlement case. Alex was subsequently extradited to South Carolina, where he was indicted only for theft. In the ensuing days, two more extensive lawsuits were filed against him by those affected by a fatal 2019 boat crash for which his younger son Paul Murdaugh was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
Alex has since appointed his surviving son Buster as his power of attorney, handing over all his affairs to the 26-year-old. It was on November 4, 2021, that he was charged with 3 counts related to the murder-for-hire scheme he’d orchestrated. 15 days later, he was indicted on 27 charges of embezzlement and other crimes, including breach of trust, fraudulent intent, money laundering, computer crimes, and forgery. This was followed by an additional 21 charges coming in around December, 23 charges in January, and a few more from March to August, all of which combined reveal he may have stolen more than $8.7 million from more than a dozen people.
Moreover, in June 2022, Alex was indicted on two counts related to conspiring with his hired hitman/drug dealer, Curtis Edward Smith in connection to a drug-based money-laundering scheme totaling $2.4 million. That same month, he admitted “liability to the [Satterfields] for the claims asserted against him,” meaning he admitted to stealing from his late housekeeper’s family before being ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution. Though more importantly, a mere month later, Alex was indicted on two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in connection to the deaths of his wife, Maggie, and his son Paul.
Therefore, as of writing, Alex Murdaugh faces a total of 106 charges against him, out of which he’s currently facing trial for the killings of his family members. The court proceedings had begun in January 2023, and the 54-year-old faces 30 years to life in prison if he is convicted. However, until any judicial decision is made, Alex remains incarcerated in jail without bond.
Read More: How Did Gloria Satterfield Die?