Alex Murdaugh’s brother Randy Murdaugh has broken his silence to reveal what he really thinks happened on the night that the disgraced attorney’s wife Maggie and son Paul were gunned down in a brutal crime that shocked South Carolina’s Lowcountry and captured the nation’s attention for the better part of two years.
Randy became the first family member of the disgraced attorney to speak out after the high-profile trial, where Murdaugh was convicted of all charges and sentenced to life in prison. The 56-year-old admitted that he believes his sibling “is not telling the truth” about the 7 June 2021 killings. “He knows more than what he’s saying,” Randy told The New York Times.
“He’s not telling the truth, in my opinion, about everything there.” Randy – who despite supporting him in the courtroom has not spoken to his brother in more than a year – revealed he has questions about his brother’s behaviour in the immediate aftermath of Maggie and Paul’s slayings.
At the time, he said that he was doing everything he could think of to find out who the killer was – reaching out to contacts, asking people what they had heard and passing anything he found onto investigators. “I spent considerable time, day after day for weeks on end, calling people,” he said. His brother, meanwhile, did nothing of the sort, he said. As Murdaugh’s older brother who is also an attorney, Randy stopped short of saying that he believes he carried out the murders.
He said that – even after attending almost every day of the six-week trial, seeing all the evidence laid out in court and seeing a jury of 12 peers reach a unanimous verdict of guilty – he still doesn’t know whether to think his brother capable of killing his wife and son.
While he respects the jury’s verdict, he said he still struggles to reconcile the man he has known his whole life who loved and protected his family with a man capable of shooting his wife and son multiple times in such a brutal fashion. Still not knowing what to believe is the hardest thing for the whole family, he said. “The not knowing is the worst thing there is,” he said.
He added: “I hoped that after the trial, because there’s nothing more that can be presented, that I’d stop thinking about this. But so far, that has not been the case.”
The Murdaugh family – who reigned over the Lowcountry’s legal system for almost a century – put on a united front in Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, throughout Murdaugh’s trial.
Every day, Murdaugh’s brother John Marvin, sister Lynne and surviving son Buster came to court and sat behind Murdaugh in a show of support for the now-convicted killer. Randy attended most – but not every – day.. Buster and John Marvin also took the stand to testify in Murdaugh’s defence, as part of the defence’s strategy to paint the 54-year-old as as loving family man who would never have killed his wife and son.
Buster, 26, told jurors that his father had been “destroyed” and “heartbroken” after the murders. Randy was not called to testify by the defence or the prosecution – something he told the Times he believes could be because he didn’t fully fit in with either side of the case.
While he’s unsure about his brother’s guilt for the murders, Randy told the Times he has no doubt that his sibling is a serial liar and a thief. Like his brother, Randy also followed in the family’s footsteps and pursued a career in law. The two brothers joined the law firm Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick (PMPED) – founded by their great-grandfather Randolph Murdaugh Sr in 1910.
It was this law firm that Murdaugh worked for up until September 2021 – when his partners learned he had been stealing millions of dollars in funds from the firm and its clients going back a decade. The law firm now no longer exists and had to be renamed. Murdaugh is now facing a staggering 99 charges for allegedly stealing at least $8.7m from settlements from dozens of legal clients he represented through his law firm PMPED.
Randy said he learned about his brother’s theft in early September 2021 when his fellow law firm partners showed him evidence of his crimes. He said that he and another law firm partner confronted Murdaugh and he confessed to stealing from the firm. Randy told the Times that Murdaugh appeared to be relieved to finally tell the truth and promised never to lie to him again.
One day later – on 4 September 2021 – Murdaugh orchestrated a botched hitman plot, lying to his family, friends and law enforcement again that he had been ambushed in a drive-by shooting. He later confessed to orchestrating a plot for his alleged drug dealer Curtis Eddie Smith to shoot him dead so Buster could get a $12m life insurance windfall.
Now, Randy said he is still working at the renamed law firm where he has taken on some of his brother’s clients. He revealed he has to convince people that he is not like his brother, who has tarnished the family’s reputation. The doubts Randy has now come in stark contrast to the stance he seemed to take in the immediate aftermath of the murders.
In the days after the 7 June 2021 murders, John Marvin and Randy gave an appearance on Good Morning America insisting their brother’s innocence. “My brother loved Maggie and loved Paul like nothing else on this earth, just like he loves Buster,” Randy said in the 17 June interview. “So there’s no possible way he could have anything to do with this, I can assure you.”
But, some cracks started to show as Murdaugh’s string of alleged crimes came to light. In July 2022, when Murdaugh was charged with Maggie and Paul’s murders, the family released a statement saying: “The entire family has been consistent that regardless of what goes on, we want the truth.”
Randy’s comments also fly in the face of the image of the family’s unwavering belief in Murdaugh’s innocence that his defence attorneys are keen to present. “After six weeks of trial, they came away more convinced that he did not do this, and they are steadfastly in his camp and support him,” attorney Jim Griffin told reporters at a press conference after Murdaugh’s sentencing.
Ultimately, it took less than three hours for the jury to return a unanimous verdict that Murdaugh is guilty of murdering his wife and son on the family’s Moselle property back on 7 June 2021. Murdaugh, 54, was then sentenced by Judge Newman to life in prison the following day – and is currently behind bars in South Carolina.
Murdaugh’s conviction has now shone a spotlight on some other mystery deaths tied to the South Carolina legal dynasty. Days on from the murders, an investigation was reopened into the 2015 death of Stephen Smith, who was found dead in the middle of the road in Hampton County.
The openly gay 19-year-old had suffered blunt force trauma to the head and his death has officially ruled a hit-and-run. But the victim’s family has long doubted this version of events, with the Murdaugh name cropping up in several police tips and community rumors.
An investigation was also reopened into another mystery death connected to the Murdaugh family – that of their longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield. She died in 2018 in a mystery trip and fall accident at the family home. Murdaugh then allegedly stole around $4m in a wrongful death settlement from her sons. Murdaugh is now also facing around 100 charges over a multi-million-dollar fraud scheme and a bizarre botched hitman plot.
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