Maggie and her son Paul were put to death, and this week, disturbing photographs were presented at Alex Murdaugh’s trial for the murder, revealing the family’s hunting lodge as the gruesome crime scene.
On the night of the double homicide in Islandton, South Carolina, at the extensive hunting property, law enforcement noticed a significant bloodstain near the enclosures. The locked kennels containing the Labradors belonging to the family are still visible.
The dogs barked futilely, for the murders of that evening barked similarly, and the Murdaugh family had great affection for their hunting dogs. Furthermore, the jury has been informed during the trial that Maggie frequently took them out for strolls and to the seaside.
Paul, who was shot twice with a shotgun, was partially found inside the kennels. His mother, who had been shot multiple times with an assault rifle, was found several feet away, with her blood seeping into the damp ground.
Murdaugh, 54, is currently facing trial for the homicides of his spouse, Maggie, 52, and younger child Paul on June 7, 2021.
Paul was facing a lawsuit over his drunken boat crash, and his law firm was embezzled millions from his financial crimes. The State claims that Murdaugh killed his son and wife to distract from his crimes.
Murdaugh, the client whose father and husband were loving, pleaded not guilty to the gruesome crime they could have never committed, as argued by their defense in June.
At the Moselle Road property, Murdaugh claims they headed down to the kennels after having supper with Maggie and Paul around 8.15.
At approximately 9pm, he awoke and drove to pay a visit to his mother who is in the advanced phases of Alzheimer’s. He informed the authorities that he stayed inside the residence, dozing off in front of the television.
At 10.07pm, Murdaugh dialed 911. Upon returning to his residence, he discovered them deceased at the kennels; the subsequent encounter with his wife and son occurred as he recounts.
Photographs captured on the evening of the killings depict canines confined within their enclosures, alongside pools of blood in close proximity.
Bubba and Maggie – both golden retrievers, seem to be the two shown, according to the details about the dogs given to the court.
Dahlia, the dog, and Armadillo, the bird, belonged to Alex. Paul owned a Bulldog named Tappy and a bird named Red. Alex’s Labrador, Cash, was a chocolate lab owned by Gibson’s. Rogan, a black lab, belonged to Maggie. These dogs were all kept in kennels along with other dogs.
The prosecution alleged that Murdaugh was at the kennels with Paul and Maggie minutes before the murders, as heard in a video presented in court last week.
Just moments prior to the killings, Rogan Gibson, a trusted companion of the Murdaughs, informed the jury that he is completely certain that the voices of Alex, Paul, and Maggie were captured in a video recorded on a mobile phone at the location of the crime.
On the evening of June 7, 2021, at 8.49pm, following 8.44pm at the canine shelter, Gibson watched a video recorded by Paul. Gibson referred to the Murdaughs as his ‘alternate family’. Cash, whose dog was being looked after by Paul at the shelter, was being taken care of by Gibson.
He says, ‘Stop, Cash. Come over here.’ In order to capture footage of his hurt tail, Paul can be seen in the video attempting to gather Gibson’s brown Labrador retriever.
“He’s holding a bird in his mouth!” Maggie can be heard saying in the background.
‘Bubba!’ A third voice – this one male – shouts to one of their canines.
“It’s a guinea pig,” Maggie says.
‘It’s a poultry,’ Paul responds.
‘Come over here, Bubba!’ The masculine voice states. ‘Come over here, Bubba!’.
Paul had promised to send the video of his dog, Gibson, to the person he was talking to on the phone moments before, but he never sent it despite looking at it.
Paul and Maggie saw Murdaugh contradicting Gibson’s testimony for the last time when they were having supper at the house.
The prosecution informed the jurors that he was present at the location of the crime where the two victims were found. Referring to the video as evidence, they stated that it would demonstrate his presence.
“He fails to respond to phone calls, he consistently neglects to send any further text messages, and he refrains from reading any incoming texts. Paul’s phone becomes permanently locked at precisely 8.49pm and one second, a little over three minutes afterwards, and even longer than that.”
‘Three minutes after that video has the defendant at the murder scene with the two victims, Paul’s cell phone goes silent forever.’.
The medical examiner approximates that Paul and Maggie passed away between 9pm and 9.30pm.
Earlier this week, caretaker Roger Dale Davis informed jurors that he tidied up the kennels on the day when Maggie and Paul lost their lives.
He said he never would have looked at the hose which was shown in the photographs of the crime scene. Davis’ testimony focused on his usual routine cleaning at the kennels.
Despite the fact that it had not yet rained, the jurors heard evidence that Maggie’s and Paul’s bodies were saturated with blood as well as water when the cops arrived.
On the day of the murders, Davis stated that he tidied up the dog enclosures in the afternoon before departing at 4.30pm.
The prosecutor showed him photographs of the crime scene that night, including pools of water on the kennel floor and the hose.
Davis stated that he never departed from the residence as it appeared in the photographs.
He said that someone else must have hosed down the kennels again, since the water is still pooled there and it hasn’t been cleaned.
Nevertheless, the defense attorney Jim Griffin refuted the suggestion that Murdaugh had utilized the hose following the shootings.
In the orderly manner explained by Davis, the hose can be observed not stored in the kennels at approximately 8.45pm in a video captured by Paul, who operated it.
In the backdrop, Davis verified that he was able to perceive the sounds of Alex, Paul, and Maggie when questioned about the recording by the prosecution.
The caretaker had previously informed the court about how he once had an injured dog shot, as the legal scion could not bring himself to do it out of mercy.
He referred to Maggie as ‘very relaxed’ and that they would frequently converse about the canines.
Paul, as described by Davis, was a bit untamed and eccentric, but he was willing to labor on the fields and ‘fulfill any tasks required by his father’.
Alex said that he often worked, but he found that he could be very particular about how he wanted things done. He wasn’t around much.
Davis characterized the Murdaughs’ relationship as ‘affectionate’.
He stated, ‘I have never witnessed that gentleman ever raise his voice towards his spouse and children.’ ‘He would make an effort to obtain anything she desired, as well as anything the boys desired.’
Davis said that Murdaugh enjoyed spending his time hunting and drinking beer with Paul.
The caretaker mentioned that he didn’t interact with Buster as frequently, but he always appeared amiable towards his father.
In 2018, Gloria Satterfield, 57, passed away following an alleged accident where she reportedly stumbled and fell over the household pet at the location where Murdaugh’s previous housekeeper worked, after dedicating two decades to her profession.
‘The police asked the Hampton County coroner, who she called to investigate why she was not reviewing what she considered an accidental death. The death was never reported.’
Following the passing of their mother, Tony, the son of Satterfield, gave testimony stating that Murdaugh had made a commitment to provide support for him and his brother Bryan, who is considered a vulnerable adult, throughout the duration of the trial.
He proceeded to steal over $4 million from two insurance policies, without providing them any money. Satterfield informed the double murder trial that Murdaugh promised to give each of them $100,000 and take care of Gloria’s medical costs.
Additional attorneys subsequently joined to assist the Satterfield family and successfully obtained $4.3 million for Gloria’s offspring through a lawsuit against Murdaugh.
The State Law Enforcement Division never announced any findings and did not reopen an investigation into her death, and a year after the deaths of Murdaugh’s wife and son, Gloria Satterfield’s body was never exhumed by agents.
The trial is taking place at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, a sleepy rural town located 50 miles west of Charleston in the low-lying region of South Carolina, where the Murdaugh family holds immense political and judicial power.
It was removed before the trial, the portrait of Jr. Murdaugh Buster Solicitor Circuit 14th, a longtime legendary figure, that had hung on the wall in the courtroom where Murdaugh faces judgment.