Murdaugh Murders: What happened to Gloria Satterfield? (latest case updates)

Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Netflix’s latest true crime documentary series could not be more timely. Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal is all about the prominent Murdaugh family and their fall from grace, specifically former personal injury lawyer Alex Murdaugh who is currently standing trial in the murders of his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and his son Paul Murdaugh.

Releasing on February 22, 2023, the three-part docuseries comes just a few weeks after Murdaugh’s criminal trial began. But while the double homicide is at the focal point of the courtroom, Murdaugh was accused of multiple financial crimes as well, some of which the prosecution has tried to bring into evidence for his criminal case, arguing that they speak to his state of mind at the time of the murders.

Even before Paul and Maggie’s were killed, the Murdaugh family was surrounded by tragedy, starting with the mysterious death of 19-year-old Stephen Smith in 2015, a case that has since been reopened by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

Live 5 News reports that a family friend said, “the Murdaugh family is mentioned 40 times in investigative documents.” No suspects have been officially named.

Then in 2019, Paul Murdaugh was involved in a fatal boat crash that resulted in the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach. Paul was allegedly driving the boat that night.

More. Everything you need to know about Alex Murdaugh. light

In February 2018, the family’s maid, Gloria Satterfield, reportedly tripped and fell down the front steps at the family’s Moselle property, resulting in several injuries that ultimately led to her death later that month. Murdaugh allegedly told Satterfield’s surviving family members that he would file a wrongful death lawsuit and give them the settlement money, but her family never saw a dime, drawing into question the nature of Satterfield’s death.

All this and more is discussed in the new Netflix documentary, but for additional details and background information on Gloria Satterfield and her involvement with the Murdaugh family, keep reading.

Gloria Satterfield’s obituary

Gloria Satterfield was the long-time housekeeper and domestic assistant of the Murdaugh family. She was particularly close to Paul Murdaugh. Several documentary subjects describe her and Paul’s relationship as familial.

Gloria’s obituary reads:

"Born February 8, 1961 in Hampton, she was a daughter of the late Eric Harriott, Sr. and Elizabeth Sheppard Harriott.  She was a member of World Harvest Church in Hampton.  She liked tennis, loved kids and her favorite color was purple.  Most of all, she will be remembered for her laughter and her outgoing personality."

You can read her full obituary, send flowers, share memories, plant a tree, or provide other contributions to the Satterfield family here.

How did Gloria Satterfield die? How old was Gloria Satterfield when she died?

According to the document presented in Murdaugh Murders, Gloria Satterfield died at age 57 on February 26, 2018. She was reportedly driving to the Murdaugh family’s Moselle residence in Colleton County to pick up a check when she walked alone up the brick steps of the house and was allegedly tripped by one or more of the family’s four pet dogs, who were roaming freely at the time.

Maggie Murdaugh claims she was at home when she heard the commotion and came outside. In the 911 call recording played in Murdaugh Murders, Paul is also heard on the phone as the two tell dispatch that the housekeeper had fallen and wasn’t moving.

Satterfield was airlifted to a hospital in Charleston for treatment of multiple rib fractures, a pulmonary contusion, and a subdermal hematoma. The hematoma was declared inoperable, but she did receive surgery on her ribs. Satterfield showed improvement initially before steadily declining.

She had to be put on a ventilator. Satterfield contracted pneumonia and had a heart attack. After losing her pulse, the doctors revived her into a coma. Her family later elected to stop life-saving measures, and Satterfield was moved to hospice, where she died on February 26, 2018.

The document says that during her hospital stay, a semi-conscious Satterfield told the medical staff that she didn’t know why or how she fell. In the docuseries, Satterfield’s family echoes that sentiment, stating that she was unresponsive the entire time she was in the hospital. In the docuseries, Alex Murdaugh is heard saying he spoke to Satterfield in the ambulance and she indicated the dogs tripped her up.

Gloria Satterfield’s body to be exhumed

In June 2022, the SLED announced their intentions to exhume Gloria Satterfield’s body. Generally, exhumation is done to conduct tests on a body that were not performed before burial.

According to the Satterfield family’s attorneys, her family doesn’t think she was intentionally killed, but “they do, however, think Alex Murdaugh was intentional with his actions after her death when he stole from her sons,” reports WCJL.

Earlier that same month, Murdaugh had signed a confession of judgment, basically admitting to stealing money from the family in relation to the wrongful death suit.

A date for the exhumation has not yet been set.

Who are Gloria Satterfield’s sons?

Satterfield left behind two sons, Brian “Little B” Harriott and Michael Anthony “Tony” Satterfield.

Did the Satterfield family ever get the money?

The Post and Courier reported that Tony Satterfield testified on February 3, 2023. According to Satterfield, Murdaugh encouraged him to pursue a wrongful death claim.

Satterfield says that Murdaugh explained that his insurance carrier would pay out up to $100,000 to Satterfield’s sons. However, as the documentary series points out, the claim was worth significantly more than that. Approximately one month before Gloria died on the Moselle property, Murdaugh took out commercial insurance and then allegedly collected more than $4.3 million from the insurance claim related to her death.

From The Post and Courier article:

"The case ended in a pair of settlements, with two insurance companies ponying up a combined $4.3 million. But Satterfield and his brother didn’t get a dime. They only learned of the money and the settlements years later, shortly before it was revealed Murdaugh had stolen some $3.4 million of it."

Gloria Satterfield’s sons did not receive the death settlement money. As mentioned above, Murdaugh did sign a confession of judgment, essentially owning up to the fact the Satterfield family is owed $4.3 million after Murdaugh stole the settlement funds.

Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal is now streaming on Netflix. Alex Murdaugh’s trial is ongoing, and the investigation into Gloria’s death is also ongoing.

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