Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal is one of the most talked-about next Netflix true crime docuseries released in 2023. It’s a timely release, as Alex Murdaugh‘s double murder trial started in a South Carolina courtroom in January 2023 and finished in March. Murdaugh was found guilty of murdering his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and their son Paul Murdaugh.
The Netflix doc from LuluRich and The Pharmacist directors Julia Willoughby Nason and Jenner Furst is far from the first on this former prominent Lowcountry family. Still, it features accounts from several people involved with the Murdaugh family that have yet to appear in other documentaries on the case.
As if the double murder charge wasn’t enough, the unraveling of the Murdaugh family legacy actually started several years earlier than that during a tragic boating accident resulting in the death of teenage Mallory Beach.
Paul Murdaugh is believed to have been the driver that night. The other people involved in the crash are featured in the docuseries, including Paul Murdaugh’s longtime girlfriend, Morgan Doughty; Mallory Beach’s childhood friends, Miley Altman and Connor Cook; and Mallory’s boyfriend, Anthony Cook.
In addition to the double homicide charge, Alex Murdaugh was indicted on more than 70 charges for crimes related to illicit business practices and allegations of insurance fraud. It’s a long, twisted tale that the docuseries does its best to cover across three 45-minute episodes. For those interested in learning more about Alex Murdaugh and the case as a whole, the following guide will answer the most pressing questions.
Alex Murdaugh is seeking to appeal his conviction
Alex Murdaugh is currently serving his two life sentences in a South Carolina prison, but according to new reports, he is requesting a new trial and a chance to appeal his conviction.
Per WCSC 5, Murdaugh’s defense team filed a motion for a new trial earlier this September, claiming the prosecution may have partaken in “jury tampering” during the heavily-publicized murder trial.
Murdaugh’s lawyers, Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, allege that court clerk Rebecca Hill spoke with the jurors and told them, among other things, “not to believe Murdaugh’s testimony and other evidence presented by the defense.”
The prosecution has called the latest motion from the defense a “defective” one that doesn’t explain how and when, exactly, this supposed jury tampering occurred.
How long will Alex Murdaugh be in jail? Alex Murdaugh jail sentence
Alex Murdaugh has been sentenced to two life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul.
Where is Alex Murdaugh in jail?
He is currently in jail at the McCormick Correctional Institution in South Carolina, and recently lost his phone, tablet, and canteen privileges after breaking the rules regarding calls, one of which he accepted for a documentary.
He reportedly read passages from his journal to his lawyer over the phone and used another inmate’s PIN number, which is also against the rules. Learn more about the recent development from NBC News.
Alex Murdaugh found guilty
On Thursday, March 2, 2023, the jury found Murdaugh guilty on all four charges, including the murders of his wife and son. Murdaugh will reportedly face somewhere between 30 years and life in prison without parole for each murder as prosecutors are not pursuing the death penalty.
The jury took less than three hours to deliberate.
What is Alex Murdaugh’s net worth? Murdaugh family net worth
The South Carolina lawyer is reportedly worth around $1 million per Exact Net Worth. While practicing law, Murdaugh is rumored to have taken home an estimated $250,000 annually. Murdaugh’s lawyer says he’s strapped for cash despite his supposed million-dollar worth and claims his client can barely afford to buy underwear in jail or pay his cellphone bill.
Given the charges against him and the severity of the allegations against him, there’s a good chance he’s now burned through most of his and his family’s fortune in legal fees.
What kind of lawyer was Alex Murdaugh?
After graduating from the University of South Carolina in 1990 and then from the USC School of Law four years later, Murdaugh tried civil cases as an attorney at his family’s law firm specializing in personal injury litigation. Additionally, Murdaugh’s attorney bio stated that he occasionally served as a part-time prosecutor for the 14th Judicial Circuit.
Why did Alex Murdaugh shave his head?
If you have followed along with Murdaugh’s trial proceedings, you might have noticed that he now sports a shaved head in the courtroom. It’s not uncommon for inmates to have their heads shaved, generally to prevent the spread of things like lice between cellmates.
Murdaugh also spent time in the ICU a couple of years ago after getting shot in the head and likely had his head shaved then. Maybe he just liked how it looked and opted to keep it that way.
Is Alex Murdaugh related to Rupert Murdoch?
It’s understandable why people might think Alex Murdaugh and business magnate Rupert Murdoch are related, as their last names are pronounced similarly—but they are spelled differently. Even though Murdoch and Murdaugh are both from prominent families, there is no indication the two are related.
Is Alex Murdaugh still alive?
Yes, Alex Murdaugh is still alive, although he had a near-death experience in 2021 when he was shot in the head in what is believed to have been a failed assisted suicide scheme.
When was Alex Murdaugh shot in the head? Who shot him?
Murdaugh allegedly hired a former client named Curtis Smith to shoot and kill him so that his son Buster Murdaugh could inherit his $10 million life insurance plan. He later admitted to the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) that he did take out the life insurance policy.
Smith shot Murdaugh in September 2021 but failed to kill him. He was later arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, assisted suicide, and more, according to WOTC.
Interestingly, WOTC also reports that the judge has ruled to keep this assisted suicide plan out of the evidence presented to the jury. The prosecution previously indicated that Murdaugh created this scheme to distract from the murder allegations, making it relevant to his guilty conscience. Judge Cliffton Newman disagreed, calling that leap in judgment a “bridge too far.”
The Cory Fleming Alex Murdaugh connection
Cory Fleming is a former Beaufort attorney accused of co-conspiring with Murdaugh on numerous financial crimes. Fleming is Buster’s godfather and one of Murdaugh’s closest friends. He was indicted twice, in March and May 2022.
On February 15, 2023, as part of witness Special Agent David Owen’s testimony, video footage was revealed to the jury showing Murdaugh’s various interviews with the SLED. Fleming is present in the third interview clip because he temporarily acted as Murdaugh’s lawyer, which is a bit odd considering his criminal charges in relation to the case.
When was Alex Murdaugh charged with the double homicide?
NBC News shared a comprehensive timeline related to Murdaugh’s various crimes, indictments, judicial rulings, and arrests.
A grand jury announced the double murder charge for the deaths of his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, and his son Paul Murdaugh on July 14, 2022. The double murder trial started with jury selection on January 23, 2023, and is ongoing.
Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal is now on Netflix and a second season is coming on September 20. Add the true crime docuseries to your watchlist now.