Newly released footage has revealed the dramatic moment Alex Murdaugh first faced law enforcement for allegedly killing his wife and son.
Footage of a police interview with the disgraced heir apparent to the dynasty was shown for the first time at the Colleton County courthouse on Wednesday, as prosecutors near the end of their case in his double murder trial.
The interview was Mr Murdaugh’s third since the June 7, 2021 killings – and came two months after the August 11, 2021 killings.
During the interview, SLED Special Agent David Owen questioned the accused killer about his movements during the day and night of the killings – an alibi that has since been contradicted by testimonies and evidence revealed at his trial.
Towards the end of the interview, the agent tells Mr Murdaugh that he has “a few more questions”.
Then, in a bombastic moment, the officer asked directly if he had murdered his wife Maggie and son Paul that fateful night.
“Did you kill Maggie?” he asked.
Mr Murdaugh replied: “No…did I kill my wife? No, David.”
When the agent asked if he knew who did it, Mr Murdaugh said: “No, I don’t know who did it.”
“Did you kill Paul?” Agent Owen continued.
“No, I didn’t kill Paul,” said Mr. Murdaugh.
He again said he did not know who killed his son before asking the officer if he believed he was responsible for the murders of his loved ones.
“Do you think I killed Maggie?” he asked.
“I have to go where the evidence and the facts lead me,” Agent Owen said.
Mr Murdaugh replied: “I understand that. And you think I killed Paul?”
Agent Owen reiterated that he must go where the evidence and facts lead him as he told him “I have nothing to suggest anyone else at this time”.
It was at that moment that Mr. Murdaugh realized for the first time that he was the prime suspect in the case.
‘So does that mean I’m a suspect?’ Mr Murdaugh asked.
Agent Owen testified in court that Mr Murdaugh was the only suspect in the brutal murders at the time of the interview.
As the victims’ husband and father and the only person at the scene that night, Agent Owen testified that Mr. Murdaugh was on the investigative circuit from the start.
The dramatic footage weaved together the prosecution’s case against Mr Murdaugh, highlighting the wild inconsistencies in the alibi he gave police and the wealth of evidence and testimony unveiled at his trial so far.
The inconsistencies included: how long Mr. Murdaugh spent that night at his mother’s house; whether or not he went to the kennel; the different clothes he wore; the timeline when he was at his law office; and the reason Maggie had gone to the family manor that day.
“It wasn’t an inconsistency. It was a series of inconsistencies over a period of time that were repeated,” said SLED Special Agent David Owen.
In the video, Mr Murdaugh can be heard claiming he spent 45 minutes to an hour at his ailing mother’s home that night – a timeline contradicted by both vehicle data and testimonies from his mother’s carer.
Mr Murdaugh told officers he had dinner with Maggie and Paul and then “dozed off” on the couch.
When he woke up, he said he went to his mother because she had Alzheimer’s and his father was in the hospital. He said he would visit his mother “at any time of the day.”
Last week, Muschelle “Shelly” Smith, who worked as a caregiver to Mr Murdaugh’s mother Libby, testified that a “fidgety” Mr Murdaugh was at his ailing mother’s home sometime between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. on the night of the murders showed up. She said it was unusual for him to visit her at this time.
She said he only stayed about 20 minutes – but later told her to tell police he was there twice that time.
“I was here for 30 to 40 minutes,” she said, he told her days later in a conversation that left her “nervous.”
Mr Murdaugh later offered to “help her” pay for her upcoming wedding and put in a good word for her at her other job, she said.
Data taken from Mr Murdaugh’s SUV also shows that Mr Murdaugh left his family home and drove to his ailing mother at around 9.06pm, arriving at 9.22pm.
According to the records, he only stayed 21 minutes at his parents’ house, left at 9:43 p.m. and arrived at the Moselle at around 10 p.m. He called 911 at 10:06 p.m.
In the police interview, Agent Owen also asked Mr Murdaugh about several comments he made on the 911 call reporting the killings – compared to what he told him two months later.
Footage shows Mr Murdaugh telling officers he went to the dog kennels after returning from his mother’s home.
When asked where the dogs were, he said he “didn’t move the dogs” and “didn’t remember a dog being about.”
However, when calling 911, he’s heard as if he’s calling someone or something and saying, “Here, here.”
Agent Owen pointed out the call, saying it sounded like he was talking to someone else or calling for one of the dogs.
Mr Murdaugh confirmed he had seen no people in the kennels and was “sure” none of the dogs were roaming free at the time.
Footage also showed Mr Murdaugh’s apparent lack of surprise when he was first told his wife and son had been murdered by the family’s own guns.
When Agent Owen was asked to describe Mr Murdaugh’s reaction to that revelation, he told the court: “Nothing.”
Prosecutors allege Mr Murdaugh shot and killed Maggie and Paul on the night of June 7, 2021 at around 8.50pm in the doghouse on the family’s sprawling 1,700-acre estate.
Mr Murdaugh claims he was sleeping in the house at the time and woke up and went to visit his mother. When he returned, he said he found the bodies of his wife and son and called 911 at 10:06 p.m.
Prosecutors allege that Mr Murdaugh killed his wife and son to distract from his string of alleged financial crimes – at a time when his multimillion-dollar fraud scheme was about to be exposed.
Meanwhile, the defense is trying to frame him as a family man who could not have committed the brutal murders because he loved his wife and son.
The brutal double murders brought to light a series of scandals surrounding Mr Murdaugh, including unsolved deaths, the multi-million dollar scam scheme and the botched killer conspiracy.
At the time of the murders, Paul was awaiting trial in the death of Mallory Beach – a 19-year-old woman who died in a crash on the Murdaugh family boat in 2019.
Paul was allegedly drunk driving the boat at the time and crashed it, throwing Beach overboard. Her body washed ashore a week later. Paul was charged with multiple felonies over the boatwreck and was facing 25 years in prison at the time of his murder.
The Beach family sued Mr Murdaugh and a hearing was scheduled for the week of the murders. It was postponed after the Maggie and Paul murders.
Days after the shootings, an inquest into the 2015 death of Stephen Smith, who was found dead in the middle of a Hampton County road, was reopened.
The openly gay teenager, 19, suffered blunt force trauma to the head and his death was officially ruled a hit and run. But the victim’s family has long doubted this version of events, with the Murdaugh name appearing in multiple police tips and community rumours.
An inquest has also been reopened into another mysterious death linked to the Murdaugh family – that of Murdaugh’s longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.
She died in a mysterious trip and fall accident at the family home in 2018. Mr Murdaugh then allegedly stole around $4 million from her sons in a wrongful death.
Then, three months after the September 4, 2021 murders, Mr. Murdaugh was suddenly shot in the head on the side of the road in Hampton County.
He survived and called 911, claiming he was mugged in a drive-by shooting while changing a tire on his vehicle.
But Mr. Murdaugh’s story about the incident quickly unraveled.
A week later, on September 13, he confessed to law enforcement that he orchestrated the entire saga and paid a hitman to shoot and kill him in a suicide-assistance scheme so his surviving son, Buster, could get a life insurance windfall could receive in the amount of 10 million US dollars.
He told investigators he paid Curtis “Eddie” Smith — a former law firm client, distant cousin and allegedly his drug dealer — to conduct the shooting. Both he and Mr Smith were arrested and charged in the incident.
The conspiracy, described as a “side of the road” incident, marks one of the most bizarre twists in the sweeping scandal that has engulfed the disgraced heir to a prominent South Carolina legal dynasty for the past 20 months.
Mr Murdaugh, 54, faces a life sentence for the murder of his wife and son. He has pleaded not guilty.