Inside Alex Murdaugh’s $4 million Moselle farm property and its dark history

IIt’s a case that has drawn the nation’s attention for the past 21 months, as Alex Murdaugh, heir to South Carolina’s legal dynasty, stood trial and was convicted of the brutal double murder of his wife and son.

Before returning their guilty verdict on March 2, the jury returned to where it all began.

On March 1, the jury was brought to the Mosel family’s sprawling 1,700-acre estate in Islandton, South Carolina to view the crime scene where Maggie and Paul were killed on June 7, 2021.

They toured the kennels where Murdaugh assaulted his son in the feeding room and shot him once in the chest with a shotgun and a second time in the head, neck and shoulder.

You saw where the husband and father turned on his wife, Maggie, shortly after he gunned Paul down.

They saw where she desperately tried to flee her killer by backing into an ATV under an outside hangar before being shot five times with a semi-automatic rifle.

But that’s not all the jury saw.

They also saw a location where another mysterious death took place just three years before the 2021 murders.

They saw a snapshot of the life of the powerful and wealthy Murdaugh family, as the $4 million estate was where they called home for several years.

And they may even have seen some of the estate’s wild boars – whose existence was mentioned an unusual number of times during the disgraced lawyer’s murder trial.

The Dark History of the Moselle

Bordering the banks of the Salkehatchie River, 4147 Moselle Road is made up of over 1,700 acres of land including a 5,275 square foot home, a farm, a two mile stretch of river – and of course the dog kennels.

Before the Murdaughs called Moselle their home, the estate was tied to another controversial family.

It was the home of Barrett Boulware – a fisherman, suspected drug smuggler and longtime friend and business partner of Alex Murdaugh, who died in 2018.

An aerial view of the Moselle estate with kennel and feeding room


He and his father were arrested for drug smuggling in 1980 when investigators seized 15 tons of marijuana from a shrimp boat in the Bahamas.

The charges were later dropped when a key government witness died.

Boulware’s name came up during the murder trial when the jury heard Murdaugh stole $750,000 in insurance money from his friend when he died of colon cancer.

Home of the Murdaugh family

According to property records, Alex Murdaugh bought Moselle back from Boulware’s wife Jeannine Morris Boulware in 2013.

Murdaugh reportedly bought the entire property for just $5, FITS News reported – a step sometimes used to allow the seller to avoid paying capital gains taxes.

The Moselle was just one of several homes owned by the high-profile lawyer – and suspected financial fraudster.

The main house on the Murdaugh Moselle property on Wednesday


The family also had a home in Hampton, South Carolina, as well as a beach house in Edisto Beach.

During the testimony of Murdaugh’s surviving son, Buster, jurors learned that the Hampton home had been their primary residence, but after it was damaged by a hurricane, the family made Moselle their primary residence.

However, judges heard that Maggie preferred to stay on Edisto Beach – especially during the summer months.

Buster testified that much of the land on the Moselle was actually inaccessible and consisted of marshland.

1,700 acres and lots of pigs

Throughout the trial, jurors heard that the estate’s 1,700 acres were a hunter’s paradise, with fields of pigeons, deer stands and duck ponds scattered throughout the estate.

Murdaugh, Paul and Buster – as well as their friends – spent a lot of time riding around the estate hunting deer, ducks, quail, pigeons and pigs.

The judges in particular heard a lot about wild boar hunting – from the time of day to the type of weapons used.

Several witnesses testified that they roamed the property causing a disturbance and that the family – and their friends – would shoot them at any given opportunity.

Alex Murdaugh watches his murder trial draw to a close


One witness even told the court how he killed around 1,000 hogs during his time in the area (though not just on the Murdaugh estate).

The property’s river is also ideal for fishing and kayaking.

Mysterious Buyer

In the months following the murders, Murdaugh put Mosel on the market and it’s currently being offered for sale by a mysterious buyer for $3.9 million.

The property was first listed under the new name Cross Swamp Farm in February 2022 – eight months after the murders of Maggie and Paul and five months before Murdaugh was charged.

It was later converted back into Moselhof.

According to the Crosby Land Co. listing of Colleton County, Moselle consists of 1,772 acres of “an unusually diverse habitat with varying forest types and age class distributions.”

“The landscape includes productive pine plantations, open fallow fields and mature stands of mixed pine/hardwood, these upland regions giving way to the flat valley of the Salkehatchie River Basin,” it says.

A view from where Maggie Murdaugh was found on the Murdaugh Moselle property on Wednesday


The feeding room where Paul Murdaugh’s body was found on the Murdaugh Moselle property on Wednesday


“The property has over 2.5 miles of river frontage and offers freshwater fishing, kayaking and abundant deer, turkey and water bird populations.”

The family home was built in 2011 and consists of four bedrooms and 3.5 baths, meaning it “could easily be converted into a weekend hunting home, sleeping up to 15 people,” according to the listing.

“This is truly a first class property, complete with all the enhancements and amenities one would expect of a high end sports property with little or no deferred maintenance costs,” it reads.

A buyer – allegedly a local landowner – submitted an offer in June 2022. However, the sale was put on hold when Murdaugh was accused of attempting to offload his assets to avoid payment in a series of court cases he is facing, leading to a court to freeze his assets.

Three bodies in three years

There have been at least three deaths on Gut Mosel.

In February 2018 – three years before the murders of Maggie and Paul – the Murdaughs’ longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield died in a mysterious journey and fall at the family home.

Satterfield, who worked for the family for more than 20 years, was found at the foot of the stairs leading into the family home after it was believed she tripped over the dogs.

She never regained consciousness and died of her injuries three weeks later, on February 26.

At the time, her death was considered an accidental fall.

Gloria Satterfield died in a trip and fall at the Murdaugh home in 2018


However, her death certificate listed her manner of death as “natural” and no autopsy was performed.

Questions are now piling up about Satterfield’s death, and investigators reopened an investigation into her death in September 2021 – days after Murdaugh’s financial fraud scheme came to light.

Investigators plan to exhume her body.

As part of his 100 financial felony charges, Murdaugh is now accused of stealing $4 million in wrongful deaths from Satterfield’s family as part of his decades-long, multi-million dollar fraud scheme.

The jury tour

The jury tour of the crime scene came at the request of Murdaugh’s defense attorney, Dick Harpootlian, who said “it would be useful for the jury to see Moselle” before deciding the fate of the disgraced attorney.

It took place under tight security, with Judge Clifton Newman telling the jury they could not ask questions of anyone there, including law enforcement, and that they could not discuss the case with each other during the trip.

The judge also informed them that some things had changed at the property after the murders.

“As of June 7, 2021, a year and a half or more has passed since the alleged crime occurred. Things have most likely changed. We are in a different season,” he said on Tuesday afternoon.

The media was also barred from accompanying the jury on the trip, although a small pool of media visited the site after the jury left.

According to a pool report by The Wall Street Journal‘s Valerie Bauerlein, the visit of the jury including travel time took around 1 hour 20 minutes.

The kennels and feeding room where Maggie and Paul were killed


The pool then briefly visited the dog kennels, noting that it was “a tough place to visit” and the feeding room felt “like a haunted place.”

While standing in the center of the small room, she said she could not see to the left outside the door, where the prosecution expert said the shooter stood.

The location where Paul’s body fell — outside the feeding room — was within sight and just 12 steps from where Maggie’s body was found, she reported.

Judge Newman approved the jury visit on February 27 after a motion by Mr Murdaugh’s defense attorney, prosecutor Creighton Waters, objected that the property had changed over the past 20 months, with trees growing between the family home and the kennels had grown considerably.

Judge Newman gave the defense a rare victory and agreed to arrange the excursion to Moselle.

During the courtroom discussion, Mr Harpootlian also raised concerns about the need for security for the journey, after claiming people were caught entering the property over the weekend.

A visit to the crime scene on Wednesday shows a view behind the house on the Murdaugh Moselle property


He said Murdaugh’s brother called the police to remove intruders from the Moselle when he noticed people taking selfies outside the feeding room where the brutal killings took place.

“Last weekend there were literally dozens of people at the Moselle trespassing and taking selfies in front of the feeding room,” he said, condemning the “carnival attitude” of some members of the public.

After the jury visit, the case resumed at the Colleton County Courthouse with closing arguments from the defense and prosecutors.

The jury was sent out to deliberate on the afternoon of March 2 and returned less than three hours later with a guilty verdict.

Murdaugh will now find himself in a new, more permanent home – behind bars.

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