biographical data

Alex Murdaugh biography: 13 things about Hampton, South Carolina native


Richard “Alex” Alexander Murdaugh is a disbarred lawyer from South Carolina, United States. A descendant of a prominent family of lawyers, he was born in Hampton, Hampton County, South Carolina to Randolph “Randy” Murdaugh III and Elizabeth “Libby” Alexander Murdaugh.

As a lawyer, Alex represented injured persons in all areas of personal injury law, including trucking cases, products liability and wrongful death. He served as a part-time prosecutor for the 14th Judicial Circuit, which was ran by his father, grandfather and great-grandfather for almost a century.

Alex was 1 year older than his wife MargaretMaggie” Branstetter Murdaugh. They have two sons together namely Richard “Buster” Murdaugh Jr. and Paul Terry Murdaugh.


On September 4, 2021, according to Alex, he was on his way to Charleston, South Carolina when he had car trouble and stopped on Salkehatchie Road in Yemassee, South Carolina, a truck passed him, turned around and came back and someone in the truck shot him in the head. Later, his attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin said he had been struggling with a longtime addiction to opioids and wanted to end his life so he asked someone to shoot him.

On September 14, 2021, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced the arrest of Curtis Edward Smith, who was accused of conspiring with Alex to kill Alex so that Buster would receive a $10 million insurance payout. Smith is Alex’s distant relative, source for an oxycodone addiction and former legal client.

Alex also goes by Alec. Here are 13 more things about him:

  1. In 1986, he graduated from Hampton High School in Varnville, South Carolina.
  2. In 1990, he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.
  3. On August 14, 1993, he and Maggie got married. He is one year older than her.
  4. In May 1994, he earned his Juris doctorate degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. In November 1994, he was admitted to the South Carolina Bar.
  5. In 1996, Maggie gave birth to their son Buster.
  6. In 1999, Maggie gave birth to their son Paul.
  7. From 2011 to 2019, he failed to report $6,954,639 of income earned through allegedly illegal acts.
  8. The death of Gloria Satterfield, his housekeeper for decades, was never reported to the Hampton County coroner. He told her sons that she tripped over the family dog and died weeks later from her lingering injuries. At her funeral in February 2018, he told her sons he would get insurance settlements for her death and take care of them. He managed to secure more than $4 million from his insurers but he only told the sons about $500,000.
  9. He and Maggie co-owned the 17-foot, Sea Hunt center-console boat that crashed in Beaufort County, South Carolina on February 24, 2019, which led to the death of Mallory Beach, 19, of Hampton County. His son Paul allegedly drove the boat with five other intoxicated underage people on board.
  10. In May 2020, he and Maggie sold their 6,800-square-foot house in Hampton for $375,000.
  11. According to him, he found his wife Maggie and their son Paul fatally shot at their family hunting lodge in Islandton, Colleton County, South Carolina on June 7, 2021. On August 6, 2021, the paperwork dropping all charges against Paul related to Beach’s death was filed due to the defendant’s death. After spending six weeks at a drug rehab facility in Orlando, Florida, USA, he was arrested at the facility on October 14, 2021 and charged with stealing insurance settlements meant for Satterfield’s sons. On November 19, 2021, it was announced that he was indicted on one count of forgery, four counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent, seven counts of obtaining signature or property by false pretenses, seven counts of money laundering and eight counts of computer crimes.
  12. On July 12, 2022, an official order was issued disbarring him from the practice of law in South Carolina. On July 14, 2022, he was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in the deaths of Maggie and Paul. On December 13, 2022, he was granted a $7 million bond.
  13. On January 25, 2023, his double murder trial started in Islandton, Colleton County. When he took the stand on February 23, 2023, he admitted to stealing from clients and lying about his whereabouts on June 7, 2021 because of drug-induced paranoia but denied killing Maggie and Paul. He was found guilty on March 2, 2023 of murdering Maggie and Paul and sentenced on March 3, 2023 to two life sentences without the possibility of parole. He was 55 years old when he pleaded not guilty on May 31, 2023 to bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, five counts of wire fraud and 14 counts of money laundering.

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