Five Major Moments to Have Happened Since Netflix’s ‘Murdaugh Murders’

Netflix’s new true crime series Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal examines the deaths of Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and her 22-year-old son Paul Murdaugh, who were killed on June 7, 2021.

It looks at the case against Alex Murdaugh, 54, who is currently on trial for their murders, as well as the shocking alleged crimes that surround the Murdaugh family in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.

In July 2022, Alex Murdaugh was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime over the deaths of his wife and son. He has pleaded not guilty.

Yet so much more has occurred since the three-part documentary was filmed.

1. Alex Murdaugh’s Murder Trial Begins

Alex Murdaugh’s trial began on January 25, 2023, at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, and as of February 22 is on day 22. He faces a minimum of 30 years in prison, if convicted.

According to police, Murdaugh reported finding the bodies of Maggie and Paul at the family’s 1,700-acre hunting estate in Colleton County, South Carolina.

Murdaugh told police he was napping in the family home at the time that investigators believed his wife and son were shot elsewhere on the property.

Prosecutors say evidence shows Murdaugh was at the scene of the crime with Maggie and Paul. Video footage that is believed to have been taken by Paul just minutes before he died features three voices, and prosecutors have claimed those voices are Murdaugh, his wife and their son. But there is no physical evidence or murder weapon implicating him in the crime.

2. Alex Murdaugh’s Surviving Son Buster Testifies at His Trial

On February 21, Buster Murdaugh, 26, was called as a defense witness in his father’s murder trial.

He said that on June 7, 2021, his father called him, asked if he was sitting down, and then told him his brother and mother had been shot, the Associated Press reported. “He was destroyed. He was heartbroken. I walked through the door, I saw him and I gave him a hug,” Buster said.

He went on to explain that he was with his father in the 10 days after the killings, and described Murdaugh as being “devastated and confused” by the events.

3. Maggie Murdaugh’s Sister Gives Bombshell Testimony

On February 15, Murdaugh’s sister-in-law Marian Proctor caused a stir with her testimony at his trial.

According to a report from the Associated Press, Proctor said it appeared Murdaugh was more concerned with protecting the reputation of his dead son Paul in the days after the murders than with finding the killer.

Paul had been implicated in the death of his friend Mallory Beach in February 2019. She had been a passenger on a boat he was driving while allegedly drunk when it crashed into a bridge pylon, killing her. Paul was on bond on felony charges of boating under the influence, for which he had pled not guilty, waiting for a trial date at the time of his murder.

Proctor said: “[Murdaugh and I] never talked about finding the person who could have done it. It was just odd.”

She added that Murdaugh also made a comment about the incident that she did not understand. “He said that he did not know who it was, but he felt like whoever did it thought about it for a long time. I just didn’t know what that meant,” Proctor said.

4. There’s a Two Shooter Theory

After Buster Murdaugh testified on February 21, the defense called forensic engineer Mike Sutton to take the stand.

Per the Associated Press, Sutton explained that the angles of the shots fired at Maggie suggested the shooter was about 5 feet 2 inches, or “holding the gun below their kneecap.” It has been reported that Murdaugh is 6 feet 4 inches tall.

Murdaugh’s defense attorney Dick Harpootlian also argued that the manner in which Maggie and Paul were killed suggests there were two shooters, and that the use of different weapons —a shotgun and an AR-15-style assault rifle— added to the theory.

5. Old Cases with Ties to Murdaugh Family are Reopened

The Netflix documentary also examines the suspicious deaths of Stephen Smith, a friend of Buster Murdaugh, and Gloria Satterfield, the family’s housekeeper.

Smith died in 2015 from blunt force trauma at the age of 19 and his death remains unsolved, though it was officially ruled a hit-and-run according to The Augusta Chronicle. The publication reported that Smith’s mother, Sandy, has previously said that she does not believe her son was killed in a hit-and-run and that his death was suspicious.

Satterfield died on February 2018 following complications after she had suffered severe head injuries when she reportedly tripped and fell down stairs at the Murdaughs’ home in Moselle earlier that month, per People.

In September 2021, state investigators announced they were opening a criminal investigation into Satterfield’s death after, in June of that year, People reported authorities were also reopening Smith’s case in light of new information that had emerged during the double murder investigation against Murdaugh.

No charges have been brought against Murdaugh regarding these deaths.

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