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Jailhouse call captures Alex Murdaugh laughing he has ‘allegedly done illegal stuff’

Jailhouse call captures Alex Murdaugh laughing he has ‘allegedly done illegal stuff’
Alex Murdaugh is at the centre of a twisted tale involving unsolved murders, millions of dollars of allegedly embezzled funds, a suicide-for-hire plot and several mysterious deaths

Chilling audio has captured disgraced legal scion Alex Murdaugh laughing that he has “allegedly done illegal stuff” in a jailhouse phone call with his surviving son – one year on from the still-unsolved double murder of his wife and son.

In the phone call, part of a trove of jailhouse calls obtained by The State, Mr Murdaugh is heard speaking to his adult son Buster Murdaugh from the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County, where he has been holed up since October on a string of financial fraud charges.

Buster is heard acknowledging that his father has done “illegal s***” as they discuss a search warrant that he believes was improperly served on Mr Murdaugh while he was behind bars.

“Well, I think it does matter, man… I mean, something’s got to give,” he says.

“I understand that you’ve done illegal s***. But it doesn’t mean you can just, you know, turn a cold shoulder to the laws of the United States.”

At that point in the call, Mr Murdaugh – who is also facing charges for allegedly orchestrating a botched hit on himself – makes an unsettling joke about his alleged crimes.

“Allegedly done illegal stuff,” he tells his son, laughing.

He then adds: “I’m kidding, anyway… so… It is what it is, you know? It is what it is.”

Mr Murdaugh’s team fought to prevent the release of the tapes to the local outlet, after it filed a Freedom of Information Act request. Their efforts to stop its release was thrown out by a judge.

Mr Murdaugh has had a spectacular fall from grace over the last year and found himself at the centre of a twisted tale involving unsolved murders, millions of dollars of allegedly embezzled funds, a suicide-for-hire plot and several mysterious deaths that are now under investigation.

The son of a powerful South Carolina legal dynasty first hit headlines last summer when his wife Maggie and youngest son Paul were shot dead in a brutal double murder at the family’s hunting lodge in Islandton, South Carolina, on 7 June 2021.

It was Mr Murdaugh who said he discovered their bodies, placing a traumatic 911 call that night.

No arrests have ever been made in the case, no suspects named and no charges brought.

At the time of their deaths, 22-year-old Paul was due to stand trial over the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach in a 2019 boat crash.

<p>Alex Murdaugh appears in court following his arrest </p>

Alex Murdaugh appears in court following his arrest

Paul was allegedly drunk driving a boat when he crashed it, throwing his friend Ms Beach to her death.

He was charged with boating under the influence and faced up to 25 years in prison but was killed before his trial.

Three months after his wife and son’s deaths, Mr Murdaugh then allegedly hired a hitman to fake his own murder.

On 4 September, the attorney called 911 claiming he was ambushed in a drive-by shooting while he was changing a tire on the side of a road in Hampton County.

Mr Murdaugh was shot in the head and taken to hospital with superficial injuries.

One day after the shooting, Mr Murdaugh entered rehab for a 20-year opioid addiction and announced he had resigned from his law firm Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, & Detrick (PMPED).

Days later, his law firm partners accused him of stealing millions of dollars from its clients going back years.

The partners had confronted Mr Murdaugh about the allegations and ousted him from the firm just one day before the shooting.

Mr Murdaugh’s version of events around the shooting rapidly fell apart and he confessed to police to paying an alleged hitman to shoot and kill him in an assisted suicide plot so Buster could get a $10m life insurance windfall.

Both Mr Murdaugh and his alleged accomplice Curtis Smith – who the attorney had previously represented – were charged over the incident.

Mr Murdaugh was released on bond on the promise that he enter rehab for his opioid addiction.

He was then arrested on his release from rehab in October on charges of stealing funds from the wrongful death settlement over the mysterious trip and fall death of the family’s longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield in 2018.

<p>The Murdaugh residence after the murders of Paul and Maggie </p>

The Murdaugh residence after the murders of Paul and Maggie

Mr Murdaugh is accused of siphoning off $3.4m of the $4m settlement meant for Satterfield’s sons to a fake company called Forge.

Questions have been swirling around Satterfield’s death ever since and investigators reopened a probe into her death.

Earlier this month, officials announced plans to exhume her body.

Satterfield worked for the influential Murdaugh family for more than 20 years when she was found at the bottom of some stairs at the family’s home.

She died weeks later from her injuries.

At the time, her death was regarded as an accidental fall – though her death certificate cited her manner of death as “natural”.

Mr Murdaugh reached an agreement to pay her family $4m in a wrongful death settlement – money he is now accused of swindling from his insurance company to help fund his drug habit.

An investigation was also reopened into a third mystery death connected to the Murdaugh family.

Stephen Smith, 19, was found dead in a road from blunt force trauma to the head in 2015.

His death was officially ruled a hit-and-run but the victim’s family have long doubted this version of events and said that rumours swirled in the community that a “Murdaugh boy” may have been involved.

In total, Mr Murdaugh is facing a staggering 79 charges from 15 indictments around the suicide-for-hire plot and schemes to defraud the Satterfield family and other victims out of millions of dollars.