Murdaugh Family Murders: Alex Admits to Financial Crimes & Botched Suicide-for-Hire Plot

While on the stand in his own defense, Alex Murdaugh admitted to stealing funds from his former law firm and  — months after his son and wife’s murders — conspiring to kill himself.

Alex testified that the firm’s CEO, Jeanne Seckinger, had questioned him about missing money the same day that Paul and Maggie were killed. Alex said he did not see the exchange as a pressing matter at the time.

“There was some level of concern because she’s asking me about money that I took that I wasn’t supposed to have…So while I’m sure it registered with me, that I got to deal with this, at that particular time wasn’t anything that was a big deal,” he said

Later on, Alex testified that his financial issues stemmed from an opioid addiction he developed from taking hydrocodone, which he took a couple of years before undergoing a knee surgery in 2004. He reportedly went on to using oxycodone due to how much hydrocodone he was taking.

Alex said he underwent detox three times, the first time being in 2017.

“I’m not quite sure how I let myself get where I got but it came from battled an addiction for so many years,” he said.

Alex’s law partners confronted him again about the stolen funds in September 2021. He claimed that after that meeting, he planned to go to rehab. But the botched suicide-for-hire plot occurred before that.

Alex went on to identify the man who shot him as Curtis Eddie Smith, who is a former client and family friend. He explained that he was experiencing withdraws when he had Smith shoot him on the side of the road.

Alex said he intended to die that day as he had a $12 million life insurance policy. The beneficiary was reportedly his late wife, Maggie.

Prosecutors said cell phone data and forensic evidence tie Alex to Maggie and Paul’s slayings. Meanwhile, Alex’s attorney, Dick Harpootlian, said the cell phone records were incomplete and asserted that Alex would be covered in blood if he killed his wife and son at close range. Harpootlian said no blood was found on Alex’s clothing.

In September 2021, months after Paul and Maggie’s slayings, Alex suffered superficial head wounds when he allegedly had former client Curtis Smith, 61, shoot him in the head so his surviving son, Buster, would receive a $10 million insurance payout.

A day before the shooting, Alex was forced out of his family law firm amid allegations he misappropriated funds.

Two days after the apparent botched suicide, Alex announced he was entering rehabilitation for drugs. Shortly thereafter, he was charged with insurance fraud in connection with the September 2021 suicide-for-hire plot and released on bail.

However, in October 2021, Alex was rearrested upon leaving a rehabilitation center in Florida for allegedly stealing $4.3 million from late housekeeper Gloria Satterfield’s estate. In that case, he was accused of stealing insurance payouts that were intended for Satterfield’s family. Authorities plan to exhume her body amid an ongoing investigation regarding her death.

In addition to the murder charges, Alex faces more than 100 criminal counts related to fraud.

In June 2022, Alex and Smith were indicted for allegedly purchasing and distributing oxycodone in multiple counties. In December 2022, Alex was indicted for tax evasion for allegedly failing to claim the $6 million he allegedly earned through illegal acts between 2011 and 2019.

Alex was charged with Maggie and Paul’s murders days after he was formally disbarred by the South Carolina Supreme Court.

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