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When you looked into his eyes, did you know?


Yes. To me, his eyes were cold. I was like, what is he hiding?


Did I shoot my wife and my son? No.


The infamous case of Alec Murdoch.


Now a whole new look at the.


Story you think you know. Was there a point when you thought he might get away with it?


That's always been a concern.


Every case that we work, investigators speak.


Out in their first and only interview. We had over 80 agents, over 200 pieces of evidence.


We had drones, we had airplanes. The phones tell us a story. It was just that, AHA, moment.


Details never shared before.


I was like, wait a minute. He wasn't being truthful with me.


Videos never broadcast before my mother and brother had been shot and killed.


It was just total panic.


But I didn't think it could be.


Possible that it could be them.


What did you think when you saw your former boss and friend in handcuffs?


I cried because that's not the person that I knew.


Alex made the comment, you know what.


A tangled web we weave.


He wove that web so tight.


But we were able to perfectly untangle that web.


You're inside this heartbreaking mystery like never before. I'm Lester Holt, and this is Dateline.


Here's Craig Melvin with the Murdoch murders.


Inside the investigation, the air down south feels different before it rains. Thick, heavy, ominous. The night of June 7, 2021 was like that. The Collaton County Coroner says Margaret Murdaugh.


And her son Paul both suffered.


Investigators are still piecing together a motive.


For the deaths of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh.


It was a night that would change so many lives, including this man's, agent David Owen, who would drive straight into the storm.


During that investigation, the only time that I was truly alone was when I was in my car, leaving the office and going home, or from home to the office. I'd go home and I'm just sitting in my chair, trying to unwind, and I'm like, what did I miss? What else can I go back? Who else can I talk to? I'd wake up in the middle of the night. I need to do that report. Mentally exhausted every day. 21 months. June 7. The time I got the phone call until the jury came back with a verdict.


I worked on it for more than two years now, the Alec Murdoch case has dominated the headlines. You may think you've seen and heard it all, but you've never seen this. Tonight, for the first time, the team of investigators that cracked the case speaks out, telling details only they knew. You'll hear about their dramatic discoveries.


I knew when I heard his voice, I knew.


I was really excited.




Because I can prove that Alec was lying to me.


And the moments that changed the case.


I'm 99% sure that was Mr. Elliot talking.


We all keep pocket knife. So you pulled a pocket knife and you bend down and we look at the puncture and we put our knife up to it and it just seems.


To match the moments that nearly broke them.


My mother passed away the day I was set to testify. I took that afternoon to collect myself. Think about how we're going to proceed.


And their cat and mouse game with the most daunting adversary they've ever faced.


Did you kill Maggie?




Did I kill my wife? Yes. No. David.


That response struck me. It's like, wow.


If he was willing to steal from those people, there's no telling what he would do to his own family.


Plus, just today, Alec Murdoch back in court.


I agree that I wrongly took all of that money, Your Honor, and did all of those crimes.


While allegations of jury tampering swirl, what.


We had filed today, supported by sworn testimony of jurors, is that the clerk of court had improper private communications with the jurors.


And the judge steps down. It's the story you really don't know from the only people who can tell it. Did you know in that moment that the case had been blown wide open?


Oh, yes.


South Carolina's Low Country is a watery landscape, often admired for its beauty. But its tiny towns and tight knit working class communities are some of the poorest in the state. The Murdoch family has lived a very different life in their river houses, beach houses and farm estates, while managing the legal affairs of generations of their Low Country neighbors. You actually knew the Murdoch more than 20 years, is that right?


Yes. Gosh.


Bilanca Torbiate Simpson met Alec Murdoch when she sought his help on a friend's legal case. He later hired her to work as a housekeeper at his home known as Moselle, a sprawling 1700 acre property in the Low Country, where he lived with his wife Maggie, and two sons, Buster and Paul. So you would cook?


Yeah. You would clean, cook, clean, do laundry, whatever she needed, run errands for her.


Blanca became a part of the Murdoch family fold and especially close to Alex's wife, Maggie, who some said could be a little standoffish. What was she like when it was.


Just me and her? It was like she was a totally different person. She wasn't guarded. She would joke around. She had this loud laugh. She was silly. She loved to dance.


Blanca made dinner for the Murdochs on the fateful night of June 7, 2021. Why did you cook dinner that night instead of Maggie?


Maggie was at the doctor's appointment and she had a nail appointment.


She had a day to herself.


Yeah. So she said, I'm running late. Can you go ahead and cook? I was like, yeah, sure.


Blanca left dinner on the stove and headed out. How could she imagine that life as she knew it would never be the same? Because just after 10:00 p.m.. That night I have an Alex Murdoch on the line. Caller from 41 47 Mosele Road. He's advising that his wife and child was shot.


This is Alex Murdoch road.


He told the dispatcher he'd come home to find Maggie and Paul shot near the dog kennels some distance from the main house.


And was anyone else supposed to be at your house?


No, ma'am.


Please hurry. When deputies from the nearby Collinson County Sheriff's Department arrived, they found a man who seemed distraught.


Central seven one seven, scene is secured. Got a whiskey? Fox whiskey. Mike Both gunshot wounds to the head.


I want to let you know because of the scene, I did go get a gun and bring it down here.


It's in your vehicle. Do you have any guns on you at all?


No, sir. It's leaning up against the side of my car. They are dead, aren't they?


Yes, sir. That's what it looks like.


It was a grisly scene. 52 year old Maggie and 22 year old Paul had both been shot multiple times at close range. The man who took over the crime scene that night was Special Agent David Owen of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, known as Sled. The challenges he and his colleagues would face and the burden they would carry were obvious.


Right away I got there and realized that it was Alec Murdoch's wife and son. Knowing who his father was, who his grandfather was, how prominent the law firm was, that's a lot of weight.


But investigators had no idea that night how much of a roller coaster the next two years would be.


I was like, what is he hiding? Why is he lying?


Was there a point in the investigation where you thought he might get away with it?


That's always been a concern.


We didn't know what we didn't know. It was a very bizarre case.


In the aftermath of a brutal double homicide, every moment in the investigation counts. And in this high profile case involving the area's most prominent family, police knew their every move was being watched more than they'd ever experienced before.


That is Paul Murdoch.


That's one of the reasons why the state's most experienced investigators were brought in immediately. Explain to me how much evidence you actually had to process.


Well, when we talk about the data that was involved mark Keel has been.


The Chief of Sled for more than a decade. He almost never gives interviews. But the unprecedented coverage of the Murdoch case led him to talk to us about the work his team know.


We started getting it from media outside of South Carolina, and national media obviously was very involved. In fact, I think I got a couple calls from you, as did you did.


Thank you for answering the phone once or twice. County sheriffs keep the chief on speed dial to help with their biggest and toughest crimes. Why would a local law enforcement agency ask the South Carolina law enforcement division to come in and take it over?


Well, we were created as an assisting agency. That's what sled does. I mean, we're still a rural state. We still have a lot of small counties that do not have the ability to have all the technical expertise and manpower that they may need for some crime.


Chief Keel knew the Murdoch family's reputation. They occupied a prominent position among law enforcement. In fact, Alec's father, grandfather, and his father practically were the law in six low country counties as powerful prosecutors for nearly 100 years. What was your impression of the family?


They were respected. They were great prosecutors.


And their influence didn't end with elected office. The Murdochs founded one of the state's most powerful law firms. Alec worked there as a personal injury attorney.


I didn't know Alec very well. I knew who he was.


Sled investigators took over shortly after they arrived on the scene. What becomes the first order of business?


Trying to protect that crime scene.


Senior special agent David Owen has been in law enforcement for close to 30 years and worked with Sled for nearly a decade. When he arrived around midnight, he had to orient himself in a crowded crime scene.


Saw a crime scene tape up. EMS fire department was still there trying to set up lights to help us illuminate the scene so that we could investigate it. A lot of dogs barking.


The Murdoch sprawling 1700 acre property included a cabin, dog kennels, and even a landing strip. At what point does David Owen realize this was not going to be just a run of the mill murder case?


Pretty soon after, I got there and realized that it was. Alec Murdoch's wife and son blanca knew.


The Murdoch's reputation well at home and at the law firm. She met Alec in 1997 after he helped her friend on a case. She started working with him, doing translations on cases with Spanish speakers. She says he had a way with people that made him at home anywhere.


He just had that personality. He made you feel like you were a good friend. He never treated me like hired help or anything like that. Never once.


And when Alec eventually did need someone to help around the house and with.


His kids, he said, hey, Maggie's looking for somebody. She needs help. Do you know of anybody? I said, hey, I'll do it. I said, I can help her. At first he was like, no, find me somebody else?


Yeah. He thought it was beneath you.


I guess he did. I didn't see it like that.


Blanca got close to both Maggie and Paul.


Paul was a little clown. Always the jokester in the house. Since he was little, he would just do silly things. He was just one of those kids that he was really hyper, but he had a good heart.


She says maggie had a great sense of humor and knack for southern traditions.


She was just funny. She had this, you know, type thing.




She knew when to she always wanted everything perfect attention to detail. I learned a lot from her.


David Owen was hearing more about Maggie and Paul now, too, as he examined the crime scene. What had apparently happened to Maggie and.


Paul both were shot in the head and that they were face down.


As he took it all in, he realized there were already problems at the crime scene with people walking in and out.


I've got crime scene experience. I've been in investigations since 2002. It's inevitable. Every time you walk in to a crime scene, you're bringing something in and or you're taking something out.


The fact that you were not the first agency on the scene, did that put you at a disadvantage?


Yes. From the time the 911 call came in until the time I got there, that's 2 hours lost.


What about the sheer number of people who were there at Mosele? Is that something you would have changed?






Had I known it that many people were that close to the scene, I would have pushed him back further because you don't know what you don't know. You don't know what you have.


Investigators recovered two spent shotgun shell casings around Paul's body. His mom was killed with what appeared to be an assault rifle. But Agent Owen learned that no weapons were found near Paul or Maggie, which meant there was a killer or killers on the loose. He needed to talk immediately to the grieving husband and father. Alec Murdoch. What was that like?


Well, I approached him. I introduced myself, told him who I was and why I was there. And I said, I need to sit down and talk to you. And he understood.


Alec got into the car with Agent Owen, who started with the question the whole country would soon be asking.


What's going on in your world that could bring something like this upon your family?


In the early hours of June 8, 2021, south Carolina Law Enforcement Division, special Agent David Owen and Alec Murdoch got out of the rain and into Owen's Dodge Durango.


Can you go by Alec?


Yes, sir.


I hate to have to do this.


I understand. I totally understand.


Owen showed me his portable setup. Mobile command center, if you will.


Yes, sir.


What are you doing here?


A little bit of everything. When I'm out in the field doing interviews. If there's no secure area, or safe area to interview somebody, I'll use my car.


Did he know you're recording?


Yes, sir. On my visor, I normally put my body camera, clip it on there, and I angle it towards the seat, the person I'm interviewing, which is the seat you're sitting in.


This is that same seat where he was in that first interview?


Yes, sir.


I pulled up and I could see him, and I knew something was bad.


And so began a chess match that would consume Agent Owen's every waking moment for the next year. What were you hoping to accomplish in that first interview?


I asked him, was he having any trouble at the property? Had there been any burglaries, any attended break ins, any Larceny's in the area that would give me something to try to track down?


I mean, I can't tell you anybody that I'm overly suspicious of off the top of my head.


Was there anything about his demeanor that struck you during that first conversation in this car?


He was fidgety. I mean, he was always moving around, cleaning his glasses, doing something with his hands.


But then Alex said something that seemed like a big deal.


That what comes to my mind, is my son Paul was in a boat wreck a couple years ago.


Agent Owen remembered that case well. The nighttime motorboat crash on nearby Archers Creek. It happened in February 2019. Paul Murdoch and five of his friends had taken Alex boat out, but on the way home, they crashed into a bridge. Several passengers were hurt, and 19 year old Mallory Beach was thrown from the boat. She was found dead almost a week later. Paul was accused of driving drunk and causing the crash. His blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. Murdoch family housekeeper Blanca remembers the time after that crash vividly. Was the mood any different in the house?


It was a little somber at times. You could see it, but they try to keep basically their spirits up. I know Maggie struggled with it because that's her baby boy.


In April 2019, Paul was indicted on three counts of boating under the influence, causing death and great bodily injury. He faced a maximum of 55 years in prison. He pleaded not guilty. Blanca says the negative publicity in tiny Hampton made Maggie feel alienated.


I think that's where she was having a hard time with people that she thought were, know, good friends all of a sudden, weren't there?


The boat wreck had tarnished the Murdoch's reputation in the Hampton community. In the patrol car with Agent Owen, alec now seemed to be suggesting the double murder might be an act of revenge against Paul.


He was charged with being arrested for being the driver. There's been a lot of negative publicity about that, and there's been a lot of people online just really vile stuff.


Know of any direct threats from people on the boats?


I don't know of any direct threats between any of the people on the boat specifically, but I do think there's been a small amount of yip yap between a couple of them, but not recently.


Okay. About a half hour into the interview, alex's other son, Buster, arrived.


I just know, go be with your son. We can finish this later.


The first interview was over. So when you sat with him in your car that first time, he was not prime suspect number one?


No, he was not. Any death investigation that I'm a part of or that I lead, I look at the person who found the bodies or body, and I look at those closest to the deceitants, but they know most about them.


Owen still had enough to get started.


That gave me people to go out and try to interview people involved in the boatcase and just started trying to brainstorm, know what happened, what could have happened, who could have done this.


Now members of Sled would start spreading out. They had possible suspects to find, so.


We had to ask them. Hey, Paul's dead. Where are y'all?


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As the sun rose over Collatson County on the morning of June 8, 2021, the Murdoch family's housekeeper Blanca was getting ready to go to work. Then Alec Murdoch called a call she will never forget. What did he call and say?


He told me that they're gone be. They're gone. And I was like, she, go back to Edisto. Never did it cross my mind that he was talking about them being dead. I did not associate it with that until he's like, no, B, they're dead. And I was like, what? He said baggy. Paw. Paw. They're dead.


Blanca arrived at Moselle later that morning. What did you see?


When I walked through the door, all the lights were out. I left them off. It was just a weird, chilly feeling walking in there.


Agent David owen was still at Mosele that morning, overseeing the crime scene in the light of day, he realized the property would be a nightmare to search.


1700 acres. A lot of it was swampland, a lot of it was planted ponds.


Plenty of places for a killer or killers to hide weapons and other evidence.


You have two different ammunitions used to kill them. So, I mean, automatically you're going to think, okay, well, I possibly have two shooters. It's not very often that one shooter uses two different guns in a double murder.


Owen deployed a large team of agents to search for suspects and guns everywhere.


That we could gain access to on that property. That was searchable. We searched. We had drones.


Nothing. Nothing. Meanwhile, at the house, Alex's friends and law partners helped other Sled agents gather and inventory more than a dozen family guns to see if any were missing on the property's. Shooting range investigators sifted through spent shells to see if any of those matched the ones at the murder scene. And scientists at the state lab started to analyze materials found at the crime scene as they came in. By now, senior special agent Ryan Kelly had joined the team. He spent ten years as a detective in Charleston before coming to Sled in 2012. His job locate some of the remaining survivors of that fatal boat crash. Why was making contact with the folks who are on the boat a priority?


Early on, it's important to identify individuals as soon as possible.


That meant hard questions for the parents of 19 year old Mallory Beach, who was killed in the crash.


So we had to ask them, hey, Paul's dead. Where were y'all? And that was something that we didn't take lightly.


Agent Kelly and his fellow agents also collected DNA samples from all four survivors and some of their parents. That included Keith and Beverly Cook's son, Anthony. Is it true that Anthony actually had to give a DNA sample?




Was he considered a suspect?


He was never considered a suspect. But all of the boat occupants and I guess Mallory's family were I don't know if you would call it a person of interest.


They were never protocol to clear their names so they could move on to somebody else.


Yes, that's what they told us.


We were quick to locate the families. They were extremely gracious and helpful. They all met and gave us their whereabouts the night of the incident, and we kind of went from there.


How quickly were you able to eliminate those folks?


Within a couple of days.


But that didn't mean scrutiny of the boat crash was over. Far from it. Did you know when the double murder happened that it was going to reopen this room, that it was going to bring renewed attention to the boat accident?


I mean, shortly after the shock wore off. Yeah. I knew what was coming. Yeah.




I always felt like the boat crash was going to bring something to light.


And it didn't take long. The ripples of that boat crash had reached every member of the Murdoch family.


You talking about bad behavior.


In never before seen video, investigators would peel back the complicated layers of a family that was now at the center of a tragedy.


Yeah, they're still married, they're still living together. As far as I know, they don't have any problems.


The Murdoch family was very well known in the low country, of course, but not much beyond. Then Maggie and Paul were murdered and the Murdoch's name was being broadcast statewide. An update to a high profile double homicide in the low country, then nationwide.


We are learning disturbing new details on that mysterious double homicide in south Carolina.


All that attention put pressure on the investigation. But chief keel maintains his team tried to shut out the noise. Because this was a prominent family that was well connected. Did that affect the strategy behind the scenes at all? From an investigative standpoint, it didn't to me.


And it has it display it.


Three days after Maggie and Paul were gunned down, investigators simultaneously interviewed Alec Murdoch's brothers, John and Randy. Alec called them right after he called 911. These interviews are airing here for the first time.


He says John, Paul and Maggie have been shot, have been hurt. It was just total panic. And he said, please get here as fast as you can. Okay? I just got dressed as quick as it could.




Could hardly talk.


But you could tell there was something really bad wrong. It was just a frantic phone call from him. But in those phone calls, and I think it was in the first one, he said, maggie and Paul have been shot.


Both brothers raced to the scene that night. On the way, they called in help from their friends in law enforcement.


Greg cook is one of the fire chiefs in Hampton. But most importantly, he's one of Ellie's very good friends. And so he knows the location.


And so.


I had to tell him what happened. I started driving. Obviously I was speeding. Good friend of mine's, chief in Yemency. And I said, chief, I said, there's been something bad's happened. I said, please meet me on the road and help get me there.


Randy arrived first and spotted Alan.


I found him and we just hugged and cried. And then when we stopped, I could see the white sheets. I knew whoever's under those sheets were not alive, but I didn't think it could be possible it could be them.


The brothers seemed to still be in shock.


And of course I saw Alec and just jumped out and just ran to him. We hugged mean, it was very obvious they weren't alive.


John Marvin told the investigators he had a close relationship with Paul and employed him at his equipment rental business that summer.


Did you ever witness any behavior that was.


Bad behavior? Yeah. No, not at all. Not at all. He was an asset. He was a joy. I mean, customers love talking to him.


But both brothers acknowledged Paul's role in the boat accident.


Paul made some bad decisions one night, and it led to a grave set of circumstances. He put his friends in a bad situation.


Still, they were quick to defend him.


I mean, it's a wonderful kid. He'll get his shirt off his back.


And when it came to Maggie, the brother said the Murdoch marriage was solid.


As far as I know, they don't have any problems.


Can you think of any relationship Maggie may have been in that would have anybody that's in her circle?


Not that I'm aware of perfectly.


At the same time, in another car, investigators were speaking with Alex remaining son, 25 year old Buster Murdoch. In this never before seen interview, buster recounts the call he got telling him his mom and brother were dead.


And he said, something terrible has happened.


I could tell that he was emotional.


He goes on to tell me that.


My mother and brother had been shot and killed.


When you get that news, does your mind go to thinking about how that could have happened? Yes, and just didn't understand how to really comprehend it.


The investigator asked if his brother Paul had any enemies.


You have any thoughts about who might want to behold anybody? No, sir. I know people disliked him due to the accident, but I couldn't single out.


Anybody that I know that would want.


To do what has been done.


But Buster said he thought his brother was the likely target of the attack.


Do you think maybe someone was after your brother and your mom happened to be down there? I would say if I had to have a take, that's probably what it would be. I think that someone was probably trying.


To kill my brother and that my.


Mom was probably just there.


Do you think that was because of the boat? Yes, ma'am.


Of course. Police had already ruled out those involved with the boat crash, but Alec Murdoch was about to suggest another possible connection between the boat crash and the murders.


I'm a defendant in a civil case involving my son.


And that would lead investigators to secrets, secrets Alec had kept not only from them, but from his wife. You said at one point that Maggie told you. Alec doesn't tell me everything. Any idea what she was talking about? Alec Murdoch had lost half his family and for all practical purposes, his home. He couldn't bear to spend another night at Moselle, so he asked the family housekeeper Blanca to stay there. Were you afraid to stay there?


I remember that evening. Everybody had left. Alec had already left, and two of the attorneys stayed behind because they didn't want to leave me in the house by myself.


Blanca brought her own gun for protection, but felt it was important. That the home was kept just as her friend Maggie liked it.


I was just trying to make sure that I did things the way that she liked know, just to kind of honor her. Yeah. I didn't want anything out of place. I knew how she was very detailed.


And you're doing all of this while you're also grieving the loss of a friend.


Every time I would think about crying or I wouldn't do it in front of her mother, I would run in the laundry room and close the door with all them people there.


Alex still dropped by from time to time. Blanca says he seemed inconsolable.


He would have, like, episodes of crying. If somebody would come around him and, you know, you need anything or whatever, he just would begin to cry.


Of course, investigators were still combing the property, searching for suspects, looking for evidence, conducting interviews, and starting the major process of gathering digital evidence they'd hoped would establish a timeline of the Murdoch family's movements that fateful night. What did you have from that night to go on?


We had Paul's phone that night. But of course, that takes a process to get into that phone. The next day, I'd say within 12 hours, we found Maggie's phone on the roadside.


Meanwhile, agent Owen climbed back in the car for a second interview with Alec Murdoch at the exact same time his brothers and son were being interviewed by other agents. What was the goal of the second interview here in the car?


Try to get more information. I got very limited information that night of the homicides. He had time to let the death of his wife and son start to sink in. So a little more clearer picture in his mind.


And so the second round of Owen's cat and mouse game with Alec began.


I got kind of a basic overview.


Yes, sir.


And it was pretty traumatic.


That's okay. I know you need to ask me. You ask me what you need to.


Owen wanted to lock down Alec's account of where he and his wife and son were that night.


The more detail, the better.


So Paul, he said paul arrived home before Maggie. The two of them rode around the property.


We knocked around know, just doing things we like to do out there.


Paul made a snapchat video of his dad wrestling with a sapling. Alex said they spent 2 hours together. Maggie ran errands that day and planned on staying overnight at the family beach house. But Alec texted her, asking her to come back to Moselle. By that evening, the family was sitting down to Blanca's dinner of country fried steak.


Maggie had gotten home and we sat down. We ate supper, which we usually eat supper together.


After dinner, Alec said he took a nap, and Maggie and Paul went to the dog kennels on the property.


I was watching TV, looking at my phone, and I actually fell asleep on the couch.




He guessed he woke up around nine and drove to check on his mom about 20 minutes away.


I left my mom's and I went back home. I got to the house. I went inside. Nobody was there. I got in the car. I went back to the kennels.


That's where he said he found him shot to death. He dialed 911 just after 10:00 p.m.. Alec was emotional again as he spoke about finding his wife and son. But then he brought up something that seemed like it could be a big clue.


I'm a defendant in a civil case involving my son. I told you about the boat wreck.


Yes, sir.


And there were some motions coming up in that on Thursday. And I was mostly just getting ready for those things.


In the wake of that 2019 boat accident that killed their daughter, mallory Beach's family had filed a wrongful death suit against Alec and others.


It's a loss that they'll never get over.


Mark Tinsley is their attorney.


They really wanted to make sure that this didn't happen to somebody else's daughter or son. So it was about accountability.


Tinsley was demanding Alec's financial records to determine how much money alec's portion of the lawsuit could be. But Alec had refused to give them up. Blanca says Maggie felt like Alec was hiding things about the civil suit from her too.


When they would discuss know, the boating accident, maggie felt that he wasn't telling her everything. She knew a little bit, bits and pieces, but he would only give her just enough to kind of calm her down.


Alec was due in court, where he'd be forced to answer questions about his finances. On June 10, 2021, maggie and Paul were murdered three days before that hearing. So what kind of information would he likely have been compelled to turn over?


I was asking for all of his account information. Checking accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, his tax returns, everything.


Owen realized this was an important moment in his case. What did you learn about the civil lawsuit and the effect that that might have had on him?


The attorneys on the civil side going against Alec, they were out to get him, to make him pay.


The beach family's lawsuit demanded millions from Alec. Blanca said that the lawsuit deeply impacted the family, especially Maggie.


She said now they want 30 million. Where are we going to get it?


Where exactly? Alec always handled the money. Blanca says Maggie thought they were well off, if not rich. But investigators were starting to figure out that Alec Murdoch was hiding something big, something wasn't right.


He wasn't being truthful.


In Alec Murdoch's two interviews with David Owen, he'd given a timeline of events for the night of the murders.


After dinner, Alec states that he goes to sleep on the couch, playing on his phone, watching TV and takes a nap. And that Maggie went to the kennels and he wasn't sure where Paul went, but assumed that he went to the kennels because that's where he later finds them.


Alex story didn't put him at the kennels until after 10:00 p.m.. But early in the investigation, agents had spoken to a witness who blew that timeline right out of the water.


What kind of dog you got? Chocolate lamb.


You've likely heard his name, Rogan Gibson. But this is the first time you're seeing his police interview. Rogan was boarding his dog at the kennels and got a call from Paul that night.


Paul called me. At what time? At 844.


Gibson told investigators he heard others in the background. One of them was Alec Murdoch.


I heard Miss Maggie. And believed to be what was Mr. Elliot in the background? Can't swear that it was Mr. Ellic, but I believe it was Mr. Elliot. How well do you know Mr. Elliot? I'm like a third son of them.


So you would recognize his voice?




Yeah, I'm 99% sure that was Mr. Elliot talking to me or talking to them while I was on the phone.


Okay. And I was like, Wait a minute. That's after they had dinner. And Alec told me he stayed in the house while Maggie went to the kennels.


You believe Paul's friend? Because why would he lie?


The information he gave us was unsolicited. Nobody prompted him to say that.


There was no way to confirm what Rogan said, only he had heard it. Further complicating matters, in a second interview with investigators, rogan was less certain he had heard Alec's voice. But it was still on David Owen's mind when he asked Alec to come to the sled office and speak with him for a third time. It was August 11, 2021, two months after the murders.


You can do this.


I can do it. All right.


Agent Owen again asked Alec about what he, Maggie and Paul were doing earlier on the night they were killed.


What was the conversation around the dinner table?


Normal. Regular stuff, man. I can't tell you exactly.


But Alec repeated his familiar story of taking a nap and driving to his mom's before going to the kennels.


And you didn't go back down there after dinner until your return trip from visiting your mother?


Yes, sir.


Then Agent Owen confronted Alec with what Rogan had said, but didn't mention Rogan by name. I've got information.


That Paul was on the phone and Maggie was heard in the background. And you were heard in the background. And that was prior to 09:00 p.m..


I heard Rogan Gibson ask me if I was up there. He said he thought it was me. Was it you at 09:00?


Yes, sir.


No, sir, not if my times are right.


Who do you think it could have been?


I have no idea.


Owen was surprised that Alec volunteered Rogan's name so quickly and that he seemed prepared to knock down Rogan's version of events. It made him suspicious for him to.


Drop Rogan Gibson's name pretty pretty much instantaneously when I asked him about the information he knew.


So Owen decided to go for broke.


Did you kill Maggie?


No. Did I kill my wife?


Yes, sir.




David, do you know who did?


No, I do not know who did.


Did you kill Paul?


No, I did not kill Paul.


Do you know who did?


No, sir, I do not know who did.


With that, Alec and his lawyer left. But Owen says that wasn't all.


What's not on video is I had to escort him out of the building. And he turned around and he says, david, I understand why you have to ask these questions. I want to thank you for doing your job. And he shook my hand.


Were you surprised by that?


After I just accused him of killing his wife and son? Hell, yeah.


But while Owen had his suspicions, he lacked the evidence to prove Alec was at the scene of the crime. Rogan's recollection by itself wasn't enough. Plus, they hadn't found the murder weapons or any blood evidence implicating Alec. What was the lowest point of the investigation for you? What was that point where you thought, we got nothing?


Probably late August of 21, because I interviewed him on August 11 of 2021, and the information not really drying up, but just not having any tangible evidence to move forward on, other than just going out and shaking trees and talking to people.


Still, Owen couldn't quite shake that third interview. Something about Alex demeanor nagged at him.


To me, his eyes were cold. Especially looking back at the August 11 interview when I asked him if he killed his wife and son. And he said, you think I killed my wife and son? I didn't kill my wife. And know, that response struck me. It's like, wow.


Yet even as Owen's faith in the investigation was running low, chief Mark Keel remained resolute. Was there a point during the course of the investigation where you thought, we may not get anybody on this thing?


I never really thought that. I believed all along that we would.


Make an arrest and that faith would be rewarded because another call was coming that would blow the case wide open.


I got a flat tire, and I stopped and somebody stopped to help me. And when I turned my back, they tried to shoot me.


Investigators thought maybe Alec was right all along. Maybe someone was out to get his family and him.


Maybe whoever murdered Maggie and Paul is back.


As the summer of 2021 wound down, alec Murdoch was struggling to hold it together. Friends say he was anguished, hardly sleeping. His longtime housekeeper Blanca was worried about him. Was he still texting you?




What would he text?


Mainly about his clothes and stuff, like know, because at that point, I was staying at Moselle and bringing his laundry over to the little house in Hampton, and I would just go over there, make sure that he had food in the house, snacks, because he wasn't eating much yet.


Things in Alec's life were about to get worse. The scorching hot Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Alec was on the side of the road and once again called 911. There'd been another shooting, he said, but this time he was the target. Okay, what's going on?


I got a flat tire and I stopped and somebody stopped to help me. And when I turned my back, they tried to shoot me.


Sled. Senior Special Agent Ryan Kelly was running errands that day.


I got a phone call from my supervisor and he's like, you're not going to believe this. He's like, Alex Murdoch's been shot in the head. I'm like, well, you're kidding me.


Did they actually shoot you?


They tried to shoot you? They shot me. I'm bleeding a lot.


A Good Samaritan drove Alec to a field where he met up with paramedics. An officer was there, too. Body cam rolling. What happened?


I got shot.


Tell me more than what?


I'm going down the road. I had a tire go flat. I pulled over and 20 this car went by me and didn't pay a lot of attention. Truck. But then it turned around, came back, real nice guy, acted like. And I turned my head and boom.


Until now, investigators had been closing in on Alec, but this shooting stopped them in their tracks.


To have him be the victim of a violent crime where he's been shot in the head, that's pretty significant. And I was like, gosh, maybe whoever murdered Maggie and Paul is back.


Alec was airlifted to a Savannah hospital. Agent Kelly drove down there to meet him. What sort of updates were you getting?


Where Alex was being transported to, what his condition was? Because we really didn't know. You'd consider a head wound that it's going to be oh, that's going to be pretty significant. We don't know if he'd even be able to speak to us.


Kelly was stunned when he walked into the Er. Alec appeared to be more or less fine.


I mean, he had suffered a gunshot wound, but it was a glancing it struck the bottom of his skull, rode up the curvature of his skull and exited through the top. So he suffered very minor injuries for a gunshot wound.


Agent Kelly wanted to see the scene for himself, so he drove to Sakahatchee Road where the shooting took place. So you get to the scene alongside the road there and what do you see?


Our crime scene was there. We had other agencies were there.


Alec's story was that his car had gotten banged up when he blew out his tire. The first thing Kelly did was check the underside of the SUV.


He hit something big, he hit something significant. There was damage. So I was looking for that and it wasn't there. So I was like, that doesn't make any sense.


Neither did the lack of damage to the tire itself.


We get back to the rear driver, one that he said that had gone flat. It's perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with it. So we start looking at it and get up close and we notice on the sidewall a little what appeared to be a puncture mark.


It was a small slit, maybe an inch or two long. Kelly had a gut feeling.


We all keep pocket knives. So you pulled a pocket knife and you bend down and we look at the puncture and we put our knife up to it and it just seems to match.


The next day, investigators got out their metal detectors and lo and behold, within.


Like an hour, sure enough, they find a knife and we're, huh, it's a clue.


Investigators pulled surveillance video from a nearby church, hoping to get a look at the shooter. Alec said the man who shot him had been driving a blue pickup truck and there was a blue truck on the video, but it wasn't exactly as Alec described.


Alex had given us a very distinct description of us. Blue in color, newer model Chevy truck. We don't see that truck on the video, but we see an older, almost like Sanford and Son beat up truck that's blue, but it's got like a gold or yellow quarter panel. That should have stood out to Alex's memory, but it didn't.


Investigators were convinced that Alec was lying. What had really happened out there on that country road? It was time to confront Alec with their discoveries.


Give me your full name.


Richard alexander Murdoch.


During that phone call, were you like, what the hell?




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And the Marine visit HSA ie. Investigators were all but certain Alec Murdoch had lied about the roadside shooting. There was no evidence he'd blown out his tire. Lab tests on the knife they found suggested Alec had punctured the tire himself.


We took the DNA sample on the knife to Columbia and they were able to quickly identify Alex's DNA on the knife, which was really the linchpin of everything falling apart.


They also managed to track down the man in the blue pickup. The owner of the truck was a former client of Alex named Curtis Eddie Smith. Agent Kelly found it strange that Alec had borrowed a hospital employee's phone to call Curtis from the emergency room.


We're like, this is insane. Why would Alex be calling the guy from the hospital who was there at Sakahatchi the day he was shot?


Kelly needed to talk to Alec again, but that was the moment Alec made an astounding claim. He said he had a 20 year addiction to opioids and had entered an out of state rehab facility. The news was a shock to his friends and to investigators. Did you uncover any evidence that would indicate that he had developed this massive opioid addiction?




But Blanca says Alex's drug problem was no surprise to her. Had you known that he'd been to rehab before?


He didn't flat out mention it, but I knew that there was some detox issues.


How'd you know?


You could see it. You could tell. He would get jittery. He would get sweaty.


Agent Kelly feared they wouldn't be able to talk to Alec for a long time. But a week later, Kelly got a call from Alec's lawyer, Dick Harputlian, a state senator and one of the most well known defense attorneys in South Carolina.


Hey, we're ready to do an interview. I'm like, well, great. We'll head that way. And he's no, we have to do it over the phone. We have a limited amount of time. We can only do it over the phone.


That's not standard protocol.


Absolutely it's not. Absolutely, it's not. So we had to make the call. And I was like, well, let's do it.


Hey, Jim.


This is Ryan, Kelly and Sled. How are you?


Officer Kelly, before we start, I just want to tell you I apologize to you for lying at you in the hospital. I was in a very bad place then.


While Agent Kelly listened over the phone and recorded harputlian interviewed Alec, leaving him through a head spinning new version of events. The roadside shooting, Alec said, was actually his attempt to kill himself. Not only had he been distraught about losing his wife and son but right before the shooting, he'd been fired from his family's law firm for stealing.


The previous day, the news had come out about your embezzling or taking client money or law firm money. Is that correct?


That's correct. I thought that it would make it easier on my family for me to be dead.


So Alec came up with a scheme. He asked Curtis Smith to kill him so it wouldn't look like a suicide and his son Buster could collect his $10 million life insurance policy. Curtis wasn't just his former client, Alec said he was also his drug dealer, an accusation Curtis later denied.


And you asked him to shoot you?


That's correct.


During that phone call with Dick Carpootlian and Alec, were you like, what the hell?


Absolutely. I'm like you're kidding. Me. Sometimes the best thing to do is if somebody's talking, just shut up and listen. So Dick had Alex confessing to all of these crimes. You entered into an agreement basically to have him kill you so your son would then reap the insurance benefits.


Alec, is that true?


Yes, sir.


Alec was charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and filing a false police report. Curtis Smith was also charged, but says he knew nothing about the insurance scheme and did not shoot Alec. What did you think when you saw your former boss and friend in handcuffs for the first time?


I cried. It's like you're mourning the loss of another friend, because that's not the person that I knew. I still felt bad for him. I really did.


But Alex's legal troubles were only beginning. The State Attorney General's office had uncovered a web of fraud and deceit going back decades. By the end of the year, prosecutors indicted Alec for dozens of financial crimes, alleging that he stole millions from his partners at the firm and also from clients. He pleaded not guilty. To investigators, it all made him look very capable of killing his wife and son.


If he's willing to steal from the most vulnerable of people and live this extravagant lifestyle, then he's 100% able to kill Maggie and Paul to continue his facade.


But they still couldn't prove Alec was at the scene of the crime. One source of information they'd never been able to tap was Paul's cell phone. It was locked and no one knew the code. Britt Dove, who runs SLED's computer crime unit, was tasked with cracking it. But it came with a major risk.


If we attempted to just punch in numbers, eventually we could have locked the phone and the only way to have gotten it open would have been do a reset of it and basically would have wiped out any information that was contained on there.


So in March 2022, Dove reached out to the Secret Service. They offered to send the phone to a company with the software to crack it. That company cautioned it could take years.


It could run potentially up to seven years or longer in an attempt to obtain that passcode.


So the Secret Service took a chance, punched in Paul's birth date, and voila.


They called me early that morning and said, hey, we got into the phone, we got the extraction. You want to come pick it up?


Dove knew just where to look among the thousands of Paul's videos he zeroed in on the night of the murders. And there it was, 08:44 P.m., moments before Paul's death.


When I played it, the first thing you see is the dog in the kennel. And then you hear voices. You hear three distinct voices in it.


There was Paul give it. Get me and Maggie.


Hey, he's got a bird in his.


Mouth and the third to his ear. It was unmistakable.


Come here.


Catch Alec Murdoch.


I listened to it three to four times. I was in disbelief at the time. I immediately got on the phone to David Owen.


Owen said he practically fell out of his chair.


I was really excited.




Because I can prove that Alan was lying to me.


Did you know in that moment that the case had been blown wide open?


Oh, yes.


First State Attorney General Alan Wilson. The discovery was a game changer.


The AHA moment for me was the Kennel video. It showed that he was there within minutes of their murder. And it gave me the comfort factor that I needed to be able to indict.


On July 14, 2022, alec Murdoch was indicted for killing his wife and son. He pleaded not guilty.


How shall you be trial by God in my country?


Alec Murdoch was headed to trial, but.


It was a completely circumstantial case. A lot of people didn't believe that there would be a conviction either because of who the defendant was or because of the evidence they knew of. And so at the beginning, there was a distinct possibility that we would lose the case.


The investigation was far from over. Some of the most critical evidence against Alec wouldn't appear until the jury was already seated.


I mean, that weekend was crazy.


You pulled an old school all nighter.


That is correct.


A mere six months passed between Alec Murdoch's indictment and the start of his double murder trial. For prosecutor Creighton Waters, that meant a time frame that's almost unheard of.


The defense asked for a speedy trial and I think a little bit to their surprise, we gave them one.


Do you think they thought that the state wouldn't be ready in time?


I think they thought there was no way that we would ever be able to pull it off that quickly. I mean, that was actually an insane speed to bring it to trial.


Insane, yes. But Water said the time crunch was also motivating.


Let's just go ahead and do this thing.


On January 25, twelve jurors settled into their seats in this historic Collaton County courtroom, the same room where generations of Murdochs had tried cases, including the man at the defense table, Alec Murdoch. How had this man, who'd seemingly had it all, ended up here?


People, I think, have a hard time because they try to apply their own rational, logical, normal thought processes to what is inherently irrational and illogical and abnormal.


You're going to hear some of what.


Was going on in Alex Murdoch's life.


Leading up to that day.


Stuff that happened.


In his opening statement, prosecutor Waters planted the seed for jurors that the events of June 7 could not be viewed in isolation. He believed the winds had been swirling around Alec Murdoch for years. A gathering storm of secrets, lies and cover ups, all culminating in murder.


They're going to reach the inescapable conclusion that Alec murdered Maggie and Paul, that.


He was the storm, that the storm.


Was coming for them, and that they.


Died as a result of it. According to Waters, the first deluge hit Alec in February 2019, when Paul drove that boat into a bridge, killing Mallory Beach. The lawsuit that followed threatened to drown him by exposing his alleged financial misdeeds.


All those things were coming to a head. Paul, in the boat case, had become a significant liability to him.


The prosecution's most crucial testimony, of course, was that cell phone video that placed Alec at the kennels, calling the family dog Bubba. Just minutes, apparently, before Paul and Maggie were shot, half a dozen witnesses were asked to identify the voices on that video. The answer was always the same.


Whose voices did you recognize on that video?


Paul Murdol, Maggie Murdoll, and Alex Murdal. Paul Murdock, maggie Murdock and Miss Maggie. In it, Mr. Elliot.


The Murdoch's housekeeper, Blanca, was also a key witness for the prosecution.


I was nervous. I hadn't seen him face to face. I hadn't talked to him. So when I walked in, I could sense like he was trying to get me to look over. I couldn't do it.


Blanca was emotional, as she described arriving at Moselle the morning after the murders.


It was hard because I know she wasn't going to be coming back.


A main part of Blanca's testimony centered on what Alec was wearing the day of the murders. It appeared he wore at least three different shirts. Sled got one of them, this white T shirt, which prompted a question had Alec gotten rid of a shirt that might have contained evidence a few months after the murders, blanca says Alec pressed her to remember him wearing a particular shirt that day.


He was pacing back and forth in the living room, and he said, I got a bad feeling. He said something's not right. And then he said, well, you know, there was a video that was out. And he said, you remember the shirt I was wearing? I didn't say anything, but I was kind of thrown back because I don't remember that. It felt more like he was telling me, this is what I was wearing. It didn't sound like he was asking me what was I wearing.


Did it strike you? Is OD?


Yeah. It's almost like I had heartburn when he was asking me that.


Prosecutor Waters believes Alec thought he could manipulate Blanca into saying what he wanted her to say.


I think that was a prime example of the influence he was used to.


Wielding, influence the state believed he'd used to steal millions of dollars from victims financial crimes that were about to be exposed by the civil case against him. And that's why prosecutors argued alec killed his wife and son. He believed their death would make him a sympathetic defendant, deflect attention away from his financial crimes, and perhaps derail the civil case entirely.


Ellie's real skill as an attorney was not the. Academic side or the preparation side. But what he did understand was the emotion of a case. He understood the sympathy factor.


If prosecutors thought evidence of Murdoch's financial crimes would provide a motive, they counted on their last witness to prove opportunity.


Special Agent Peter Rudofsky.


That's let special agent Peter Rudofsky unveiled a digital tour de force. Using cell phone activity and GPS data, he built a timeline of the night of the murders. It showed Alec had time to kill and to get rid of guns and clothes.


How long you been working on this document right here?


Roughly about a year. On this document. I think the biggest thing that the timeline did for the jury was to show that at 849, maggie and Paul stopped operations on their phone. It was just that AHA, moment of yes. Now we know that this is when they died.


But when the trial began, rudolfsky's timeline was missing some key information. Then, halfway through, General Motors finally handed over long awaited digital data from Alex Suburban. Rudofsky had just one weekend to make sense of it all.


I don't get it. Until around 07:00 on Saturday. But by the next morning, we had everything plotted and ready to go to the defense. Ready to go to AG's office.


You pulled an old school all nighter?


That is correct.


The data showed how fast Alec was driving that night. When he passed the side of the road where Maggie's phone was found, he was going 42 mph, slow enough to throw it out the window after passing.


That location, as the defendant's vehicle start.


To accelerate it does.


The Suburban sped up to 74 miles an hour, reaching his mom's home at 09:22 p.m.. He stayed there 21 minutes, long enough to establish an alibi and perhaps discard evidence. He then sped back to Mosele, reaching 80 mph. Those high speeds got Rudovsky's attention. Was it a sign Alec was frantic after committing the murders?


Why were you going so fast if you didn't know something occurred and it's just a normal visit to your mom's house? Because during the day earlier, he didn't reach those speeds. I think he reached a max of 60. Coming back from the office and going to the office, that was a red flag.


Please hurry.


We're getting somebody out there to you.


Alec called 911 just 17 seconds after he arrived back at the kennels. That didn't give him enough time to check the bodies, as he said he did before placing the call. With that, the prosecution rested. And now it was the defense's turn to make its case, which it would do by going on the attack against SLED's investigation and presenting an unforgettable wit. Attorney Alec Murdoch was now defendant Alec Murdoch, his defense resting in the hands of two lawyers with decades of trial experience. Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlia.


This is Alec Murdoch. And Alec was the loving father of Paul and the loving husband of Maggie he left, came back and found his wife and child dead. He doesn't know who did it. He didn't do it.


He is presumed innocent.


Much of the defense's case consisted of attacking SLED's investigation.


Should the police be walking through the scene?




Do we know what other evidence they may have destroyed?


I have no idea.


That's right, we don't.


Special Agent David Owen's work was also criticized by the defense.


And you never searched the Almeida property for any signs of murder evidence, guns, bloody clothes or anything until well after sometime in mid to late September, is that correct? That is correct.


Owen had been consumed by this case for nearly two years and was also dealing with his own personal tragedy.


My mother passed away the day I was set to testify. I took that afternoon to collect myself and think about how we're going to proceed. She actually was admitted to the hospital with double pneumonia the day the trial started. And I told her, I said, these are going to be long days. And she said, don't worry about coming to see me. I know what you have to do.


That meant explaining and defending SLED's actions during cross examination, including the fact that the two different guns used to kill Maggie and Paul had never been found.


No murder weapons were found in the residence, is that correct? That is correct. And no murder weapons were found on the property at Moselle. Is that correct? That is correct. Sled failed miserably in investigating this case, and had they done a competent job, alec would have been excluded.


When you would hear the defense all but say sled bungled this case from the beginning, they mishandled the crime scene. These bungling idiots couldn't solve anything.


It does get aggravating to hear that, but that's defense 101. Attack the investigation, attack the crime scene. Let's tell the world they screwed it up. They got it wrong.


Of course, what people probably remember most about this case is Alec Murdoch's. Two days on the witness stand.


I am going to testify. I want to testify.


This was his community, this was his circuit. I felt that he would be convinced in his ability to sort of lean forward and look those jurors in the eye and convince them, much as he had done in many a closing argument.


I would never hurt Maggie and I would never hurt Paul, ever, under any circumstances.


Get back.


Get back.


But how would he explain away the cell phone video that placed him at the kennels with Bubba just moments before Paul and Maggie were shot?


Were you in fact at the kennels at 08:44 P.m. On the night Maggie and Paul were murdered?


I was.


Did you lie to sled Agent Owen and Deputy Laura Rutland on the night of June 7?


I did lie to them.


So why did he lie? He said his addiction to painkillers was.


The reason I wasn't thinking clearly. I don't think I was capable of reason, and I lied about being down there, and I'm so sorry that I did. Oh, what a tangled web we weave.


The first time I ever heard him say that he was on that kennel video was when he got up on the stand.


The video was damning.


The video was damning. And I think also what was damning was he was lying about lying, and I think the jury saw that.


When the time came for waters to cross examine Alec, he knew the eyes of the world were watching. Did you watch or read any of the coverage or the analysis during the trial?


Not really. There's going to be a lot of criticism, but you just can't let that get off your game. I still get to look at those jurors in the eyes. This is a south Carolina jury, a south Carolina case. It's not hollywood. And you've been able to lie quickly and easily and convincingly if you think it'll save your skin for well over a decade. Isn't that true?


I have lied well over a decade.


I kind of wanted him to continue to perfect his lie in front of the jury and for them to watch him lie in real time and sort of work on that, which is why I let him answer a lot of questions. Mr. Murdoch, are you a family annihilator?


A family annihilator? You mean like did I shoot my wife and my son?






Nothing further.


Do you think putting him on the stand hurt their case?


Yeah, I don't think it helped it.


After six weeks of trial, the case went to the jury. Defendant will rise. Less than 3 hours later, a verdict.


Guilty verdict.


The next day, in the very courtroom where his father, grandfather, and great grandfather had prosecuted cases before him, alec Murdoch was sentenced for killing his wife and son. I sentenced you for term for the rest of your natural life. Judge Clifton Newman, who has served on the bench for more than 20 years, had a question for Alec about something he said on the stand. Over tangle web we weave what did you mean by that.


Meant when I lied, I continue to lie.


And the question is, when will it end? A once charmed life now would be spent behind bars. Or would it? Turns out the Alec Murdoch saga is far from over.


The conduct that the jurors have reported to us is highly improper and frankly, illegal.


Why did you kill your the trial had been a national spectacle, with viewers in south Carolina and around the country tuning in to watch Alec Murdoch meet his fate. The result of all that coverage? Unexpected fame for some of the players, including the investigators.


I was in costco last week, and as I'm checking out, one of the clerks says, you look familiar. Are you on TV? And I said, no, I'm not on TV. And they said, well, you look just like the guy from the Alec Murdoch case. Busted.


Prosecutor Creighton waters had his likeness created in yarn. You've got women making crocheted dolls of you celebrity.


I'm in minute 14 and 45 seconds of the 15.


After the verdict, I sat down with three jurors James McDowell, Amy Williams and Gwyneth Janerette.


Truth and nothing but the truth.


While they found the testimony about Alex's timeline and financial schemes compelling, they also paid close attention to his performance on the stand.


You could feel him lying. You could feel him making these emotions and turning it on and off. He would go through a know, he'd just be sobbing and then he'd just be done.


He didn't believe the tears.


He didn't have any tears.


Alec Murdoch appealed his conviction, and then in September, his attorneys dropped a bomb. They filed a motion declaring Alec should receive a new trial because the jury had been tampered with.


What we had filed today, supported by sworn testimony of jurors, is that the clerk of court had improper private communications with the jurors.


The tampering accusations stem from alleged conduct by the clerk of court, Becky Hill. According to Alex attorneys, some jurors stated that during the trial, the clerk told them not to be fooled by evidence presented by the defense. One juror also said they felt pressured by her to reach a quick guilty verdict. The clerk, Becky Hill, denied all allegations in the state's reply. Ten jurors submitted statements saying they were not pressured into a decision by Becky Hill.


All I can say is that we filed a very strong motion in rebuttal to what they said, and it tells a very different story. We're going to defend the trial, we're going to defend our work product, and we're going to defend the hard work of the men and women in law enforcement who help us get this conviction.


The motion has yet to be ruled on by the court. The defense also asked that judge Clifton Newman be removed from matters related to the murder case, saying he may be called to testify about the alleged jury tampering. They also cited this today show interview the judge did with me after the verdict, where, according to Alec's lawyers, he expressed his personal belief that Alec committed murder. You think that he'll be haunted by his wife and son?




I think so. I cannot imagine him having a peaceful night knowing what he did. I'm sure if he had an opportunity to do it over again, he'd never do it. He was driven by whatever caused him to do what he did, and he had a whole lot going on. Yesterday, judge Newman recused himself from the murder case, but he was presiding in court earlier today when Alec reached a plea deal for the state grand jury's financial crimes.


I plead guilty, your honor.


He'll be sentenced for those later this month. While the courtroom drama in the Murdoch case continues the team who put him away says they stand by their investigation.


My brother calls me up, and he tells me that he's sitting in a restaurant and he overhears someone, say, I never dreamed that this guy would get convicted of murdering his wife and son. I just thought he was above the law. And then they said, this case has renewed my faith in South Carolina's criminal justice system. And I said, man, that is probably the best compliment I could ever get.


We try to let our actions speak for us, and we have very smart people that speak for us in those positions. I stand by what we did. I stand by our investigation, and I'm glad that we're getting a chance to kind of stand up for ourselves.


You seem to get a little choked up sometimes when you talk about the agency and you talk about the men and women who work for you. Why?


Well, again, I've been doing this a long time, and being sled chief is a very humbling experience. I get letters every day. I get calls from sheriffs, chiefs, prosecutors, talking about the work that our folks do, and they don't get enough credit.


Life in Hampton County is starting to return to normal after the tempest of the last few years. But for Blanca Turbiate Simpson, life will never be the same.


I don't think I will ever get that comfortable with anybody again.


What made the Murdoch so special?


They treated me like family.


She does, however, have a piece of that family with her. Where is Bubba?


He's at home.


With you?


With me.


And Blanca takes care of something else, too. Maggie and Paul's Graves.


I was just at the cemetery yesterday cleaning it up, making sure her grave's clean, see if they needed flowers so that I can go back and put some down.


Even in death, you're still taking care of her.




I know it's just a graveside, but it's the only place Bubba and I can go where we can go visit.


That's all for now.


I'm Lester Holt. Thanks for joining us.


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