‘We’re coming towards the end:’ Attorney weighs in on unsolved Murdaugh murders

Power, money and multiple deaths connected to SC family
We sat down with Eric Bland, the attorney for the family of Alex Murdaugh's former housekeeper, to talk about Murdaugh and the ongoing mystery surrounding him
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 11:08 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2022 at 11:17 AM EDT
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Tuesday marked one year since Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were found executed at their Moselle hunting lodge. Their slayings set off a chain of subsequent investigations into crimes connected to the prominent Lowcountry family.

To date, no one has been charged for killing Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, who were shot to death multiple times near dog kennels on the 1,700-acre property. However, Alex Murdaugh, who made the 911 call reporting his wife and son’s homicides, is considered a person of interest in the investigation.

FOX Carolina reached out to the State Law Enforcement Division multiple times this week for a statement or update on the unsolved double homicide, but didn’t receive a response.

Attorney Eric Bland, who spoke with FOX Carolina’s Cody Alcorn on Tuesday night, said he believes answers will come soon in the investigation.

“I think we’re coming towards the end on the Paul and Maggie situation,” Bland said. “You can feel the intensity increasing.”

Bland says investigators are rightfully taking their time as they piece together what happened on June 7 last year.

“He is confined, he can’t cause any damage,” Bland said of Alex Murdaugh, who remains in jail without bond on unrelated indictments. “It may not be proceeding as fast as the public would like, but if you look back it’s really only been seven or eight months since September and in that time period we’ve uncovered almost all of the fraud that has taken place.”

A total of 15 state grand jury indictments list 79 charges against Alex Murdaugh, who is accused of defrauding victims of nearly $8.5 million, many of whom were clients of his former law firm.

Alex Murdaugh
Alex Murdaugh(Gray)

Bland said he believes the Murdaugh case is also changing the judicial system in South Carolina for the better, with more cases being handled on court record and law firms paying closer attention to where funds are being distributed.

“So much good is going to come from these cases,” he said. “Once we can get out of the bramble bush, I think our justice system will be better for it. It’s definitely being stressed. It’s definitely being tested.”

The investigation into the Murdaughs also reignited interest in other death investigations, including 19-year-old Stephen Smith whose body was found on Sandy Run Road in Hampton County in July 2015. There have been disputes, even among law enforcement, about how Smith died. SLED reopened the case in connection with the ongoing Murdaugh investigation.

New audio and video released in 2015 death of Stephen Smith
New audio and video released in 2015 death of Stephen Smith

SLED has also requested to exhume the body of the Murdaugh family’s longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. She died in 2018 after a fall at the family’s home.

Satterfield’s sons say Alex Murdaugh advised them to file a wrongful death lawsuit against him to make sure they were taken care of financially. The two men say they’ve never received money from a settlement reached in the case.

In a recent court filing, Alex Murdaugh admitted to owing Satterfield’s sons more than $4 million. Bland represents Satterfield’s sons and recently was retained in another case where crash victims allege Murdaugh stole money from them.

The court documents say Gloria Satterfield’s heirs should’ve received about $2.8 million after...
The court documents say Gloria Satterfield’s heirs should’ve received about $2.8 million after other fees were deducted but they “were not paid a dime.”(WIS TV)

“What you end up having is a true Ponzi scheme when money is due from one one party or to another party, they would take it from different accounts,” Bland said. “From a financial standpoint we know about 90 percent of what happened. We don’t know where money went... We don’t know if it went to purchase drugs, purchase property or possibly distribute drugs or any other illegal issues.”

Alex Murdaugh admitted to battling opioid addiction after investigators say he hired a man to shoot him in a plot for his surviving son Buster to receive his life insurance money last year.

“I think SLED and the FBI have a real good handle on that,” Bland said.