Timeline, facts, opinions, theories. Did snapchat save the day?


Alex Murdaugh was just convicted to life in prison for killing his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and his son, Paul Murdaugh. The case of the South Carolina lawyer with a sketchy history became a fixation of millions. The trial brought out many things that were [purposefully] shoved under the rug. Here is some background: 

Paul Murdaugh was a bit of a troublesome person, and he also had a drinking problem. He was driving a boat that had a few people on it while intoxicated, resulting in the murder of one of the passengers, Mallory Beach. He was indicted and charged with “three felony accounts of boating under the influence, including boating under the influence resulting in death, which carries a penalty of up to 25 years in prison by South Carolina law. He pleaded not guilty.” He was awaiting trial at the time of his death. All charges were dropped after his homicide. (DeWitt)

Gloria Satterfield was a housekeeper and nanny of the Murdaugh family. She died in February of 2018 after allegedly slipping and falling down the stairs of the Murdaugh home. Her manner of death was ruled as “natural.” She also had been put on the Murdaugh’s life insurance plan. The Murdaughs were supposed to give her sons ~4 million dollars for compensation – the sons were unaware of this until the recent trial. 

Alex Murdaugh was accused of stealing more than 8.8 million dollars in a decade from a large number of alleged financial victims. In September of 2021 he resigned from his family’s law firm; he checked himself into rehab the day after being shot in the head off the highway. He also came to terms with his heavy opioid addiction. The bullet grazed his head, and he was ultimately okay. However, it turns out that Alex Murdaugh had paid his cousin to try and take his life so that his other son, Buster, could collect 10 million dollars in life insurance. This was 3 months after Maggie and Paul had been murdered. 

During the recent trial of the wealthy lawyer, he said he was at his mother’s house for 30-40 when Maggie and Paul had been murdered, and that he came home to find them dead by the dog kennels. However, his mother’s caregiver – Shelly Smith – said that Alex had only visited for 15-20 minutes, and the entire time he was fidgety and constantly checking his phone. Smith said that this was the latest he had ever visited (9-10 PM ish). He also came by at 6:30 am 3 days after the murders, and reiterated to Smith that he had been there for 30-40 minutes. Smith noted that he was wearing a clean T-shirt and shorts with no blood; however, recovered snapchats from Paul’s phone show his father in a dress shirt and long pants earlier. When the cops arrived, he was also in a clean shirt and shorts. This was weird, considering his family had been killed, which meant he did not go down to hug them or touch them at all after he discovered their bodies. 

When he visited at 6:30 am, Smith said he was carrying something blue – at first unclear about whether it was a tarp or a jacket. There was a rain jacket found at Alex’s parents’ house with gun residue, so it was crucial to find out whether Smith saw a tarp or a jacket. Ultimately, the defense held up the blue tarp found at Alex’s parents’ house and she confirmed that was what she had seen. 

Here is where snapchat saves the day. Once Maggie, Paul, and Alex were at the dog kennels, Paul sent a snapchat video to a friend at 8:44 PM. You can hear Paul in the background, meaning that he was at the kennels with Maggie and Paul. If the receiving person does not open the snapchat, you’re able to recover what they sent. The police were able to recover this video. After 8:49 PM, Paul and Maggie’s phones were never used again by them. This is the time where people believe Alex killed the two. Thanks to snapchat’s recovery function, the video was able to be recovered and proved that he was at the scene of the crime AT the time of the crime too. 

At 9:07 PM, Alex begins the 15 minute drive to his mother’s house. Transportation (there and back) took 30 minutes. He was there for about 15-20 minutes; meaning that this should have taken about 45-50 minutes. However, he only called the police at 10:07 PM. That means there is about 10-15 minutes of time where Alex could have moved or destroyed any evidence. 

Ultimately, Alex Murdaugh was convicted of life in prison for the murder of his wife and son. When the verdict was read, neither Alex nor Buster appeared emotional, even though Alex had been very emotional throughout the trial. 

One notable theory I have seen floating around is that Paul and Maggie had been murdered in front of Alex because he owed so many people great amounts of money, and that if he said anything, his and his other son’s life would be threatened. There is no way to confirm nor deny this theory. Please let me know what you think.

There are many too many other details of the trial to mention here, so I have all of my sources linked below. Additionally, there is a Netflix documentary about this and I’ve heard positive reviews on it. 



Murdaugh boat crash: Charges dropped against recently killed son 

Alex Murdaugh: Hot shot lawyer in failed ‘hit man suicide’ plot indicted – BBC News 

Alex Murdaugh was ‘fidgety’ when he visited his mother on night of Maggie and Paul’s murders | Daily Mail Online 

Alex Murdaugh resigns from law firm, checks into rehab after claims he stole money