A calm and collected Alex Murdaugh called 911 claiming he was shot as he fixed a broken tire — but police say it was an elaborate plot to collect a multi-million dollar life insurance policy.
The 911 calls after his alleged assisted suicide attempt was released by state investigators on Oct. 22.
The shooting is part of the ongoing twists and turns in the South Carolina case involving the Murdaugh family. It’s a story of a young coed killed in a boat crash, a double murder and stolen money from a death settlement.
In early September, Murdaugh called 911 and said he was in Hampton County, South Carolina when he stopped to change a flat tire. When he turned his back on the suspect, he was shot.
“I’m bleeding pretty bad,” Murdaugh told the 911 operator.
Murdaugh spoke softly, but in a calm manner, during the duration of the call as dispatchers asked what happened and his location.
“I’m not sure somewhere on my head,” Murdaugh said when asked where he was shot.
Murdaugh reported that a couple of passerbyers stopped and gave him a ride to the hospital. Murdaugh told the dispatchers his location as they tried to get EMS and first responders to meet them along the route.
While Murdaugh reported he was shot, investigators with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said it was part of a plot to collect an insurance payout.
Allegedly Alex Murdaugh and another man, Curtis Smith, conspired for Smith to help Alex Murdaugh commit suicide. The plan was to allow Alex Murdaugh’s oldest son to collect $10 million in life insurance money. Both Alex Murdaugh and Smith were criminally charged in connection to the suicide attempt.
The allegations were a black eye for the Murdaugh family, once one of South Carolina, most prominent, has been embroiled in controversy and legal issues for years.
The family’s public persona started to unravel when Paul Murdaugh was charged in connection to a fatal boat crash in 2019. Investigators say he was behind the wheel of a boat drunk when it hit an embankment.
The boat was filled with college students and Mallory Beach, 19, was tossed from the vessel and killed.
Paul Murdaugh wasn’t immediately arrested, which led some to cry favoritism for the family. The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office filed charges months after the boat crash.
The charges were active when in June 2021, Alex Murdaugh called 911 to say his wife, Maggie, and his son, Paul, were shot at the family’s hunting lodge. Paul and Maggie’s deaths were classified as homicides, though police have yet to make any arrests in the case.
That double-murder led the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to investigate the killings. Some have wondered if the murders were ties to the boat crash. As police investigated, they unraveled a web of related cases, a trail of dead bodies and just as many questions.
As agents were handling the Murdaugh murders, police announced they were reopening the investigation of Stephen Smith’s death. He was found dead near the Murdaugh’s property in 2015. Smith’s death was initially called a hit-and-run, and there have been no arrests. Smith’s mom said she believed her son, who was gay, was murdered.
In 2018, Gloria Satterfield worked as a housekeeper for the Murdaughs. She died after a fall in the Murdaugh’s home. Recently, state investigators said they were relaunching an investigation into her death.
Then, after the double murder, Alex Murdaugh resigned from his law firm amid allegations of embezzled money. Again, state investigators said they were looking into those allegations as a criminal manner.
Earlier this month, a new settlement was announced in the civil suit over Satterfield's death. The settlement paid her family about $4.3 million.
But, included were accusations that a previous settlement was both never paid out and a document never filed with the court.
Alex Murdaugh was charged on Oct. 14 in connection to the allegations of misused money in the Satterfield case.