Friends of slain South Carolina mother-of-two Maggie Murdaugh have broken their silence for the first time after her husband Alex was convicted of her brutal murder.
Caroline Price and Shellie West spoke to CBS’ 48 Hours about the 52-year-old as they said they want their longtime friend to be remembered for who she was – and not the victim of a heinous crime that she became.
Choking back tears, they described her as a “dutiful wife” to the man who later killed her and a “doting” mother to the couple’s sons Paul and Buster.
“She was a person, she was a mother, she was a sister, she was a friend, she was a daughter,” said Ms West.
“You know, she’s not ‘the wife that was murdered.’ I mean, we don’t want her to be remembered that way.”
Maggie became a household name across America back in the summer of 2021 when she and her son Paul, 22, were murdered on the affluent family’s 1,700-acre Moselle estate in Islandton, South Carolina.
It was the night of 7 June 2021 and the mother and son were at the dog kennels on the estate with Maggie’s husband and Paul’s father Alex Murdaugh.
Murdaugh – a powerful attorney and the heir to a prominent South Carolina legal dynasty – shot Paul twice with a shotgun and Maggie five times with a semiautomatic rifle in a gruesome attack.
The killer then called 911 claiming he had discovered his family’s bodies.
For 13 months, no arrests were made in the case – but their deaths catapulted a string of other scandals surrounding the family into the spotlight.
At the time of his death, Paul was awaiting trial for the 2019 boating death of his 19-year-old friend Mallory Beach.
Months on from the murders, it emerged that Murdaugh had stolen millions of dollars from his law firm PMPED and its clients and was hit with a string of charges.
He also wound up at the centre of a botched hitman plot – a plot that it later transpired Murdaugh had allegedly set up.
Finally, Murdaugh was charged with his wife and son’s murders in July 2022.
In his high-profile murder trial which ended earlier this month, he was convicted of all charges and sentenced to life in prison.
Throughout the trial, little was heard about his wife Maggie and the life she led prior to her untimely death – something that her two friends hoped to put right.
Ms Price and Ms West told CBS that they feel Maggie has been “absolutely” lost in the saga.
The three women first met in college when they all attended the University of South Carolina together. It was also here that Maggie met her future husband.
Ms Price said that she was Maggie’s “big sister” in the Kappa Delta sorority of which they were both members.
After they all graduated, Maggie and Ms West lived together.
All three stayed very close friends over the years and the two women were both part of Maggie’s wedding to Murdaugh.
While Murdaugh was “larger than life”, Maggie “’wasn’t flashy at all”, said Ms Price.
“In some ways she was shy,” she said.
Ms West said she wants people to know that their friend “was fun”.
“She had a personality, that she was witty. She loved things. She loved her family,” she said.
“She wasn’t the type of person that would stand out in a crowd, but she was always there, you know, to back everybody up.”
The friends described how she doted on Paul and Buster – Alex and Maggie’s surviving son – joking that she doted on them “almost too much”.
“She was a good mom. She doted on those boys – almost too much as they didn’t really even know how to wash their clothes,” said Ms Price.
“She did everything for them. And she loved them a lot. She was happy, proud and very loving.”
She added: “She loved her family. I mean, her boys. She was also very close to her parents and her sister.
“She was a dutiful wife, you know, supporting Alex…. She supported him.”
Maggie’s friends spoke out just days after Murdaugh’s attorneys filed a notice to appeal his conviction for his wife and son’s murders.
Following his conviction, the spotlight has now turned to some other mystery deaths tied to the Murdaugh family.
Days on from the murders, an investigation was reopened into the 2015 death of Stephen Smith, who was found dead in the middle of the road in Hampton County.
The openly gay 19-year-old had suffered blunt force trauma to the head and his death was officially ruled a hit-and-run. But Smith’s family have long doubted this version of events, with the Murdaugh name cropping up in several police tips and community rumours.
Smith’s mother Sandy Smith launched a GoFundMe this week to raise money for an exhumation and independent autopsy as she continues to fight for answers.
Meanwhile, an investigation is also still underway into the mystery death of the Murdaugh’s longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield.
She died in 2018 in a mystery trip and fall accident at the family home. Murdaugh then allegedly stole around $4m in a wrongful death settlement from her sons.