The Strangest Items From Alex Murdaugh's Property Auction

On March 3, 2023, former lawyer Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of his wife and son, Maggie, 52, and Paul, 22. Murdaugh had attempted to sway the jury by taking the stand in his own defense a mere 10 days earlier, but the plot — much like the plot to murder his family in June 2021 — backfired. Following the jury's verdict, Judge Clifton Newman delivered his sentence to Murdaugh, who stood there dead-eyed and maintaining his innocence as he had done the entire trial. "Over the past century, your family — including you — have been prosecuting people here in this courtroom," The New York Times quotes Judge Newman, "many have received the death penalty, probably for lesser conduct." Murdaugh's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all held the elected role of the 14th Judicial Circuit solicitor, or prosecuting attorney, from 1920 to 2006. 

In an attempt to pay legal fees for Murdaugh's trial — and also 2019's boating accident where Paul Murdaugh accidentally killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach – the Murdaugh family hunting lodge was put up for sale. WSAZ News Channel 3 says the South Carolinian 1,700-acre estate sold for $3.9 million. The sale included all of Murdaugh's possessions on the estate, which since went to auction and have been strip-mined for cash. As WYFF News 4 says, items included cups, picture frames, a popcorn maker, beer koozie, hunting equipment, and lots of kitsch.

Strip mining the murder site for cash

Greenville, North Carolina's WYFF News 4 states that hundreds of items from the Murdaugh estate went on sale starting March 23 at 4 p.m. at Liberty Auction in Pembroke, Georgia. A somewhat disturbing video of the auction hall from Twitter shows a flea market-like warehouse with loads of Murdaugh goods spread out over foldable tables, and tons of people milling around poking through it all. The tweet states that people drove to the auction from as far away as Virginia and Alabama. Another WYFF News 4 article quotes such individuals, one of whom stated, "I am actually in Charleston with my husband on business. I had the day off and thought I'd make the drive. It's a beautiful day out." Another auction-goer said, "My mom has been following the Murdaugh cases for the past four years or so, so we figured this would be a good wrap-up to the trial." 

In case any reader is thinking of heading to Pembroke to pick up some memorabilia once belonging to a convicted murderer, the auction is long done. WYFF News 4 says that it ended at 10:30 p.m. on the day it started, with every item sold. ABC News 4 lists several stand-out items and their sale prices: $1,300 for the popcorn machine we mentioned before, $400 for a Yeti cup, seven fake turtle shell lamps that went to different people and sold for $5,400 total, and a wall-mounted set of antlers for $10,000. 

Down to the last nail and penny

Twitter user Brooke Butler posted a bunch of additional videos from the day of the auction. The amount of the auctioned items is staggering: CDs, whicker baskets, old camouflage jackets, a box of nails, a few fanny packs, a junky chandelier, vases of various sizes, silverware, cupcake tins, stacks of decorated dishes, some hardcover books, tiny artificial Christmas trees, a fake Halloween pumpkin, and sneakers and baseball caps that — judging by the type and style — might have belonged to the murdered 22-year-old Paul. There's no telling the prices of each individual item, but like we said everything sold. ABC News 4 also describes two sofas and two recliner-and-ottoman sets selling for $30,000.

The most notable item from the auction might be its most unassuming: a framed piece of poetry written by Dale Wimbrow in 1934. All Poetry says that it's a slightly modified version of the original poem entitled "The Man in the Glass." At this point, it comes across as more than a bit eerie, in part reading, "When you get what you want in your struggle for self / And the world makes you king for a day / Just go to the mirror and look at yourself / And see what that man has to say." The poem also talks about folks calling the man in the mirror a wonderful guy and a (irony of ironies) "straight-shooting chum," but the person looking back might be fooling everyone.