Alex Murdaugh's Eerie Final Text To His Wife

Alex Murdaugh's final text to his wife was revealed at his trial: "Call me babe" — a common enough exchange for a married couple, perhaps, but that text was sent nearly an hour after Murdaugh's wife died on June 7, 2021, according to The Daily Beast. In 2023, Murdaugh was convicted of shooting and killing his wife and son, Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, on the Murdaugh family's rural South Carolina estate.

According to the prosecution, what motivated the crime was an attempt to cover up Murdaugh's substance abuse issue and his track record of financial malfeasance at the Murdaugh family law firm. Murdaugh confessed to financial crimes but pleaded not guilty to charges against him stemming from Maggie and Paul's death. Still, in March 2023, Murdaugh was convicted of double homicide and sentenced to life in prison.

Murdaugh's last text to his wife is just one element of the alibi he tried to build surrounding the deaths of his wife and son –- an alibi that he later admitted was fabricated. Once Maggie's phone was examined, it was confirmed that Murdaugh's last text to his wife was never read. Meanwhile, Maggie's phone yielded a trove of information crucial to the investigation. According to People, on the day of the murders, Maggie had been staying at a different home owned by the family and only went to the estate where she was killed at the urging of Alex who said his father was dying and convinced her to come to the family home. She went reluctantly, reportedly texting a friend that his behavior was "fishy," and said, "he's up to something." 

Murdaugh also called his wife's phone after she was killed

Final text aside, Maggie Murdaugh's cell phone proved an important piece of evidence. Her phone was in airplane mode when she was killed, but the device still recorded its location information indicating it was picked up repeatedly and moved some distance after she died, and that its orientation had also changed, according to Today. After the murders took place, someone seemed to have tried and failed to use its facial recognition function to unlock it.

After her death, Maggie's phone also received three unanswered calls from Alex Murdaugh before his last text arrived. In addition, Murdaugh made several other phone calls to those close to the family. Maggie's final, unread text from her husband was received 20 minutes before Murdaugh called 911 to report his wife and son were "not breathing," per The Daily Beast. WJCL published a timeline of all the phone transactions between Alex, Maggie, and Paul, that took place on the day of the killings, along with the phone's movements. In many ways, it seemed like a typical day, until about 8:50 p.m. when Paul and Maggie stop responding to any calls or messages. 

Murdaugh later said he was not at home when his wife and son were killed. According to Murdaugh, he was visiting his mother, who was ill. In light of all that, state prosecutor Creighton Waters said to the jury at Murdaugh's trial (via Daily Beast), "It's up to you to decide whether or not he was trying to manufacture an alibi."

Murdaugh confessed he lied

Although Alex Murdaugh denied he shot and killed his wife and son, Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, he admitted he lied about his whereabouts when they died, according to NPR. At first, Murdaugh said he ate dinner at the Murdaugh family estate, napped while his wife and son visited the dog kennel where they were later found dead, and then left to visit his mother. Murdaugh's car tracking data says it was at this mother's home for just a short time.

Besides Maggie's phone offering key bits of evidence contributing to Alex's conviction, Paul's phone also captured an audio recording of Alex's voice after he said he left the area. Alex blamed the fake alibi on addiction issues and paranoia. On the night Maggie and Paul died, Alex said, "I wasn't thinking clearly. I don't think I was capable of reason ... and I lied about being down there. And I'm so sorry that I did." He said once the lying began, "I had to keep lying," (via NPR). Alex also testified, "I would never do anything intentionally to hurt either one of them ... I did not shoot my wife or my son any time. Ever." 

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).