What Happened To The Murdaugh Murder Home?

The Murdaugh murder case saw the downfall of Alex Murdaugh, a wealthy attorney whose porcelain world of privilege came crashing down following a horrific act of violence. He came from a dynasty of lawyers who wielded great power in South Carolina over the last century. However, more than once the attorney and his family have wound up on the wrong side of the law.

Alex was found guilty of murdering his wife and son in 2023, and he has been implicated in a whole host of other troubling events as well. He is still being investigated regarding the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of his housekeeper for example, and after his conviction for murder, the former attorney also pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and fraud, totaling over $7 million. His murdered son, Paul Murdaugh, also had a brush with the law, having been involved in the accidental killing of a 19-year-old girl while boating under the influence.

Following his arrest, the sprawling Murdaugh hunting estate and site of the family murders came to pique public interest due to its size and grandeur. According to The Guardian, so great was the shadow cast by the family that many people in the region referred to the area as "Murdaugh country." The huge property and its grounds have since been sold off for a princely sum, along with many of the Murdaugh family's personal effects.

The Murdaugh Estate

The Murdaugh murders took place at the kennels of Alex Murdaugh's vast hunting estate and lodge, a 1,770 piece of land adjoining his main home, 4147 Moselle (per Home Beautiful). The estate includes a log cabin where Paul had been living prior to his murder. Both Alex's wife and son were shot multiple times at the kennels with several different hunting weapons. Alex was later identified as the culprit when cellphone data and his son's Snapchat placed him at the scene of the crime, contrary to his testimony.

Following Alex's arrest in September 2021, the property was put up for sale in February 2022 by the Crosby Land Company, who advertised the estate as a vast forested area with 2.5 miles of river frontage, numerous outbuildings, and a four-bedroom lodge capable of housing up to 15 people. Designed for hunting, the estate is home to numerous deer and turkeys, as well as two manmade waterfowl impoundments created to attract wildlife. Even with the terrible murders that took place at the lodge, the property sold just over a year after it was listed. According to CBS News, the new owners — James A. Ayer and Jeffrey L. Godley — paid just over $3.9 million for the privilege.

Proceeds of the sale

Although the Murdaugh estate sold for a hefty price tag, it won't be making Alex Murdaugh's surviving son, Buster Murdaugh, a millionaire (via CBS News). Most of the proceeds from the sale of the estate will go to victims of a boat crash involving Buster's brother, Paul. Paul had been drinking shortly before steering the vessel, and his reckless driving threw Mallory Beach into the water. The young girl did not survive the accident, but Paul was murdered by his father before ever standing trial.

Greenville News reported that $2.686 million from the sale will go to Beach's family, Morgan Doughty, and Miley Altman — all of whom were involved in the accident. Just $530,000 will go to Buster, and a further $12,305.28 will go to Alex's brother, John Marvin. The majority of the rest of the estate was absorbed by various legal expenses.

Furniture and other items from the house were also auctioned off at a public event that proved to be hugely popular. An estimated 3,000 people attended the sale, and many of the items sold for well over the regular price. The total amount raised by the auction and the fate of the money is unknown.

Jurors and experts visited the property

On March 1, 2023 — a day before Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of murdering his wife and son — jurors visited the Murdaugh murder home. After their visit, the Daily Mail says the judge allowed three journalists, a reporter, a photographer, and a videographer to follow. The footage (above) shows them exploring the estate and the outside of the home. "It is a heavy place to visit," the reporter said (via CNN). "The property has stood vacant for 20 months. Some items seem to be left where they fell, including a deflated football behind the kennels and a tube of sanitizing wipes in the shed." He later called it a "haunted place."

According to Greenville News, juror visits to crime scenes are fairly rare. "It permits a 3D appreciation for what has otherwise been a two-dimensional presentation in court," said defense attorney Steven Benjamin, who was not involved in the Murdaugh case. However, he noted that jurors are typically required to keep their thoughts to themselves throughout the process.