Editor’s note: Four phone numbers have been edited out of this video in the interest of privacy.
COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) – The first week of Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial came to a close Friday with talk of blood, guns and shell casings.
But Friday morning’s session started with video and audio not released before — a second interview with Alex Murdaugh about two hours after he found the bodies of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul.
Murdaugh is seen inside a vehicle with David Owen, an agent of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Det. Laura Rutland with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office and Danny Henderson, who he had introduced as his personal attorney.
“I hate to have to do this,” Owens said.
“I understand. I totally understand. So you don’t…have any problem with it,” Murdaugh replied.
“So just start to talk,” Owens said. “Take your time.”
“Like when I came back here? I mean, I pulled up and I could see them. And you know, I knew something was bad. I ran out. I knew it was really bad. My boy, over there, I could see it was —” Murdaugh started to sob, “and I could see his brain. And I ran over to Maggie and actually. I think I tried to turn Paul over first. You know, I tried to turn him over. And I don’t know, I figured it out.”
Murdaugh told law enforcement he touched Paul’s phone as well as the bodies of Paul and Maggie. He went on to say that he called 911 “pretty much right away” and then called family members and friends.
Murdaugh explained that he went to check on his mother, who has late-stage Alzheimers, and had attempted to call and text his wife with no response.
“Maggie’s a dog lover, she fools with the dogs and I knew she’d gone to the kennel,” he said.
The dog kennel, on the family’s Moselle hunting property, is where Murdaugh said he found his wife and son’s bodies.
Murdaugh said when he got back home from visiting his mother, no one was home.
Owen asked if the family had any trespassers, any problems or any people breaking in.
“What comes to my mind is my son Paul was in a boat wreck a couple years ago,” Murdaugh replied. “You know, he was charged with being — arrested for being the driver. There’s been a lot of negative publicity about that. And there’s been a lot of people online, just really vile stuff.”
Murdaugh said Paul had been punched, hit and attacked “a lot.”
“But I mean, nothing like this,” he added.
Owens asked if there was anyone law enforcement should speak with that night. Murdaugh suggested CB Rowe, a groundkeeper for Moselle.
Murdaugh said he just hired Rowe, who got along well with Paul. But one story Rowe told Paul was “freaky.”
“When [Rowe] was in high school, he got in a fight with some Black guys,” Murdaugh relayed. “And FBI undercover team observed him fighting those guys and put him on an undercover team with three Navy Seals and their job was to kill radical Black Panthers and they did that from Myrtle Beach to Savannah.”
He added: “Now I don’t really think this guy, you know, is probably the person. But that’s just so freaky.”
Rowe had been off that day to take his father to the doctor, Murdaugh said. He mentioned he briefly spoke with him about some sunflowers that had been destroyed on the property.
Rowe had been hired about eight weeks ago, Murdaugh added.
Referring back to the boat crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach, Owens asked if anyone had threatened Paul.
“I don’t know of any direct threats between any of the people on the boat specifically, but I do think there’s been a small amount of yip-yap between a couple of them, but not recently,” Murdaugh explained. “Most of this was stuff from people Paul didn’t really know.”
Murdaugh was asked about weapons on the property and whether guns were stored near the dog kennel.
“We don’t store them but they’re frequently out here,” Murdaugh said.
“I know there was a 12 gauge shotgun out here. I’d have to find out exactly when that was,” he added. “Think it got put up but I’m not positive.”
Owens asked if it was unusual for Maggie to be out with the dogs.
“Oh no, I mean she played with those dogs every — all the time,” Murdaugh said. “And it was especially common for her to, you know, she’s been gone for a while to come and let, especially two of them, to come out to run.”
Murdaugh then described what he had been doing before he found Paul and Maggie. He said he took a nap, maybe 25 to 30 minutes, then called Maggie before going to visit his mom.
“She’s very good about answering the phone or calling me back, so that was odd, but it wasn’t that big a deal,” Murdaugh said.
Owens asked what time Murdaugh texted Maggie and some other follow-up questions.
Before Murdaugh left the vehicle, he received a call that his other son, Buster, had arrived. He started to sob on the call.
Owens explained that law enforcement would be on the scene for a while.
Murdaugh’s trial will resume next week. Follow WSAV’s team coverage at wsav.com/Murdaugh.