South Carolina investigators released a 911 call that reveals new chilling details about the death of Alex Murdaugh’s housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield in 2018.
The circumstances of Satterfield’s death have remained largely a mystery—but the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced in September that they planned to launch a new criminal investigation into the death after Hampton County Coroner Angela Topper questioned a number of “inconsistencies” in the account of how she died, according to a letter obtained by Oxygen.com that Topper wrote to investigators.
A recording of the 911 call placed on Feb. 2, 2018 by Maggie Murdaugh now reveals new details about the injury Satterfield suffered at the Murdaugh’s home.
Maggie—who was murdered earlier this year at the family’s Colleton County hunting property along with her youngest son Paul, 22—placed the call to 911 at 9:24 a.m. that morning to report that Satterfield had been injured on the property.
“My housekeeper has fallen and her head is bleeding,” Maggie said in the recording obtained by Oxygen.com. “I cannot get her up.”
Maggie told the dispatcher that Satterfield fell “going up” the eight brick steps outside their home.
“She’s on the ground,” Maggie said, before reporting that she was “not really” conscious but was awake.
When the dispatcher tried to clarify whether Satterfield is “responding appropriately,” an audible sigh can be heard before Maggie responded “Ma’am, no, she’s not responding.”
“I’ve already got them on the way. Me asking questions does not slow them down ma’am,” the dispatcher responded. “Knowing if she’s conscious is one of the things that the medic needs to know.”
Maggie then told the dispatcher that Satterfield is “not really” conscious but is “mumbling” and breathing.
“Are you guys able to control the bleeding,” the dispatcher asked.
“No, I haven’t even tried,” Maggie responded, before saying she’s “not sure” where the bleeding is coming from.
Maggie then asked to “get off this phone” so that she could “go back down there” and attend to Satterfield, who worked as the family’s housekeeper for years.
“Can you bring (the phone) with you so I can ask her some questions about what kind of pain she’s having,” the dispatcher asked.
Rather than responding, Maggie seemingly handed the phone over to an unidentified male member of the family who took over the phone call.
“Ma’am she can’t talk,” the male said, according to the recording. “She’s cracked her head and there’s blood on the concrete and she’s bleeding out of her left ear and out of her head.”
Ryan Alphin, the executive affairs director of SLED, declined to positively identify the male caller in the recording to Oxygen.com and said authorities would not be providing any additional information in connection to the recording.
It’s still not clear what condition Satterfield was in during the call as the male caller tells the dispatcher he tried to pick her up.
“I was holding her up and she told me to turn her loose…but then she fell back over,” he said.
The dispatcher attempts to get more information by asking the male whether he knows if Satterfield has ever had a stroke before, but the questions appear to frustrate him.
“Ma’am, can you stop asking me all these questions?” he said.
“I already have them on the way,” the dispatcher responded. “Me asking questions does not slow them down in any way. These are relevant questions I have to ask for the ambulance.”
The male then told the dispatcher that Satterfield has never had a stroke that he is aware of.
“She’s not unconscious, she’s just mumbling,” he said. “I believe she’s maybe hit her head and maybe has a concussion or something.”
The male provided the dispatcher with details about what the family’s home looks like and said that there would be a man waiting on the property in a green Ranger utility vehicle to direct the ambulance before the six-minute call ends.
Satterfield was brought to a local hospital, where she died weeks later.
“Ms. Satterfield later had a stroke, went into cardiac arrest, and died on Feb. 26, 2018,” investigators wrote in an arrest warrant in the case obtained earlier by Oxygen.com.
Eric Bland, an attorney representing Satterfield’s family, told CNN in October that the family was told that Satterfield had tripped over the family’s four dogs and hit her head.
The 911 call makes no mention of the family’s dogs.
Bland has said after Satterfield’s death Alex Murdaugh encouraged her two sons to file a wrongful death lawsuit against him, referring them to attorney Cory Fleming—who turned out to be a close friend of Alex’s.
Fleming worked to secure a $4.3 million settlement with the insurance company on behalf of Satterfield's sons but investigators said they were kept in the dark about the status of the case, according to the arrest warrants.
“The Satterfield family were never notified of the settlements nor received any of the proceeds from them, and the settlement agreement was not properly filed in the court record,” the warrants allege.
Instead, investigators have said Alex pocketed the money himself, depositing it into his own bank account.
Her family is now suing Murdaugh and has already reached a settlement agreement with Fleming and his law firm to pay the estate for the legal fees and expenses connected with the settlement along with an insurance settlement.
Alex was arrested by SLED and is facing two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses in connection with the alleged scheme.
The circumstances of Satterfield’s death were also called into question by the Hampton County Coroner, who requested SLED investigate the circumstances surrounding the housekeeper’s death in a letter dated Sept.15.
Topper said Satterfield’s death had not been reported to the coroner at the time and no autopsy was ever conducted.
“On the death certificate the manner of death was ruled ‘Natural,’ which is inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident,” she wrote in the letter.
In light of the “inconsistencies,” Topper requested the death be investigated.
An upcoming Oxygen special, "Alex Murdaugh. Death. Deception. Power," about Alex Murdaugh will premiere Sunday, December 12 at 8/7c on Oxygen.