Even veteran true-crime reporters are shocked by the surprising twists and turns in the Alex Murdaugh case.
“I’ve been doing this for such a long time and I have never worked on a story that is so multi-layered, with so many different players, and surprises and constant reveals,” veteran true crime reporter Troy Roberts said during a CrimeCon At Home panel that aired Friday.
Roberts is also at the helm of Oxygen’s upcoming special, “Alex Murdaugh: Death. Deception. Power,” premiering Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Roberts joined Matt Harris and Seton Tucker, the hosts of the podcast “The Murdaugh Family Murders: Impact of Influence” to delve into the most compelling aspects of the case with Oxygen.com’s Stephanie Gomulka.
The investigation earned national attention in June after Murdaugh’s wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, were found shot to death at the family’s South Carolina home. As the case unfolded in the months to come, investigators would discover more mysterious deaths connected to the powerful family, allegations of drug abuse and Murdaugh’s own alleged attempt to arrange his own death as his personal and professional life began to crumble.
As Roberts described it, he’s nearly “gotten whiplash” every time a new element of the case is uncovered—whether it’s Paul’s earlier arrest for a 2019 boat crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach, the circumstances surrounding the death of the family’s longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield at the family's home in 2018, or allegations from Murdaugh’s own former law firm that Murdaugh had secretly been stealing money from the firm and his clients for his own personal use.
“It’s fascinating,” Roberts said.
As a reporter, Roberts said the case has been “frustrating” because law enforcement officials and the district attorney’s office have been generally “tight-lipped” as the investigation continues.
The Murdaughs' influence within the low-country community has added another level of complexity, because, although many are familiar with the Murdaugh name, few have wanted to speak on the record about what they know.
For generations, Murdaugh men had been elected to serve as prosecutors in the region while also working at the family’s own prestigious law firm.
“This is a legal dynasty that was a force of nature,” Roberts said. “These people were formidable, they were powerful, they were very wealthy and consequently folks in that area were reluctant to talk about them.”
Tucker, who grew up in the area, said she first began following the case after Beach was killed in a boating accident in 2019. Paul was allegedly operating the vessel while drunk and was charged with multiple felonies, including boating under the influence. He had pleaded not guilty and the case against him was pending when he and his mother were fatally shot in June. Tucker then decided to partner with Harris to explore the twists and turns of the case in a podcast.
Although many aspects of the case remain a mystery, Roberts said his new special will include interviews from people in the community and those close to the central players in the case.
“This has been a tremendous undertaking,” he said. “We’ve been digging at this for close to five months now.”
Watch “Alex Murdaugh: Death. Deception. Power,” premiering Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, on Oxygen.
CrimeCon At Home is produced by Red Seat Ventures and presented by Oxygen.