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Where is Buster Murdaugh? What we know about Alex’s last surviving son

Buster Murdaugh stood by his father throughout his trial for the murders of his brother and mother

Rachel Sharp
Monday 01 April 2024 18:40
Buster Murdaugh gives first TV interview denying involvement in Smith homicide

Buster Murdaugh grew up in a life of privilege, as the son of a long line of powerful attorneys and prosecutors in the Lowcountry.

He enjoyed an affluent upbringing, living on a huge 1,700-acre estate with his mother Maggie, father Alex and younger brother Paul in Islandton, South Carolina.

They spent weekends and holidays at their second home in Edisto Beach and took trips out on the family boat.

But then, his family life fell apart.

On 7 June 2021, he lost his mother Maggie and brother Paul when they were brutally murdered on their Moselle estate.

Less than two years later, he then lost his father too when he was found guilty in their slayings and sentenced to life in prison.

Here’s what we know about Buster Murdaugh:

Buster Murdaugh is the eldest – and now only surviving – son of Maggie and Alex Murdaugh.

The 29-year-old stood by his father throughout the growing number of allegations against him – even after his arrest for the murders of his brother and mother.

Even during the high-profile murder trial, Buster stood by his father, attending each day of the court’s proceedings with his family members.

Buster also took the stand and testified in his father’s defence saying that Murdaugh had been “destroyed” and “heartbroken” in the aftermath of the deaths of his mother and brother.

But Buster’s apparently bad behaviour cropped up in the courtroom.

During one day of the trial, Buster appeared to “flip the bird” at attorney Mark Tinsley as he took the witness stand about the boat crash lawsuit that he brought against his father.

Buster Murdaugh in court at his father’s murder trial (AP)

Judge Clifton Newman reportedly issued multiple warnings to several members of the Murdaugh family about their behaviour in court and they were moved to the back of the courtroom.

Sources told FITS News that when Buster was asked to move to the back of the courtroom, he allegedly kicked over a water bottle in anger. The judge warned that he and other family members could be removed from court altogether.

When the guilty verdict was read out, Buster showed no emotion inside the courtroom.

Since his father’s conviction, he has given only one interview to the media.

In an interview for the three-part FOX Nation documentary The Fall of the House of Murdaugh, Buster insisted that he still believed his father was innocent of the murders.

“No, because I think that I hold a very unique perspective that nobody else in that courtroom ever held. And I know the love that I have witnessed,” he said.

But despite continuing to insist on his father’s innocence even now, Buster did not deny that his father may be a psychopath.

“I’m not prepared to sit here and say that it encompasses him as a whole, but I certainly think there are characteristics where you look at the manipulation and the lies and the carrying out of that such, and I think that’s a fair assessment,” he said.

When asked if he worries he might be like his father, Buster also had some harsh words for his father’s character.

Buster, Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh left to right (Maggie Murdaugh/Facebook)

“No, I do not worry, because I am not a thief. I am not a liar. I’m not a manipulator,” he said.

“In those regards, I am nothing like him, but, in other regards, I believe that I do hold some of his more admirable traits, which I am quite proud of.”

Buster himself has been the source of rumours that he too could have been involved in a heinous murder – that of 19-year-old Stephen Smith in July 2015.

Smith, an openly gay nursing student, was found dead on a road in Hampton County in the early hours of 8 July 2015 – not far from the prominent Murdaugh family’s estate.

Despite Smith suffering blunt force trauma to the head and there being no skid marks or vehicular debris on the road, officials ruled his death a hit-and-run at the time.

Smith’s mother long questioned this official account and, for years, the Murdaugh name continued to crop up in connection to the case.

Buster and Smith were classmates and there were unsubstantiated rumours that the two had been in some sort of relationship around the time of his death.

Smith’s mother Sandy Smith named Buster as the prime suspect in her son’s murder in a letter begging the FBI to get involved in the case back in 2016.

In June 2021 – mere days after Maggie and Paul’s murders – SLED announced that it was opening a new investigation into Smith’s death.

In April 2023, the agency then finally announced that Smith’s death was being investigated as a homicide and his body was exhumed for a private autopsy.

Buster Murdaugh arrives at court for his father’s sentencing for murder in March 2023 (AP)

No one has ever been charged over Smith’s death and law enforcement has never accused Buster of having any connection to the death.

Buster hit out at the rampant speculation in the interview with FOX Nation and also offered an alibi for his whereabouts on the night the teenager was killed.

“I never had anything to do with his murder, and I never had anything to do with him on a physical level in any regard,” he said.

He added that it was “a terrible thing” to be accused of.

“I don’t want to be rude here, but have you ever been accused of murdering somebody?” he asked.

“Well, let me tell you, this is very, very, very, very, very, it’s a terrible thing to place on somebody with absolutely no fact. I mean, it has harmed my reputation. I mean, people perceive me as a murderer.”

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