Convicted killer Alex Murdaugh has made a bombshell confession about the mysterious death of his family’s longtime housekeeper in 2018 – three years before he murdered his wife and son.
Gloria Satterfield died in February 2018 following a mysterious trip and fall at the Murdaugh family home on their 1,700-acre Moselle estate in South Carolina.
Satterfield, who worked for the family for more than 20 years, was found at the bottom of the steps leading into the family’s home.
She never resumed consciousness and died from her injuries three weeks later on 26 February.
At the time, Murdaugh claimed that she had tripped over the family’s dogs and hit her head, and her death was regarded as an accidental fall.
However, her death certificate cited her manner of death as “natural” and no autopsy was ever carried out.
Now, more than five years on, the disgraced legal scion has admitted to lying about a key detail about her death.
In new court documents, filed in federal court on Monday, Murdaugh admits that he “invented” the story that Satterfield tripped over the dogs – claiming he did so in order to ensure the life insurance company paid up.
“No dogs were involved in the fall of Gloria Satterfield on February 2, 2018,” the documents read.
“After Ms. Satterfield’s death, Defendant invented Ms. Satterfield’s purported 2 statement that dogs caused her fall to force his insurers to make a settlement payment, and he stated that she was not on the property to perform work.”
The court filings do not reveal what truly happened to Satterfield that day or why she was at the home if she wasn’t there to work.
The dramatic confession came as Murdaugh responded to a lawsuit brought by insurance company Nautilus, which is suing him for insurance fraud.
Nautilus paid out $4m in a wrongful death settlement over Satterfield’s death.
The money was supposed to go to Satterfield’s sons after Murdaugh claimed he would bring the wrongful death suit against himself on their behalf.
In reality, Murdaugh allegedly stole the settlement money for himself and the housekeeper’s sons didn’t get a dime.
Murdaugh is now charged with stealing $4m from Satterfield’s family as part of a decade-long multi-million-dollar fraud scheme where he stole millions from his law firm and legal clients.
In total, the convicted killer is awaiting trial on more than 100 financial crimes charges over his decade-long multi-million-dollar scheme – a scheme he confessed to orchestrating when he took the stand at his murder trial.
In Monday’s court filings, Murdaugh goes onto claim that Satterfield’s sons – his alleged fraud victims – should also be facing legal action from Nautilus because they have recovered more than $7.5m as a result of the wrongful death suit.
“If Nautilus never should have made any payment to the Satterfield estate and only attempted to do so because it was the victim of fraud, then the parties in possession of a recovery of the money allegedly stolen from Nautilus are necessary parties to an action by Nautilus for recovery of that money because (a) the ‘court cannot accord complete relief among [the] existing parties’ in their absence, and (b) those persons and entities ‘claim an interest relating to the subject of this action’ and their absence will ‘leave [existing parties] subject to a substantial risk of incurring double, multiple, or otherwise inconsistent obligations because of that interest,” he wrote.
Questions have been swirling around Satterfield’s death for the past few years as the string of deaths, stolen money and corruption surrounding Murdaugh came to light.
In September 2021, an investigation was reopened into her death and investigators said they planned to exhume her body.
This came just days after Murdaugh’s financial fraud scheme came to light and three months after the double murder of his wife Maggie and son Paul – who were shot to death on the same property where Satterfield had her fatal “fall”.
This March, Murdaugh was found guilty of the 7 June 2021 murders and was sentenced to life in prison.
At his high-profile trial, jurors heard how he was motivated to kill his family in a bid to distract from his financial crimes which were on the brink of exposure.
Satterfield’s death isn’t the only mystery deaths tied to the South Carolina legal dynasty.
A homicide investigation has also been opened into the 2015 death of Stephen Smith, who was found dead in the middle of a road in Hampton County.
The openly gay 19-year-old had suffered blunt force trauma to the head and his death was officially ruled a hit-and-run. But Smith’s family have long doubted this version of events, with the Murdaugh name cropping up in several police tips and community rumours.
At the time of his murder, Paul was also awaiting trial for the boat crash death of Mallory Beach.