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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Andrea Cavallier

Alex Murdaugh planned a birthday party for his son Paul from jail 10 months after killing him, book claims

Maggie Murdaugh/Facebook

Alex Murdaugh allegedly planned a birthday party for his son Paul just 10 months after the disgraced lawyer gunned him down on their property in South Carolina.

Details of the alleged celebration were described in a new book Tangled Vines: Power, Privilege, and the Murdaugh Family Murders by John Glatt.

Mr Glatt noted in the book that the party was just one of the many efforts Murdaugh made to try and save his reputation and convince the public he did not kill his son and wife Maggie.

Mr Glatt told Court TV the information about the alleged party came from an anonymous journalist who filed a Freedom of Information request at the Alvin S Glenn Detention Center, where Murdaugh was jailed at the time.

Murdaugh had not yet been charged with Paul’s murder when the party was set to happen in April 2022, but was behind bars for a host of alleged financial crimes and insurance fraud charges for which he is still awaiting trial.

He made more than 200 calls, many of which were to his surviving son Buster, who had been given a list of specific people to invite to Paul’s 23rd birthday party on 14 April 2022.

In a call on the day of the party, Mr Glatt claims that Buster told his father not everyone on his list had been invited, but assured him that the party would be big and that word had spread on social media.

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

Buster can be heard in one of the recorded phone calls, according to the book, telling his father, “I think you’ll be happy to know that a bunch of those boys down in Charleston are all going tonight. It’s kind of like a commemorative thing.”

Murdaugh is allegedly heard on the call replying: “I appreciate you doing that very much. Did you get all of them that were on that list?”

“Not in its entirety,” Buster responded. “The ones that I didn’t get on the phone I texted, and people have been posting stuff on social media all day. So, everybody knows.”

The alleged party was meant to take place at Shem Creek Bar and Grill, a restaurant in Charleston Harbor. It’s not clear if an official party was held at the establishment, which has been operating under new ownership as of September 2022. A manager at the restaurant did not return The Independent’s call for comment on Monday.

Mr Glatt also wrote in his book that the jail calls revealed Murdaugh’s “obsession” with having his son leave flowers in his name for his wife Maggie on Mother’s Day.

Buster Murdaugh took the witness stand in his father’s murder trial
— (Law & Crime)

One of the calls allegedly included Murdaugh asking his sister-in-law Liz to push Buster to leave the flowers.

“Buster’s going to Hampton tomorrow to the cemetery,” he told her. “Make sure he takes flowers.”

He also reminded Buster himself to leave the flowers, adding, “And I want you to put some for me too. She’d like that.’

In March 2023, Murdaugh was convicted in the 7 June 2021 killings of his son Paul, 22, and his wife, Maggie, 52.

Their bodies were found by the dog kennels on his sprawling Hampton estate Moselle.

Buster stood by his father throughout his murder trial – attending each day of the court’s proceedings with his family members in a show of support.

He sat through brutal testimony revealing that Paul was shot twice with a 12-gauge shotgun while he stood in the feed room of the dog kennels on the affluent family’s 1,700-acre Moselle estate. The second shot to his head blew his brain almost entirely out of his skull.

Alex Murdaugh’s new mugshot after he was sentenced to life in prison
— (South Carolina Department of Corrections)

After killing Paul, prosecutors said Murdaugh then grabbed a .300 Blackout semiautomatic rifle and opened fire on Maggie as she tried to flee from her husband.

She was shot five times including twice in the head after she had fallen to her knees.

Buster also 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.

Following a dramatic and high-profile trial – in which Murdaugh confessed to lying about his alibi on the night of the murders – the disgraced legal scion was convicted in March of the murders.

Murdaugh is also facing more than 100 charges over a vast financial fraud scheme where he stole millions of dollars from law firm clients going back years.

He is also awaiting trial over a botched hitman plot where he allegedly paid an accomplice to shoot him by a Hampton County roadside.

Murdaugh is currently serving two life terms with no chance of parole at the maximum security McCormick Correctional Institution in South Carolina.

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