Maggie Murdaugh was ‘fun, witty’, and devoted to her husband Alex and sons, her friends said on Thursday – speaking out for the first time after Alex was convicted of her murder.
The 52-year-old mother of two was found dead on June 7, 2021 at the family property in South Carolina. Alex was convicted on March 2 of her murder and that of their youngest son, Paul, 22.
On Thursday another element of the sprawling case was brought into focus, when a GoFundMe to exhume another young man connected to the family reached its target.
Maggie Murdaugh is seen with her husband Alex and sons Buster (right) and Paul (left). Paul was shot dead beside her in June 2021
A GoFundMe for Stephen Smith, who died in 2015, has surpassed its target. Buster Murdaugh’s name has long been linked to Smith’s
Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old nursing student, died in July 2015 under mysterious circumstances. The death was ruled a hit-and-run, but the coroner told the state police investigator he disagreed with the autopsy findings. Smith’s family believe he was murdered.
Buster Murdaugh, the eldest son of Alex and Maggie, now 26, was long believed to be somehow connected to Smith’s death. More than half of the people interviewed during the investigation mentioned hearing about rumors of Buster Murdaugh’s possible involvement in Smith’s death. However, Buster was never brought in for questioning.
Smith’s family are hoping now to reassess the case and seek ‘a new, unbiased look at his body and an accurate determination of his cause of death based on facts,’ his mother Sandy wrote on the GoFundMe site.
As of Thursday night, it had raised $40,000 – far exceeding the $15,000 target.
Maggie’s friends said they felt she had got lost in the scandalous saga.
Caroline Price said she worried Maggie’s story had been drowned out in the noise around the case
Shellie West lived with Maggie Murdaugh after graduation from the University of South Carolina
Shellie West told CBS News she wanted people to know ‘that she was fun.’
West added: ‘She had a personality, that she was witty. She loved things. She loved her family.’
She said that Maggie was a quiet, strong person.
‘She wasn’t the type of person that would stand out in a crowd, but she was always there, you know, to back everybody up,’ she said.
Caroline Price said she ‘absolutely’ felt Maggie’s personality was drowned out in the coverage.
The three had been friends since they were at the University of South Carolina together.
Price was Murdaugh’s ‘big sister’ in the Kappa Delta sorority; Murdaugh and West lived together after graduation.
Both women were in the Murdaughs’ wedding.
Price said Alex was ‘larger than life’ while Maggie Murdaugh ‘wasn’t flashy at all.’
The Murdaugh family are seen on vacation. Price and West said Maggie ‘loved her family’
Price continued: ‘She loved her family. I mean, her boys. She was also very close to her parents and her sister.
‘She was a dutiful wife, you know, supporting Alex.’
West added: ‘She was a person, she was a mother, she was a sister, she was a friend, she was a daughter.
‘You know, she’s not ‘the wife that was murdered.’ I mean, we don’t want her to be remembered that way.’
Alex Murdaugh was sentenced on March 3 to two consecutive life sentences.
On March 9, his lawyers filed a notice to appeal the conviction.