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Alex Murdaugh’s Sister-In-Law Testifies About His ‘Odd’ Behavior After The Murders Of His Wife And Son

Maggie Murdaugh’s sister testified Tuesday that in the weeks after the double homicide, Alex Murdaugh seemed more focused on trying to clear his son’s name in a fatal boat crash than trying to find their killer.

By Jill Sederstrom

Alex Murdaugh’s sister-in-law testified Tuesday about what she described as his “odd” behavior in the weeks after the brutal murders of his wife and son.

According to Maggie Murdaugh’s sister Marian Proctor, in the weeks after the shocking double homicide, Alex seemed more pre-occupied with trying to clear his son Paul’s name in a 2019 fatal boat crash than he did about trying to find their killer.

“We never talked about finding the person who could have done it,” Proctor said, according to The New York Times. “It was just odd.”

Alex has been accused of killing his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, on the evening of June 7, 2021 in what prosecutors have alleged was an attempt to draw attention away from a long string of alleged financial crimes about to come to light.

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His defense team has continued to insist, however, that Alex was a loving husband and father who never would have killed his family and was devastated after stumbling upon the grisly crime scene that night.

Alex Murdaugh listens to his friend Chris Wilson testify

On the stand, Proctor described her sister as having a “very good relationship” with Alex, The Daily Beast reports.

“They had a comfortable life. Maggie was happy,” she said. “It wasn’t a lavish life, but it was a comfortable life. Money was never an issue for her that she knew about.”

The day of the murders, Maggie had been at the family’s beach house in Edisto when Alex asked her to come back to the family’s Colleton County hunting estate.

Proctor broke down in tears as she testified that she spoke to her sister that day and encouraged her to make the trip.

She learned her sister and nephew had been killed on the property later that night.

“I didn’t think it was true,” she said, according to The Times. “I said, ‘There has to be a mistake.’ I said, ‘There’s got to be some explanation. It just can’t be them.’”

In the weeks that would follow, Alex sought refuge at the homes of his relatives and even stayed for a time with Maggie’s parents.

Proctor testified that the family grieved together, but she was struck by the fact that Alex didn’t appear to be concerned about his own safety—even though no arrests had been made.

“I was scared for Alex and Buster,” she said, referring to Alex’s surviving son. “I feel like they needed protection. I think everybody was afraid. And Alex didn’t seem to be afraid.”

She also noted that she thought it was odd that Alex spoke about wanting to “clear Paul’s name” in connection with a 2019 boat crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach, rather than wanting to find the killer.

“He said that his number one goal was clearing Paul's name,” she said, according to ABC News. “And I thought that was so strange because my number one goal was to find out who killed my sister and Paul.”

Beach was thrown overboard after a boat that Paul had allegedly been driving crashed into a bridge pylon in February of 2019. At the time of his death, Paul was facing criminal charges for boating under the influence. The fatal crash was also the subject of a civil wrongful death lawsuit lodged against the family on behalf of Beach’s parents.

Proctor testified that she also believed the killings “probably had something to do with the boat case” until September when “things started to change a little bit.”

In September of that year, the family learned that Alex had resigned from his position at his prestigious law firm after being accused of stealing money from the firm and his legal clients.

After he was confronted by the firm, authorities have alleged that Alex enlisted his former client Curtis "Eddie" Smith to shoot him in the head along the side of the road in an orchestrated assisted suicide plan designed to allow Buster to collect a $10 million life insurance policy. Alex was only grazed by the bullet and survived.

Smith has publicly denied being part of the plot and said in an earlier interview on Today that Alex was wounded during a struggle for the gun as he was trying to save his friend.

Alex entered rehab for an opioid addiction shortly after the allegations that he had been stealing from the firm and others emerged.

While Judge Clifton Newman ruled that Proctor was not allowed to testify about suspicions Maggie had in 2007 that her husband could be having an affair—ruling that the allegations were too old and there was no evidence they were linked to the killings— he did allow Proctor to tell the jury that Maggie was aware her husband struggled with a drug addiction “for some time,” according to The Post and Courier

Proctor testified that Maggie called her son Paul a “little detective” because he used to try to find his father’s pills around the house to make sure he was “behaving.”

During cross-examination, Proctor told the jurors that Maggie had also been intent on clearing her son’s name in the fatal boat crash before her death.

She described Maggie as a dedicated stay-at-home mom who was devoted to her two sons.