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Buster Murdaugh Still Believes His Father Alex Is Innocent, Fears His Mom and Brother's Killer "Still Out There"
"When I go to bed at night, I have a fear that there is somebody else still out there," Buster Murdaugh says of his brother Paul and mom Maggie's killer in an upcoming documentary. His father Alex Murdaugh was convicted of the murders.
Buster Murdaugh, the surviving son of convicted murderer and disbarred South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh, maintains that his father is innocent of killing his mother and brother and says he fears the killer is "still out there."
Murdaugh discussed the murders of his family members — as well as the 2015 death of a high school classmate whose body was found on a road a short distance from the Murdaugh family estate — in an interview with Fox Nation for a three-part documentary debuting Thursday.
"When I go to bed at night, I have a fear that there is somebody else still out there," Murdaugh told host Martha MacCallum of his brother and mom's killer on The Fall of the House of Murdaugh special, as seen in clips shared with People. Murdaugh added that he thinks "that I've set myself up to be safe."
Alex Murdaugh was found guilty in March of fatally shooting his wife Maggie and their youngest son Paul and was given two life sentences in prison without parole. Maggie, 52, and Paul, 22, were killed at the family's hunting compound in Colleton County, South Carolina, on June 7, 2021.
When asked if his father Alex would have got someone else to kill Maggie and Paul, Murdaugh replied: "I don't think that he could be affiliated with endangering my mother and brother. I mean, we've been here for a while now and that's been my stance."
Murdaugh has supported Alex since his arrest for Maggie and Paul's killings, and testified in his father's defense during his murder trial.
The son of the disgraced legal scion said he attended his father's trial every day in order to continue to show his support for him.
"It's incredibly grueling," he said of sitting through the court proceedings. "Every anxious, negative emotion is going through my mind at this point. I'm trying to take it in. I'm trying not to break down. I'm trying to hold composure. And it's an absolutely excruciatingly difficult experience."
Murdaugh also addressed the death of 19-year-old Stephen Smith in the documentary. The teen, who reportedly went to school with the eldest Murdaugh son, was found dead on a road in Hampton County, about 15 miles from the Murdaugh family home.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division told Oxygen.com in March that its investigation into Smith's death "was never closed," adding that "it remains a homicide investigation."
SLED said at the time that a medical examiner concluded from a July 8, 2015 autopsy that Smith died from being hit by a motor vehicle, sparking the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office to ask the South Carolina Highway Patrol to investigate the death. The sheriff's office and the SCHP did not ask SLED to look into the death at that time.
But on June 23, 2021, a couple of weeks after Paul and Maggie were discovered shot to death, SLED opened an investigation into Smith's death after receiving new info and reviewing the highway patrol file.
"From SCHP case notes it was apparent that the SCHP did not believe Mr. Smith’s death was a hit and run by a motor vehicle," SLED stated in March.
Smith's body was exhumed for a second autopsy, lawyers for the teen's family stated in April, around the same time they announced a $35,000 reward "for information leading to the arrest of any responsible party in the death of Stephen Smith.”
After that autopsy, a private investigator and forensic expert hired by Smith’s family's attorney's called the exam a "success" in an interview with NewsNation, acknowledging, "And that's not always the situation when you exhume someone after so many years."
Murdaugh has not been charged in the murder of Smith, who was gay, but some have speculated he had something to do with his former classmate's death. In the Netflix documentary Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, a friend of Smith said there were "so many rumors swirling around that Buster and Stephen were intimate together” and that “being gay in the Murdaugh family would have been looked down upon," according to TODAY.
In the upcoming Fox Nation special, Murdaugh denies any involvement in Smith's death, as well as having an alleged relationship with him. “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,” Murdaugh says in the documentary, according to the New York Post.
Murdaugh reportedly adds in The Fall of the House of Murdaugh that the murder accusation is "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."
His father Alex is still facing dozens of state and federal charges as he sits in jail for his murder convictions. The charges include allegedly stealing from clients at his law firm, tax evasion, and hiring someone to kill him so that his surviving son could collect life insurance.