Ssince birth he enjoyed the privileges that came from being the heir to a local legal dynasty.

For a decade he got away with stealing millions of dollars from his law firm, legal clients and friends.

And for 13 months he evaded justice after brutally murdering his wife and adult son on the family estate.

But in the end, Alex Murdaughthe crimes caught up with him.

And it was his own son who unwittingly helped cement his fall from beyond the grave with a damn 50-second cell phone video of a dog.

As prosecutor Creighton Waters said in his closing argument for the state, “this video changed everything.”

The video, taken by Paul on the night of June 7, 2021, captured his father, mother Maggie and himself all at the doghouses on the family’s 1,700-hectare estate in the Mosel just minutes before Maggie and Paul were murdered.

This video placed Murdaugh — and only him — at the crime scene around the time his wife and son were killed.

But not only that, it destroyed his alibi and proved that he had lied about the last time he claimed to have seen his wife and son alive.

The time was 20.44 on the night of 7 June 2021.

Paul took care of a brown labrador named Cash for his friend Rogan Gibson.

The two friends had spoken on the phone minutes earlier about the dog and Paul had promised to send Mr Gibson a video of its tail.

Mr. Gibson never received the video.

But Paul filmed it – and his video finally caught his killer.

Video shows Paul Murdaugh minutes before he and his mother were murdered

The video captured on Paul’s mobile phone at 20.44 shows the dog Cash inside the kennels at the Moses legend.

Off camera, three distinct voices can be heard: Paul, Maggie and Alex Murdaugh.

Maggie and her husband are heard screaming about their dog Bubba catching a chicken in his mouth.

Mobile data shows the video lasted 58 seconds from 20:44:49 to 20:45:47.

Just a few minutes later, at 8:49 p.m., Maggie and Paul each appeared to be using their cell phones for the last time.

This was the last sign of life for both mother and son.

Prosecutors believe it was around 8:50 p.m. that Murdaugh first grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun and assaulted Paul as he stood in the feed room, near the kennel where he had been playing with Cash moments earlier.

He shot him once in the chest but this did not kill him.

As the 22-year-old staggered toward his father in the dining room doorway, Murdaugh shot him again—a brutal shot that blew his entire brain out of his skull and onto the ground.

When Maggie, 52, heard the shots, she “ran towards her child”.

Her husband – whom she had been with since they met in college – picked up a .300 Blackout semi-automatic rifle and opened fire on her.

She was hit five times before falling to the ground near the shed.

Buster, Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh from left to right

(Maggie Murdaugh/Facebook)

After killing his wife and son, Murdaugh tried to create an alibi—rushing back to the family home, making numerous phone calls to friends and family members, and making a quick visit to his ailing mother.

He then returned home and drove down to the kennels and called 911 at 22.06 to claim that he had just found the bodies of his wife and son.

For the next 20 months, Mr. Murdaugh continued this lie.

And for many months he got away with it.

Then, in April 2022, after months of experts trying – and failing – to access Paul’s phone, they finally unlocked it.

There they found the damning video that was proof of Murdaugh’s lies.

In prosecutors’ closing arguments, Waters acknowledged how Paul’s video changed the entire case against Murdaugh.

“Getting access to the phone changed everything,” he said. “It showed possibilities… but more importantly, it exposed the defendant’s lies.

“Why on earth would an innocent reasonable father and husband lie about that?”

Alex Murdaugh stands in the courtroom of the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina,


Despite all of Murdaugh’s attempts to cover his own steps, “here was a mistake he didn’t expect,” Waters said.

“He didn’t know it was there,” he said of the video.

The criticism of the kennel video wasn’t lost on Murdaugh either, as he defiantly took the stand and retracted his entire alibi because of it.

Murdaugh blamed several reasons why he lied: his opioid addiction, his distrust of SLED, his lawyer friends telling him not to talk to anyone without a lawyer present, and police officers performing gunshot residue tests on him at murder scene.

This, he claimed, made him “paranoid”. And then he lied.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave. Once I told the lie and I told my family I had to keep lying,” he testified.

But during a heated cross-examination, even this collapsed before the jurors’ eyes – when Mr Waters confronted him about his new story.

“You, as you have done so many times in your life, had to back up and create a new story that fit the facts of your life,” Waters said.

A bombshell moment then unfolded when Murdaugh was accused of lying on the stand – about the very reason he lied about his alibi.

A second video — this one Murdaugh knew about — showed him being asked by the first officer on the scene when he had last seen his wife and son.

And the lies began then – long before SLED arrived, or his lawyer friends told him to get representation, or he was tested for gunshot residue.

Alex Murdaugh found guilty of murdering wife and son

Of course, there was plenty of other circumstantial evidence in the case – from cell phone data, car data, clothes that didn’t match, missing guns, attempts to get stories straight with witnesses … the list goes on.

But that’s all it was: circumstance.

While the video Paul took caught his father in the act just minutes before he became, as the prosecutor said, a “family destroyer.”

Of course, Paul didn’t know that.

For him, he was just filming a dog on his cell phone to send to a friend.

He had no idea that he would be shot dead by his own father.

And he also had no idea that that 58-second video of a brown labrador would be the key to bringing him and his mother to justice 21 months later.