Buster Murdaugh is speaking out for the first time claiming he does not believe his father, Alex Murdaugh, killed his mother and brother, but thinks it is fair to call his father a “psychopath.”
The only living member of the Murdaugh family not behind bars, Buster was interviewed for the FOX Nation three-part docuseries “The Fall of the House of Murdaugh,” released Thursday on the network’s streaming app.
Buster, who was critical of law enforcement and the judge, said he believed his father’s double murder trial was “not fair” and his father is innocent in the 2021 murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.
In March of this year, Alex Murdaugh, was convicted of shooting and killing his wife and son. He is currently serving two life sentences for the crimes. He is appealing his conviction.
‘I hold a very unique perspective’
“I don’t think that he could be affiliated with endangering my mother and brother,” Buster said.
“I think that I hold a very unique perspective that nobody else in that courtroom ever held. And I know the love that I have witnessed,” he added, referring to his father’s “loving” relationship with the family.
Buster said he now fears for his own safety, because he believes the person who killed his mother and brother is still out there.
“I was there for six weeks studying it and I think it was a tilted table from the beginning,” Buster said in the docuseries. “And I think, unfortunately, a lot of the jurors felt that way prior to when they had to deliberate. It was predetermined in their minds prior to when they ever heard any shred of evidence that was given in that room.”
Buster added he thought pretrial publicity had an effect on the verdict handed down by the jury.
When asked if he thought his father had the characteristics of a psychopath, Buster agreed he did.
“I’m not prepared to sit here and say that it encompasses him as a whole, but certainly, I think there are characteristics where you look at the manipulation and the lies and the carrying out of that and such, and I think that’s a fair assessment.” Buster admitted.
Buster also denied any involvement in the murder of Stephen Smith.
“I never had anything to do with his murder, and I never had anything to do with him on a physical level, of any regard,” Buster said. He also told FOX Nation he was with his now deceased mother and brother at the time Smith was murdered.
The interview with Buster for the series took place two and a half months after his father was found guilty of murdering his brother and mother.
‘Horrible stain on their integrity’
Buster Murdaugh addressed a crucial moment in the trial which jurors said led to them finding guilty.
He reiterated to FOX News Anchor Martha MacCallum what he said on the stand when he testified for the defense during his father’s trial. Buster told MacCallumg his father had lied to him about an alibi on the night Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were murdered.
In his two-day testimony, Alex Murdaugh admitted he lied to investigators when he told them he hadn’t been to his estate’s dog kennels on the evening of the killings until he reported finding the bodies there.
The admission came after multiple witnesses for the prosecution identified his voice in a video taken on Paul’s phone at or near the kennels at 8:44 p.m., shortly before, prosecutors contend, the killings happened.
MacCallum asked Buster what he thought when he first discovered his dad had lied about it.
“I thought it was very odd, I was confused. I didn’t know why you would lie about such a thing,” Buster said.
“Why do you think he did?” asked MacCallum.
“I don’t know. I’d still like to understand, you know, why that was needed to be lied about,” Buster responded.
Alex Murdaugh testified he lied because of “paranoid thinking” stemming from his opioid addiction.
Buster also talked about his complicated feelings about his father and how he feels the trial, along with roughly 100 other charges Alex faces, destroyed the Murdaugh family name.
“It feels like anybody that maintains the last name Murdaugh now has some horrible stain on their integrity, because there’s obviously a perception … that people think, ‘Oh, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,’” he explained.
“Do you ever worry, ‘Am I like dad?,’” MacCallum asked.
“I am not a thief, I am not a liar, I am not a manipulator. In those regards I am nothing like him. But in other regards I believe that I do hold some of his more admirable traits, which I am quite proud of,” Buster said.
“And your mom,” MacCallum asked. “What do you think she would say to you, about moving on?”
“Well, my hope is that she would be proud of me and the way I am handling these situations and the way that I am carrying out my life,” Buster answered.
“Obviously to have to live my life now with 100% of my immediate family no longer around me … what I do have is the fantastic memories and things I was able to do with them while they were here that I try to run in a little bit of a reel in my head constantly. And holding onto the that is what gets me through the tough days,” Buster said, as his voice shook, and eyes welled up with tears.
Alex Murdaugh maintains his innocence
Meanwhile, Alex Murdaugh, in a recorded call from prison, continued to maintain his innocence in the murders of his wife and son. The call, which got Murdaugh in trouble with the South Carolina Department of Corrections, can be heard in the docuseries.
“I came to this, not expecting anybody to listen to anything. I am not here because of what the jury just convicted me of,” Alex Murdaugh can be heard saying in the recorded call. “I am in this because of pills, stealing and lying because I would never, under any circumstances hurt Maggie or Pa Pa (Paul).”
Murdaugh was interviewed by phone in a recorded call by his attorney, in violation of South Carolina Department of Corrections policy, according to a release from the department.
Throughout the three-part series, Murdaugh reads from the diary he kept during the six-week trial, offering his take on the events as they happened and what was going through his mind at the time.
The phone calls were conducted on a legal call line, which is not monitored or recorded by the prison to protect attorney/client privilege.
The recordings provided to Fox Nation occurred in June. It was investigated by the South Carolina Department of Corrections Inspector General. As part of the investigation, Murdaugh’s attorney Jim Griffin was interviewed and admitted he recorded the call and passed it on to the production company. Griffin also appears in the series.
“Inmate Murdaugh willingly and knowingly abused his telephone privileges to communicate with the news media for his own gain,” the Institution’s warden wrote in a redacted incident report released to media.
Inmates in custody are not allowed to be interviewed, the department said.
“The department believes that victims of crime should not have to see or hear the person who victimized them or their family member on the news. Inmates lose the privilege of speaking to the news media when they enter SCDC,” the department said in a release.
Murdaugh lost his canteen and phone privileges for 30 days as a result of being convicted of two internal disciplinary charges, one related to the series and another related to the use of a fellow inmate’s PIN number to use a phone. He also lost tablet privileges.
The department also warned Griffin about his involvement. “Your actions, whether you intended or not, assisted Mr. Murdaugh in violating our policy and could jeopardize your telephonic communications with him in the future,” the department said in a letter to the attorney. “Attorney calls are provided to assist with legal claims, not for other unrelated purposes,” the department added.
Both incidents were violations of policy and not violations of the law, the department added.