Wild-eyed, drunk and sneering with privilege, this is legal scion turned double murderer Alex Murdaugh dressing as a Confederate soldier for a frat party photo obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com.
Grinning Murdaugh donned Civil War-style fatigues for a 1989 ‘Old South’ ball he attended with Kappa Alpha pals from the University of South California.
College acquaintances remember him as a swaggering bully who boasted of his family’s high-powered connections, drank heavily, and challenged students to fist fights.
Alex Murdaugh is seen dressed in a Confederate military uniform while attending an ‘Old South’ ball at the University of South Carolina in 1989, in an unearthed photo obtained by DailyMail.com
The disgraced legal scion and now convicted murderer was a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity, whose members at the time have described Murdaugh as a ‘belligerent drunk’ and a ‘poster child for white privilege’
Murdaugh was led out of the courthouse to a waiting prison van to begin his life sentence Friday after being found guilty of murdering his wife and son
‘Alex Murdaugh was the poster child for white privilege,’ one told DailyMail.com.
‘He was a belligerent drunk. He would be verbally abusive to women. He would challenge his frat brothers or college classmates to a fight.
‘His attitude was, my family owns everything and everyone and I can do what I want – I’m the top dog. He thought he was made of Teflon.’
The Murdaughs held massive sway in South Carolina where three generations of his family served as top prosecutor in the 14th Judicial Circuit solicitor’s office, spanning five counties and 3,200 square miles.
But no amount of wealth or influence could shield Murdaugh, 54, from justice for murdering his wife Maggie and son Paul at the family’s rural hunting lodge in June 2021.
A six-week trial heard how Maggie, 52, was shot five times with a semi-automatic rifle while 22-year-old Paul was blasted twice with a shotgun.
Prosecutors said Murdaugh killed the pair to divert attention from financial crimes that were about to be exposed, including the millions of dollars he embezzled from his law firm and its clients.
The lying patriarch took the stand himself to tearfully testify about his crippling opioid addiction and how his love for Maggie and Paul meant he could never harm them.
But jurors took just 45 minutes to decide the disgraced lawyer was guilty of annihilating his own family, earning him two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
The Murdaughs were one of South Carolina’s most prominent legal families, with family members heading up the 14th Circuit solicitor’s office dating back almost a century. Pictured from left to right, Paul, Margaret, Alex and Buster
Murdaugh (pictured with murdered wife Maggie) earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at USC, the same institution where his great-grandfather, Randolph Murdaugh Sr, graduated in 1910 before starting the family law firm in Hampton County
The South Carolina law firm formerly known as Parker, Murdaugh, Parker, Elztroth & Detrick, or PMPED, stripped the Murdaugh name from their masthead last year and has since rebranded as the Parker Law Group
‘We all have idiotic college pictures and Alex looks like a complete buffoon in this one, ‘ the former acquaintance told DailyMail.com.
‘But there’s something about his photo that foreshadows his downfall, the arrogance in his eyes perhaps.’
Murdaugh earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at USC, the same institution where his great-grandfather, Randolph Murdaugh Sr, graduated in 1910 before starting the family law firm in Hampton County.
He was a 21-year-old senior when he attended an ‘Old South’ party, a tradition that celebrated the Kappa Alpha fraternity’s southern roots.
Male revelers typically wore military getup while women dressed in hoop skirts and southern belle hats inspired by the classic 1939 movie Gone with the Wind.
Murdaugh didn’t have an exact replica of the confederate uniform but wore the closest thing he could find: a vintage cadet tailcoat from the Virginia Military Institute dating back to the civil war era when Virginia was a southern slave-holding state and prominent Confederacy member.
The event was supposed to highlight traditions of courtesy, graciousness and hospitality but it was scrapped in 2016 because of its historic association with plantations and slavery.
‘The Kappa Alpha fraternity in the South is the epitome of southern culture. They all wore uniforms once a year, but they don’t do it anymore, it’s all been banned. We’ve moved on from that era,’ our source added.
‘It was supposed to be about being a gentleman, but Alex Murdaugh was anything but that. He was unpleasant to be around, he had an abusive personality.
‘I don’t know he got Maggie to marry him or why she stayed with him for so long.’
To this day many of Murdaugh’s former college pals are wary of criticizing him publicly because of his family’s influence, explained the former associate, who asked to remain anonymous.
Murdaugh spoke briefly, telling the judge: ‘I am innocent. I would never hurt my wife Maggie and I would never hurt my son Pau Paul’ He was sentenced to life in prison
Judge Clifton Newman sentenced Alex Murdaugh to two consecutive life sentences
Murdaugh was helped out of a prison van. He wore orange slide shoes with socks and a prison jumpsuit
‘His father was a district attorney. They ran their county for a hundred years. Alex grew up thinking he was special. He was never denied anything,’ she added.
‘As a consequence, he walked around with an attitude on steroids. Nothing’s changed to this day. He thought he was invincible even when he was lying to the court. But nobody is that special.’
Murdaugh faces life in prison and could yet be hit with more charges for fraud and tax crime.
Juror Craig Moyer told Good Morning America ahead of today’s sentencing at the Colleton County Courthouse that it took just 45 minutes to unanimously decide he was guilty.
Judge Clifton Newman gave a searing assessment of Murdaugh’s ‘duplicitous’ character and said it’s possible his opioid addiction turned him into a ‘monster’.
‘You have to see Paul and Maggie during the nighttime when you’re attempting to go to sleep. I’m sure they come and visit you. I’m sure,’ he said.
Murdaugh replied: ‘All day, all night.’
Judge Newman shot back: ‘I’m sure. And they will continue to.’
Judge Newman also told of the irony that Murdaugh had been spared the death penalty when his legal dynasty family had spent over a century sending others to their deaths in the same courthouse.
He also lamented the fact that he knew Murdaugh through the courts.
Alex Murdaugh took the stand but failed to convince jurors of his innocence
Murdaugh was led away from the courtroom in Walterboro, South Carolina, ton Friday o begin his two life sentences
‘As a well-known member of the legal community, you’ve practiced law before me. We’ve seen each other at various occasions throughout the years,’ he said.
‘It was especially heartbreaking for me to see you go in the media from being a grieving father who lost a wife and son to being the person indicted and convicted of killing them.
‘A lawyer, a person from a respected family who has controlled justice in this community for over a century.’
Prosecutor Creighton Waters was granted his request for the maximum sentence of two consecutive life terms.
He said Maggie was ‘cut down in the prime of her life’ while Paul was ‘cut down as he was just starting to live his life.’
‘Both of them, like everyone else, were unaware of who he really was. No one who thought they were close to him knew who he was. That’s chilling,’ Waters said.
‘I’ve looked in his eyes. He liked to stare me down. I could see the real Alex Murdaugh. The depravity, the callousness, the selfishness of these crimes are stunning.’