True Sunlight: TSP #19 - What Dick and Jim Want Jurors to Hear About Alex Murdaugh + Cory Fleming Seems to Be … Missing?

Luna Shark Productions, LLC Luna Shark Productions, LLC 10/5/23 - Episode Page - 1h 6m - PDF Transcript

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When he was released from the Charleston County Detention Center. And that is just weird.

I also don't know if the elaborate plan to convince the public of Ellic Murdoch's innocence has any chance of getting Team Murdoch to their goal.

But after closely looking at every move they've made in the past six months, I have to admit that their plan finally seems to be gaining steam.

My name is Mandy Matney. This is True Sunlight, a podcast exposing crime and corruption, previously known as the Murdoch Murders podcast.

True Sunlight is a lunashark production, written with journalist Liz Farrell.

I hope you'll pardon this interruption, because we wanted to say thank you to the lunashark premium members who have joined our effort to launch Mandy's new book, Blood on their Hands.

Blood on their Hands releases November 14th, but you can pre-order your copy at or click the link in the description.

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So, in the past few months, I have come to realize that I have an unfortunate superpower.

My social media feed, DMs, text, etc. essentially detects the pulse of the Murdoch story. It is a blessing and a curse.

On the bright side, I don't have to spend much time trying to figure out the latest in the case and see how exactly the public is reacting.

It all seems to come to me, whether I like it or not.

Like this summer, when I was mining my own business in Denver, getting ready for the Taylor Swift concert, and my phone was literally on fire.

With shirtless Ellic Murdoch pics, ugh, and questions like, is Ellic Murdoch really on OnlyFans?

There are a lot of Mandy just making sure you saw this, followed by a link with probably one of the grossest things I could ever imagine.

Photos of shirtless Ellic Murdoch logging into his iPad from prison, ugh.

And before you yell at me for body-shaming Ellic, let me be clear here that Ellic Murdoch could have Ryan Gosling's abs, and I would still find the sight of him to be repulsive.

So the shirtless Ellic story was a huge one in the last few months.

That was back in simpler times, when it felt like a vast majority of the internet agreed that Ellic Murdoch was guilty of murder and he definitely deserves to be in prison for the rest of his life.

That was before Dick and Jim and whatever PR machine Team Murdoch has working for them started making things really complicated.

On their apparent crusade to get Ellic's assets and either get him into federal prison or get him out entirely.

As we said in this episode, this is a complex plan. It involves not only one, but many Hail Marys to complete.

However, if I've learned anything about the South Carolina justice system, it's that two mediocre male attorneys can get away with a lot more than we thought that they could, with just a little bit of power in the darkness.

Like see the Jorad Price case, for example.

So now, the pulse of the Murdoch story feels different. Opinions about the murder case are more fractured than they've ever felt.

And let's be clear here, difference in opinion is one thing, but using trickery, propaganda and social media's inability to fact check to sway public opinion is just wrong.

Just about every day now, I can't cruise social media without seeing a comment like, the law is the law and the clerical court needs to pay for what she did.

Or, Ellic Murdoch deserves a fair trial like everyone else. Or my favorite, it's clear Mandy, you hate Ellic so much that you cannot see that he's innocent and the murders.

People actually say these things to me, all of the time, when I don't ask them to. Again, a blessing and a curse.

So in the last few weeks, especially since the latest season of the Murdoch Netflix documentary came out, these posts that are like, Ellic didn't kill his wife and son have started to really concern me.

Especially the sudden rise in the cartel theories floating around the internet.

And girl, don't even get me started about the pro-Murdoch TikToks racking up an absurd amount of views.

While I don't believe that the Murdoch doc was an intentional part of the Murdoch PR strategy because there was no evidence of their participation,

it definitely seemed to align with the defense's strategy. Sensationalism sells, and producers chose to question the validity of the verdict.

Instead of investigating all of the corruption and crime involved in these cases, they seemed to carefully edit interviews that actually left viewers wondering if a drug cartel killed Maggie and Paul.

One of the pillars of our mission here at Luna Shark is to get the story straight, because let's be honest here.

Team Murdoch has been winning the PR game in the last five weeks.

While sensationalism sells, especially on social media platforms like TikTok, the truth has got to prevail.

And I know, I probably sound crazy because this is crazy. Convincing the public that Elik Murdoch isn't the monster that he is portrayed to be, that is the first and most important step in their plan.

Dick Harputlian knows politics. He knows that when the public believes his client is a thief and a liar who murdered his family, there are only so many strings to pull.

He knows that even men without morals at the top can't and won't help them because of the risk of public outrage.

But if they can convince the public that Elik was just a drug addict who was railroaded by an evil clerk of court named Becky and helped by a team of fame hungry court officials bolstered by a couple of pesky podcasters,

well that narrative gives them strings to pull.

We have come so far in exposing the deep corruption in the South Carolina justice system.

And I'll be damned if we let some Murdoch PR machine take control of the narrative now and ruin the good names of those who have worked so hard on this case.

So it is time to remind the public of the truth before this Team Murdoch narrative goes any further.

We want you to see the tiny details we have been catching as we have taken a closer look at their game plan.

Let's talk quickly about the latest news that happened over the past week.

Russell can't admit defeat Lafitte is finally in prison at the Coleman Low Security Federal Correctional Institution in Florida.

We talked about what his life at this prison will look like on our latest episode of Cup of Justice from the prison charcuterie to the fashionable straw hat sold at the commissary, so check that out if you haven't already.

In the meantime, we have a real mystery on our hands.

Corey Fleming was released from Charleston County Detention Center on September 22nd.

Sometime after that, Corey's name finally appeared in the Bureau of Prisons inmate database, but noted that he was not in BOP custody.

His status remains unchanged, which is very weird because he's also not listed as an inmate in Charleston County or at Buford County Detention Center where he was at one point expected to go prior to his sentencing hearing on September 14th.

He is, however, listed as a prisoner with the South Carolina Department of Corrections, but it's just a profile he's not actually in their custody, according to that profile and according to their spokesperson, Christy Shane.

And actually, the profile says he's in a federal institution.

But according to Scott Taylor, with the Office of Public Affairs for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, who responded to our email inquiring about Corey's whereabouts Wednesday morning.

Corey Howerton Fleming is not currently in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, FBOP.

If an individual were to come into FBOP custody per FBOP policy, specific designation information is not releasable until after an individual arrives at his or her destination.

We do not provide specific information on the status of individuals who are not in the custody of the FBOP.

So where is Corey? This could just be an administrative error, but we're wondering if it's something more.

There have been examples in other cases unrelated to this one where inmates suddenly go missing from the roster because they are being protected, like a jailhouse snitch.

Prosecutors might detain him at an undisclosed location, another jail, for instance, while they question him.

Could this be a sign that Corey is finally turning state's evidence in an effort to get out of that 13-year, 10-month sentence, 10 years of which will be spent in a state prison?

Is Corey being held at an undisclosed location so he can be questioned? Is he finally playing his last card?

Are investigators currently holding a Panera Green Goddess Cobb salad with chicken and dressing on the side just out of reach of Corey's desperate hands taunting him with the fresh nutrients?

You want this salad, Mr. Fleming? You're going to have to tell us about Moss and Coon and PMPD.

If you tell us where the money was going, we might have a dessert made with pureed dates and pumpkin seeds for you.

From what we're hearing, this scenario is a strong possibility and we hope that's what is happening because where is Corey?

But also, if what we suspect is true, it's annoying that it took this long and it's annoying that he held on to that card until after it was clear that he was no longer a member of the secret country club that exists inside South Carolina's justice system.

Over the weekend, our former colleague David Lauderdale, a columnist for the Island packet, wrote a really great piece with the headline,

Judge Speaks the Long Lost Truths and Friend of Mardock Case.

In the piece, he called out Corey Fleming and his supporters for Corey's immediate appeal of his plea deal and judgment sentencing.

Lauderdale didn't pull any punches, which was so refreshing as we've come accustomed to McClatchy's soft touch when it comes to calling out Elick and his co-conspirators.

Here's our David with some of the best parts of Lauderdale's column.

The sentence he gave to Fleming was not even harsh. It was extremely lenient, yet he dared to say that what Fleming did was beyond wrong. It was, quote, unprecedented, unimaginable, end, quote.

And oh boy, we apparently don't say things like that in a civilized society a la murder. Oh no, that's not us. Criminals in hoodies do that, not criminals in coats and ties.

The beauty of that hearing is that we got to hear the detailed proof that led to the obvious guilty pleas.

We didn't have lawyers spinning so-called discoveries at a press conference.

We didn't have the deny, slime, and delay tactics that characterized the defense of Alex Murdoch.

And what Judge Newman did and said in this instance should be commended, not attacked.

Late on Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office filed its response to Dick and Jim's motion to have U.S. Marshals immediately seize Elick Murdoch's assets.

The U.S. government is objecting to the motion and saying it does not intend to seize Elick's assets. That is a huge deal.

Because for a while there, it seemed like the feds were basically helping Elick elude state accountability.

And worse, it seems like this plan was going to leave victims like the Beach family in the lurch.

It's worth noting that the beaches, along with their family attorney, Mark Tensley, are entirely responsible for the court appointing a receivership to control Elick and Buster's assets.

The motion to seize his assets was just one step in Dick and Jim's multi-step plan to extricate Elick from the South Carolina judicial system.

And because Elick's federal plea deal, the deal he pleaded guilty on September 21, seemed like it was tailor-made to his wishes,

it would have been a disgusting failure if the U.S. Attorney's Office didn't make the effort to fight back.

So we commend them for that, and we really hope we were wrong about what this all looked like.

But their mention of Dick and Jim maybe not getting paid if the assets were seized by the feds seems like a total bone thrown to them.

We weren't the only ones wondering if the in-game for the federal seizure had anything to do with a future workaround to get Elick's attorney's money.

So today, we want to talk more about the plot to free Elick Murdoch.

We say free Elick because even though we know the likelihood of him getting out of prison altogether isn't high,

we know that getting moved to federal prison could be, in a way, the most freedom he can hope for right now.

We've talked about the phases of this plan and how Dick and Jim need each step of the way to go in order for the entire plot to be successful.

In summary, they have to get Elick a new trial or get his murder verdict overturned on appeal

and have this happen before the state is able to convict Elick on the financial charges so that the federal government can get an opening to take him into custody.

Also, a part of this scheme is that they are trying to get the federal government to seize Elick's assets out of the hands of the receivership.

Why? Part of it is out of cruelty to the victims and retribution against their lawyers,

but it also puts money in the hands of the U.S. Attorney's Office,

which has already shown itself to be highly receptive to the notion that PMPED is a victim deserving of restitution.

Now see, an appeal, especially on the grounds that Judge Clifton Newman should not have allowed testimony about Elick's financial crimes would have taken several years.

They don't have several years. They didn't have several years during their Labor Day press conference,

and they especially don't now that Judge Newman has scheduled the financial trial for November 27.

Of course, there's one little hiccup in all of this, and it'll be interesting to see how it gets sorted out.

Elick has also confessed to the financial crimes in federal court,

so why does the state need to prove its case against Elick when the federal government basically just used the state's investigation to prosecute Elick?

There must be some way to head off Dick and Jim at the pass at this point, no?

That is a question for another episode.

And we will be right back.

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So, as it relates to their plot, everything rests on Colletin County clerk of court, Becky Hill.

Her book gave Dick and Jim a Trojan horse so they can get through that very first important gate.

According to Jim Griffin and his podcast co-host, a woman who has four fingers constantly pointed back at herself,

Becky was plotting to take advantage of what she calls the Murdoch Economy and write this book early on,

which, here's how that went according to Becky's book.

The idea for Becky to write this book came sometime between when Ellic was indicted in July 2022 and before the trial started.

The idea came from a woman named Rose, the owner of an Airbnb in Chimney Rock, North Carolina,

where Becky was vacationing with her friend Wanda.

When Becky told Rose what she did for a living and where she was from, Rose, quote, stopped in her tracks

and said she'd heard all about the Murdoch case.

Rose, Wanda and I continued our talks in the evenings with a glass of wine and on our last day,

Rose planted the seed of authorship into my soul, my heart and my mind.

Rose said, Becky, as I've gotten to know you over these brief few days,

I know that you are the one who will write the best book on this Murdoch saga.

This trial is happening right in your courtroom and it's going to be worldwide.

You possess the talent to write this book and you must.

Those prophetic words from Rose fueled my belief and got my mind enhanced to typing.

So yeah, there was Becky plotting away to take down Ellic Murdoch with someone named Rose

and someone named Wanda in an Airbnb cottage.

Jim and Dick tried to make it out like Becky is little Nikita, but she's more like the Golden Girls.

Beyond that, Becky didn't seem to have a plan for writing the book until after the trial

when she became friends with the wife of the man who would become her co-author according to the book.

She met this couple during the trial and let's be clear, there was no book deal.

We say this not to insult Becky, but to clarify what Dick and Jim are saying about her.

She didn't have some lucrative deal with the publisher.

She's self-published and her co-author recently said in an interview that they had to take out loans to publish the book.

Her book deal was basically her saying to herself, Becky, you should write a book.

Yes, Becky, I think I will.

Anyway, Dick and Jim's plan to take down Becky didn't come out of nowhere.

It had been in the works for quite some time before her book was written so quickly and it really matters when this plot started.

If they knew they had reason to suspect impropriety on the part of the clerk of court while the trial was still happening,

that means they lost their opportunity to raise the issue because they didn't bring it up then.

For instance, it's clear that at least some of the claims Dick and Jim are making about Becky were knowable during the trial,

meaning there is a school of thought out there that Dick and Jim knew that at least one juror, i.e. the egg lady juror,

had pointed to a potential impropriety during the trial.

Did Dick and Jim call for an investigation then?

Nope, they sure didn't.

They held on to that little nugget in their pocket for later.

But what else was in those pockets of theirs?

For this episode, we've looked at the timeline leading up to Dick and Jim's Labor Day Weekend Press Conference

when they revealed that they had filed a motion claiming LX Civil Rights had been violated by Becky.

We looked at the headlines and the media play and at the online chatter that seemed to pick up in conjunction with all of this.

Here is what we found.

We first learned immediately after the trial that the egg lady juror was represented by Dick Harputlian's friend Joe McCullough,

who attended every day of the trial and took notes for some reason.

As we told you before, Becky listed Joe as a friend in her book and Joe is who paid for Becky's open bar birthday party

at the media center the day before the verdict.

Joe was also Connor Cook's attorney in the boat crash lawsuit against Elec Murdoch.

Becky clearly had some trust in him and he clearly had some friendly off-hours access to her when she likely had her guard down.

One question we've been asked is how did the juror who is from the Walter Burr area know to reach out to Joe,

who is a Columbia attorney and that's a great question. We don't know.

Another great question is does Joe's early representation of this juror mean anything in terms of what Dick and Jim might have known

about the jury and when they knew it? We don't have the answer to that either.

Let's start with Dick and Jim's poorly attended press conference outside the courthouse after Elec was sentenced on March 3rd.

Both Dick and Jim said that it was not a mistake to put Elec on the stand,

which is funny when you consider that the jurors who went on Good Morning America said that Elec's testimony showed him not to be credible.

I was listening to the New York Times podcast The Daily the other morning.

It was an episode about the crypto king Sam Bankman Freed who faces federal charges of defrauding investors of billions of dollars.

Though Bankman Freed maintains that he never intended to defraud his investors,

prosecutors uncovered evidence in the form of computer code that they say shows intentionality.

In other words, it doesn't look good for Bankman Freed.

The reporters talked about one, quote, useful Hail Mary that exists for the defense team,

the very risky move to put Bankman Freed on the stand.

The reporters discussed how defense attorneys generally don't like to put their clients on the stand for many reasons.

It changes the tone of the whole case, they said.

Essentially, the jury shifts away from the evidence and it becomes about whether or not the person on the stand comes off as credible to them.

That's what Dick and Jim wanted for Elec.

They wanted to shift the case away from the evidence and because Elec thinks he is super amazing at getting people to believe his lies,

have the jury instead rely on Elec's dramatic performance of sad dad to win the day.

Obviously, we know how that turned out for him.

And yet Dick and Jim said it wasn't a mistake.

It makes you wonder if they know what the definition of a mistake is.

We've yet to see evidence that they do other than Jim's facial expressions during his podcast.

Also, during this poorly attended press conference, Dick and Jim spoke about the egg lady juror.

Here's what they said.

Well, she admitted she talked to other people about the case, but not specifically.

But technically, I think the judge had leeway to excuse her.

But she clearly, after we interviewed her back in chambers, in my mind had not made up her mind.

And I thought that was important.

I don't know.

She didn't express an opinion to us.

She said she was open.

She hadn't made up her mind.

So one, we have Dick and Jim admitting that Judge Newman was right in excusing the juror,

he had reason to let her go.

They have since twisted this completely because it serves their new argument.

Now, they are claiming that Judge Newman excused the juror based on Becky's assertion

that this juror's ex-husband had posted on a Facebook page about how the juror was talking about the case and Alec being innocent.


Because the Facebook page argument is the strongest one they have.

They can easily prove that the post apologizing for his earlier words,

which Becky's staff wrongly believed was evidence of this juror's ex-husband apologizing for his now deleted Facebook post,

was not actually written by this juror's ex-husband.

We still don't know what post Becky saw.

Was it actually a post from the juror's ex-husband?

Dick and Jim would say no because they quote unquote have downloaded his computer,

which is a funny image.

But could have Becky seen another post talking about how this woman had talked about the case outside of court?

Could she have mistakenly believed the man to be her ex-husband?

You know what?

It doesn't matter.


Because this is not why Judge Newman excused the egg juror.

Dick and Jim's argument, and the argument being put forth by their troll army,

is the equivalent of standing outside an Olive Garden and getting excited for some Chili's baby back ribs.

Chili's is a different restaurant, Dick.

During the trial, Judge Newman said he excused the juror not because of the Facebook post,

but because two people signed affidavits that said she had spoken to both of them about the trial.

Discussing her opinion about Ellick's innocence.

Dick doesn't like it to be put that way.

He wants the egg lady juror to not have said that she believed Ellick was not guilty,

but that the state had not proven its case.

We know he wants it put that way because he was caught on video speaking to the person who told Judge Newman

about hearing from two co-workers that this juror had discussed her impartiality with them.

He wants the juror to look like she was keeping an open mind during that time

and therefore could not have been speaking out of turn to the villagers he so disdains.

Also, during that press conference, they said on the record after conducting focus groups in other counties,

they had determined that a change of venue wouldn't have mattered to the case.

Which is interesting because months later, Dick would use the Colleton County jury as an argument to Judge Newman

that the only possible place they could try the financial crimes fairly would be Mars.

And let's be clear about Colleton County.

Dick and Jim and Ellick wanted to try the case there because Colleton County is Murdoch country.

They thought they had this in the bag and by mentioning Greg Alexander repeatedly

and by putting Ellick on the stand and John Marvin on the stand,

that they would be able to get through to the jury.

And maybe they did get through to one jury member, the egg lady.

But she screwed it up for them by talking to people outside of the courthouse.

Now, we first heard about Dick and Jim's venture on Fox Nation in late April of this past year.

Late April is also when Becky first wrote to the South Carolina Ethics Commission

to inquire about the ethics of writing a book.

The commission responded by the first week of May with the ruling that left open the possibility for the book

as long as it wasn't something she would be paid to do

that otherwise would be within her official capacity as clerk of court.

Though she did the right thing by asking the Ethics Commission for a ruling,

Dick and Jim have used her inquiry as evidence that she was scheming.

They say she was scheming by going through the proper channels and making sure that it was clear to write a book.

And their trolls run with that.

Though it is clear from the behind-the-scenes footage included in the docuseries

that Dick and Jim had been planning some sort of post-trial Hollywood deal,

it is not clear if they shot the footage specifically with Fox Nation in mind.

Or if they shot it as part of perhaps some in-house sizzle reel they'd hope to use to strike a deal.

We do know that by May 9th, Becky had already been approached by the Fox Nation production company.

Now, let's be clear.

When we first heard about the project in late April,

here is what we were told that a friend of Jim's was representing Dick and Jim as their agent

in something that Fox Nation is going to do and that deal included Access to Ellic.

And that is a way around paying the murderer, a.k.a. the Slayer Statute.

Meaning Ellic can't be paid directly for any adorable little court journal he wrote

or any interview he's barred from giving, but Dick and Jim can be paid for that Access.

And they want us to think Becky is the scheming one here.

We also know that by at least May 16th, Buster is not only signed up for the Fox Nation project,

but he's on a boat to Tefusky to film with reporter Martha McCallum.

We know this because Ellic called Buster during that boat ride

and told him he was supposed to have called Buster when Buster was with Jim.

Now, we know that Jim got called out by the South Carolina Department of Corrections

and that Ellic got in trouble for reading his journals over the phone while they got recorded for Fox Nation.

But we have to ask this question.

Was Ellic calling Buster so the cameras could capture that moment?

Ellic told Buster he was proud of him.

And now that we know he was filming, we know what he was actually proud of.

He was proud of Buster for telling the nation that he supports his father.

But we should note that we've always felt suspicious of that call.

It felt like a strange one-off since it was the only call that came back in our foyer.

It was the only call made on the record.

It felt like it was meant to be a breadcrumb for this documentary.

And it's funny that Jim would later say that the media mischaracterized that call

as Buster being called to his father and seemingly wanting nothing to do with him.

Speaking of Buster, remember how he told Martha McCallum during that interview

that he did in fact fear for his life because the so-called real killer was still out there

and he was taking precautions because of it?

Well, we continue to get reports from people that demonstrate just how untrue that statement was.

Obviously, we can't say what goes through Buster's head,

but we know if we were worried about a cartel or a real killer coming to get us,

we would probably not answer the door for strangers in the evening,

which apparently Buster has no problem doing.

So one of the big questions we have had about the timing of the Fox Nation docu-series,

which was released 12 days earlier than expected, is was this a part of the plan?

To drop the series, re-harnish the nation's interests in the case,

gather public sympathy from Buster, use that to soften Elix's image in the press,

and then drop the bomb about their accusations against Becky.

Obviously, we think that was the case.

This series was four parts, and the first three parts being released ahead of schedule in August, hmm.

And then, the third episode ended with pro-merdock reporter Dana Kennedy

saying that she thinks there is going to be another twist in the saga.

I have to point out that Dana works for the New York Post,

which is owned by the same company as Fox Nation.

I would love to know if she knew about this Becky Hill bombshell.

The defense was about to drop a few days after that episode published,

or is Dana some kind of psychic?

That twist that Dana Kennedy so accurately predicted of vilifying Becky Hill

sure did make for a good story arc in the docu-series.

And just like that, a few weeks later,

Fox Nation dropped its fourth episode of the series and called it The Clerk in Question.

In this new episode, Fox Nation used footage from Becky's previous interview.

You know, before her name was in every newspaper across the country,

before she was painted as the clerk who ruined the Murdoch trial,

before she was being followed around by literal paparazzi.

Fox Nation producers were not clear that they were using old footage of Becky,

which is what makes this so journalistically awful.

They made it look like fame-hungry Becky was there sitting for another interview,

casually chit-chatting about the trial after Dick and Jim accused her of jury tampering.

Becky was also featured in the new season of the Murdoch documentary on Netflix.

This was also clearly in the interview from months ago,

but again, they didn't make that clear, which only hurt Becky and helped the defense.

The headlines that followed made me really angry, like this one from The Daily Mail.

Exclusive, Becky Hill, quote,

bias, court clerk in Ellick Murdoch trial,

admits in new book that she worried jury would acquit legal scion of murdering his wife and son.

So that headline was just a few days ago.

And Becky's book has been out for months.

None of these media outlets ever batted an eye about her ethics

before Dick and Jim's Labor Day Week press conference.

We'll be right back.

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We also find it really interesting that Sledge Chief Mark Keel had promised an update about the Stephen Smith case by Labor Day weekend,

but instead we got this circus.

Was that intentional or coincidental on the part of Dick and Jim?

Did a hijack a moment they thought might come?

We don't know the answer to that, but we do know that Fox Nation is complicit in helping bolster Dick and Jim's plot.

So much so that their Episode 4 twist, an episode devoted solely to Becky Hill,

seems to comport with the overall momentum of Dick and Jim's campaign to free Elick.

The docu-series has helped keep headlines pointed in their favor.

It helps keep Becky Hill's name alive and well and gives plenty of oxygen to those who want to villainize her

and make her out to be an agent in a sinister plot.

What does this media onslaught do?

Let's put it this way.

There are 18 audience members out there that Dick and Jim want to reach.

The jurors and the alternates.

They want it in their heads that Becky Hill did bad things.

They want their talking points on the jurors and the alternates lips.

And they want to intimidate the jurors by saying things like,

you need to get a lawyer.

And by painting sled out to be some Gestapo that will come knocking on their doors with badges and guns.

Both Dick and Jim repeatedly have mentioned how coercive they believe law enforcement will be.

But that's preemptive laying of brick, right?

That's Dick and Jim putting down a foundation in case the jurors don't come back saying what they hope they do.

And frankly, from all accounts so far,

it seems like the jurors are not saying the same things that the egg lady and her one friend on the jury are saying.

Dick and Jim want to blame this predictable discrepancy in what they're saying and what the actual jurors end up saying to sled.

So the only method they have to get there is to use the media to blast the jury's ears.

Get a lawyer.

Those are scary words for working class folks to hear.

Who has money for a South Carolina attorney that isn't working on a contingency fee agreement?

No one who has to work for a living.

I will tell you that much.

Dick and Jim say that they had started to hear things about jurors not being happy with Becky sometime in late spring.

But that it took Becky's book to motivate jurors to come forward.

Again, jurors haven't come forward.

They have the egg lady and another woman and that's it.

And they haven't yet pointed to the things in Becky's book that upset those two women so much that they came forward.

Was it simply the fact that Becky wrote the book that upset them?

Or was it that she went to New York with three jurors who were not these two women?

The only thing Dick and Jim continue to point to in the book is a part where they erroneously and misleadingly say

that Becky included herself in the word we when she was talking about the jury.

All that said, there is one thing that cannot get lost in all of this.

Really, it's the only thing that matters and it's the one thing that Dick and Jim want everyone to forget.

It's the one thing they want to get lost in the wacky online theories and the Fox Nation docuseries and their campaign against Becky Hill.

Alec Murdoch is actually guilty of killing Maggie and Paul, bottom line.

Look at all the lies.

Then look at what the truth tells us.

Anyone who can look at the facts of this case as a whole and still say he didn't do this is operating in a different reality and you need to question their motives.

Let's start at the top.

Alec had a big secret.

He was sitting on millions of dollars in thefts from his clients and from his law firm.

That secret not only threatened to take him down.

It would take down his immediate family, the entire Murdoch family name and his law firm if he were ever to be found out.

Worse, he would lose his law license, which was his license to steal, clearly the only thing he was good at.

And who knows who would have been implicated in the thefts beyond just Russell Liffey and Corey Fleming.

We're still waiting to see if law enforcement has it in them to pursue charges against the so-called unnamed co-conspirators.

So Alec was sitting on this massive secret along with a secret that he was involved in laundering money and trafficking drugs.

With all those secrets came stress, right?

It's only natural.

Then February 2019 happened.

His son, the one who caused him nothing but trouble throughout the years, whose expensive messes he was always having to clean up,

killed a girl while drunkenly driving one of the family's boats.

And unfortunately for Alec, this son had an easily discoverable history of drunken antics openly tolerated by Alec and Maggie.

Including previous incidents involving boats and vehicles.

So the girl, Mallory Beach, we will say her name, her family hired an attorney.

And shockingly to Alec, this attorney was not one who was going to allow himself to become intimidated by Alec or Alec's advocates at PMPED who wanted the case to go away.

Instead, the attorney pursued the case as if Alec were any other defendant with deep pockets who was unwilling to part with his money.

To get the attorney to go away, Alec made the mistake of telling him he was broke, that he had no money.

That notion was so ridiculous and unbelievable and demonstrably not true that this attorney called Alec on his bluff and subpoenaed for a list of his financial records and retirement accounts.

For months, Alec pushed back and tried to find a way out of the subpoena.

But then he was given a deadline, June 10th, 2021.

He would have to either comply with the subpoena on his own, which would have edged open the door to his crimes and revealed that he had been siphoning money from cases for more than a decade.

Or he would have to face the wrath of the judge and be ordered to comply with the subpoena, which would have been worse for him.

In the meantime, he had recently stolen almost $800,000.

By hijacking a fee, he had earned for his law firm in a case led by one of his best friends at a different law firm.

And uh-oh, his law firm had just discovered this theft and was demanding that the money, which he immediately spent on who knows what, be returned.

Making all of this worse is that his father, the man who was always by his side and who cleaned up his expensive messes, was dying.

To keep his crimes from being exposed, Alec needed solutions.

He needed to be able to liquidate Moselle, the multi-million dollar property that was in his wife's name and that his son loved above all else.

He also needed to be able to take equity out of the family's beach house, which was half owned by his wife and which his wife was being difficult about getting appraised.

And I want to note something here.

Those who defend Alec like to say that at the time of Maggie's death, Maggie had finally made an appointment with Palmetto State Bank to have the beach house appraised.

But let's look at who that's according to.

It's according to testimony from Russell Lafitte's brother, who handled the appraisals for the bank.

It came out during Russell's trial at a time when Russell and his father, sister and brother were under scrutiny for giving Alec millions of dollars and not requiring him to do anything one would normally be expected to do to get that kind of money.

In other words, Maggie's alleged appointment for an appraisal was key to Russell and his family in trying to beat Russell's charges and quell suspicions that his family members were in on the conspiracy.

That said, this is where Alec Murdoch's head was on June 7, 2021, when things got worse.

His law firm gave him an ultimatum after years of lying to them and getting caught and getting out of it.

The law firm wasn't just going to let him skate by on this.

Hours later, he snapped and killed his wife and son.

Alec told law enforcement that Maggie had come to Moselle that night on her own volition.

Turns out, he was lying.

As Maggie's sister testified and as Maggie's text messages show, the only reason Maggie was at Moselle that night was because Alec wanted her to be there.

Maggie didn't want to go, but her sister told her she should.

If Maggie and Paul were killed by social media vigilantes, they sure did luck out by showing up at this remote location on the one night when they'd both be there.

They lucked out even more when they showed up to kill them but realized they had forgotten to bring weapons.

Thank goodness the family's guns were available and left down by the kennels.

Now, Alec denied that the weapons that killed Maggie and Paul belonged to the family and he tried his hardest to steer law enforcement away from that theory.

In fact, to keep law enforcement from knowing that the family owned one of those guns, specifically the 300 blackout rifle that belonged to Paul, Alec lied and said after it had been stolen that they never replaced it.

Then, Alec's cousin, who happened to be a DNR officer who sold him that weapon, backed him up by telling law enforcement that he hadn't sold the family a replacement.


But then, uh-oh, law enforcement found Maggie's cancelled check for that rifle.

Now, Alec had to change his story and the DNR officer had to fess up, blaming his previous statement on a clerical heir.

Later, law enforcement would find that the bullets that killed Maggie came from the same gun that Paul and his friend had been shooting outside of the family's home two months earlier.

Now, immediately, from the 911 call to the body camera footage from the first arriving officer at the scene, Alec wanted law enforcement to believe Maggie and Paul's murders were a result of Paul's boat crash.

It was a story he had rehearsed and through his grief, his performative grief, he made sure to tell it.

This has something to do with the crash.

I know it does, he said.

Obviously, we've always agreed with Alec that this had something to do with the boat crash, but just not in the way that he wanted people to believe.

From the get-go, Alec told law enforcement that this was a targeted killing, not the work of some unknown, at-large killer going house-to-house looking for victims.

In response to Alec's words, with a duty to keep the public calm, the Calden County Sheriff's Office put out a notice to let everyone know they are safe.

There wasn't a random killer on the loose, per Alec.

In the meantime, they sought DNA samples from not only the boat crash victims and their families, but from Steven Smith's family, which was brutal salt in the wound.

Alec and his team later used the Sheriff's Office Alert to the public as proof that law enforcement had tunnel vision, that he was the victim of being targeted by investigators, that they never considered any other suspect.

Alec told the police these murders happened because his family was targeted, yet he waited 45 minutes before he called Buster, who was a few hours away in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

He waited almost an hour to warn his surviving son that someone was after the family.

That is how concerned he was about these unknown vigilantes.

These examples are important, by the way. They show a pattern.

Alec causes chaos with his lies, and then he uses that chaos as evidence of his alternative narrative.

He lied about why Maggie was at Moselle.

He lied about the family owning a now missing 300 blackout rifle that replaced an earlier model that had been stolen.

He lied about the boat crash victims.

Now for another lie, the groundskeeper. It's going to be the groundskeeper. People close to the Murdochs were told at the time by family members.

It wasn't the groundskeeper. Unlike Alec, the groundskeeper had an ironclad alibi.

Speaking of, let's talk about that. Remember Alec's alleged ironclad alibi?

It was so ironclad that he pressured Ms. Shelley to lie about it.

He had Ms. Shelley, his mother's caretaker, worried that if she didn't lie for him, she might not be able to keep a job that she loved.

But to maybe make up for that ugly pressure and to curry favor, he offered to pay for Ms. Shelley's wedding.

Pretty generous for a man with no money, right?

Paying for the wedding of a family employee who was the only person to see him that evening, and whose lie he desperately needed, so nice of him.

Ms. Shelley was also the source of the blue tarp evidence. She told law enforcement that shortly after the murders, Alec had come into the house carrying what appeared to be something wrapped in a blue tarp, which he put in a closet.

When Sled found the tarp, which turned out to be the largest blue tarp-colored raincoat known to man, they discovered it was covered in gunshot residue.

Dick Harpulian would later dismiss that evidence because the Murdochs were the, quote, shooting-ist MFers around.

But also, the defense fought back hard against that blue raincoat evidence during the trial to the point of absurdity.

The raincoat is not a tarp. Yeah, girl. But it sure would look like one to someone not familiar with giant blue tarp-colored raincoats.

Anyway, Alec lied about his alibi, about how long he was at his mother's house, and until he took the stand at his murder trial, he kept up the biggest lie of all, that he was never at the kennels that night.

Because guess what? He was at the kennels. He was there with Maggie and Paul at least five minutes before their phones were never used again. Let's talk about those phones, by the way.

Paul's was left on top of his body after Alec, who had no visible blood on him that night, says it fell out of Paul's pocket when he tried to move his bloody body.

Did Alec know Paul was taking a video shortly before he shot him? Did he worry that Paul was on FaceTime with Rogan Gibson when he killed him?

Is that why Alec called Rogan over and over and over? Was that why he had taken Paul's phone out of his pocket?

Maggie's phone showed movement on it, about 56 steps after law enforcement believed she died. Alec's defenders like to say this points to someone other than Alec, killing her.

But could it have simply been that Alec didn't realize Maggie's phone was sitting on the golf cart he was driving until he parked it up at the house near his SUV?

Could those 56 steps be him carrying it to the truck so he could dispose of it?

Alec's defenders love to point out that Alec couldn't possibly have cleaned up in the short amount of time between Maggie and Paul last using their phones at 849-ish and him leaving Mosellant 906.

They mocked the prosecution for making Alec out to be the quote, low country's John Wick. They say he'd have been covered in blood if he had done this, but consider this.

Paul was deep inside the feed room when he was first shot.

In the second shot, which Alec took from either a squatted position or by holding this shotgun real low as Paul advanced on him, Alec was blocked and protected by the wall and by his low stance.

Maggie was shot with a long distance rifle. He was only close to her at the very end when he stood over her and shot her in the back of the head after she was already dead.

There was high velocity impact spatter at the top of his white undershirt.

It was evidence that was rendered unusable during trial because member of Sled had ordered a superfluous test to the shirt that gave the defense just enough room to create reasonable doubt.

It is one of the most frustrating aspects of this case because there was the physical evidence that Alec's defenders so desperately crave.

But guess what? I don't need to be in the cloud to know that snow came from it. I can see the snow on the ground. I can see it in the air around me.

Without being in the sky, I know when it is snowing. So how did Alec clean the minimal blood that would have been on him?

Could it have been from the hose that the guy who cleaned the dog kennel said was put away neatly?

The same hose that was seen unspooled in the kennel video?

And who put Bubba's dead chicken up on the kennels? Was that one of the 5 foot 2 inch gunless vigilantes who showed up randomly hoping Maggie and Paul would be there that night?

How nice of them. Also, how adorable. Just think of the little hops they had to take to get that chicken up on the stack of kennels.

Now, back to Alec's cleanup time. He wiped off at the hose station creating that puddle with what seemed like blood that wasn't near the bodies.

Evidence that the defense fought to keep out of the trial.

And he changed his clothes. He took his dumb blue button up fishing shirt and his khakis off along with his shoes.

He put on a pair of shorts and different shoes and who knows what he did with the evidence.

But we do know he panicked when he learned that sled knew he'd already changed once that night.

That he wasn't wearing the clothes he'd worn to work that day.

And he wasn't wearing the clothes that he had on shortly before the murders.

And we do know that he tried to get his family housekeeper Blanca Simpson to lie about it.

More lies.

He was at the kennel. He changed his clothes twice that night.

In the moments after Maggie and Paul stopped using their phone, Alec moved faster than he had at any other part during that day.

And on the way to his mother's house, he paused right around where Maggie's phone was later found.

Then he paused outside his mother's house near the smoke house.

Then he lied about how long he was at his mother's house.

Lies, lies, lies.

Notice how I haven't mentioned the financial crimes once since the beginning.

Notice how the financial crimes are only the explanation for a state of mind on the night of the murders.

Notice how guilty he still is, separate and apart from those financial crimes.

But not for nothing.

The murders bought him some time when it came to those financial crimes.

People like to say the motive is moronic and that it flies in the face of the fact that the murders led to the discovery of the financial fraud.

But it worked at first. It worked.

In no way did Alec ever think this investigation would ever be handled by anyone outside of the 14th Circuit.

And in fact, 14th Circuit solicitor Duffy Stone, who inherited his role from the Murdochs after 86 years in that office, refused to recuse himself from the investigation for two months.

His office, Alec's office, was right there with their finger on the pulse of the investigators.

The plan was working.

He took out loans and was liquidating assets at rapid fire to get the money to pay back the firm.

And he did that. One of the first things he did after the murders was to get that $800,000 back to PMPED.

He had things under control for a minute.

But he couldn't control the media. And he couldn't control the sunlight on his case.

No one can hide in the sunlight.

Now remember, three days after the murders, when he seemed to say, I did him so bad by accident.

Sure, there's debate over what he actually said at that moment.

But one, inadvertent confessions by reluctant murderers, men who might have felt they had no choice but to do what they did, are not unheard of.

In two, watch the video again and watch how Jim Griffin seems to take note of Alec's word in that moment.

Also, remember during the trial when Alec testified in a performance later deemed not credible by the jurors?

He said he would never intentionally harm Maggie and Paul.


It was a word that got lawyers talking that night. Had Alec Murdoch confessed again?

Janine Pirro from Fox News talked about this on-stand confession and how it had just opened the door for the jury to consider a downcharge, reckless homicide charges perhaps.

Little did she know that Alec lived in the land of no consequence.

By the way, Alec's defenders love to say that he only testified because he had to.

Because Judge Newman had so wrongly allowed in the financial crimes and Alec needed to defend himself.

Um, no. Alec didn't defend himself against the financial crimes.

He admitted to them. He got up on the stand because he lied about being at the kennels.

He had no choice because he lied about being at the kennels.

Again, he creates chaos with his lies and then he uses that chaos to create a new narrative.

And unfortunately, his supporters and the media fall for it every single time.

Finally, we get to one of the biggest pieces of evidence as to how Alec reacts when under pressure.

The roadside shooting.

The roadside shooting, I'll put it in quotes, where he lied about having a flat tire, lied about being shot and lied about who shot him,

giving investigators a description that basically looked like one of the boat crash passengers.

Sled was on to him about the murders and he'd just been forced to resign from the law firm because they suddenly found evidence of the fake forge account.

He needed a solution and that's the solution he came up with violence covered by lies.

The next time you hear or see someone online talking about cartels or two shooters or Alec not being capable of doing this,

or cousin Eddie did it, remember all of this.

This man killed his wife and son.

This should have been case closed a long time ago,

but Alec Murdoch is so used to getting out of whatever he gets into that he just cannot accept the consequences for his actions.

He will stop at nothing to make life better for himself.

That is who the media is helping right now.

That is who way too many TikTokers and social media trolls are helping right now.

That is who, whether they like it or not, a lot of documentary producers are helping too.

They might be in it for the clicks and views, but it doesn't matter.

They are helping a monster as Dick and Jim continue to throw people under the bus for Alec.

They should know who is going under the bus next and that is themselves new trial or not.

Alec is guilty.

Stay tuned, stay pesky, and stay in the sunlight.

True Sunlight is created by me, Mandy Matney, co-hosted by journalist Liz Farrell and produced by my husband, David Moses.

True Sunlight is a Luna Shark production.

Machine-generated transcript that may contain inaccuracies.

True Sunlight co-hosts Mandy Matney and Liz Farrell have another mystery on their hands. Where in the world is Alex Murdaugh’s best friend and co-conspirator Cory Fleming? Also on today’s episode, the two investigative journalists go back down the rabbit hole to look at the timeline of Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin’s plot to get Alex out of state prison and into Club Fed and the motives that lie behind their latest push to keep Colleton County Clerk of Court Becky Hill’s name in the headlines.

Brush up on the Persecution Of Becky Hill in True Sunlight #17's video version which premieres today 10/5/23 at 12pm ET:

We are also proud to share that Sandy Smith created the Stephen Nicholas Smith Memorial Scholarship fund in partnership with the Community Foundation of The Lowcountry. Learn more from Sandy Here: or donate here:

This week, Luna Shark Premium Soak Up The Sun Members are invited to participate in a LIVE Happy Hour with Mandy Matney and Liz Farrell tonight, 10/5 at 7pm ET. Premium Members also get access to searchable case files, written articles with documents, case photos, episode videos and exclusive live experiences with our hosts on all in one place. CLICK HERE to learn more: And for those just wanting ad-free listening without all the other stuff, we now offer ad-free listening on Apple Podcast through a subscription to Luna Shark Plus on the Apple Podcasts App.

Finally, we hope you'll pre-order Blood On Their Hands hard copy, digital or audiobooks, which will be available in book stores near you on November 14th! Learn more or Pre-order your copy at Premium Members will also get access to a ton of new content matched with each chapter when the book releases in November. 

Remember, we all want to drink from the same Cup Of Justice — and it starts with learning about our legal system. By popular demand, Cup of Justice launched as its own weekly show - and debuted #1 on Apple Podcasts the first day! Go to to learn more or click the link in the episode description to get a hot cup of justice wherever you get your podcasts!



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