Buster Murdo has broken his silence to deny any involvement in the mysterious killing of gay teenager Steven Smith – and insists he still believes his father is innocent of the murders of his mother and brother.
Alex Murdaugh's only surviving son has spoken out in his first televised interview since his family gained national attention for FOX Nation's new three-part documentary “The Fall of the House of Murdaugh.”
In the interview, Buster shot down rumors that he too could have been involved in a gruesome murder – that of 19-year-old Smith in July 2015 – and offered an alibi for his whereabouts on the night the teenager was killed.
“I never had anything to do with his murder and I never had anything to do with him on a physical level in any way,” she said in an excerpt from the documentary, which is expected to be released on August 31.
Smith, a nursing student, was found dead on a road in Hampton County, South Carolina, in the early hours of July 8, 2015 – not far from the estate of the prominent Murdaugh family where Alex Murdaugh murdered Maggie and Paul six years later .
Although Smith suffered blunt force trauma to the head and there were no skid marks or vehicle debris in the roadway, officials ruled his death a hit and run at the time.
Smith's mother has long disputed this official account and, for years, the name Murdaugh continued to appear in connection with the case.
Buster and Smith were classmates and there were unfounded rumors that the two had some kind of relationship at the time of his death.
Smith's mother, Sandy Smith, named Buster as the prime suspect in her son's slaying in a letter pleading with the FBI to get involved in the case in 2016.
In June 2021 – days after Maggie and Paul were murdered – SLED announced that it had opened a new investigation into Smith's death.
In April, the agency finally announced that Smith's death was being investigated as a homicide and his body was being exhumed for a private autopsy.
No one has ever been charged in Smith's death, and law enforcement has never released anything linking Buster to the murder.
In the FOX Nation documentary, Buster for the first time offered an alibi for the night of Smith's death, saying he was at his family's home in Edisto Beach with his late mother and brother.
Hitting back at the rumors that continue to swirl, she said it was “a terrible thing” to be accused.
“I don't mean to be rude here, but have you ever been accused of killing someone?” asked.
“Well, let me tell you, that's a very, very, very, very, very, terrible thing to put on someone without any facts at all. I mean, it's hurt my reputation. I mean, people see me as a killer.”
In the interview, Buster also doubled down on his father's innocence of Maggie and Paul's murders – even after a jury of 12 colleagues convicted him in March and sentenced him to life in prison on the charges.
Maggie and Paul were found shot to death on the family's 1,700-acre Mosella estate on June 7, 2021. Alex Murdo had called 911 claiming to have found their bodies.
When asked if he ever thought that his father might have killed their loved ones, Buster insisted no.
“No, because I think I have a very unique perspective that no one else in that courtroom has ever had. And I know the love I've seen,” she said.
The 29-year-old went on to say that he believes there are many questions that still need to be answered about the murders.
“My biggest thing that I want people to realize is that there are always two sides to a story. Now, they can choose who they want to believe,” he said.
“But I think there's a lot that still needs to be answered about what happened on June 7.”
He said prosecutors presented a “crazy motive” and that the case was not “fair.”
“I don't think it was fair,” he said. “I was there for six weeks studying it and I think it was a tilted table from the start.
“And I think, unfortunately, a lot of the jurors felt that way before they had to discuss it. It was pre-determined in their minds before they heard any evidence given in this room.”
Buster said he believed police were under “too much pressure” to find a suspect in the murders, so “the route they decided to take” was to charge his father.
He also blamed the media's coverage of the case, which he said let jurors go into the proceedings with their minds already made up.
“Because of everything they were able to read before the trial,” he said.
“I think people are overwhelmed and I think they believe everything they read. And I think he took advantage of a jury pool in a very small town in a very small county.”
Now, with his father behind bars, he said he fears the real killer is still at large.
“I think I've prepared myself to be safe, but yeah, when I go to bed at night, I'm scared that there's someone that's still out there,” Buster added.
Throughout the high-profile murder trial, Buster stood by his father's side, watching every day of the court proceedings with his family members.
Buster also testified for his father, saying Murdo had been “devastated” and “devastated” in the wake of the deaths of his mother and brother.
But despite the fact that he continues to insist even now on his father's innocence, Buster did not deny that his father may be a psychopath.
“I'm not willing to sit here and say it covers him as a whole, but I certainly think there are characteristics where you see the manipulation and the lies and the realization of that kind of thing, and I think that's a fair assessment,” he said.
When asked if he worries that he might be like his father, Buster also had some harsh words about his father's character.
“No, I'm not worried, because I'm not a thief. I'm not a liar. I am not an operator,” he said.
“In these respects I am nothing like him, but, in other respects, I believe I have some of his most admirable qualities, of which I am very proud.”
Murdoch, 54, was sentenced to life in prison for the murders and is serving time at McCormick Maximum Security Correctional Institution in South Carolina.
He also faces a string of financial fraud charges for stealing millions of dollars from his law firm's clients and the family of his dead housekeeper, and a nefarious assassination plot where he claims he paid an accomplice to kill him.
In addition to Smith's death, Murdoch's high-profile sentencing has also thrown into the spotlight a number of other mysterious deaths linked to South Carolina's legal dynasty.
An investigation has reopened into yet another mysterious death linked to the Murdaugh family – that of their longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield.
He died in 2018 in a mysterious fall accident at the family home. Murdaugh then allegedly stole about $4 million in a wrongful death settlement from her sons.
At the time of his murder, Paul was also awaiting trial in the 2018 Mallory Beach boating death.