Murdaugh family in happier times: True crime fan buys memory cards filled with family photos
A true crime fan was astonished to find hundreds of never-before-seen vacation photos of the Murdaugh family on a memory card she bought at auction.
Dawn Martin, who had ‘closely followed’ the Murdaugh case, said the shots showed Alex driving the family boat and Paul holding up dear and hogs that he had just killed.
Martin invested in several items at the auction but claimed she ‘didn’t really know’ what a memory card was or that it would hold such an intimate glance into the family’s life.
She has shared only two photos – one of Maggie on holiday and another of Alex in a scuba diving mask – while waiting to decide what to do with the rest.
Last week the Liberty Auction House in Pembroke, Georgia, auctioned off a whole host of items from the Murdaugh family’s 1,800-acre site where patriarch Alex murdered his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, on June 7, 2021.
A photo of Alex Murdaugh scuba diving was one of the hundreds of never-before-seen photos of the family found on a memory card sold at auction last week
A shot of Maggie enjoying herself on vacation was also found on the old cards
Yesterday it was revealed the Murdaugh hunting lodge was sold for $2.6 million to two buyers – a downgrade from the $3.9 million it was listed for.
Martin, who lives in Pembroke, said she decided to visit the auction after realizing how close it was to her home.
‘I had followed the case very closely. I had the day off and decided to, since it was so close, I was very surprised to have it in Pembroke, Georgia,’ she told WTOC 11.
‘The most important for me was this camera bag that was said to have had information of SIM cards.’
She bought two cameras and a bag of memory cards that she took home and uploaded to her computer.
She insisted she had expected to see ‘nothing’ on the cards, adding ‘I didn’t really know what a SIM card or memory card was.’
However they were filled with hundreds of photos from Murdaugh family vacations.
She explained: ‘Alex, with his arm around driving the boat, pictures of Paul holding up dear, hogs that he apparently had shot, pictures of vacations.
Dawn Martin said she had ‘very closely’ followed the Murdaugh case. She bought several items at auction including two cameras and a bag of memory cards
Martin said she ‘didn’t really know’ what a memory card was and was expecting to find nothing on the devices
‘I will say that it has changed me. I can’t unsee it. I never imagined that I would be owner of the things and hide a glimpse into the private view of their life.’
She added: ‘The images told a story. There were so many of them. And to guess that looking at a novel and knowing the outcome and what that outcome became and how shocked I was myself.’
Martin said she also wanted to pay tribute to Maggie through the photos.
‘She was the forgotten victim in this story and I feel honored that I saw them. But it’s like the novel, we know what happened in the end. So, for me, it’s very eerie,’ she said.
The Liberty Auction House sold off household items including a leather sofa, armchair set, crockery, lampshades and hunting mounts all belonging to the Murdaugh’s at last Thursday’s auction.
Among the more expensive items on sale were lamps emblazoned with turtle shells, which sold for $800, a Yeti tumbler for $400, and mounted long horns which were given a hefty $10,000 price tag.
Martin said the shots gave an intimate glance into the Murdaugh’s private lives. They are pictured from left to right: Buster, Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh
A shot shared on Facebook shows Maggie with her two sons on vacation
The first item auctioned off was an animal trap, which went for $500, which was later followed by a pair of rocking chairs for $850, and a couch from the family mansion, which fetched $30,000 after an intense bidding war.
It comes three weeks after Murdaugh appealed his double murder convictions along with his life sentence. He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murders on March 3.
Murdaugh is currently housed in high-security Kirkland Correctional Institution, one of South Carolina’s most notorious prisons.
And while the disgraced former lawyer escaped the death penalty for the murder of his wife Maggie and son Paul, a third life sentence conviction would mean Murdaugh will spend the rest of his life behind bars due to the state’s ‘three strikes’ law.
He is currently appealing his murder conviction, but the state is specifically seeking three additional convictions for breach of trust totaling $10,000 or more.
Three additional convictions on the breach of trust charges would result in a life sentence, removing his chance of parole.
Murdaugh’s trial lasted six weeks and included more than 75 witnesses, but culminated in a jury taking less than three hours to find the 54-year-old guilty of shooting his wife and son dead.
Murdaugh called 911 on the evening of June 7, 2021, saying he found his son and wife dead when he returned home from a one-hour visit with his mother, who has dementia.
Household items belonging to the Murdaugh family including a leather sofa and armchair set (pictured), crockery, lampshades and hunting mounts was sold at the auction
The auction house also sold a pair of lamps with tortoise shells on them
The sale also featured hunting mounts from the family’s estate in Moselle, where Alex Murdaugh murdered his wife Maggie, 52, and their son Paul, 22
Authorities said Paul was shot twice with a shotgun, each round loaded with different sized shot, while Maggie was struck with four or five bullets from a rifle.
A crime scene report suggested that both victims were shot in the head after initially being wounded near dog kennels on the Murdaughs’ sprawling rural property.
Source of data and images: dailymail