PEMBROKE, Georgia—Ugly framed art prints. Gun parts and pistol cleaning kits. A crossbow. Furniture. Old Antlers.
Those are just some of the random objects up for auction on Thursday from the hunting estate of Alex Murdaugh, the once-prominent lawyer now serving a life sentence for murdering his wife, Maggie, and his son, Paul, in June 2021 in a twisted attempt to hide his financial crimes.
The warehouse sale, run by Liberty Auction, comes just weeks after Alex Murdaugh’s highly publicized murder trial, where jurors actually walked the grounds of the family’s hunting property in Hampton County, South Carolina. The jury ended up convicting the 54-year-old of the double murders, which occurred near the property’s dog kennels. Murdaugh still faces over a hundred other criminal charges, ranging from drug trafficking to money laundering to staging his own suicide in a twisted insurance payout scheme.
Lori Mattingly, the owner of the Savannah-based auction house, told CNN her team was hired to clean out the home and sell everything inside. She added that packing up the home now synonymous with a grisly murder was “just like any other job,” and stressed that the Murdaugh’s belongings were “not any better or nicer than other things” picked up for auction.
Reese Bridges, who runs an eBay store with his father, drove about three hours to store some items he hopes true crime fans might buy. The Newborn, Georgia resident, however, told The Daily Beast that the bidding was immediately so crazy—after a $15 animal cage went for $475—that he was initially hesitant.
But Bridges said he finally joined the auction and snagged five duck-hunting decoys for $60.
“It’s the gun angle,” he said, adding that he thinks the ducks will fetch him a profit on eBay. Later, he added that while some of his fellow bidders might also be hoping to score items for resale, he thinks some in the crowd were hoping for a personal prize.
“I think some of them just want to hold onto them—have something weird,” he added.
Some of the items were advertised on the auction house’s Facebook page prior to Thursday, a decision that Mattingly says prompted a string of phone calls from interested buyers. On Thursday, hoards of buyers, gawkers, and members of the local media packed the stuffy warehouse in anticipation of the auction.
“It’s insane,” one woman mused as she pushed her way out of the packed proceedings.
Around 4 p.m., Liberty’s auctioneer, dressed in a red polo, with a ball cap pulled low over his eyes, performed the familiar, fast-talking routine as bidding began. Among the items for sale: Hunting equipment, tableware, multiple well-used flatscreen TVs, and cleaning kits for pistols and rifles.
The auction house was also selling a custom living room set, including a sofa with matching pillows embroidered “MMB,” an apparent reference to Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie Branstetter Murdaugh. It is not immediately clear how many of Murdaugh’s items are being sold on Thursday—and they will be sold among property from other estates.
A slew of books up for auction also seemed to provide inside knowledge into the daily lives of the Murdaughs. The titles ranged from Michael Crichton, Dale Brown, and John Grisham thrillers, to romances, and vaguely inspirational religious tomes.
And if the wear and tear on the recipes in Maggie’s recipe box were any indication—the Murdaughs also seemed to be fans of cornbread, corn pudding, and sausage gravy. One Danielle Steele novel even revealed Maggie’s scrawled maiden name. There were also handwritten notes tucked into the books—including a list of names on a sticky note from an optometrist and a reminder of a funeral.
One of several pairs of deer antlers was already being bid for over a hundred bucks within minutes.
“It’d be cheaper to shoot your own,” one elderly woman muttered.
Another attendee was Alyssa Lindesmith, a local who admitted is a “huge” true crime fan. She told The Daily Beast she was surprised and excited when a made-for-TV crime story began playing out near her own home—and went to the auction house to record a video of the scene.
Lindesmith added she was eyeing lamps made from turtle shells and a lovely old crib before the auction began, but gave up her hope of owning a piece of true crime when a Liberty staffer said the crib in particular wasn’t likely to go up for bid until 9:00 p.m.—eight hours after the auction opened for previews.