Murdaugh Family Mystery: Investigators To Exhume Body Of Former Housekeeper

Gloria Satterfield died after a fall at the home of her boss, Alex Murdaugh, who now admits he stole $4.3 million in insurance proceeds from her sons.

June 07, 2022
Gloria Satterfield, 57, pictured here smiling, died in 2018 after a fall at the home of her boss, Alex Murdaugh.

In June 2022, family has granted investigators in South Carolina permission to exhume the body of Gloria Satterfield, the housekeeper who purportedly died from a fall at the home of Alex Murdaugh.

Photo by: Brice W. Herndon and Sons Funeral Home

Brice W. Herndon and Sons Funeral Home

By: Aaron Rasmussen

Family has granted investigators in South Carolina permission to exhume the body of Gloria Satterfield, the housekeeper who purportedly died from a fall at the home of Alex Murdaugh, the disgraced attorney who is a person of interest in his wife and son’s killings in 2021, authorities said.

“This is a complex process that will take weeks, not days," South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) spokesperson Renee Wunderlich explained on June 4 of the reopened investigation into Satterfield’s death, WLTX reported.

Police initially believed Satterfield, 57, accidentally tripped over dogs and tumbled down a set of stairs while at Murdaugh’s home in February 2018. She later died from a stroke caused by the traumatic head injuries she suffered.

In September 2021, SLED launched a criminal investigation into the incident in the wake of Murdaugh’s ties to multiple investigations, including money laundering, the murders of his wife and son, and a botched suicide-for-hire plot, USA Today reported.

Murdaugh — Satterfield’s boss of over 20 years — was arrested at a Florida drug rehabilitation center last fall after authorities accused him of misappropriating insurance settlement funds that were meant to go to his late employee’s loved ones.

A court recently awarded a $4.3 million judgment to Satterfield’s family in connection to a wrongful death lawsuit they filed against Murdaugh, who admitted in a “confession of judgment” that he swindled his former employee’s rightful heirs out of the insurance proceeds, according to WLOS.

Attorneys for Satterfield’s family called the judgment “both meaningful and symbolic” for her sons.

“By this judgment, Mr. Murdaugh admits that the allegations contained in the complaint against him are true and admits that he stole the $4.3 million settlement funds that belonged to Gloria’s estate,” the lawyers said, WTGS reported. “This sad saga on so many levels is nearing the end for Gloria’s family.”

Murdaugh, 63, first made headlines in June 2021 when he said he discovered his wife, Maggie, 52, and their son, Paul, 22, fatally shot at the family’s estate in Islandton, on the Hampton County-Colleton County line.

While Murdaugh is a person of interest in the pair’s murders, police have not formally named any suspects or charged anyone in the case, People reported.

Since the deadly shootings, however, Murdaugh has been charged with 71 criminal financial charges that include forgery and money laundry.

He faces an additional three charges stemming from a September 2021 incident in which he allegedly attempted to orchestrate a murder-for hire suicide plot so that his 26-year-old surviving son, Buster, would be the beneficiary of a $10 million insurance payout, according to authorities.

Law enforcement officials have not said if Murdaugh could face more charges in connection to the reopened investigation into Satterfield’s death.

For more on the Murdaugh family mystery, tune into Murdaugh Murders: Deadly Dynasty on ID June 19 at 9/8c. or stream on discovery+.

Next Up

Woman Admits Killing Her Husband With Surprising Weapon: Common Eye Drops

York County police said that Lana Clayton confessed after an autopsy uncovered a high amount of tetrahydrozoline in her husband's body.

True Crime News Roundup: Pregnant Woman Fatally Shot Two Weeks Before Her Due Date

Plus: Brian Laundrie’s father joins the search for his fugitive son; a group of investigators believe they’ve identified the Zodiac Killer; and a convicted con man on the run for decades is possibly spotted at a Dodgers game.

Lip Balm, Air Vents & Mail Bags: Inside Richard Lee McNair’s Infamous Prison Breakouts

‘He is about the smartest person I’ve ever met,’ his brother once said.

Genetic Genealogy Solves Murder Of Two Colorado Women After Four Decades

“I never thought I’d see the day, frankly,” says one investigator who worked on the 1982 cold case.

Unlicensed Mother, Daughter Accused Of Murder After Botched Butt Lift

Libby Adame and Alicia Galaz allegedly recruited new clients on Instagram and charged $14,000 for three sessions, police say.

Thayne Smika Has Been On The Run Since 1983 When He May Have Murdered His Roommate

According to investigators, Sid Wells told Thayne Smika he needed to step up and pay for his portion of the rent, and a specific date was given for Smika to hand the money over: August 1, 1983 — the same day Wells was murdered.

Man Freed After Spending 21 Years In Prison For Murder Despite Another Man’s Confession

McKinley ‘Mac’ Phipps said he had stopped believing in people and the system: ‘Everything was just dark.’

Aspiring Drug Kingpin Fatally Shot Newlyweds, Plotted Murder-For-Hire Scheme

James Charles Tooley was connected to the 2008 double homicide after his cousin turned him in.

How A Botched No-Knock Raid Led To Amir Locke’s Tragic Shooting Death

Loved ones “just flabbergasted” the 22-year-old Minnesota man “was killed in this way,” lawyer says.