Alex Murdaugh’s parents – Everything about the disgraced lawyer’s prominent family

Alex Murdaugh

Richard “Alex” Murdaugh, the heir of South Carolina’s prominent legal family, is on trial for the double murder of his wife Margaret Kennedy Branstetter and son Paul Murdaugh that occurred on June 7, 2021. The once esteemed lawyer now finds himself on the wrong side of the courtroom facing more than 100 criminal charges including murder, drugs, and financial fraud.

The Murdaugh family governed the legal side of Low Country, South Carolina for almost a century until the recent controversies. Due to the notoriety surrounding the case, local media dubbed it the state’s “trial of the century”. Alex, who claimed to be with his ailing parents on the night of the murders, admitted to lying about his alibi but denies any involvement in the crime.

Alex Murdaugh’s father passed away just three days after the murders of his wife and son – His mother has dementia

Alex Murdaugh is one of the four children of Randolph Murdaugh III and Elizabeth “Libby” Alexander. Randolph was a third-generation prosecutor of the Murdaugh family which produced one solicitor after another for South Carolina’s 14th Judicial Circuit since 1920.

Randolph Murdaugh III
Alex’s father Randolph Murdaugh III | Photo by Michael M. DeWitt, Jr./Bluffton Today

Following in his grandfather and father’s footsteps, Randolph obtained a law degree from the University of South Carolina and successfully ran for the post of solicitor at the Circuit in 1986. In his 20-year career as the solicitor, he won all of his five elections as the unopposed candidate and tried more than 200 murder cases.

Randolph retired from the post in 2006 but continued to practice privately in his family’s nationally recognized law firm in Hampton County. He also worked as a prosecutorial consultant to the Circuit and helped with the court’s most dangerous and repeat offenders.

For his contribution to the state, he was awarded the Order of the Palmetto (the highest civilian honor in South Carolina) by Governor Henry McMaster in 2018. But his health declined in the last few years and he became terminally ill.

On June 10, 2021, Randolph passed away of natural causes at his Almeda home in the presence of his family. His death came just three days after the murders of his daughter-in-law and grandson. He was 81 years old.

Alex’s mother Elizabeth “Libby” Alexander
Alex’s mother Elizabeth “Libby” Alexander | libby.murdaugh/Facebook

Alex’s mother Libby, on the other hand, is currently 83 years old and suffering from dementia. She has reportedly been struggling with Alzheimer’s disease for the past five years. In November 1976, a hoax obituary about her was published in the reputed regional newspaper The State.

During her heydays, Libby was an alumna of Columbia College who worked as a school teacher and librarian in Lexington County and Hampton County. Besides being a member of the Children’s Foster Care Review Board, she was the vice president of the Hampton County Country Club and a counselor at the Hampton-Varnville Methodist Youth Fellowship.