The family of Alex Murdaugh’s late housekeeper say they realized something ‘fishy’ was going on when a $4 million payout he’d promised to arrange for them at her funeral failed to materialize.
Gloria Satterfield’s brother Eric Harriott Jr. told TODAY that three years on from the 57 year-old 2018 death in early 2021, he said to himself: ‘Something’s fishy about this.’
Explaining his thoughts on the payout to Satterfield’s two sons, Harriot added: ‘I just don’t think these boys are gonna… get what they deserve… what’s due to them,’ he recalled thinking.
‘It ain’t about the money. It’s like she was a nobody, as much as she’s done for him.’
Gloria Satterfield, 57, died mysteriously in February 2018 after allegedly tripping over the Murdaughs’ dog at their South Carolina home.
Murdaugh, an attorney who is part of a powerful legal family, is said to have sidled up to Satterfield’s sons Tony and Brian at her funeral, and promised them a payout.
Recalling that encounter, Satterfield’s sister Ginger Harriott said: ‘He said, “I wanna make sure the boys are taken care of”, because he loved Gloria that much.’
But the legal heir has since been mired in scandal, tragedy and disgrace, including claims he pocketed the huge payout himself without giving Satterfield’s sons a dime.
Ginger Harriott Hadwin (top left) said in the Dateline interview that Alex Murdaugh said he would ‘take care of’ his housekeeper Gloria’s Satterfield’s sons Brian Harriott (bottom left) and Tony Satterfield (bottom right) after she died after ‘falling’ in the Murdaugh home. After years went by without the promised insurance payout, Gloria’s brother Eric Harriott Jr. (center) said, he began to suspect that there was ‘something fishy about this thing. The Satterfield family attorney Eric Bland (top right) said the family hasn’t received ‘a dime’ of the promised payout
Murdaugh’s life beginning to unravel when his wife Maggy and son Paul were shot dead at the family’s Hampton County hunting lodge in June.
Paul had been linked to the deaths of two local teenagers. After that tragedy, Alex Murdaugh was accused of stealing from his law firm PMPED – and taking out on a hit on himself, with the alleged Satterfield fraud also emerging.
He has been charged over the fraud and hit, with cops continuing to investigate the deaths of his wife and son.
Murdaugh had the family file a wrongful death lawsuit against him with the goal of having his insurance company pay out a settlement, but he never gave the men the money.
‘He said “I wanna make sure the boys are taken care of,” because he loved Gloria that much,’ Harriot Hadwin said.
At the time, Tony said he believed Murdaugh intended to follow through: ‘Why wouldn’t I?’ he told TODAY anchor Craig Melvin.
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When Gloria Satterfield (pictured) was hospitalized in February of 2018, her family was told that she ‘was tripped by the dogs’ and that the Murdaughs ‘thought she had a head injury, because they saw blood and that was about it until we got to the hospital.’ Before she died, Gloria fought for her life in the hospital for 21 days
Gloria Satterfield’s family told TODAY’s Craig Melvin (right) that their family ‘thought of [the Murdaughs] as extended family also, because Gloria did.’
The Satterfield family’s attorney, Eric Bland, said that Gloria’s family has gotten ‘zero’ money – ‘not a dime’ – since the 57-year-old’s death in 2018.
‘We’re still tracing where the money actually landed,’ he said during the television appearance. ‘But it is impossible to burn that kind of money in Hampton, South Carolina.’
Now, Murdaugh is in jail for that theft but he is also a person of interest in the murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul, who died in June at the family’s home.
When Gloria was hospitalized in February of 2018, her family was told that she ‘was tripped by the dogs’ and that the Murdaughs ‘thought she had a head injury, because they saw blood and that was about it until we got to the hospital.’
Before she died, Gloria fought for her life in the hospital for 21 days.
‘I had just said, “Gloria, I’ll be back tomorrow, and I love you,’ Ginger tearfully said of the last words she exchanged with her sister. ‘She told me “I love you, too.” And that’s the last words I heard her say.’
‘It ain’t about the money… he treated her like she was nothing’ said Gloria’s brother
Gloria Satterfield died in the home of legal heir Alex Murdaugh (left) in February 2018 after working for the family for 20 years. He told her sons that she died of a fall. Now, they say they still don’t know if that’s what really happened
Gloria’s sister, Ginger Harriott Hadwin, added: ‘Did he have that going through his mind that day when we buried Gloria, and thinking, “oh, how much money am I gonna get? How can I get this?”‘
Neither of Gloria’s sons have spoken publicly but in lawsuits against Murdaugh, they lay bare how he took advantage of them as they grieved their mother.
To this day, the two sons say they still don’t know how the fall caused her such horrific injuries that she died.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating her death now in light of a slew of other allegations against Murdaugh.
Murdaugh was arrested for theft and is in custody. He was denied bond yesterday
In an interview on Tuesday, after Murdaugh was denied bond, the sons’ attorney Ronnie Richter cast doubt on the claim that Gloria died by falling down the stairs in the family’s home.
‘Death was first classified a natural death… there is nothing natural about a 57-year old-woman falling down a flight of steps and dying from a head trauma,’ he told CBS in South Carolina.
After Gloria’s death, Murdaugh promised to ‘take care of’ the boys financially.
The two sons, in a lawsuit filed last month, tell how they trusted Murdaugh as a respected South Carolina attorney whose family had been in law offices across the state for more than 100 years.
‘Prior to her untimely death on February 26, 2018, Gloria had worked for Alex Murdaugh and his family as a housekeeper and nanny for over two decades.
‘Gloria was told she was part of the Murdaugh family, and she believed it to be true. The Murdaughs are prominent and wealthy family based in Hampton County that for generations controlled the prosecutor’s office in Hampton County and were the prominent legal family in the area,’ the sons’ lawyer said in their suit.
It was before the murders of Murdaugh’s wife Maggie and son Paul, before Murdaugh admitted to having an ‘opioid addiction’, before he stole money from his own law firm and unsuccessfully tried to have himself killed in a suicide-by-hitman plot to benefit his remaining son Buster.
‘Soon after’ their mother’s funeral, he introduced them to attorney Cory Fleming and encouraged them to hire him.
‘Tony and Brian trusted Alex Murdaugh and because of their trust in him, Tony and Brian retained Fleming and MKF to represent them,’ the lawsuit states.
Neither son was aware that Fleming was Murdaugh’s college roommate and ‘best friend’.
Unsovled: The murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh (main) remain unsolved. Far left is the only surviving Murdaugh son, Buster
People watch during a bond hearing for Alex Murdaugh in the Richland Judicial Center in Columbia, South Carolina on October 19. He is currently in court on two felony charges of obtaining property by false pretenses after siphoning money meant for an insurance payout to Gloria Satterfield’s family after her death for himself
Fleming then appointed a banker, Chad Westendorf, to act as a representative on behalf of the sons.
They didn’t know him and were also unaware that they could have acted as their own representatives, they said.
Westendorf was also the Vice President of Palmetto State Bank at the time and, according to the sons’ lawsuit, he had used the bank in business dealings with Murdaugh and Fleming in the past.
Murdaugh paid Edward Smith to kill him in September but it was a botched job and he survived
The sons were unaware of the professional history between any of them.
Together, they concocted a plan for Fleming and Westendorf to file claims against Murdaugh for Gloria’s death. Murdaugh agreed and said his insurance company, Lloyds of London, would pay out the claim.
They – without the sons’ knowledge or consent – agreed to $505,000, according to the lawsuit.
On Janaury 7, 2019, Fleming received a check from Lloyd’s for $505,000. That day, he wrote a check to Forge for $403,500.
Over the next two years, Fleming and Westendorf negotiated payouts of over $4million from the two insurers Murdaugh used – Lloyd’s and Nautilus. None of those papers were filed in court, and the sons were never away of them.
‘Tony and Brian first learned that money had been recovered from the death of their mother when it was reported in the press.
‘To date, Tony and Brian have not received any monies from any claims or settlements with Murdaugh and his insurance carriers.
‘Not one dime,’ their attorney says.
The investigation into Gloria’s death remains ongoing.
‘SLED’s criminal investigation into the death of Gloria Satterfield and the handling of her estate is ongoing.
‘No additional information is available at this time while the investigation is ongoing,’ a spokesman told DailyMail.com on Wednesday morning.
Murdaugh, 53, has so far only been charged with stealing settlement money from the Satterfield boys but he is a person of interest in the investigation into his wife and son’s murders.