EXCLUSIVE: Richard “Buster” Murdaugh Jr. – the only surviving son of disgraced South Carolina attorney and accused murderer Alex Murdaugh – is living a quiet life with his longtime girlfriend in a resort town ahead of his father’s much-anticipated murder trial, Fox has revealed News learned digitally.
“They’re a really nice couple,” said a neighbor who didn’t know Buster’s identity or tragic family circumstances. “They always smile and say hello.”
Buster and Brooklynn White, both 26, live with their beloved golden retriever, Miller, in a modest one-bedroom condo on Hilton Head Island — far from the sprawling 1,700-acre hunting farm known as Moselle, where he grew up in Islandton, South Carolina.
Alex, 54, is accused of fatally shooting Buster’s only sibling, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, and her 52-year-old mother, Maggie Murdaugh, on June 7, 2021 near the property’s dog kennels.
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The fallen patriarch is due to stand trial on January 23 for the shocking double murder. Buster has continued to support his absolved and imprisoned father.
On Tuesday morning, Buster pulled up in his gray GMC Yukon in front of the Georgia apartment, looking down, and carried a laundry basket inside before leaving.
The home, which features blue marlin decoration on the front porch, is in a complex with a community pool, tennis court and gym.
It’s unclear when Buster and White started dating – but she accompanied him to Paul and Maggie’s joint funeral, according to a source.
She was seen comforting her boyfriend as he cried at the service and she interacted affectionately with his father, the source added.
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More than 17 months after the murders, the murdered mother and son’s graves in Hampton Cemetery still have no headstones and are marked with small plastic plaques.
White, who is from Rock Hill, South Carolina, bought the Hilton Head condo in July 2021 for $180,000 after landing her first post-law school job at Olivetti McCray & Withrow, where she is based, according to the website of the firm specializing in inheritance and estate planning.
She declined to answer questions Wednesday morning about her boyfriend’s condition or the case against his father, politely responding to multiple requests for comment with a simple “No, ma’am.”
Located in Hilton Head, a vacation destination known for its pristine beaches and golf courses, the apartment is approximately 70 miles from Buster’s childhood home.
White attended the University of South Carolina Law School along with Buster, who was allegedly kicked out in his sophomore year for plagiarism, the Wall Street Journal reported.
According to FitsNews, Alex paid an attorney $60,000 to try to reinstate Buster.
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The news site also reported that Buster attended the annual South Carolina Association for Justice Convention on Hilton Head in August with his attorney, uncle, Randolph “Randy” Murdaugh IV.
Buster has kept a low profile since he sparked a firestorm in October 2021 when he was photographed in public gambling and drinking with his uncle John Marvin Murdaugh at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
The latest Buster sighting comes the same week that the federal trial of banker Russell Laffitte began – the first criminal case to come before a jury in the Murdaugh dynasty’s spectacular unraveling.
Laffitte, the former CEO of Palmetto State Bank, is facing charges of bank fraud, wire fraud and other crimes for allegedly helping Murdaugh extricate his personal injury clients from their settlement money.
Although Alex is a central figure in this federal case, he has not been charged. But he has been charged in state courts with more than 80 counts of financial crimes related to allegedly stealing $8.5 million from his clients’ settlements.
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Prosecutors revealed Tuesday at Laffitte’s trial that Alex was first confronted with financial irregularities at the family’s once-famous personal injury law firm, on the same day his wife and son were murdered.
The company, formerly known as Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Derrick, PA, accused Alex of embezzling funds and forced him out of the company.
Days after losing his job, Alex was shot in the head in a failed suicide bombing allegedly aimed at leaving Buster with $10 million in life insurance.
A prominent Democratic family, the Murdaughs had wielded enormous legal and political power for over a century. Four generations served as the local prosecutor, known as the solicitor, overseeing the five counties at the southern tip of the state.
But their dominance began to wane in 2019 after Paul was accused of drunkenly slamming his father’s boat into the piers of a Beaufort bridge, killing 19-year-old Mallory Beach, injuring four others and sparking a series of court cases that have come under the spotlight Alex allegedly moved crooked financial deals.
Buster was also named as a defendant in the Beach lawsuit for allegedly letting Paul, who was a minor, use his ID to purchase alcohol for the doomed boat ride. The civil case is scheduled to be heard in January.
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Since the double homicide, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has reopened its investigation into the mysterious 2015 death of Buster’s classmate Stephen Smith, with whom he was allegedly having a secret affair.
Authorities also launched a new investigation into the 2018 death of Murdaugh’s longtime housekeeper.
A new HBO documentary, Low Country: the Murdaugh Dynasty, which aired earlier this month, features a series of prison conversations between Alex and his son, recorded at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
In one shot, Alex Buster asks if “Brooklynn” got his letter. In some of the calls that the series didn’t air, Alex speaks directly to White, who addresses him as “sir” and speaks to him cordially.
In another call, Alex encourages Buster to return to the Murdaugh estate, where his brother and mother were shot.
“I think the dams were full over there on the Moselle,” says Alex. “If you felt like going back there, I bet there’s nothing going on, I bet there are deer everywhere.”
Buster, sounding unsettled by the suggestion, replies, “I don’t go hunting out there.”
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One of Alex’s attorneys, Dick Harpootlian, and family spokeswoman Amanda Loveday did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report.