Dawn Martin thought she was simply buying two cameras at the auction of Murdaugh family belongings last week.
Instead, she ended up with a treasure trove of memories— Murdaugh vacations, boating excursions, hunting kills. It was the very stuff described by some family members during the six-week trial of Alex Murdaugh, charged with killing his wife, Maggie and son, Paul. The jury took less than three hours to convict him.
Martin told Savannah television station WTOC she was shocked to find the photos. There were hundreds of them on SIM cards inside the camera bag.
“Alex, with his arm around driving the boat, pictures of Paul holding up deer, hogs that he apparently had shot, pictures of vacations,” she told the television station.
Hundreds of people attended the auction, which included a leather couch that sold for $30,000, bed frames and turtle shell lamps.
Martin told the television station she was captivated by the Murdaugh trial and when she saw the auction was in Pembroke, about 30 miles from her home in Savannah, she decided to go.
Once she got home, she uploaded the SIM cards to her computer.
She watched as the photos opened. One after another — an apparently happy family.
It was an emotional feeling, she said.
“I will say that it has changed me. I can’t unsee it,” she said.
A private view of a highly public life.
She shared two of the photos with the television station. One was a photo of Maggie with a woman standing on a porch, another of what looks like Paul in scuba gear. Now, she’s trying to decide what to do with them.
John Marvin Murdaugh, Alex’s brother, could not be reached for comment on whether the family wanted the photos back.
Martin said she’s particularly interested in telling Maggie’s story, who she described as the forgotten victim.