WALTERBORO, S.C. (Court TV) — Nearly two years after the brutal murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh, the jury was allowed to physically retrace the steps where prosecutors say Alex Murdaugh killed his wife and son.
Shortly after jurors finished walking the grounds, Court TV’s photojournalist Steven Greshem was one of three people from the media chosen to visit and report on the former Murdaugh estate, Moselle. Greshem sits down with Court TV field producer Emily Kean to talk about what he calls a “somber” and “surreal” moment.
Q: Tell me about getting to the courthouse this morning, the ride over.
A: Basically, we got here around 8:30 this morning and met with the sheriffs, and we waited until the jury all exited the courthouse. Then, we proceeded to go to the farm, or the murder scene of Murdaugh. We waited another half an hour while the jury did their whole walk around, which I’m pretty sure they did (tour) the dog kennel, and the area where the murders happened. And then we went in. To be a cameraman for Court TV, I think that was very special for us to be chosen. I did videotaping of the murder scene, the kennels, the home where he lived and the whole farm. That was a few of the things that I shot.
Q: Let’s start with the feed room where Paul Murdaugh was killed. Just kind of tell me your impressions, what you saw.
A: I think for me, it was surreal to be there, to see where this murder happened. For this trial to be going on for such a long time, for six weeks almost, and to see the feed room where Paul passed away and then just maybe 12 steps away (because we walked it) where his mom passed away. It was sad, but, you know, as a photographer, I wanted to show everybody. I wanted them to be there because they are not there. And to see what the jury saw and to give that.
Q: Did you see any evidence of the murders?
A: I think everything was pretty much gone. There was no evidence of any bloodstains. Oh, there was something very important! There was a gunshot, a shot where the I guess the rifle shot through some plywood. I took some video of that. That’s one of the things that I saw that was still left there. A hole where the gunshot went through there, a particular gunshot.
Q: And now it’s in plywood, you said?
A: Yes, in a piece of plywood.
Q: What about the window in the feed room? There was a lot of testimony about a gunshot that went through one of the windowpanes.
A: It looked like someone had come in and put fresh plywood and fresh concrete. And so I didn’t see anything from the window as far as that room, other than they had left the door open just so the jury could see it. And I only videotaped what the jury could see.
Q: What did it feel like to be in that room?
A: It was kind of chilling, because I’m walking on someone’s grave. Not a grave, but where they were murdered, and, you know, it’s something that you think about. It’s like this is where this murder happened. And just feet away, his mom passed away. And we just don’t know what happened too, or who did it.
Q: I’m guessing, where Maggie was killed, you kind of shot in that area, looking back toward the feed room. Was there anything you felt from looking at that perspective?
A: I tried to do the best, as a cameraman, to take myself out of it. But you do get emotional, and you do feel like…this is someone’s life. And I just wanted to pass on to the viewers what I saw. So, emotionally, I felt something. But I mean, I just showed, as a videographer, where the mom passed away and where the son passed away.
Q: From the kennels, were you able to see Moselle Road?
A: If you walked around the corner? Yes, you can. Yes, you can.
Q: Could you see the house?
A: No. Vegetation has grown. And this has been… I mean, it seems like it grows pretty fast here. But from the house, from the house to where that area is, you can see the top of a roof. And that’s about it.
Q: You were able to go and film the exteriors of the home. Correct? Tell me about that.
A: Well, we jumped back in the van and we rode to the entrance of the house. The house was kind of gloomy. Nobody lived there. You could tell it was it was just like… nothing was going on anymore. It was sad. It was a sad situation. It had no life, like when somebody doesn’t live in a house, has no life. There was one cup that said “Buddy” on it and some chairs like somebody had sat there for a while and had coffee or tea or whatever, as a family. But that’s no more and it’s just sad.
Q: It’s been two years since someone’s lived there. With regards to the land, the yard, the grass there, what was it like?
A: It was overgrown. There was evidence of wildlife roaming the area. I mean, this is a big hog country and big snake country. And so, I would imagine that all of that was around there and nobody’s there. Nobody goes there, it’s private. It’s been sold. So, it’s private property owned by the new owner now.
Q: How long did it take to make the drive from the kennels to the home?
A: That’s about a minute. And if someone was walking, that’s about a five-minute walk. But it took about a good minute. And these guys, the sheriffs were driving pretty slow. It took about a minute to go from the kennel to the house. And then we shot and then came back. So, it’s not a far drive, but at nighttime, I don’t think you could find your way if it’s dark outside because it’s dark. I didn’t see any lights of evidence of lighting.
Q: And you didn’t see any golf carts, ATVs, any of that kind of equipment?
A: No, all of that was gone. All we saw were the kennels and we kind of reenacted what we thought the best way would be for the mother and the son and where they were, where they were shot. And then we went to the house.
Q: In the feed room, you were in the feed room?
A: I videotaped inside the feed room. And I videotaped about 12 steps away from where she was shot underneath another canopy. So, that’s where I shot.
Q: How big is the feed room? Could you see anything like that?
A: It’s small actually, the kennel part is big. You know, you got a room for 12-15 dogs. Feed room is like, you know, 100lb bags of food. So, it’s a tiny little space. It’s not that big. Two people in that room with feed would have a difficult time.
Q: Did it feel somber, overall?
A: To me, yes, it did feel somber. It felt surreal. I mean, I’m not an emotional person. I take things as they are because I want to…my job is to give people what I see because they’re not there.