Colleton County Courthouse doing tours after Murdaugh trial
COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh had many around the world tuning in, and it put a spotlight on the small city of Walterboro. Now two months after the verdict, people are traveling from near and far to get a free tour of the Colleton County Courthouse.
It all started almost immediately after the trial for Alex Murdaugh ended in March, when people started gathering on the grounds of the Colleton County Courthouse to take photos.
Colleton County Courthouse staff invited them in and were happy to answer their questions. Before they knew it, bailiffs were conducting 10 tours a day.
People have traveled from all over the world to come and see where the trial took place and take tours, including from Nova Scotia and England.
“They want to see where the holding cell was where Alex Murdaugh was held during the day,” Colleton County Clerk of Court Becky Hill said. “They want to see the witness stand, where the jury sat, where the prosecution sat, the defense people sat, the jury room.”
The bailiffs have a designated route that takes participants inside and outside the courthouse, and of course in the courtroom, sharing anecdotes from the trial.
“Mr. Buster Murdaugh’s portrait is back on the wall,” Hill said. “So, they take pictures of that.”
Susan Fowler, along with her husband and sister, took the tour on Thursday.
“I watched every bit of the trial on Court TV. Every day,” Fowler said. “I moved hair appointments around, because I remember I had my hair appointment when Alex Murdaugh was on the stand and I was like, I’m not missing his.”
The free tours keep visitors coming to Walterboro. The city’s director of tourism and downtown development, Scott Grooms, said some of the restaurants and shops have had continuous business because people want to see the downtown area.
“For the good or for the bad, it got Walterboro’s name out and people want to see us,” Grooms said. “We’re really happy that people want to come see the town when it’s not during the trial.”
The tours have not been advertised. Instead, people have been hearing about it through word of mouth and social media. But the court staff is happy to have visitors.
“We will take you on a tour,” Hill said. “If we have sweet tea, we will serve it up with lemon.”
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