UPDATE: Friday 3:00 p.m. - The board of directors for Eblen Charities announced Friday morning that Bill Murdock will retire from his position as CEO. Later Friday afternoon, Murdock also resigned his seat on the board of trustees for A-B Tech. The decisions come just days after a CNN report that featured the first interview with victim of sexual abuse that Murdock plead guilty to in 1988.
(Thursday) - The woman who accused the co-founder of one Asheville's biggest charities of sexual abuse in the 1980's broke her silence in a story to CNN. Shelley Love Baldwin told CNN she was sexually abused during her freshman year by Bill Murdock, whom she had first met when he was her teacher at Erwin Middle School in 1985.
Three years later, Murdock plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of taking 'liberties with children' after being initially charged with a felony. He served no jail time and resigned his teaching position. In the early 1990's, co-founded Eblen Charities, which eventually became one of the most successful charitable organizations in Western North Carolina.
Murdock denied the victim's claims in the CNN story, something he had done previously to the Asheville Citizen-Times when he returned an honorary degree bestowed upon him by UNC Asheville in 2018. That was returned earlier this March over renewed concerns about his criminal record. In addition to speaking with the victim, CNN also interviewed her family, friends, medical professionals, and prosecutors who handled the case. It also published an audio recording of the victim's father Doug Love confronting Murdock in 1988 over his daughters accusations.
Sally Kestin was the reporter who worked on the story for CNN, and she sat down with BPR's Matt Bush to discuss her work, which includes revelations that the charge Murdock plead guilty doesn't exist. Kestin also found that many credentials listed in Murdock's official bio are inflated, and that it's unclear whether Asheville City schools did a background check on him when the system hired him as a 'temporary teacher' a few years after his guilty plea.
PORTIONS OF INTERVIEW WITH TIME CODES
:34 - Sally Kestin describes how the story came to her attention
1:56 - Kestin talks about what Shelley Love Baldwin told her about Bill Murdock
3:04 - Kestin details the alleged sexual abuse Baldwin told her about
5:05 - Kestin describes the audio tape of Doug Love, the victim's father, confronting Bill Murdock in 1988
6:20 - Kestin describes the crime Murdock plead guilty to does not exist
6:59 - Kestin details her interview with Murdock for the story
8:04 - Kestin describes the 'inflations' in Murdock's resume
9:49 - Kestin talks about Eblen Charities prominence in the Asheville community and Bill Murdock's role in that
11:10 - Kestin talks about the support Murdock has received from Eblen Charities when the revelations came to light
12:57 - Kestin talks about Murdock's career post 1988, and how his guilty plea faded from view
15:57 - Kestin says both Asheville City schools and Buncombe County schools have things to answer for regarding Murdock
17:31 - Kestin talks about what's next now that all these new revelations have come to light
18:48 - Kestin says there is a lot for Asheville's large non-profit culture to absorb from this case