The three-part Netflix documentary series “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal” was released on Wednesday, as the fifth week of Richard “Alex” Murdaugh’s double murder trial in Walterboro, South Carolina, began.
The project, which is being directed by Julia Willoughby Nason and Jenner Furst, the duo behind Netflix’s “The Pharmacist” and Amazon’s “LuLaRich,” focuses on the criminal claims and controversies surrounding the disbarred lawyer as well as the downfall of his disgraced family empire.
According to Gannett/USA TODAY Network reporter Michael DeWitt Jr., who has covered the issue for years, “the Murdaughs were law and order here in the 14th Circuit for over a century.”
Before you binge watch “Murdaugh Murders,” consider the following.
What does “Murdaugh Murders” cover?
While other true-crime documentaries have examined the Murdaugh saga, Netflix’s series focuses on the murders of Paul and his mother, Maggie, in June 2021, for which Alex Murdaugh was charged, as well as more than 100 other crimes. The series also examines the unsolved 2015 homicide of Hampton County teen Stephen Smith, which state police have connected to the Murdaugh family.
The Murdaughs were one of South Carolina’s most distinguished families, but the death of teenaged Mallory Beach in a drunken boating accident began the disintegration of their heritage. Two years after the collision, Paul Murdaugh and his mother Maggie were discovered brutally killed. This discovery brought an end to a century of corruption, abuse of authority, and cover-ups. brings something to light.
What the docuseries says about Maggie and Paul’s murders:
The second episode of the docuseries, “Murders at Moselle,” discusses the killings of Richard Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, and their son, Paul. On June 7, 2021, at 7:31 p.m., Alex Murdaugh claimed to have awakened from a nap at home but had failed to spot any of his family members. Next, he texted his wife and son to let them know he was headed to his parents’ hospital.
Murdaugh claims that when he got home after 10 p.m., he found his son, 22, and wife, 52, shot close to the dog kennels on their property. Murdaugh dialled 911 while sobbing and reported their demise. Some others questioned whether the murderer’s motives included a desire to exact revenge for Beach’s demise.
The third installment of the documentary series provides proof that Alex Murdaugh was at home when Paul and Maggie died. Murdaugh was with one of the victims when they died, according to a high-velocity impact spatter found on his clothing. Also, Paul’s phone video from 8:44 p.m. shows Alex Murdaugh’s voice roughly 15 minutes before the alleged murders. However this does not demonstrate Murdaugh is responsible, it does dispute his account of the evening.
Alex Murdaugh was charged with murder in July 2022. He was refused bond after entering a not-guilty plea that month. The filmmakers requested an interview with Murdaugh, but he did not answer.
Updates on the Alex Murdaugh trial
Jan. 23 saw the start of Murdaugh’s double murder trial, which is anticipated to last for another week or two.
Buster Murdaugh, the eldest son still living, took the witness stand to begin the Tuesday hearing. Although at times emotional, his testimony didn’t provide any fresh information or insights.
Buster, named after his great-grandfather, a prominent 14th Circuit Solicitor, claimed that June 7, 2021, was an ordinary day filled with typical family chats and texts up until his father called him at approximately 10:30 that night to inform him that his mother and brother had been shot and died.
Alex Murdaugh must then stand trial on more than 100 more criminal charges after the deposition in that trial. In these instances, no trial dates or sites have been determined.
A number of civil courts lawsuits have also been brought against the disbarred South Carolina lawyer in addition to the criminal allegations. Murdaugh had already admitted guilt in a case involving the Gloria Satterfield Estate, winning $4.3 million in a confession of judgment. The State newspaper said that the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Mallory Beach could be tried as soon as this summer.
Dates for the remaining civil lawsuits against Murdaugh’s trial have not yet been established.