Murdaugh Murders: Netflix documentary explores horrific story of lawyer who killed his wife and son
Netflix’s latest true crime documentary focuses on the sinister case of Alex Murdaugh.
Over the course of three episodes, Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal recounts the story of Murdaugh, a 54-year-old who was placed on trial for killing his wife and one of his sons in 2021.
On Thursday (2 March), days after the documentary was released, Murdaugh was found guilty on two counts of murder and two weapons charges, following a six-week trial.
You can keep up to date with the latest developments on the story here.
Here’s a breakdown of what the Netflix documentary covers, and more information on its production...
Murdaugh Murders explores Murdaugh’s background as the powerful heir to an influential South Carolina legal dynasty.
Members of the Murdaugh family often held prominent roles in the legal profession, from lead prosecutors to solicitors to District Attorneys. It is claimed in the documentary that this influence allowed them to break the law with impunity.
Among the cases to be scrutinised was an incident from February 2019, when Mallory Beach, a friend of Alex Murdaugh’s son Paul, died in a boating accident. In the documentary, Paul’s ex-girlfriend Morgan Doughty claims that he was driving the motor vehicle when it crashed into a bridge.
At the time, the Murdaughs maintained that Paul’s friend Connor had been driving the boat. The documentary presents forensic evidence thaat is claimed to contradict this version of events.
On 7 June 2021, Alex phoned the police, saying he had discovered the bodies of his estranged wife Maggie and son Paul near the dog kennels at the Murdaughs’ hunting lodge in Islandton, South Carolina.
Both victims had been shot multiple times.
Alex claimed that he had been with his mother at the time of the shootings. However, Paul had filmed a video minutes before being killed, in which Paul’s voice could be heard offscreen. This mobile phone video would become the key piece of evidence in Alex’s trial.
Among the other pieces of evidence was the discovery of gunshot residue on a coat belonging to the Murdaughs, which prosecuters claim was used to conceal and transport the murder weapons.
In the trial, Alex also admitted to stealing millions of dollars from his law firm, and said that he had been addicted to opioids. Prosecutors argued that his multi-million-dollar fraud was about to be exposed back in 2021, claiming that the murders had been an attempt to distract from his other crimes.
Alex also admitted to planning a strange scheme involving a botched contract killing three months after the murders took place, something that is also explored in episode three of the docuseries. He is awaiting a separate trial for this and the fraud.
“What a great day for the people of South Carolina,” said South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, after the guilty verdict was delivered.
“Today’s verdict proves that no one, no one, no matter who you are in society is above the law,” he said.
Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal was directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason.
All three episodes are available to stream on Netflix now.