In response to the controversy and darkness circulating the media for years involving the Murdaugh family, new to Netflix is a documentary uncovering the nasty reality of the case. The documentary, “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal” unpacks the death of Mallory Beach which ultimately leads to further incidents that followed, including several other deaths, lawsuits and jail time for families involved. 

The three episode series begins by introducing the case of Beach’s death that occurred after a late night out, on a boat ride back home. Paul Murdaugh, Morgan Doughty, Miley Altman, Connor Cook, Anthony Cook and Beach had all gone out to an event at a friend’s house, had too much to drink, and took their boat back home. On the way home, the boat crashed and Beach died on Feb. 23, 2019. The story is told from the point of view of Beach’s friends who survived, with the exception of P. Murdaugh. While some of the exact details of the case are unknown, the way the friends and family of Beach explain what happened to them makes the series an emotional rollercoaster leaving viewers pondering the case long after finishing the series. After explaining the death of Beach, the documentary depicts what happened to the driver of the boat, P. Murdaugh, how his family tried to cover the case up and the events that followed resulting in the arrest of the father Alex Murdaugh. The order in which the plot is explained throughout the show makes this one of the most fascinating and captivating true crime documentaries, differing from the usual repetitive documentary. 

When it comes to the acting in the series, the case is told by Doughty, Altman, the Cook cousins, family members and lawyers involved. Several topics are covered in the show including the abusive relationship between Doughty and P. Murdaugh, the deaths of several people mentioned in the show, the court case of A. Murdaugh and many others. While recounting her previous relationship, Doughty goes into depth on the horrible treatment she received, leaving viewers teary eyed and shocked. The way the members involved in the documentary tell their stories is truly moving and saddening.

A factor of the series that plays a role in the feelings viewers get is the cinematography. During the scenes, the camera switches back and forth between everyone depending on what topic is being covered and who was involved at that time. The directors used real life footage, phone calls and technology records to show the reality of the case. When there was no footage for a topic, directors used staged scenes to provide an idea of what a scene looked like for viewers. Cinematography played one of the biggest roles in the show for an understanding of what happened. 

While the case of Beach and the Murdaughs is definitely a hard one to hear about, “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal” is the perfect documentary that accurately explains what happened during this case. The way the plot is explained, the way the story is told by the people involved and the way the show was filmed make this a must watch for anyone, including true crime fans.

  • Plot
  • Acting
  • Cinematography