‘Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal’ opens chilling case wide

Photo courtesy of IMDb.

By Kaitlin Sides | LTVN Reporter

One of the biggest cases known to South Carolina just closed with a verdict many people saw from the start, and Netflix is shining light on the secrets of this family.

The Murdaugh family is a widely-known dynasty of lawyers in Hampton, S.C. But something that was never predicted was that this family would cause so much controversy in the small town.

The Murdaugh family consists of the father, Alex, his wife, Maggie and their sons Paul and Buster Murdaugh. Hampton, S.C., is a small town close to Hilton Head Island.

The murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh took place at the family’s hunting estate, Moselle, located in Islandton, S.C.

Many people have heard about the Murdaugh Murders and the web of lies that surrounds this trial, but not many people realize there were three other deaths that took place. However, Netflix tells all in their recent documentary, “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal.”

Over the years 2015-2021, five people were found dead, all closely related to the Murdaughs: Gloria Satterfield, the family’s long-time housekeeper, Mallory Beach, Paul’s best friend’s girlfriend, Stephen Smith, citizen of Hampton County, and Paul and Maggie Murdaugh, the wife and son of Alex Murdaugh. There is much speculation surrounding the deaths of those close to the Murdaughs. Did the family have a hand in these deaths? Nothing has been confirmed past the murder of Paul and Maggie.

In just four months, many details were released about the family, including Alex being charged with fraud and the roadside shooting of Alex.

Shortly after the one year mark of the murders, Alex was indicted on two counts of murder, as prosecutors argued he fatally shot his wife and son.

The new Netflix documentary, “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal,” mostly focuses on the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh, but also does a great job at explaining the other deaths.

The documentary came out February 22, one month after Alex’s trial started, meaning it was also released before the verdict of murders. I believe it is still worth a watch even though the case has been decided.

The case has many twists and turns, and Netflix made sure to include all the details. This case is truly chilling, something that seems so outlandish that it can’t be real.

It consisted of many interviews that ranged from Paul’s long-time girlfriend, Morgan Doughty, to Gloria Satterfield’s family, to Mallory Beach’s family. The documentary spans over three 50-minute episodes that recall the events that took place before each of the murders.

The first episode focuses on the common behaviors of Paul Murdaugh, and how he often heavily drank alcohol, so much to the point that he received a nickname for his alter-ego: Timmy. The end of the episode starts to get into the events that took place the night of Mallory Beach’s death.

I appreciate how Netflix included the interview with Beach’s mother and showed the pain the family suffered.

The other families also got a chance to speak out and give their opinions on what they believe happened in each of their loved one’s death. The other two episodes go into further details on the night of the boat crash, and the other deaths of those close to the Murdaughs.

Something the documentary does not shine much light on is Buster Murdaugh, the forgotten brother of the family. Buster is the older brother of Paul and is among the lawyers of the Murdaugh family business.

As for now, the documentary has been on Netflix’s Top 10 Shows to watch since the release. And as for Alex, he was found guilty on March 2 on all accounts. The next morning, Murdaugh was sentenced to life. One week after the verdict was released, Murdaugh’s lawyers started the process for an appeal.

To learn even more in depth about even more secrets the family kept, I recommend the “Murdaugh Murders Podcast.” The Netflix documentary helps set a basic knowledge of the cases, but the podcast is for the true crime junkies.

Netflix is often producing stellar true crime documentaries and shows, and this one makes the list. After releasing “American Murder: The Family Next Door,” and “Dahmer,” Netflix has set the stage for better true crime shows.

A notable mention I applaud Netflix on is including Alex Murdaugh in the end of the documentary asking, “Is Netflix putting something out about this?”

This tied the film up with a big bow, stating the family’s secrets are now everyone’s business.