Things Netflix Missed Out Of The Murdaugh Story

By Kirsty 1 year ago

What's 'The Murdaugh Murders' All About?

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The story behind one of Netflix's latest crime documentaries is that of the Murdaugh family, and a fatal boat crash that killed a young woman. The Murdaugh Murders focuses on the death - or, rather, murders - of Paul Murdaugh and his mother, Maggie, as well as the death of Mallory Beach.

Who Was Mallory Beach?

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Mallory Beach was a 19-year-old girl who died in 2019 after she was involved in a boat crash. She was on board the boat, which was driven by Paul Murdaugh - drunk at the time - who then crashed into a bridge, throwing Mallory overboard where she drowned.

Who Were The Murdaugh Family?

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Paul Murdaugh, 19 years old at the time of the boating accident, was the son of Alex Murdaugh and Maggie Murdaugh. The family was a very prominent one in South Carolina, and a family of lawyers at that. Their influence was so big that some people called that part of South Carolina 'Murdaugh Country'.

Who Is Alex Murdaugh?

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Alex Murdaugh is the father and head of this family of lawyers - and he's also the man who was suspected of killing both his wife, Maggie, and his son, Paul. Their deaths came about after the tragic boating accident that Paul was responsible for. Alex has also been embroiled in a number of other crimes.

Was He Found Guilty?

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The Netflix documentary has been very well timed, as Alex Murdaugh has recently been found guilty of killing his wife and son. The 54-year-old has been charged with their murder in 2021. It took around three hours for the jury to deliberate, and return with a guilty verdict.

Alex Murdaugh Faces A Minimum Of 30 Years In Prison

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Following the guilty verdict, the head of the Murdaugh family faces a hefty prison sentence. He faces, not only 30 years in prison for the murder of his family, but also an additional 5 years for each other crime he's being charged with: namely, possession of a weapon.

Murdaugh Apparently Struggled With Addiction

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Following the murders and Alex speaking out about what happened, he's also admitted that he's apparently suffered with addiction over the past 10 years - including the years where the murders took place. He claims to have been struggling with an opioid addiction.

And He Also Faces 100 Other Charges

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As well as the murders of his own wife and son, and being disbarred from practicing law, Alex Murdaugh is faced with 100 other criminal charges, which include financial crimes, stealing money from clients, assisted suicide and insurance fraud, all of which will be taken into consideration in his sentencing.

There Was Also The Ominous 'Roadside Incident'

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The 'roadside incident' is the name given to an incident that Alex has been linked to, in which he's said to have planned assisted suicide and insurance fraud. The incident saw Alex claiming he'd been shot in the head by an unknown person when he'd pulled over with a flat tire - only later to admit to police that he'd planned a former client to shoot and kill him so that his remaining son could cash the life insurance policy.

The Netflix Documentary Was Supposed To Unravel The Years Before The Murders

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This latest Netflix documentary wasn't set on focusing only on the murders of Alex's wife and son, Maggie and Paul. It was intended to unravel the Murdaugh story from as far back as possible, beginning with suspicious deaths and, of course, the death of Mallory Beach.

And Then There's The Death Of The Family's Housekeeper

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Gloria Satterfield was the Murdaugh family housekeeper who also met a tragic demise - another awful death linked to this family. Gloria apparently tripped and suffered a fall at the Murdaugh estate, and later died in hospital. But it became suspicious when Alex was accused of embezzling money from her family.

The Doc Focuses A LOT On The Fatal Boat Crash

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You might go into this documentary thinking that the biggest focus of the whole thing would be the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh at the hands of Alex, but almost half the documentary actually focuses on the boat crash that killed Mallory. Is this to put focus on a tragic death outside of the family?

The Murders Of Paul And Maggie Were Then Overshadowed By The Boat Crash

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Because of such huge focus on the death of Mallory Beach and the boat crash that killed her, the documentary completely overshadows the tragic - and violent - deaths of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh, when the Netflix show is supposed to be focusing on their family tragedy, too.

Loads Of Crucial Details About Their Deaths Weren't Shown In The Doc

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The timing of the documentary was good, in a way, in terms of coming out in time for the murder trial of Alex Murdaugh - but one main problem with this was that the documentary had already been wrapped
the trial began. So there are loads of details about the case that wouldn't have been able to be shown in the doc before they came to light at trial.

The Documentary Spends Too Long Setting Up Maggie And Paul As Villains

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Another thing the documentary misses out on is too much sympathy for the deaths of Maggie and Paul - when, actually, they were brutal. The documentary spends so long getting around to their deaths after discussing the boating accident, that by the time viewers learn of their deaths, they've been painted as people who wronged a lot of others.

The Day Of The Murders: What Happened?

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Public knowledge of what happened on the day of the murders is that, by this point, the family were under a lot of pressure and stress following the tragic boating accident. Then we know that Alex Murdaugh made a 911 call to report the deaths of his wife and son, which is shown as a reconstruction in the show.

But The Trial Revealed More Details About That Day, That Netflix Missed

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The Netflix show could obviously only report what had happened before anything new came out at trial, due to its pre-trial release date. But the trial that happened following this series revealed plenty more details surrounding the days leading up to the murders, and the day itself. So what did Netflix miss?

The Law Firm Was Already Suspicious Of Alex

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The trial revealed that the CFO of Alex's law firm had already become suspicious of missing legal fees on the accounts - and that she'd actually confronted Alex about it on the day of the murders, hours before Maggie and Paul were killed. This means Alex would have realised how bad the situation was, hours before the murders.

But The Netflix Show Implied The Finance Problems Were Due To The Boat Crash

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When you watch the show, it makes complete sense why the horrific boat crash accident could have been the catalyst to start the financial downward spiral for the Murdaugh family - but this evidence in trial suggests otherwise. It seems that the financial problems were happening in spite of the boat crash.

Alex Learned That His Father Was Terminally Ill - The Day Of The Murders

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As well as being confronted by his CFO about financial issues, Alex Murdaugh also got a phone call on the day of the murders to be told that his father, who was in hospital at the time, was terminally ill. The fact of Alex getting the phone call on the day of the murders was supported by witnesses.

Alex Had Texted His Wife To 'Come Home' That Day

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During the day of the murders, Maggie Murdaugh was originally planning to stay at the beach house that she usually stayed at during the summer. But Alex had texted his wife to ask that she instead come home to Moselle instead - where she would then be murdered.

Maggie Had Been Worried About Her Husband's Wellbeing

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Other text messages revealed that Maggie had been worried about her husband's wellbeing on the day of the murders - and that it was for this reason that she'd decided to listen to him, and return home instead of at the beach house, because she was worried about him.

The Documentary Doesn't Show Key Facts And Footage Of What Alex Did After The Murders

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After the 911 call, there is a ton of bodycam videos and interviews which reveal a great deal about what Alex did after the murders - but Netflix barely shows anything. There is a lot of law enforcement testimony and cell phone records to explain what Alex had been doing after hanging up from the 911 call. So what did Netflix miss here?

Alex Took Almost An Hour To Call His Son And Tell Him

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Alex had hung up on the 911 call after reporting the murders, saying that he needed to speak to his family and tell them what had happened. But it took him around 45 minutes to call his surviving son to tell him his mother and brother were dead. He even called one of Paul Murdaugh's friends before he called his son, Buster.

He Also Googled A Restaurant Before He Called His Son

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During this time, Alex apparently also did a few strange things on his phone, which included looking in on a group message chat, making a phone call to a videographer who wasn't close to Alex by any means, and then Googling a restaurant which was located close to where the Murdaugh's were renovating a house.

The Trial Also Revealed More Details About The 'Roadside Incident'

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The Netflix doc only touches on the strange and murky details of the alleged plot for Alex to kill himself so that his remaining son could get the life insurance money. But the trial revealed two important details: a close friend of Alex confronted him about accusations of him stealing money. Alex also asked his housekeeper to send him his medical insurance card details. This happened only hours before Alex would call the police claiming he'd been shot.

Alex Apparently Tried To Get Two Of His Family's Workers To Lie In Their Testimony

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The Murdaugh housekeeper and the caregiver for Alex's mother were both key witnesses in the trial. Both of them reported that Alex had said things akin to gaslighting, in that he tried to suggest he'd been wearing a different shirt than he had been, and also that a meeting with the caregiver had been 20 minutes when she thought it had been 30-40 minutes.

Murdaugh Himself Took The Stand A Day After The Netflix Doc Released

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The fact that Alex Murdaugh took the stand to tell his entire side of the story a day after the show released on Netflix means that his entire testimony - and all the details he shared - would be missed out of the Netflix show. Some of the things that Alex said in his testimony actually made some details of the doc irrelevant.

Alex Denied That He Tried To Cover-Up The Boat Crash

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With the boat crash and the fallout after it being such a huge focus of the Netflix show, Alex's testimony in the trial then revealed that he was denying any attempt to cover up what had happened with the boat crash, and his involvement in it - whereas the Netflix show had explored the opposite.

And The Show Doesn't Answer One Key Question: What Motive Did Alex Have?

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The Netflix show makes a lot of implications about why the family might have been pushed to their limits, due to financial stress and the boat crash. But it doesn't directly reveal
Alex would have wanted to murder his wife and son. The trial itself revealed that Alex wouldn't have benefitted in any way from their deaths, even financially.

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