The Reel Review


This Netflix true crime docuseries examines how the politically powerful and now infamous Murdaugh family of South Carolina’s Low Country used their wealth and privilege to brazenly flout the law. It examines the youngest son’s deadly 2019 boating accident, the grisly 2021 murders of him and his mother, and the mysterious deaths years before of two others with ties to the family.

Buster, Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh in Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal

Where this three-part docuseries improves over the HBO Max’s 2022 docuseries, Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty, is in focusing even more on the boating accident, including interviews with boating victim Mallory Beach’s best friends and more details of Paul Murdaugh’s alcohol-fueled domestic violence towards his then girlfriend, Morgan Doughty.

Surveillance footage of Paul Murdaugh, Anthony Cook and Mallory Beach just prior to the fateful 2019 boat crash, in Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal 

Where it falls short, is in its failure to explore the permissive attitude that nearly everyone in the community – from area families to local law enforcement – had towards this vile, prominent family. It also lacks details about Murdaugh’s alleged financial crimes that are addressed in the HBO series.

Morgan Doughty in Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal

Weaving interviews, security camera footage, social media content and re-enactments, the Netflix docuseries weaves a taut timeline of key milestones in the saga while raising new questions about the problematic relationship between the Murdaughs and local law enforcement. For those not already familiar with this ongoing true crime drama, both series are worth watching to get a fuller picture.


Alex Murdaugh is on trial, accused of killing his wife and youngest son in June 2021. Oldest son Buster (encircled) sits behind him.

• Alex Murdaugh faces 30 years to life in prison without parole if convicted in the double murders of his wife and youngest son. Paul’s brains were literally blown out by a rifle shot to the head with another shot to his chest. Maggie was found face down, shot five times – two of the shots having pierced her brain. Alex also faces more than 19 indictments and 99 criminal charges for stealing more than $8.7 million from his victims.

SLED agent Jeff Croft holds the only .300 Blackout rifle recovered from the Murdaugh estate – two others remain unaccounted for.

• Alex Murdaugh’s AR-15 style, .300 Blackout semiautomatic rifle, similar to the one determined to have killed Maggie Murdaugh, STILL has not been turned over to investigators to be ruled out as the murder weapon. Alex claims it was stolen.

Mallory Beach

• While the main wrongful lawsuit by Mallory Beach’s family against Alex and Paul Murdaugh continues, in January 2023, a judge approved a settlement dropping Maggie and Buster as defendants in exchange for an expected payout estimated at about $700,000.


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