Is Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal a true story?

The second season of Netflix docuseries Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal has just released on 20 September 2023 and has captivated audiences with its shocking twists and turns surrounding the influential Murdaugh family of South Carolina.

First season of the series focuses on the death of Mallory Beach, a 19-year-old girl who was killed (or murdered) in a boat crash involving the son of Alex Murdaugh and this season delves further into the Muraugh family’s dark secrets and alleged crimes. Many viewers are wondering – just how much of this saga is real?

Is Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal based on a true story?

Yes, Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal is based on true events. It chronicles the downfall of a prominent legal dunasty of South Carolina. Even though, the docuseries has drawn its inspiration from the real events, it’s important to remember that it is still a one-sided story. Here’s a look at the real events behind Murdaugh Murders and how accurately they are depicted.

Murdaugh Family in Murdaugh Murders A Southern Scandal series
Image: Courtsey of Netflix

One thing that does seem to be accurately portrayed is the immense influence wielded by the Murdaugh family in South Carolina’s Lowcountry for nearly a century. Three generations of Murdaughs dominated the local prosecutor’s office while also running a successful family law firm. Their wealth and connections afforded them significant sway over local law enforcement and judicial matters.

Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were sadly murdered on the family’s hunting estate in 2021. Alex Murdaugh called 911 claiming he found them shot by the dog kennels upon returning home. This chilling scene opens the docuseries, and the murders catalyze the unraveling of secrets. It’s factual that no suspects were charged for the murders till July 2022.

On 14 July 2022, Alex was indicted on two counts of murder. Moreover, the influential attorney was brought against numerous other charges like the financial fraud before the beginning of murder trial on 23 January 2023. Eventually, Murdaugh was convicted on 23 February 2023 and sentenced to two consecutive life terms.

Downfall of Alex Murdaugh

After the murders, Alex Murdaugh’s opioid addiction, elaborate financial crimes, and other misdeeds came to light as his power diminished.

Alex Murdaugh trial in Murdaugh Mysteries a southern scandal
Image: Courtsey of Netflix

Murdaugh allegedly arranged for a distant cousin to shoot him in the head so his surviving son could collect a $10 million life insurance payout, but the superficial wound revealed it was a botched assisted suicide attempt.

Just days later, Murdaugh was arrested for fraud and sued by his law firm. Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to consecutive two years of lifetime imprisonment. This swift downfall after the murders does seem to be truthfully documented in Netflix’s Murdaugh Murders.

Theories on Motives and Mysterious Deaths

This is where the docuseries takes some dramatic license by frequently speculating on potential motives and culprits behind the murders, before any suspects have faced trial. It also dives deep into covering other unexplained deaths of people close to the Murdaughs, questioning if darker forces were at play across decades. While intriguing, not all these theories have strong factual basis currently.

In the end, while dramatized in parts, Murdaugh Murders is fundamentally based on the true spiral of a powerful family after two shocking murders. As investigations and court cases against Alex Murdaugh proceed in 2023, the definitive answers surrounding this saga become clearer.

But for now, viewers can enjoy the dramatic elements while remembering the show is centered on real people and tragic events.

Murdaugh Murders is an amazing crime docuseries for those who are looking for some thrilling series based on true events. The series has received an IMDb rating of 6.8 and on Rotten Tomatoes, has an approval rating of 78% based on nine reviews from the critics.

Lakshya Kaushik

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