As a documentary series living up to its title in every way imaginable, Netflix’s ‘Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal’ can only be described as gripping as well as haunting. That’s because it comprises not just archival footage but also first-hand accounts of those closest to the matter to really shine a light upon the once-prominent titular family’s fall from grace. It’s thus no surprise their history as powerful generational attorneys, the several deaths connected to their name, and some damning allegations of fraud/drug use all take center stage here.
This Jenner Furst and Julia Nason original is honestly the perfect introduction of the Murdaugh case — especially the one against accused family killer Alex Murdaugh — to newcomers. After all, it’s bold, it’s dark, it’s twisted, yet it doesn’t sensationalize too much of the reality to leave us with more questions than answers regarding the leading South Carolina incidents. But if you’ve already binged ‘Murdaugh Murders’ and are actually looking for some equally intriguing docuseries, you can check out the following on Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, or Hulu.
8. Murder in Big Horn (2023)
With Showtime’s ‘Murder in Big Horn’ charting the prevalent epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, we get a real portrait of the challenges Native Americans deal with every day. Whether it be the constant fear of suddenly losing a loved one, not having law enforcement officials by their side, or grappling with domestic drama, this three-parter delves deep into it everything. In other words, this docuseries is as poignant as the Netflix original, particularly as it focuses on the people/the tribal communities within the statistically dangerous Big Horn County, Montana.
7. How I Caught My Killer? (2023)
Although ‘How I Caught My Killer?’ is quite a unique production whose title truly sums up its concept, the format as well as the emotionality it follows, make it as binge-able as ‘Murdaugh Murders.’ This Hulu mini-original actually comprises a total of nine 45-50 minute long episodes, each of which centers around a different homicide without really compromising on the case’s coverage in any manner. Therefore, in-depth exclusive interviews, authentic archival footage, and dramatic re-creations, along with the victims’ backgrounds, are all still very much the core of this documentary series.
6. Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence (2023)
Directed by Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning Zachary Heinzerling, ‘Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence’ is another Hulu network true-crime production. However, it is much different from the rest since it’s the tale of the way a group of college students fell under the spell of a friend’s father, only to then have to fight for their survival. The focus of this three-episode show is hence Lawrence “Larry” Ray (now convicted of sex trafficking, racketeering, and extortion), directly making it as dark, twisted, sordid, and haunted as you could imagine.
5. Murder on Middle Beach (2020)
Since HBO’s ‘Murder on Middle Beach’ explores the murder of Barbara Hamburg near her Connecticut home in 2010, the many speculative conspiracies it brings to light are honestly its real appeal. That’s not only because the tragically violent matter remains unsolved to this day but also because the victim’s son, editor, writer, and filmmaker Madison Hamburg is the one to helm this four-parter. So, of course, facets such as emotionality, familial doubts, complex hypotheses, as well as a willingness to fight for justice are present here nearly every step of the way, just like in ‘Murdaugh Murders.’
4. Two Shallow Graves: The McStay Family Murders (2022)
Investigation Discovery’s ‘Two Shallow Graves: The McStay Family Murders’ is a documentary series we can only describe as equal parts bewildering, gripping, and downright eerie. After all, it profiles each aspect of the matter, whether it be the McStays’ sudden disappearance from their California home in 2010, the discovery of their remains in 2013, or the entire controversial trial of suspect Charles Chase Meritt.
In other words, there are four deaths tied to this case — Joseph McStay, his wife Summer McStay, and their two toddler sons — in comparison to the Murdaugh five — Stephen Smith, Gloria Satterfield, Mallory Beach, and Maggie, as well as Paul Murdaugh (most of which are allegedly accidental) — yet the dark side of human nature shines through in both.
3. A Wilderness of Error (2020)
Directed by Academy Award-nominated film producer Marc Smerling, FX’s ‘A Wilderness of Error’ is a five-part documentary series bringing the horrific notion of family homicide into the limelight. It actually does so by revolving around Army surgeon Jeffrey MacDonald, who has been convicted of killing his wife, Colette Stevenson, and their two young daughters, Kimberley as well as Kristen, on February 17, 1970.
On the one hand, we have this most litigated triple homicide wherein the convict maintains his innocence. On the other, we have the June 7, 2021, double murder of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh at the possible hands of their husband/father, attorney Alex Murdaugh, as seen in ‘Murdaugh Murders’, making them both equally intriguing.
2. Murdaugh Murders: Deadly Dynasty
As the title suggests, Investigation Discovery’s ‘Murdaugh Murders: Deadly Dynasty’ chronicles the same tale as Netflix’s ‘Murdaugh Murders,’ but the difference is the coverage level of the individual matters involved. While the latter largely gears more towards the 2019 boat crash that sadly took the life of 19-year-old Mallory Beach, the former provides a rather significant insight into the many other tragedies as well. The three-part ID production even details a large majority of the charges against Alex Murdaugh, meaning it lives up to its promise of giving us an insight into his complex labyrinth of corruption.
1. Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty
HBO Max’s ‘Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty,’ like the Netflix original as well as the aforementioned ID docuseries, examines the titular dynasty to its core, yet it’s also different in its own way. In fact, this particular three-part Mor Loushy plus Daniel Sivan-directed show is arguably the most detailed among the three owing to the sheer number of interviews and archival footage it carefully accesses. From the Murdaughs’ decades of powerful influence to the deaths linked to their name to the financial frauds ostensibly committed by Alex alone, it goes above and beyond to bring the believed truth to light.
Read More: Murdaugh Family Tree, Fully Explained