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Overview: HBO Max documentary on SC Murdaugh household, murders


Alex Murdaugh Protection

The Murdaugh household saga has dominated the information after one other taking pictures, a resignation and legal accusations — with Alex Murdaugh on the middle of all of it. Listed below are the most recent updates on Alex Murdaugh.

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“Each time you suppose it is completed,” WSAV-TV reporter Andrew Davis says of South Carolina’s Murdaugh saga, “there’s one other flip.”

No assertion higher sums up the twists and turns specified by “Low Nation: The Murdaugh Dynasty,” a brand new three-part HBO Max documentary collection about Alex Murdaugh and his household’s legacy of energy, corruption, entitlement and homicide. The collection debuts on the HBO streaming service Thursday, Nov. 3.

Davis is certainly one of a number of journalists interviewed for the collection, serving to clarify the difficult case alongside native residents, victims, mates and attorneys.

However with a lot that has already been written, podcasted and televised concerning the gorgeous collapse of the highly effective South Carolina household within the practically 18 months since Maggie Murdaugh and her son Paul have been murdered on the household’s Colleton County searching lodge, one has to surprise: Do we actually want extra?

The reply is sure. Even for individuals who have learn each phrase, listened to each podcast and watched each true-crime TV particular — or for individuals who do not know what any of that is about — “Low Nation” is a reasonably engrossing watch. The collection is extraordinarily properly executed — a number of nights above any of the TV specials which have come earlier than, with spectacular entry to many individuals near the case.

Primarily based on an advance screening of all three episodes, here is a breakdown of what to anticipate from the HBO Max collection, together with particulars on how and when to observe. (observe: If you understand nothing in any respect concerning the case and need to be stunned because the collection unfolds, you would possibly need to skip to the top for information on the discharge and accessing HBO Max.)

First, about that ‘Low Nation’ title

Sure, the HBO Max collection does use “Low Nation” as two phrases in its title, however the filmmakers look like utilizing the misspelling as a play on phrases, because the documentary lays out the dangerous conduct of the Murdaughs as they abused their out -sized affect in that rural space of ​​the state for generations.

Plus, the primary episode is titled “Kings of the Lowcountry,” signaling that they know the distinction.

An intro to the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh

The documentary follows the development of the homicide investigation of Maggie, 52, and Paul, 22, all through the three episodes, tacking in time to discover the opposite weird circumstances surrounding the Murdaughs.

The entire thing begins with eerie, nighttime drone footage of a secluded cabin whereas Alex Murdaugh’s frantic 911 name performs. We get the fundamentals of the murders from information protection on the time, and from the residents, mates and native specialists interviewed by filmmakers.

As we be taught concerning the deaths — and about Hampton and Colleton counties — we’re continuously reminded of the facility of the Murdaugh title.

We’re additionally advised that “what took a whole bunch of years to construct actually crumbled in a single 12 months,” and that the occasions about to unfold are “a Southern model of a Mafia story.”

Mallory Seaside, Stephen Smith & Gloria Satterfield

“The place the Murdaughs go, dying appears to observe,” novelist and former journalist Mark Ethridge tells filmmakers.

The murders of Maggie and Paul are the thread by means of all three episodes of “Low Nation,” however the collection additionally examines different necessary parts of the Murdaugh saga.

The boat crash and the dying of Mallory Seaside. The filmmakers backtrack early within the first episode to look at the February 2019 boating accident that took the lifetime of teenager Mallory Seaside — an accident that by most accounts, was attributable to a severely intoxicated Paul.

Heartbreaking interviews with Seaside’s boyfriend, Anthony Cook dinner, who was within the boat on the time of the crash and was injured however survived, with Cook dinner’s mother and father and with the mother and father of one other teenager injured within the crash, add depth to a narrative that has been advised numerous instances earlier than.

The documentary works to kind all of it out, from Paul’s culpability to Murdaugh’s working behind the scenes within the hours after the crash to regulate the narrative and defend his son.

It additionally posits the query requested by practically everybody after the murders of Maggie and Paul: did the boat crash and lingering hostility play some function within the killings?

Who killed Stephen Smith? The second episode of the documentary does a deep dive into the mysterious dying of Stephen Smith, whose physique was discovered in the course of a rural street in Hampton County on July 8, 2015.

His mom, his twin sister and his cousin are all interviewed, portray an image of Smith as a humorous and clever younger man surrounded by household and mates who cherished him, a nursing pupil with large plans for his future.

Was Smith’s dying an accident, or was it homicide? From the very starting, the Murdaughs have been talked about in reference to Smith’s dying. In June 2021, the State Legislation Enforcement Division reopened Smith’s case primarily based on info gathered throughout the Murdaugh double murder investigation.

Taking advantage of tragedy. Episode 2 additionally will get into the dying of the longtime Murdaugh housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, and it is a jumping-off level for a proof of the huge monetary fraud Murdaugh is accused of committing by means of his former Hampton legislation agency.

Along with two counts of homicide, Murdaugh is going through greater than 80 counts of economic fraud-related crimes. The fees are associated to Satterfield, who died from a fall on the Murdaugh house in February 2018, and plenty of others — native purchasers, poor individuals, minorities, the disabled — going again greater than a decade.

Who shot Alex Murdaugh? Maybe probably the most weird a part of this complete story is the alleged taking pictures of Murdaugh as he allegedly tried to alter a tire on his Mercedes-Benz GLS sport utility car on the facet of a rural Hampton County street simply months after the murders of his spouse and are. His model of occasions was fairly shortly decided to be false, and though Curtis Smith, a longtime Murdaugh good friend, was arrested and charged, there’s nonetheless a lot we do not find out about how or why it occurred.

Circling again to homicide and an upcoming trial

The collection ends the place it began: digging deeper into particulars concerning the murders of Maggie and Paul, and the state’s case — so far as we all know proper now — in opposition to Murdaugh as the one that pulled the set off.

The ultimate episode, titled “The Milk Ain’t Clear,” takes a better take a look at the connection between Maggie and her husband on the time of her dying (the 2 have been residing aside, in accordance with the HBO collection), and breaks down Murdaugh’s alibi. We additionally hear recordings of telephone calls from jail between Murdaugh and his solely residing son of him, Buster — surprising conversations that point out a scarcity of fear or regret on the a part of Murdaugh.

Murdaugh’s trial is slated to begin in late January 2023, and can little question appeal to the eye of hundreds of thousands of individuals outdoors of South Carolina. And practically everybody will probably be looking ahead to — to borrow from TV reporter Andrew Davis — the following flip within the labyrinthine Lowcountry saga.

Methods to watch ‘Low Nation: The Murdaugh Dynasty’ on HBO Max’

HBO Max is the streaming service owned by Warner Bros., which owns HBO.

“Low Nation: The Murdaugh Dynasty” is not going to air on the HBO cable channel, however should you pay for HBO on cable, you seemingly have entry to HBO Max (use your similar log-in information).

All three episodes of the collection will probably be accessible to stream on Thursday, Nov. 3.

Price: A subscription to the HBO streaming website HBO Max prices $9.99 per 30 days with commercials and $14.99 per 30 days commercial-free. The commercial-free model is 4K HDR. You may pay for a full 12 months upfront and get a reduction, paying $99.99 or $149.99 for the 12 months.

Methods to watch: Obtain the HBO Max app and check in together with your HBO Max, HBO or HBO Now ID and password. You may watch on iPhone and Android units, Apple and Samsung TVs, Roku, Amazon Fireplace Stick, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, Chromecast and Chromebooks, and laptops and PCS. For extra info and to enroll, go to

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Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has labored at The Information & Observer for greater than 25 years. She is the service journalism editor and writes about TV and native media for The N&O’s Happiness is a Heat TV weblog.


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