Netflix has added a brand new documentary to its library, looking into cases associated with the Murdaugh family in Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal.


The three-part series looks at the killings of Paul Murdaugh and his mother Margaret 'Maggie' Murdaugh who were found dead at their family's hunting lodge in 2021.

The series was released on the streamer whilst the murder case was still being tried in court.

As well as the deaths of Paul and Margaret, the documentary also explores a boating accident that Paul was involved in in 2019, which led to the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach.

Who exactly is Mallory? What happened to her? And was her body ever found?

Here's everything you need to know.

Who was Mallory Beach?

Mallory Beach and Morgan Doughty
Mallory Beach and Morgan Doughty Netflix

Mallory Beach was a 19-year-old from South Carolina who was killed in a fatal boat crash in February 2019.

The boat was allegedly crashed by her friend Paul Murdaugh, according to CBS News, a 19-year-old who came from a family of prominent lawyers in South Carolina who "dominated the legal landscape in the southern part of the state for 100 years".

What happened to Mallory Beach?

Miley Altman and Mallory Beach
Miley Altman and Mallory Beach. Netflix

On 23rd February 2019, Mallory and her boyfriend Anthony Cook planned to spend the night at a house party but first met at 'Murdaugh Island' – the river property owned by Paul Murdaugh's family – with the couple, Paul, his girlfriend Morgan Doughty, Anthony's cousin Connor Cook and his girlfriend Miley Altman deciding to take the Murdaugh boat there.

According to CBS, all of the teenagers were drinking alcohol and went to the party at 7pm. Altman said that when they then left the party at midnight, "Paul insisted on driving to a bar in downtown Beaufort".

Leaving the bar at 1am, the group boarded the boat - however Murdaugh was "acting rash" and kept leaving the wheel to fight with his girlfriend, according to Doughty's testimony. The boat then crashed at 2:20am into the Archers Creek Bridge and Beach fell into the water.

Was Mallory Beach's body ever found?

Mallory Beach's mum Renee
Mallory Beach's mum Renee. Netflix

Mallory Beach's body was found over a week after the crash.

The authorities spent eight days searching for Beach's body and on 3rd March, volunteers found her five miles from the crash scene. Murdaugh was later indicted and charged with three felony counts of boating under the influence and causing the death of Mallory Beach as well as seriously injuring two other passengers.

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Murdaugh pleaded not guilty and was awaiting his trial on bond when he was killed on 7th June 2021, along with his mother Maggie.

According to The Post and Courier, after Murdaugh's death, questions were raised over alleged "law enforcement missteps" in the early stages of the investigation into Beach's death.

"Attorneys for one of the passengers asked in a recent court filing to question a group of responding officers about a possible effort to shift blame away from Murdaugh, a member of a powerful Lowcountry family," the publication wrote in August 2021. "A state grand jury was also empaneled to examine how officers investigated the crash."

While a conversation between a Department of Natural Resources officer and Anthony Cook showed that Cook immediately told them that Murdaugh was driving the boat, the report on the crash did not contain that piece of information and instead, according to The Post and Courier, said that Cook "wasn't sure who was driving".

A Beaufort deputy Jack Keener, who spoke to Murdaugh, allegedly "opted not to collect as evidence a phone Murdaugh was carrying" despite being heard saying in a recording that Murdaugh had dropped his phone in the grass, The Post and Courier also reported.

In March 2019, Beach's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Murdaugh's, listing Paul's mother Maggie, who allegedly knew he was drunk when he went boating, and his older brother Buster, whose ID he reportedly used to buy alcohol, according to WTOC.

A judge approved a settlement between the families in January this year, with the Beach family lawyer Mark Tinsely predicting a pay out of $700,000 (£582,000) for the victims.

Who killed Maggie and Paul Murdaugh?

After contemplating for almost three hours, Murdaugh family patriarch Alex, 54, was found guilty of murdering his wife Margaret and son Paul.

Alex was also found guilty of two counts of a possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in the killings of his wife and son on 7th June 2021.

Judge Clifton Newman set sentencing for Friday at 9:30am (EST) in South Carolina’s Colleton County. Prosecutors have stated that they will seek life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders, foregoing the death penalty.

Alex’s only remaining son, Buster Murdaugh, could be seen crying as the verdict was read, during which Alex appeared to mouth the words “I love you” before being handcuffed.

The verdict came after a six-week trial which looked into the brutal crime, phone forensics, and Alex’s alleged extensive financial misconduct.

“Justice was done today,” lead prosecutor Creighton Waters said yesterday (Thursday 2nd March). “It doesn’t matter who your family is. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, or people think you have. It doesn’t matter… how prominent you are. If you do wrong, if you break the law, if you murder, then justice will be done in South Carolina.”

Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal is available to stream on Netflix now. Check out more of our Documentaries coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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