Lifetime’s 500th original, “Murdaugh Murders: The Movie – Part 1,” is based on the true events of Alex Murdaugh, who is known for embezzling money from his clients to feed his addiction and the lifestyle of his family. The Murdaugh family is widely famous for their law firm in South Carolina. The firm is almost 100 years old, so its legacy is quite impeccable, to be honest. But, once in a generation comes a child that wrecks the name. For the Murdaughs, well, it was Alex Murdaugh. But how does everything change so fast? Let’s get into the plot to find out. Spoilers Ahead!

Murdaugh Murders: The Movie – Part 1 (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

Alex Murdaugh, a lawyer who represents one of the oldest law firms in the town, is announced as a guest of honor for his economic contribution to the betterment of society. While giving his speech, Alex extends his gratitude to his father, who has left him the legacy of his forefathers. And, of course, he is grateful to his wife, Margaret Murdaugh. Alex is a loving father who gives his son, Paul, a truck that he wanted for a long time on his birthday.

Margaret has her own doubts about giving Paul the freedom to drive the car. But Alex seems to be pretty sure about what he is doing. However, later that night, Alex is required to go to the police station to bail Paul out as he was caught because of drunk driving. Alex tries to make Paul understand what it means to carry a legacy such as theirs. Paul promises Margaret not to get drunk.

What secret does Alex hold from others?

One day, while on the streets, we see Alex taking leave from Margaret and meeting with a suspicious guy. He gives Alex a bottle of opioids, and Alex goes straight to his office bathroom and takes some of those pills. He is undoubtedly addicted to those pills and can go to any extent to have those in the first place. While returning, Alex hears Paul and his friends’ voices from his office. He goes inside the office and sees that Paul is stealing some alcohol.

When Alex confronts him, Paul shows him what he has found there. It is a bottle of the opioids that Alex takes. Paul makes a silly agreement with Alex as they promise to keep their secrets from Margaret. However, Alex has lied about the reason why he takes those pills. But it doesn’t bother Paul much because he doesn’t know about his father’s vicious intentions.

How does Alex fund his expenses?

As time progresses, we see suspicious activities circulating around Alex. He seems to be acting very intimidating to influence his clients to file against their insurance companies. There is even an instance of his desperate behavior around this insurance facade. One day, the caretaker of his house, Gloria, was found severely injured on their doorstep. Margaret calls out for help when Alex arrives at the spot. He tells Margaret that Gloria stepped over a dog and got herself injured in such a manner. It seems pretty odd to Margaret as Gloria has been working for ages, and such incidents have never taken place, ever. As Gloria passes away, Alex approaches her son, suggesting to file a lawsuit against Gloria’s insurance company, which is Murdaugh’s very own insurance company.

Murdaugh Murders: The Movie - Part 1 (2023) Ending Explained
A still from Murdaugh Murders: The Movie – Part 1 (2023)

Gloria’s son doesn’t want to file a complaint against Murdaugh’s insurance company since they are very grateful for the Murdaughs. But Alex tells him this is for his own good since if he wins the case, the company will pay them millions. He says that he wants to take care of Gloria’s family no matter the cost. Gloria’s son believes his words and files a lawsuit against the insurance company. As the clients start receiving their insurance money, Alex does a vicious thing.

He starts transferring a sum of the money to his own account. To fund the opioids and expensive gifts for his son and wife, Alex needs to take money from anywhere possible. Because the firm is not doing well, Alex cannot ask for a loan from his father again and again. He even tries to manipulate his mother into loaning him some money. Things start to fall apart when he goes to spend his holiday with his family in Moselle, Murdaugh family hunting lodge.

Murdaugh Murders: The Movie – Part 1 (2023) Ending Explained:

Who is responsible for the death of Mallory?

In Moselle, one fine morning, Paul asks Alex for the boat. Being a loving father, he doesn’t refuse his son’s wishes. Paul drives the boat to some place with his friends and starts drinking. Whenever he drinks, he misbehaves with his friends, and they have given a name for him on such occasions as well, which is ‘Timmy.’ So, after drinking for a while, Timmy decides to drive the boat.

His other friends tell him not to drive the boat because he is drunk. But Timmy, being Timmy, doesn’t listen to any one of them. Later that night, Alex receives a phone call where he learns that Paul has been in an accident and a woman has gone missing. Alex goes to the hospital and learns that Paul has been drinking. He understands the magnitude of the situation, although Mallory’s body isn’t found yet.

He tries to manipulate the judge initially and save Paul from the damage. But, as Mallory’s body is found, it becomes tough for Alex to protect Paul any longer. Mallory’s family even disagrees to show any interest in any kind of settlement. On the other hand, Margaret has come to know about Alex’s drug addiction. She decides to stay away from Alex for a certain period of time.

Everywhere Alex looks, only havoc awaits him. He fails to manage this situation of multiple chaos. He knows that he doesn’t have the economic strength to save Paul from his situation, and he also knows that Margaret will leave him if she knows what he has been doing with the insurance money. There is no escape as Alex calls for a meeting with his family.

What happens to Paul and Margaret?

Alex calls Margaret one day, saying that his father is in a critical state, and before he goes to see him, he wants to meet with his family. He expresses how lonely he is and how important it is for him to have this moment with Margaret and Paul. Margaret fails to resist herself, and they end up having dinner together. Alex wants to talk to Margaret when she tells him to rest, and they can talk afterward. Paul and Margaret go to the kennel to cater to the dogs when suddenly they start barking.

Paul looks behind and sees a stranger with a raincoat. The man shoots Paul and Margaret and kills them on the spot. After a while, we see Alex calling for help, saying someone has brutally murdered his wife and son. Who is responsible for the killings? Well, for that, we have to wait until part 2 arrives. However, there is a chance that Alex himself has killed Margaret and Paul to secure the insurance money. But let’s not assume any further.

Read More: Secrets at the Museum (2023) Movie Ending Explained: Who Killed Robert Freeman? 


Murdaugh Murders: The Movie – Part 1 (2023) Link: IMDb
The Cast of Murdaugh Murders: The Movie – Part 1 (2023): Jess Brown, Angela Moore, Serge Houde
Murdaugh Murders: The Movie – Part 1 (2023) Genre: Crime, Drama
Where to watch Murdaugh Murders: The Movie

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