Murder on Middle Beach (2020) s01e03 Episode Script


The focus should be Was
there something else going on
in your mom's life
that we're missing?
SPEAKER 2: After the divorce,
your mom's drinking started
becoming a problem.
Does alcoholism run
in the family?
With the gifting tables,
you join with
a 5,000 dollar gift.
Your mom had a ton of people
that followed her.
That caused problems elsewhere.
Why do you think my mother kept
the tables from me?
I don't know.
It had an emotional element.
that was unusual
for a pyramid scheme.
It's a bad economy.
People could start getting hurt.
Some people can snap.
That's terrifying.
[TV static drones]
[bright tone]
- Gonna go see my aunt.
What's crazy is that we're here
almost around the same time.
In two days, it'll be
the three-year anniversary
of the murder.
There she is.
- Mm.
[birds squawking]
How you doing, baby?
- Good.
- Good.
[uneasy music]

So when I pulled
into the driveway,
your mother's car was parked
in the driveway,
and it concerned me
a little bit
because I thought
she wasn't home.
So I got out of the car,
and I was with
your sister, Ali,
and your mother's purse
wasright here--
right here,
laying on the ground.
And then her keys were there,
and there was a statue
right here at one point,
and it was tipped over.

And I see right here,
there are these cushions
from her lawn furniture
that are stacked up
like blocks, building blocks.
I go, and I kneel down,
and I still hesitate.
And I pull one cushion off
and I see,
"Oh, it's an animal.
"Ah, thank God,
it's just an animal,"
you know, like, fur and blood.
It's just an animal.
And then God's like,
"You're not done yet.
You have to take
all the cushions off."
So I did and
found my sister murdered here.
It's just something
I'll never forget.
It was a horrible,
horrible thing to see.
You know what I mean?
[unsettling music]
And also a week
before the murder,
your mom told--had a dream,
and she told me that she
had been murdered violently,
and I said, "What?
By who?
What are you talking about?"
She wouldn't tell me.
She just stopped.
I said, "Barb,
please tell me who did it,"
and she wouldn't tell me.
So I felt like she was trying
to protect someone.

[dramatic music]

- Mm ♪

Mm ♪
- Ball?
- Oh, I see.
You want Mommy
to get your ball?
You want Mommy
to get the ball?
- Ooh, ooh-ooh ♪
- Good boy.
- Ball!
- Mm, mm, mm, mm ♪
- What?
You wanna get in there?
You want me
to put you in there?
Then what do you want?
- Ball.
- You want your ball?
- Mm, mm ♪
- That's a good boy.
[leaves rustling]
[projector clicking]
- All right.
Go ahead, Conway.
- What?
What do I do?
- There you go.
- Hey, Mom.
- [laughs]
- We have projections
- [laughs]
- Of all the kids.
- Aww.
I don't know.
- This is pretty cool.
- Yeah, this is cute.
Oh, my gosh.
- Happy Mother's Day.
- Wild.
- Oh, it's beautiful.
- [laughs]
- It's so you, darling.
- It's just funny.
- There I am.
- There's Conway.
- Grew up so fast.
- That's Barbie.
- Yeah, there's my mom.
[somber music]
- Your mother was
a wonderful daughter, always.
You know, it's hard
when you have six children
so close together,
because I always felt
that they all suffered
a little neglect.
[projector clicking]
- What was
my mother's relationship
with her siblings?
Who was she closest with?
- Probably Conway
and also Cathy.
The three girls
were like three peas in a pod.

- I remember the good times.
Our dad used to think
of great ideas
to keep six kids entertained.
He loved film.
He did crazy things.
Like, we had
a basketball court,
and in the wintertime,
Dad would fill it with water,
and that would be
our ice-skating rink.
He was a lot of fun.
He really was.

I don't remember my dad
as an alcoholic.

It was rough on my parents
and their marriage.
So he packed his bags
and left.
But he got sober,
and he's helped
thousands of people
with the disease of alcoholism,
and he's spoken
all over the world.
- Hi everybody,
my name's Sandy Beach,
and I'm an alcoholic.
all: Hi, Sandy.
- And I'm sure honored
to be here
at your 17th Pennsylvania
State Convention.
Anyway, I got sober in 1964.
I had the same sponsor
for 42 years.
I've been granted
a vision of life
that is precious.
It is getting rid
of the old perception
about your life
and replacing it,
little by little,
with the truth.

- It was kind of
a hectic household
to grow up in, you know.
I was the youngest.

The oldest brother was 7 1/2
years older than me, Chris,
and then Cathy, Lew,
then Conway, Barb,
and then I was two years
younger than Barb.

- What was your relationship
like with my mom growing up?
- The best.

I felt like
I was her protector.

- All right, I'm gonna
throw on another roll.
[projector clicking]
- Conway,
from as far back
as I can remember,
she's always been
a little more
high-maintenance, I guess,
a little more fragile.
I kind of tell my mom
that she's like a fragile bull.
I think that's the best way
to put it.
[poignant piano music]

- I love this room.
- It's cool.
- This had shag in it,
and it was comfy and cozy.

Anyhow, justa great house.

Well, I'm number four
out of six kids.

I'm the middle girl.
My role
was to just keep peace,
be seen, not heard.
I was just different
than everyone else
from the beginning,
from the get-go.
The teachers would ask me,
"Are you sure you're a Beach?"
Because Lew was a genius.
Chris was getting straight As.
Cathy was getting straight As.
I barely passed tests.
I guess I was a good person
to make fun of
and have jokes about.

And then Gram Platt's room.
I have pictures
of us jumping on her bed.
I got me, Cathy, Barb.
Gram Platt moved in with us,
my mother's mother,
and she was brought up
very well-to-do.
I can remember,
as a little girl,
having to walk
with high heels on
and a dress on,
be very prim and proper.
But I also used to watch her
go into the pantry,
and she'd pour this white stuff
in a glass about this big,
and she'd chug that baby down
and then chase it with water.
Then she became lovey,
lovey, lovey,
and I knew when I grew up,
I was gonna be just like her.
[melancholy music]
I started really drinking
by the time I was 13,
and I'm a blackout drinker,

[toy squeaks]
- Hey, Aunt Bobby, remember
- Who's that?
Who's that?
- Tyler, say hi"
- Hi!
I didn't have
the average upbringing.
I grew up when my mother
battled alcohol and drugs
throughout my childhood.
Aunt Bobby was--
as I call her--
was always there to swoop in
and rescue me.
She brought me into her home
to show me
that there was more to life
than the life I was living.
Batter's up!
She made me feel like
one of her children.
She wasn't just an aunt to me.
She was--she was
another mother.
- Brush Mommy's hair.
- The one thing that I will
never get to tell her was
How grateful I am
that she came into my life
And that
If it wasn't for her, I don't--
I don't know where I would be.
And I'll never
get to tell her that.
And I'll never lead my kids
down the path
that my mother took me,
'cause it's--
it's a horrible road
to travel.
[somber music]
- Who is Tyler?
- My son.
And I became a single mom
at a very young age.
And Tyler was your mother's
first baby, in her eyes.
And in 1996, there--
I was out of control.
And Barb knew it.
- Yes, rings.
Yes, we want rings.
- Yeah.
- Where are your rings?
- And my whole family knew it.
So she took me to court.
I was in full-blown
They came to the house,
and it was in shambles, and
there was an eviction notice
on the door.
And she said, "Tyler,
what do you wanna take?"
And he was
a great baseball player,
and he says, "I wanna take
my bat, the Ghost,
and I wanna take my glove,
and I wanna take my mom."

- Yeah.
[melancholy music]
- So I'm sleeping
on park benches,
and I figured
I'd just live on the streets
or sell myself short
until I died
was basically my plan.
But my ulterior plan
was to get all my money
out of my 401(k) plan
[clears throat]
get revenge
against my baby sister,
your mother
your father
[clears throat]
And both of you, you and Ali.
- How?
- [inhales sharply]
I wanted to hire a hit man.
I was so messed up,
I didn't know what to do.
I was so angry.
My whole family
wasn't speaking to me.
- Where did you go?
How did you set it up?
- I talked
to complete strangers.
I was drunk all of the time,
so I really don't know
who I talked to.
I remember talking
to a taxicab driver,
a bartender.
"How can I hire a hit man?"
you know?
"What do you gotta do
to do that?"
But I knew that I was supposed
to meet somebody at a hotel,
and finally,
I had some money,
so I stayed
in a hotel in Orlando.
I don't know the name of it,
but it was nice.
And I remember
going into the bar,
waiting to meet my hit man
and drinking,
and then I black out.
And I woke up in my room
naked and without a penny.
I had been rolled.
[waves lapping]
[birds calling]
- It's disturbing.
I mean, even if she just
thought about it,
it's kind of disturbing.
It makes you stop and think.
You know, again, I don't know
the truth behind it,
You know,
it's the kind of stuff
you think only happens
in movies, right?
I mean, not in--
not in real life.
[waves lapping]
- Did they ever think
you were a person of interest?
- Yes.
And I admitted that I had
tried to hire a hit man.
- Did you ever tell my mom?
- Yes.
- Did that make her paranoid?
- No.
- How did she react?
- She could totally relate.
She was an alcoholic like me.
- Do you think she would have
ever hired a hit man
to kill you, to kill Tyler?
- I think some people
can get to a point--
I don't care who it is--
where they can snap.
I'm not--I'm not saying
your mom would do that,
but I think
that we become mother bears
no matter what.
- And you snapped?
- I snapped.
I'm not proud of that.
[leaves rustling]
[birds chirping]
[uneasy music]

She's really happy
you're here.

This is the first time
I felt her the most.
She's been so mad at me.

[wind chime jingling]

- Acceptance
has its biggest power
when you accept immediately.
On March 3rd, my
[clears throat]
Youngest daughter, Barbara,
was murdered in her home
in Madison.
She had taken her daughter
to high school,
and when she came home,
somebody was waiting
and really brutally
murdered her.
Andmy second daughter,
discovered the body
and took charge.
And so when my daughter
called me and said,
"Are you sitting down?"
and as she was talking,
I fully accepted
that my relationship with
Barbie was on a new level.
From now on,
it's gonna be composed
of memories and stories,
and I'll be able
to talk about it
till the cows come home,
and it'll still be wonderful.

[waves lapping]
- We all were coming up
with theories.
You must understand.
What bothered me was,
they couldn't determine
whether or not
she was coming home
or going out.
I say she was going out.
- She was leaving to take Ali
is what I say.
Do you understand
what I'm saying?
- Got it.
[disquieting music]

- I think it's gonna die.
It's flashing.
- That means it's recording.
- Oh.

[insects chirping]
- Why do you think
it was Ali?
- I just think
it was very bizarre.
It looked staged.
- Walk me through
the crime scene--
things that might have
seemed suspicious.
[eerie music]
- Ali and I pulled up
to your home,
and Ali is walking in front
of me to the front door.
And she goes
"There's Mom's purse.
There's Mom's keys."
So I go to pick up her purse.
She said, "Don't touch that.
It's a crime scene."
I'm like,
"You're out of your mind.
What's wrong with you, child?"
So I picked up the purse.
I picked up the keys.
Why would you think
this is a crime scene?
There's not one ounce of blood.
Her purse has everything in it.
There's nothing
that looks like a crime scene.

I believe she already knew
before she got there.
- How did Ali react
after the murder?
- She left the country.

She's in Argentina now,
as far as I know.

- I escaped my grief.
When I graduated high school,
I left.
I was really unhappy
when I left the United States.
I was angry.
So I traveled.
I backpacked to Chile, Peru,
Bolivia, Ecuador,
Colombia, Venezuela,
and then I went down
to Argentina,
where I live now.
Literally, I went
to the end of the world.
I wasn't ready
to face everything again.

- You guys set?
- [exhales heavily]
- All right, Ali.
So I just wanna know kind of,
like, a little background.
- Here we go.
Here it is.
- Ali, show Aunt Stacy how
you get into the rock garden.
- You're on, baby.
- There's the carpet
right there.
- That's beautiful.
- I know you weren't doing
anything you shouldn't have
been doing.
- Tell me, what inspired you
to make your rock garden, Ali?
- I can smell it.
- What was the dynamic like
between our parents
growing up?
- I remember them fighting
a lot.
Mom would drink
quite a bit.
I remember Mom always had,
like, a cup of "water,"
and one time when I was little,
I tried to drink it.
It was pure vodka.
[solemn music]
I never really felt like
it was very stable.
There was always
a lot of change.
I heard a lot of screaming,
a lot, a lot of screaming.
That definitely impacts
a little kid.
Like, till this day,
I can't be around people
who are screaming.
Makes me really uncomfortable.

Mom was definitely
a more lenient parent.
Mom was very,
very, very loving.
I think she had a hard time
keeping things in control
when she was drinking.
- Ali, do you wanna feed Polly?
- And Dad was super, super,
super controlling,
I remember he implanted
a lot of fear in us.
Literally everything
could kill us.
If we wanted
to play in the grass,
we had to wear long pants,
long socks,
light clothing
because of the ticks.
Dad scared me a little bit.
[chuckles softly]
- When was the divorce
Or when did they tell us?
- They told us
on Christmas Day.
I remember something that
really stuck with me for--
until now.
Mom was with me in my room,
and she was crying,
and she told me,
"Don't ever depend on a man."
Till this day,
I've never depended on a man.
It was pretty hard 'cause Mom
started drinking a lot more,
and Dad was also
very manipulating
and would tell me
a lot of things about Mom
that weren't nice
and would try and make me--
I don't know
if go against her--
It was confusing.
- Your dad
was very controlling,
to the point where I think
he nearly drove
your sister crazy.
She would come home
from school,
and she would work on
her homework for four hours.
And then he would correct it
and have her redo the homework
So she would be doing homework
for, like, six hours
every day.
She had no after-school life,
and I'm amazed
that she put up with that
Quite frankly,
because she was 13,
but then she had
a nervous breakdown, really.
[melancholy music]
- So when did you start
feeling sick?
- I went to the nurse
when I was in seventh grade
'cause I--like, the back
of my head really hurt
here and here.
Like, I was in a lot of pain,
and we went to the doctor
and it was 'cause my thyroids
were, like,
bulging out of my neck.
I was super lethargic.
I couldn't eat.
There was a point
where I was throwing up.
Like, I couldn't keep
any food down.
I think I was in the hospital
for about a month and a half
on every type of drug
you could possibly imagine,
and they couldn't find out
what was wrong with me.
I forgot how to walk.
You know, I couldn't walk.
I had to relearn how to walk.
And they finally came
to the conclusion
that my body had gone
into shock from my thyroid
but the rest of my problems
were psychological.
- I remember one day,
I decided
I didn't wanna be sick anymore.
I started swimming and running
and biking
and trying to just be
a normal little girl again.
And in all that time,
Dad told me that Mom
was the one
that wanted to send me
to the psychological hospital.
And I was really angry
about the things
that Dad told me,
and I decided I didn't wanna
live with Mom anymore.

- My sister went
and lived with my dad,
and me and my mom
moved into a house down here.

- Your mother, she was
very insecure at that time,
and her relationship,
of course, with Ali
was very insecure
because Ali chose
to be with your father
instead of her.
And that hurt her so deeply,
and she just wanted her back.
[waves lapping]
- Things with Dad
weren't good.
He would take the door
off the hinges
'cause he thought I was
closing him out of my life.
He was just
really controlling.
And I called Mom,
and I asked her to come get me.
And I asked her
if I could live with her,
and I stopped talking to Dad.
- I was not okay,
and I think that a lot
of those diagnoses
were products
of the environment
I was living in
and my way of escaping
everything that was happening.
- What was our dynamic like
when you--when you came back?
- You were really angry
with me for leaving,
and you outwardly told me that
on various occasions
and various fights that we had.

- Do you think
that she was enabling me--
drug addiction?
- Yes.
She was
a recovering alcoholic.
She was trying to be sober,
and you were out of control.
- Do you think she was afraid
of losing you?
- I think she was afraid of me
going back to Dad's, yeah.
I think she was afraid of me
not talking to her again.
I think it hurt her a lot.
- Your mother was so fearful
of losing Ali
that she, I think,
overindulged her,
became more of a friend
instead of a parent,
and I think Ali
just walked all over her.
[ominous music]

- I did not like the way
Ali treated your mother
at all, ever--ever.
She abused drugs
and alcohol and boys
all of the time.
- When did you start becoming
close to my mother again?
- You know, I've had
a lot of health issues:
breast cancer, brain surgery.
I came to your mom
and lived there
after brain surgery,
but Ali did not want me
living at the house.

Every morning,
I would wake up to her
screaming at my sister
and telling her to fuck off--
every morning.
And I told her not to talk
to my sister like that
ever again.
She goes, "Fuck you.
"She's my mother,
and I will talk to her
any fucking way I want."
When your mom got home
that day, she goes,
"Either she goes, or I go, Mom.
You choose."
Everybody was afraid of Ali.
And I was afraid of Ali.
[eerie music]
[bird chirps]

- When was the last time
you saw Mom?
- That day,
I was running late for school,
and Mom took me
in her white Honda,
the big SUV.

We went to Willoughby's first,
which was the coffee shop.

And I got a chai,
which I loved,
and she brought me to school.

She told the school
I was gonna be late.
She gave me a kiss.
She said she loved me,
and she left me at school.

Around 11:00 in the morning,
I was in the study center,
and I started texting Mom,
telling her I wanted her
to come get me.
- Why did you wanna go home?
- I wanted to leave school.
- Was that normal for you?
- Yeah.
At that time in my life,
it was really hard for me
to stay in school.

And I texted her,
"Please come get me.
Please come get me.
Please come get me."
She didn't respond.
I called her a lot.
She didn't respond,
and so I called Conway.
- Ali said that she had
to wake up your mom
to take her to school,
and your mom
took her to school
in her pajamas, apparently.
[birds chirping]
- I believe that Ali could
have murdered her mother,
walked to school,
which she'd done many times,
started texting her mother
and then texting me.
[indistinct chatter]
I believe that's a reality
that could have occurred.
I'm thinking
she got so mad at her mom
for maybe breaking up a party
that she lost it finally.
I believe anyone can snap
at any given time
especially when you're
fucked up on drugs and alcohol.

I just be--I know from my own
personal experience.
- A woman is dead.
- Detectives combing the yard.
[solemn music]
- I have all these thoughts,
Madison, that don't stop.

- It's so hard to know
who to trust.
I think Conway believes
what she's saying.
I don't think my sister
is capable
of something like this,
but if she had anything
to do with this,
I don't know that I would
wanna know, you know?
- It's--to me, that is
way more implausible
that she would commit
a fucking gruesome murder
- And then go to school.
- And then be ready
to get to school.
Who the fuck can do that?
How hard would it be
for your sister
to even just drag
your mom's body across a yard?
- We should, like,
kind of walk through
what happened
with the crime scene.
- Yeah, the walk-through
that you had your aunt do
is very helpful.
It tells a lot.
[tape whirring]
- And there was a statue
right here at one point,
and it was tipped over.
- So the dog statue was here.
- There was some type
of a confrontation or something
in the area
in front of the door
- Right.
- To knock over the dog statue,
you would think.
- Yeah, this gets knocked over.
[disquieting music]
[tape whirring]
- Then there was a coffee cup.
It was on the ground.
- Coffee cup lands here.
[tape whirring]
- For some reason,
there was a pallet right here.
When they open up
the crime scene,
there was a huge pool of blood
under it.
- Yeah, so this is--
this is where the pallet is.
And because there was
a pool of blood under it,
she was probably killed here
and moved
to the side of the house,
where they found her body,
out of the line of sight
of the golf course.
- I see right here,
there are these cushions
from her lawn furniture.
- The cushions are possibly
from the lawn furniture
in the backyard
or the garage because it was
cold that time of year.
[turn signal clicking]

I haven't been back here
in six years.
- Doing okay?
- Yeah, I'm all right.
[indistinct chatter]
This has changed so much.
The ground has been raised.
It looks like
they converted the garage
into a screened porch.
[birds chirping]
So we have
These markers
for where things were.

- So it would have been leaning
up against the wall, right?
Yeah, it is heavy, huh?
- Yeah.
We'll grab one sandbag.
- And your mom's 160 pounds.
- 160 pounds.
[tape whirring]
Confrontation starts.
Drop the phone,
going this way.
Drop the keys.
Drop the purse.
- Backpedaling
or trying to get away.
- Land here.
Now they're looking around,
seeing the golf course.
- Yeah.
- And then dragging
[exhales heavily]
[tense music]
It would take a lot longer
for a 16-year-old girl.
This house has a clear
line of sight.

Covering the body.

And there would be bushes
to help cover her,
but we see the blood spot.

The pallet.

- By the blood spot.
- [panting]
I mean, just physically,
pulling 160 pounds
- Yeah.
- I don't know
if my sister could do that.
[birds chirping]
I can't get over
covering the blood spot,
covering the body,
but not covering this stuff.
It's, like,
half covered up.
- I wouldn't characterize it
as starting to clean up.
Their focus was on what
they had done to your mother.
- Yeah.
- And it could be a moment
where the person is sorry,
is emotional,
wants to cover the body
'cause they don't wanna
look at the person
and what they've done.
They're not thinking
- We're trying to make sense
- Yeah.
- Out of a senseless act.
[melancholy music]
Right here.
- "Numerous puncture wounds
in the head,
"throat, back of neck.
"Area of softness
on the back of the head.
Defensive wounds
on both hands."
- Mm-hmm.
- Wow, "Broken arm,
broken rib.
Interior torso scrapes
and abrasions."
Because of the blow
to the skull,
I've been told
by several different people
it was probably a hammer.
- That many wounds
in the face, neck, head area--
that indicates the person
was enraged
and very emotional, very angry,
and that usually tells you
that there was a relationship
between those two people,
like a jealousy
or a anger or usually
from some type
of a personal relationship.
[unsettling music]
- [softly] I don't know.
I mean, those are things
we have around our homes
Who doesn't have a hammer?

Who doesn't have knives?

It was like as if, in my mind,
your sister somehow decided
this would be really good--
get all the life insurance
money of your mother's.

And I know that's
a terrible way to think,
but when I saw what I saw
and I know
how Ali treated her

- Did you do it?
- No.
- I have to ask.
- I know.
I don't take it personally.
I could never have done that.
I love Mom with all my heart.
- If you could say something
to Mom right now
what would you say?
- That I love you
and that I miss you
and that I wish
I could hug you
but that I know she's okay.
I do.
I know she's okay,
and I know she's out there
protecting us.
[birds twittering]
- What was your relationship
like with Conway?
- Conway is
a super loving person
who is open to loving anyone,
but she's very dependent
on other people.
She had breast cancer
and then a brain tumor,
and her husband left her,
and she had had
a nervous breakdown,
and she came to live with us
so my mom
could take care of her.
I think that at some points,
I thought that she was
taking advantage of Mom.
[somber music]
- Your mom did not want
Conway up north here.
- Oh, really?
- No.
It's really hard
when you have somebody
that you've been trying
to help.
Conway wasn't healthy.
She was using her illnesses
as an excuse not to work,
using her illnesses
as an excuse not to
be of service.

Then there was this rift,
as you call it,
with the tables.
- With the Gifting Tables.
- Yeah.
- Your mother put herself
behind Conway to help Conway
with the tables,
and Conway can be difficult.
So I mean, it's--
it was just too much,
I think, for both of them.
Your mother asked Conway
to leave her house.
- Was she angry at my mother?
- I think when you--when you
feel as though
you've been abandoned,
it's hard, really hard,
when it was your sister.
And people, I don't think, can
appreciate what that means,
but when your world
is ripped apart,
it can do things to you.

- There is an odd testimony
in the trial
about receiving threats
from you.
- Something was wrong
with that girl.
She was telling people
that I was putting
dead rabbits at her doorstep.
- When did she claim
you were doing that?
- When she didn't get
her money back right away.
- Before my mom died?
- Mm-hmm.
[mouse clicking]
[keyboard clacking]
She believes
that I murdered my sister
because I wanted
my sister's life.

- Do you know
where Conway was that day?
- Conway had been with
my mother early in the day.
They were down
in my mother's basement.
My mother was always
perpetually cleaning out
the basement.
She may have actually been
living with my mother
at that point in time.
- Where were you staying?
- I was at Nat's
- What were you doing at Nat's?
- In her basement, cleaning up.
I'd been working on it
for weeks for her.
- Why were you doing that?
- She wanted it done.
She's 90.
- Who else saw you at Nat's?
How do--what is there--
- Nat.
- Okay.
Do you have any, like,
evidence or anything like that?
- Nat was there.
She's dead now.
[ominous music]
That was it.

- When did you
pick Ali up from school?
- So she started nudging me
probably about 9:00.
- Did she text you,
or did she call you?
- Text.
- When did you pick her up?
- 10:00, 10:30.
- Okay.
You go home. What do you see?
- Your mom's car
in the driveway.
[foreboding music]
- All right,
this is them showing up.

And they're approaching.
When you got there,
what was your first sign
that something was wrong?
- The broken statue.

We had a statue of a dog--
a stone statue of a dog
that had a basket
in its mouth.
That statue was always there,
and it was broken.
It was knocked over and broken.
- They're yelling
my mom's name.
- We look everywhere.
We come back outside.
- I went into the garage,
and Conway
went around the house.

- And then this is where Conway
sees the cushions.

She takes one cushion off,
takes another cushion off.
- I'm, like, throwing
the fucking cushions off
'cause I'm thinking
maybe there's some hope.
You know what I mean?
Like, I'm throwing 'em off now.

- Were you afraid after?
- For years,
I carried a hammer
under the front seat of my car.
- Because I think that's
what killed your mother.

And I think I could
hit with a hammer.
I don't think I could
stab with a knife.
[projector clicking]
- Did you kill my mom?
- No.
I protected your mom
her whole life as best I could.
[sniffles softly]
I miss her
All of the time.
I know you do too.
[water trickling]
[birds chirping]
- What a nightmare.
Thank you so much.
- Yeah.
- Oh, really?
- Oh, my God.
- What are the chances of that?
- [laughs]
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- I'm so sorry.
- Oh, my God.
- Was there any step
that you took
that you felt
was really helpful?
- Wow.
Yeah, yeah.
- Do you mind if I spend,
like, a couple minutes
in my old room--
for, like, a second?
- Yeah, that one.
It's awesome.
- This was Ali's room.
Mom's bed was over here.
She had her computer
right here.
[birds chirping]
[dark music]

It's definitely feeling
more real, you know?
- Yeah.
- Being in here.
- Right.
- I can, like, see
where our furniture was and
- Yeah.
- It's a lot
of good memories here.
- Yeah, yeah.
- And
maybe not outside the house
but, you know
- Yeah, right.
- [softly]
This is wild.
- [chuckles softly]
- It's like, this event,
and then my life
just completely changed.
- Right.
- There's a lot of guilt,
you know,
I've harbored
from all of this.
- Because you weren't there?
- Yeah, and I was a teenager
and making bad decisions.
- I mean, I always feel like
guilt and grief
is just a way of trying
to get the past back,
wishing things
had been differently.
- I remember I was home
for winter break at college,
and I had shot, like,
a short film from high school
and showed it to her
over winter break,
but in it--in it,
the main character, like,
commits suicide.
And she started crying,
and I was like,
"Why are you crying?"
She's like, "If I"
"If I die, if I"-- you know
"would you be okay?"
And I was like, "I'm not gonna
let that happen to you."
[somber music]

[sniffles, exhales sharply]
I'm sorry.

[indistinct chatter, laughter]

Thank you so much.


[rain pattering]

- Are you exhausted?
- I'm exhausted.
- Yeah, I know we both are.
I think that
that's a problem,
and our emotions
are right on the edge.
- Yeah.
- And sometimes
they come forth,
and sometimes I think,
"I don't feel anything."
You know?
- Yeah.
- I'm, like, numb.
Because anytime
you go over things,
the only issue we all have
is trying to solve it
- Yeah.
- Trying to figure it out.

- I don't know
that finding the person
who committed the murder
is what I need.
- Well, you need
your mother back.
- Yeah.
- Nothing is gonna
bring Mom back.
- Yeah.
- My daughter is gone forever.
[sniffles] And it's just
never gonna happen,
and we'll never--
you just don't ever
get over it, Maddy.
I don't what it's like for you.
Grief is something
that's very personal,
and don't ever let anybody
tell you how to grieve.
We're all different, you know?
- Come see our rock garden.
- How did you feel
directly after?
- Horrible.
They'd taken the most
important person from my life.


- How has it affected
our family?
Trust and
- Happy day after Thanksgiving.
I love you guys.
- I feel like there are
a lot of people
that probably don't trust me
for their own reasons.
[melancholy music]
I definitely do feel like
there's a rift in our family
because of the murder.


- I may second-guess
who I think it is
at this point.
- Yeah.
- But when I'm at
the crime scene
with your sister,
it makes it very difficult
to second-guess
at the same time.
- What would you want
if that were the case?
- If it were Ali?
- Yeah.
- If it were Ali,
I would want justice.
- What do you think
my mom would want?
- If it's Ali?
She would want me to love her
and take care of her like I did
and to let go of my resentment.
That's what your mom
would want.
And it's hard, and I love her,
and I can't even look at her
She looks too much
like your mom.
I just can't look at her.
I have to look away.
- Sorry.
- It's okay.

- How's it going?
- Good.
How are you?
- Why are you laughing,

Welcome back to Madison.

[turn signal clicking]
When's the last time
you were in Madison?
- When I was 18.

When I left Madison,
I haven't been back
since I left the States.

- Willoughby's.
Willoughby's is still here.
[waves lapping]

- When you were living
with Dad
and I was here
on Neck Road with Mom
- Mm-hmm.
- I'm sure that's tough
for you to think about.
[grass rustling]
I just want you to know
that I don't hold anything
against you for all that
'cause I know that you were
young and going through a lot.
- Yeah.
- It's amazing how much
you have grown
after something so horrible
and being in such a tough spot.
You're beautiful and smart,
[birds chirping]
I'm just proud
to be your brother.
- Thank you, Mad.
You're gonna make me cry.
I'm proud to be your sister.
I feel like
when a tragedy happens,
you have a decision.
You can either stay in it
and dwell,
or you can make something
beautiful out of it.
- What do you tell
your friends
when they ask about it?
- I'm not ashamed.
I mean, it's my story.
"I lost my mom,
and I don't have
a relationship with my dad."

I don't harbor any
hatred or negativity
towards him,
because I've done
a lot of work on myself,
and I know that
that only hurts me.
So I honestly
feel sorry for him.

- Do you feel far from home?
- [sniffles]
It's hardest for me
to be away from you.

- Mm, Alit's okay.
We're together now.
- [breathes deeply]

- One day when this comes out,
if the person is still alive
who did this to Mom,
there's a good chance that
they'll see this documentary.
Would you wanna say anything
to that person?
- I don't need to say anything
to them.
You know?
I feel like they'll see
the pain that they've caused.

Do you wanna say anything
to them?
[tense music]

- I'm coming for you.
That's what I'd say to them.

[indistinct chatter]
[somber piano music]

[bright tone]
SPEAKER: I found some things
of your mom's.
What is this?
"I have documents
that would benefit
the Interpol investigation.
They are kept in a safe place
in the event
something should happen to me."
What the--
I've started to dredge up things
that my mom was holding on to.
I'm looking at hundreds
of millions of dollars
in currency exchanges.
Something wasn't quite right
with the whole thing.
That's why meeting with
the police is gonna be
so critical.
We need to go back
to the beginning on this.
MADISON HAMBURG: If my mom was
scared for her life,
would she give me a sign?
Hello. Check, check.
SPEAKER 3: When tragedy happens,
you can stay in the trauma
or you can move forward.
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