HBO Documentary Film’s MURDER ON MIDDLE BEACH, a four-part documentary series directed by first-time filmmaker Madison Hamburg, presents Hamburg’s complicated journey as a young man determined to solve the unspeakable crime of his mother’s murder and absolve the people he loves, while looking for answers within his fractured family and community. MURDER ON MIDDLE BEACH debuts SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), with new episodes airing subsequent Sundays at the same time.
MURDER ON MIDDLE BEACH will debut on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max.
On March 3, 2010, divorced mother Barbara Hamburg was found violently murdered in the yard of her home in the upper middle-class town of Madison, Connecticut. Investigators speculated her murder from blunt force trauma was a crime of passion, but without enough evidence, the case grew cold.
Over the course of eight years, Barbara’s son, Madison Hamburg, interviewed his family members and many others, longing to learn more about his mother and gather evidence in hopes of solving her murder. He uncovered a deep web of buried familial secrets, connections to shadowy criminal figures, and years-old resentments in his deceptively serene hometown. While Madison wrestles with troubling revelations about his mother, the most unsettling conflict comes from Madison’s obligation to bring into question those inside his community and members of his own family.
Following the murder, attention first turned to Barbara’s ex-husband, Jeffrey Hamburg, who battled with her over financial issues including child support and was due in court with her that very day. With a strong alibi, and the Madison Police Department in disarray after a recent spate of corruption scandals, Hamburg was never charged. Rumors swirled about his potential involvement in foreign business deals and Barbara’s participation in an illegal pyramid scheme known as the “Gifting Tables” which may have created enemies for her. However, despite this and information about other potential suspects, the leads petered out and the case went cold.
Years later, Madison, who was just a teenager at the time of his mother’s murder, returns home determined to understand the life of the mother he had lost and to uncover the truth about her death. The family’s troubled history is explored and Madison questions whether learning the truth will provide closure or just more grief. As his investigation grows, he comes to reexamine his own memories of a childhood that was not as picture-perfect as the wealth of happy, home video footage would suggest.
MURDER ON MIDDLE BEACH explores the secrets that run beneath the facade of a seemingly ideal community. Through one young man’s near obsessive pursuit of answers, a light is shone on the universal need to make sense of profound loss and to face one’s own history. As Madison searches to know the mother who was taken from him, he comes to a deeper understanding of her legacy and the abiding power of familial love.
MURDER ON MIDDLE BEACH is produced by Emmy® and Oscar award winning producers, Jigsaw Productions, Armian Pictures and Blue Days Films.
Episode 1: “Mom’s Dead”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Following the brutal and unsolved murder of his mother Barbara back in 2010, Madison Hamburg returns to his hometown of Madison, Connecticut to piece together her life story. Through interviews with those who knew Barbara best, Madison dives into his parents’ divorce and the unsettling details of his mother’s life that were kept under wraps.
Episode 2: “Rooms and Tables”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
As he investigates the parts of his family that have been kept in the shadows, Madison explores the fallout of his mother and aunts’ involvement in the “Gifting Tables” – a multi-level marketing scheme that aimed to uplift women but, as it grew exponentially, evolved into something more insidious.
Episode 3: “Sisters”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29 (10:10-11:10 p.m. ET/PT)
After Barbara’s sister Conway opens up about her history with substance abuse – which fueled deep-seated familial resentments – she makes a stunning accusation against someone inside Madison’s family that leaves Madison shaken. Conway and Madison’s sister, Ali, both offer their accounts of the morning they discovered Barbara’s body, Madison consults a private investigator to help find evidence to exonerate his loved ones.
Episode 4: “Reasonable Doubts” (Series Finale)
Debut Date: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6 (10:00-11:30 p.m. ET/PT)
With the 10-year anniversary of his mother’s death approaching, Madison leaves no stone unturned in his quest for the truth – despite concerns that his documentary may be doing more harm than good. As Madison presses on, there are surprising roadblocks to his investigation.
MURDER ON MIDDLE BEACH is produced by Jigsaw Productions, Armian Pictures and Blue Days Films. Directed by Madison Hamburg; executive producers, Ron Nyswaner, Neda Armian, Toby Oppenheimer, Madison Hamburg, Stacey Offman, Richard Perello; co-executive producer, Evan Lerner; supervising producer, Whitney Johnson; producer, Solomon Petchenik. For HBO: executive producers, Lisa Heller and Nancy Abraham; senior producer, Sara Rodriguez.