With Murder on Middle Beach, Madison sought to provide a more complete picture of his mother’s life in hopes of finding the missing pieces that could shed more light on her death.
“It was tough because we were selling a different take on true crime,” Madison recently told the ShoreLine Times from his home in New York. “It wasn’t a story about a murder, it’s a story about identity and about my mom and that’s a really hard sell. Thank God that HBO saw the potential and the rest is history.”
At the memorial service, Barbara’s siblings had talked about how she was always there for them, and Madison and Ali’s friends remembered how Barbara’s home became a haven for “wayward kids,” anyone who needed a safe place to hang out. People spoke of her generosity, her sense of humor, how loyal she was.
But the show promises a portrait of a far more complex woman, someone who according to what investigators found on her computer after her she was killed appeared to be involved in a pyramid scheme. (Police say there’s no evidence that the dirty business dealings had anything to do with her death.)
“I didn’t know Barbara,” Madison told the ShoreLine Times. “In asking questions, I kind of got addicted to that. Unearthing who this person was that I grew up with, that was a superhero in my mind.”
Furthermore, he continued, “It also compelled me to ask my dad questions, who’s always been somewhat aloof to me, and my family and growing up in a really sheltered environment just kind of like getting to know this underbelly of what seemed perfect as a child.”
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