How ‘Homicide on Center Seashore’ Flips the True Crime Style on Its Head

What makes HBO’s newest true crime docuseries, Homicide on Center Seashore, so compelling is that it finally flips the style on its head. It’s not as a lot of a whodunnit as it’s an emotional journey about overcoming trauma and one son attempting to grasp the legacy his useless mom left behind. 

The four-part collection directed by first-time filmmaker Madison Hamburg follows his personal investigation into the unsolved homicide of his mom, Barbara Hamburg, who was violently killed outdoors her house in Connecticut in 2010. After the case went chilly, Madison determined to take issues into his personal palms to not solely revisit the occasions surrounding the homicide however to grasp precisely who his mom was main as much as her premature dying.

“As part of the grieving course of, I used to be very scared to lose my reminiscence of her,” Madison tells ET about initially utilizing the undertaking as a method to deal with life with out his mom. “A part of beginning the documentary was realizing that point was fleeting and recollections had been fleeting revolving round my mother. So I sort of wished to immortalize this superhero that she was to me.”  

“However once I began asking questions, I noticed that I didn’t actually know Barbara and the conflicts and complexity and grayness of who she was as a human being. And so rapidly I noticed I used to be grieving somebody, I did not know,” he says of the eight-year journey that led him down an surprising path of uncovering household secrets and techniques, deep-seated resentments, connections to a multi-level advertising scheme and confronting legislation enforcement concerning the lack of proof to cost or convict somebody — presumably a member of his family — liable for his mom’s dying. 

Regardless of Barbara’s involvement within the “Gifting Desk,” which presupposed to uplift girls however was actually a pyramid scheme, or her strained relationships together with her sister, Madison believes “she was making quite a lot of selections out of desperation, out of coercion and simply wanting really one of the best for her kids.”  

He provides, “the toughest factor for me was the fact that the documentary itself may very well be harmful,” particularly realizing what it might finally do to his household, who opened as much as him on digicam. 

“Asking the arduous questions unearthed resentments,” he continues, “and it delivered to the floor the mistrust that no one wished to speak about, however was all the time there. It was shining a lightweight on the elephant within the room, and perhaps it is egocentric and perhaps it is one thing that I used to be doing for me at others’ expense, however to me, it’s important to speak concerning the elephant if you happen to ever need the elephant to go away.”


Whereas Barbara’s sister, Conway, opens up about her historical past with substance abuse and makes a shocking accusation towards one other member of the family in episode three, or the truth that the one actual suspect the police ever had was Barbara’s ex-husband, Jeffrey Hamburg, the documentary doesn’t conclude with a conviction or typical decision that comes with most of those sensational and addictive crime collection. 

As a substitute, to Madison, Homicide on Center Seashore is absolutely extra of “a narrative about identification and household, the form of duality of American idealism, and everybody’s form of projected identification and facades.” And this docuseries reveals what’s hidden behind these layers, getting nearer to the reality with each arduous query requested. The tip result’s a fascinating watch. 

The ultimate episode of Homicide on Center Seashore airs Sunday, Dec. 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. The collection can be out there to stream on HBO Max.

Streaming Information: The Greatest True-Crime Documentaries to Watch Now

Amanda Knox, OJ Simpson and Our Fascination With True Crime

Amanda Knox on Whether or not She’ll Ever Produce a True-Crime Collection About Her Life

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