"How did you know my mom?"
"Tell me about my mom."
That is how first-time filmmaker Madison Hamburg starts out most of his interviews in his new true crime series Murder On Middle Beach on HBO. In the docu-series, which debuted on November 15, the 29-year-old pieces together the life of his late mother, Barbara Hamburg, life while trying to figure out the circumstances of her death.
On March 3, 2010, Barbara was found murdered in the yard of her Connecticut home, and more than a decade later her murder remains unsolved. Three years after her death, Madison realized that he wanted to find out more about his mother and, hopefully, uncover key information about who killed her. “When I started asking questions, I realized I was grieving someone that I didn’t fully know because I was 18 when my Mom died,” Madison told Refinery29 in an interview earlier this month. “At that point, she was like a superhero in my eyes. I started to learn about stress and conflicts that she was protecting me from in her own life. I started to learn who she was as a human being. Who Barbara was.”
While most of episode 1 focused on the Hamburg and Beach family (Barbara's maiden name), episode 2 focuses on Barbara's impact in her small, but wealthy, New England community. While much of episode 2 will focus on the "gifting tables" pyramid scheme that marked the Stepford Wives-like upper middle class community, part of it will bring to light her other "purpose in life" — helping others in their sobriety as part of Alcoholics Anonymous. Ahead of episode 2 of the series, HBO has shared an emotional clip which shows just how impactful Barbara's friendship and guidance was to her fellow AA members.
"She was the best and really only friend I ever had," Jane Koschak tells Madison in the clip below.
Interviews like this, which reveal more about Barbara's character than her death, tie into Madison's main goal of finding closure in the traumatic loss of his mother.
The four-part series Murder on Middle Beach continues Sundays at 10 PM on HBO and streams on HBO Max.