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When Barbara Hamburg was brutally bludgeoned to death outside her home on Middle Beach Road in Madison, Connecticut in 2010, her sister Conway Beach publicly mourned her loss.
"We miss her dearly, and it is a great loss to not have her with us," she said at a 2011 vigil, the New Haven Register reported at the time.
The following year, Beach was present at another vigil, where she called her slain sister "loving, kind, giving, thoughtful, caring, a wonderful mother, a wonderful sister," the New Haven Register reported in 2012.
She vowed to keep her sister's memory alive.
"We don't want it forgotten," she said, adding that "everybody wants this solved."
However, the murder was never solved, and as a new docuseries reveals, there existed beneath Beach's grief a layer of tension, and even a sense of betrayal, between sisters. Barbara's son Madison uncovers that past in his four-part HBO Max docuseries about his mom's murder called “Murder on Middle Beach.” During the docuseries’ third episode, entitled “Sisters,” Madison interviews both Beach and his own sister Ali Hamburg. The two women were together when Barbara’s body was discovered, covered in pillows on her yard. As Madison talked to Conway, he exposed some the uncomfortable history between her and her baby sister Barbara.
Conway explains that back in 1996, she was battling substance misuse.
“I was out of control and Barb knew it,” she said. “She took me to court.”
The Hamburgs took in Conway’s son Tyler Benishek to live with them around the time that Conway was evicted from her home.
“She [Barbara[ brought me into her home to show me that there was more to life than the life I was living,” Benishek said in the docuseries. “She made me feel like one of her children. She wasn’t just an aunt to me. She was another mother.”
While Benishek was grateful for the experience, Conway was less than thrilled.
She soon moved off to Florida where, Madison's dad Jeffrey Hamburg, claimed, she was hanging out with a “pimp” and doing drugs.
“She was absolutely going to die,” he told his son.
The Hamburgs drove down to Florida to talk to Conway, and Jeffrey claimed that when they informed other relatives of Conway’s condition, they were told to “let her die.”
Conway explained to Madison that she was sleeping on park benches, and figured she’d just live out on the streets until her death.
“But my ulterior plan was to get all my money out of my 401(k) plan and get revenge against my baby sister, your mother, your father, and both of you, even Ali,” she confessed. “I was so messed up, I didn’t know what to do. I was so angry. My whole family wasn’t speaking to me.”
She said she would ask complete strangers, like bartenders and taxi drivers, how to hire a hitman. At one point, she got some money and thought she was indeed meeting a hitman. She rented a room at a “nice” hotel in Orlando and went to the bar to meet him, started drinking, and blacked out. The next thing she knew, she woke up in her room naked and penniless.
Conway reflects on murderous notions she harbored by explaining that she “snapped” and became a “mother bear.”
“I’m not proud of that,” she said.
Later, Barbara took Conway in and gave her a place to live when Conway was going through health issues.
After Barbara's murder, Conway was a person of interest, according to Conway. She said she told investigators about the hitman attempt. She denied having anything to do with the murder.
Conway's past is just one of the many difficult avenues Madison explores while investigating his mom's death. During the first episode, he tries to talk to his dad Jeffrey about the murder. Jeffrey and Barbara had a court date scheduled that day as they were embroiled in a heated legal battle. He became a person of interest in the murder. During the second episode, Madison took a dive into “Gifting Table,” and speculation that his mom’s murder was connected to that pyramid scheme.
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