These days, Netflix seems to be the place to go to get your true crime murder-mystery fix.
With past hits like Making A Murderer, Evil Genius, and The Keepers, fans have gotten absolutely hooked on anything and everything crime related, and The Staircase is sure to be your next Netflix obsession. According to Pop Sugar, the show digs up an old crime that dates back to 2001. Some may recall the sensational trial and conviction of crime author Michael Peterson for the murder of his wife Kathleen Peterson.
Kathleen was murdered in 2001 at the couple’s home in North Carolina. On the day of her death, a call came into police from her husband, Michael Peterson, saying that his wife had fallen down the stairs and she needed medical assistance. Michael and Kathleen were the only ones who were home at the time of the incident, making many believe that Peterson was to blame.
During the 2003 trail, forensic scientists revealed that Kathleen’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, further pointing the finger at her husband, who is believed to have murdered her with a weapon. Another murder case of Peterson family friend Elizabeth Ratliff was also brought up during the trial as she died a similar way after being found dead at the bottom of the staircase two decades before Kathleen’s death. The prosecutors also pinned this crime on Michael, and he was eventually found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
Money was also said to be a factor in the alleged cold-blooded killing since Kathleen carried a $1.4 million life insurance policy. Obviously, it was believed that Michael killed his wife so that he was able to cash in on her life insurance. But even though he was convicted of the crime, the documentary highlights some holes in the case that could prove Peterson innocent.
For starters, a murder weapon was never recovered at the scene of the crime. Also, Peterson was bisexual and that was used against him in the trial, with prosecutors arguing that Kathleen wanted to leave him after finding out about his sexuality, though Peterson maintains that Kathleen knew that he was bisexual all along and that wouldn’t have played a factor.
Since April, The Staircase’s Twitter page has been teasing the release of the show with a few photos and videos. But the main point that they get across to fans is that it will be up to them to weigh all of the evidence presented and come up with their own theory as to whether or not Michael Peterson is truly guilty of the heinous crime.
“One murder. One staircase. A million theories. Watch the newest chapter of the original true crime thriller, The Staircase, this summer on @Netflix!”
The Staircase starts streaming on Netflix on June 8.