A Death shrouded in Mystery, A Husband as a Suspect, A Trial with no satisfying verdict, and a Mystery Unsolved. This is the tragic death of Kathleen Peterson wife of novelist Michael Peterson. This is a mystery spanning decades and a subject of countless speculation and documentaries.
The Staircase is an eight-episode-long mini-series exploring the life and trial of Michael Peterson. He is the prime suspect in the case of his wife’s death in their sprawling mansion in North Carolina. Michael Peterson was also being convicted and then re-tried by the court – a spellbinding series of events for sure.
The series follows how Kathleen Peterson, wife of Michael Peterson was reported to be dead by her husband in 2001after calling 911. She has found dead in a pool of blood at the bottom of the staircase. Hence the name of the series. While he claimed innocence, the prosecution held him as a prime suspect. His trial from being a prime suspect to a convict in 2003. Then again retried by the court in 2011 due to misleading testimony given by a key witness of the prosecution. He has lied under oath and ultimately freed because Alford’s plea is covered as a narrative retelling.
The series stars Toni Collette, an Australian actress known for her work in The Sixth Sense and Hereditary, as Kathleen Peterson. Colin Firth, an Oscar-winning actor known for his work in Pride and Prejudice and The King’s Speech, plays the main focus of the series, Michael Peterson. As Michael Peterson’s lawyer, David Rudolf, we have Michael Stuhlbarg, Parker Posey as Freda Black, the prosecutor, Dane DeHaan as Clayton Peterson and Patrick Schwarzenegger as Todd Peterson, the sons of Michael Peterson, Sophie Turner as Margaret Ratliff and Odessa Young as Martha Ratliff, the adoptive daughters of Michael in key roles.
Where To Watch The Series?
The series premieres on HBO MAX with the first episode aired on May 5, 2022. The sixth episode of the series has already aired and the seventh. However, the eighth episode is scheduled to release on June 2, 2022, and June 2022 respectively.
In 2001, Kathleen was found dead at the end of the staircase by the police who were called by her husband, Michael Peterson. Since he was the only one present he was the prime suspect.
Even though he claimed that she slipped the stairs under the influence of alcohol and other sedatives he hasn’t been sure of, the autopsy showed that the injuries she sustained were graver than what anyone who tumbled down 15 steps should be sustaining.
Finally,y he was convicted by the court in 2003 but the story does not end here.
After repeated appeals for retrial, the court granted one when it sustained that a key witness of the prosecution had lied.
The viewers already know the outcome of Michael Peterson’s trial. He used Alford’s plea to claim his innocence.
Alford’s plea is a method in which the accused accepts that the authorities have enough evidence to prove him guilty. But he still reinstates his innocence by accepting a lower charge.
Under Alford’s plea, Michael was charged with voluntary manslaughter in place of murder and sentenced to 89 months in prison. But since he had already spent about 95 months he was set free for time already served.
However, it is the deep dive into how these events came to be that the series explores.
The series covers a lot about the trial but some theories are still left out. One involved an attack by an owl after which Kathleen tumbled into the house and lost consciousness. Nonetheless, ultimately dying due to blunt trauma was complicated and far-fetched enough for the makers to decide not to include it in the series.
However, with an intriguing real-life mystery and an impressive cast to carry the story. However, it still promises to be an immersive experience.