Based on the events surrounding the crime of 2001, the gripping series Stairs (The Staircase) tells the story that overshadowed the apparent happiness of the Peterson family. Kathleen Petersoninterpreted by Tony Colletteis found dead at the foot of the stairs of her house and all suspicions pointed to her husband, Michael (Colin Firth), hid a terrible truth. The first four episodes are available to watch on hbo max.
The premise of the television fiction is based on the documentary miniseries of the same name. written and directed by the Oscar winner Jean-Xavier de Lestrade. Shortly after the man’s legal battle began, the producer and filmmaker documented all these events and revealed the final result of the production in October 2004 through the French channel Canal+ and, a year later, on the British BBC signal Four.
Between 2012 and 2013, De Lestrade reconnected with the family for a two-hour sequel that ended up being divided into three episodes with an exclusive release on Netflix. In 2018, the giant streaming compiled the full 13-episode docuseries (the new ones and those of the original version) in its catalog under the title The Staircase.
According to the official synopsis, “it tells the fascinating story of Michael Peterson, a crime novel writer accused of the murder of his wife Kathleen after the appearance of her lifeless body at the base of the stairs of the home they shared, and reveals the judicial battle of sixteen years that was unleashed from the facts ”.
The Kathleen Peterson Murder Case
One night 21 years ago, the novelist and former war veteran Michael Peterson found his second wife dead as she lay in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs. Completely nervous about the situation, he made a call to the emergency room and they definitely confirmed that there was not a trace of life left in her. However, the authorities noticed something very unique: the blood stains were not only on the floor, but had been splashed in different parts of the house.
Peterson was convicted of his partner’s murder and was jailed in 2003., serving a total of eight years behind bars. Although it was initially believed that the victim fell down the stairs due to alcohol and a terrible combination with Valium, the autopsy revealed that she had lacerations to her back and these same injuries caused blood loss that led to her death.
In February 2017, the defendant petitioned the court and pleaded guilty to Kathleen’s involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to 86 months in prison, but he was credited with the time served prior to this verdict (in total, about 98.5 months), so he did not have to face more years without freedom.
The enigmatic case of Kathleen Peterson loaded with many inexplicable details and still remains a mystery to many behind the investigation as no murder weapon was found or no blood was found on the attacker’s own clothing. The Staircasethe documentary of Netflixand the newly released Stairs in hbo maxare two productions that allow us to meet all those involved in this tragic event that shook the United States at the beginning of this century.