Watch The Staircase
- 1 Season
The Staircase is an extraordinary true-crime documentary series that unveils the investigation and trial of Michael Peterson, a crime novelist who was accused of killing his wife Kathleen Peterson. The series consists of three parts, covering a time span of almost twenty years, from 2004 to 2018. Produced by Maha Productions, the show delves deep into the evidence, the investigations, and the trials as it explores the truth behind the mysterious death of Kathleen Peterson.
The first installment of the series follows the initial investigation, beginning on December 9, 2001, when Michael Peterson frantically called 911 claiming to have found his wife unconscious at the bottom of the stairs in their Durham, North Carolina home. The first responders arrived to find a gruesome crime scene, and soon enough, detectives began to suspect Michael's involvement in the death of his wife, despite his insistence that he is innocent.
The show quickly brings to light the complexities of the investigation, as the detectives measure every piece of evidence and testimonial, trying to understand what went on in the house that night. From the beginning, the case immediately becomes contentious, as several variables that are unusual in a typical murder case start to enfold. Michael's peculiar behavior, his bisexuality, and his extravagant lifestyle pave the way for a compelling story that the documentary captures expertly.
David Rudolf, a prominent defense attorney, is brought on to Michael's case and is the co-star of the documentary series. Rudolf presents the facts of the case and Michael's defense, bringing his knowledge and expertise to the forefront. Slowly, but surely, the show sheds light on the prosecution's case and Rudolf's defense, enabling the audience to better understand the nuances of the case.
The second part of the series, which was released in 2013, follows the appeals process, as David Rudolf and his team fight to ensure Michael Peterson's fair trial. The second installment itself is laden with twists and turns as Rudolf works to uncover evidence previously overlooked. He unearths crucial information that could indicate the prosecution's questionable tactics, the significant mishap of blood evidence, and a wormhole of questionable practices by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
The show takes its turn in the final part, where new evidence surfaces, and Rudolf continues his legal efforts to exonerate Michael Peterson, which ultimately coincide with a ten-year legal battle. Now in 2018, Rudolf has multiple experts testify expansively about the crime scene and how challenging it would be for anybody to murder Kathleen Peterson as it occurred. The resulting judicial decision has formed one of the most stimulating topics of legal discussion in the United States to date, which was both a win and a loss at the same time.
The Staircase series does not feature the passive narration often associated with many documentaries. Instead, it uses a personal approach. The documentary captured the entire case in the foottage, and the filmmakers were present for every moment, from the tense courtroom scenes to the difficult personal conversations with Peterson and his family. The filmmakers gained unprecedented access to both the prosecution and defense throughout the legal battle, which enabled them to chronicle the case's complexities to its fullest extent.
In conclusion, The Staircase is a must-watch true-crime documentary that tells the tale of one of the most intriguing murder cases in the United States. It uses highly personalized storytelling to deliver a gripping exploration of the facts and the truth of the case, as presented by Rudolf and the investigators. The series demonstrates an incredible depth of insight into the American justice system, and the controversies that arise around investigations and trials. Fans of true-crime documentaries will love The Staircase for its thrilling narrative and extensive coverage.
The Staircase is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (12 episodes). The series first aired on April 4, 2005.