Is Michael Peterson responsible for the death of his wife Kathleen, was it an accident, or did an owl do it? Questions at the heart of the very strange case documented in series The Staircase which began with eight episodes originally aired in 2004 following Peterson’s murder trial. The series then continued in 2013 with two more episodess updating movements in the case, which was followed by another three in 2018. All 13 episodes are available to watch now on Netflix.
Peterson’s much discussed story is now being turned into a series by Annapurna Television with Harrison Ford attached to star as well as executive producing. This would mark his first ever regular TV role. Writing the series is Antonio Campos who made movies Afterschool and Simon Killer, and for TV directed much of The Sinner.
The Staircase is one of the docs at the center of the recent resurgence in interest in true crime. The case concerns Peterson’s wife Kathleen who was found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their house. Michael Peterson claims it was an accident – or rather that he doesn’t actually know what happened to his wife and that he came in and found her at the bottom of the stairs – but police suspected that wasn’t the case after a medical examiner said the evidence suggested she’d been bludgeoned with a weapon.
The show captivated audiences and prompted further theories, including the weirdly plausible owl theory (see below) though it also raised some ethical issues with true crime series.
The series is apparently currently being touted around streaming services so we have no info yet on when it might air or where.