Hot on the heels of Netflix true crime hits Evil Genius, The Keepers and Making a Murderer comes The Staircase – a cult 2004 true crime television series about the mysterious death of Kathleen Peterson and the trial of her crime novelist husband Michael who was accused of her murder.
Here’s all you need to know about the show that’s being billed as a classic of the true crime genre…
What is The Staircase about?
The Staircase was an eight-part true crime series which first aired in the US in 2004. Regarded by many television critics as the ‘birth’ or ‘godfather’ of the true crime craze, it explored the shocking trial of crime novelist Michael Peterson – a father of four – accused of murdering his wife Kathleen Peterson in 2001.
Created by Academy Award-winning documentary maker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, The Staircase offered unpresented access to Peterson’s lawyers, home and family. Twists and turns ensued, with several secrets exposed including Peterson’s secret bisexuality.
How many episodes of The Staircase are there?
The eight-part mini-series was followed up with two new episodes in 2013; all 10 episodes will be available to watch on Netflix along with three new episodes created this year. In total there will be 13 episodes.
Who is Michael Peterson?
Michael Peterson is now a 74-year-old famous murder suspect, accused of murdering his second wife Kathleen Peterson. Prior to his arraignment in 2001 he was considered a family man, had published several crime fiction novels and also worked as a newspaper columnist.
His wife's body was discovered at the bottom of the stairs at their home in Durham, North Carolina. Michael made a 911 call claiming she must have fallen down the stairs. However, conflicting evidence surrounding the death scene and autopsy report lay the blame on Michael himself – and he was accused of homicide.
As his trial unfolded, many shocking revelations emerged including claims of his bisexuality and a shockingly similar death in Germany which related directly back to Michael.
The trial divided his family, with Kathleen’s daughter Caitlin convinced that Michael had killed her mother. Michael’s adopted daughters Margaret and Marth, meanwhile, continually maintained their father’s innocence, as did Michael’s biological sons Clayton and Todd.
Watch The Staircase trailer
When does The Staircase start on Netflix?
All episodes of The Staircase will be available to stream on Netflix from June 8, 2018.
Photo credits: Netflix