A True Crime Documentary That Remains Unsolved to This Day

The Staircase Documentary

The Staircase tells the story of novelist Michael Peterson, who in 2001, called 911 to report that he had found his wife Kathleen at the bottom of the staircase in their North Carolina home. Michael claims it was an accident, but when Durham’s medical examiner comes to the conclusion that Kathleen’s death was due to being beaten with some kind of weapon, the result is a high-profile trial with so many twists, turns, and secrets revealed that it almost feels like fiction.

In a trial that puts Michael and Kathleen’s blended families on opposite sides of the courtroom, the documentary allows you to see the defense’s process in a close, personal way. The original documentary (8 episodes) premiered back in 2005, but since then there have been updates in the form of 2 new episodes in 2013 and 3 new episodes in 2018, when the series fully aired on Netflix. For fans of true crime, The Staircase is a must watch, especially because we’ll never know what really happened to Kathleen Peterson on that fateful night.


Start watching The Staircase on Netflix or discover more great TV and movie recommendations.


Julie Guacci graduated from the University of Maryland in 2016 with degrees in both Marketing and History. She is currently employed at Hachette Book Group and lives in New York City. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, playing guitar, reading (of course!), painting and watching her favorite New York sports teams and her Maryland Terrapins.