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27th Apr 2022

Chilling new series The Staircase looks set to be our next true crime obsession

Katy Brennan

“There are no answers.”

Our true crime obsession is still going strong, and the next story set to feed our addiction is new series The Staircase.

It revolves around the real-life case of Micheal Peterson, an American novelist who, in 2001, was accused of murdering his wife, Kathleen.

If it sounds eerily familiar, that’s because it is. Like everyone else, you probably binge-watched the Netflix documentary by the same name back in 2018.

This time though, Colin Firth and Toni Collette will be bringing the characters to life in a reenactment of the mysterious events.

One day, Peterson called 911 in a panic to say he had discovered his wife’s body dead at the end of the stairs in their home. How exactly she made it to the end of those stairs has long been the subject of intense scrutiny – and the case has fascinated the world ever since.

Kathleen had injuries inconsistent with a fall down the stairs and police soon arrested Peterson. He insisted on his innocence, but authorities believed he had bludgeoned Kathleen to death using a blow-poke, an object which had mysteriously vanished from the family’s fireplace.

He was found guilty of Kathleen’s murder in 2003 and sentenced to life in prison, but after several pleas he was released on time served.

The mini-series follows the lengthy court battles Peterson went through and the impact Kathleen’s death had on the family.

It all gets a bit inception-like in some places, as the new show features a French film crew making a documentary  about Peterson and his case. This documentary actually happened in real life, and it was called, you guessed it, The Staircase.

It also takes a look the infamous ‘Owl Theory’ used to defend Peterson in court – which explains how an owl could have attacked Kathleen outside the home, creating the deep lacerations to the back and top of her head and causing her to run inside and fall.

As wild as the theory sounds, drops of blood were found on the front steps and microscopic feathers were found on Kathleen’s hands.

The new retelling of the explosive story promises to add some new elements that will surely pave the way for even more speculation.

The Staircase debuts Thursday 5 May on Sky TV and NOW.