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The Staircase Murders (2007)

After calling 911 to report his wife's accident, successful novelist and aspiring politician, Michael Peterson, becomes the prime suspect in her alleged murder.



, (based on the book "A Perfect Husband")




Cast overview, first billed only:
David Rudolf
Caitlin Atwater
Todd Peterson (as Brandon Olive)
Margaret Peterson
D. A. Jim Hardin
Detective Castell
Kate Donadio ...
Kathleen Peterson
Martha (as Stephanie Honore)
Bill Peterson
Clayton Peterson
Candace Zamperini
Melinda Walsh ...
Patty Peterson
Freda Black


When Michael Iver Peterson, a successful novelist and aspiring politician in Durham, North Carolina, finds his wife Kathleen's body on the staircase, bloody but still breathing, he calls 911 in panic. His son Todd confirms his parents were in true love, would never harm each-other. However the police, notably Detective Joe Castel, and D. A. Jim Hardin, holding a grudge for a column the author once wrote against the incompetent force, disbelieve their postulation she fell from the stairs, notably because her blood was found very high. Adoring step-daughter Caitlin, who privately shows suspicious pleasure in the jewelry inheritance and is named executor of Kathleen's estate, was all night at her Cornell sorority. The female coroner excludes her trainee's preliminary theory of a fall, bluntly stating multiple blows and at least two hours painful death-struggle. Wine - and blood traces suggest Michael may have staged her having drunk too much wine and tried to wipe her blood. The family ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

15 April 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Staircase  »

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References The Staircase (2004) See more »

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Could have been a little more
18 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

detailed regarding the Mike Peterson case and also his interactions in the community of Durham, N.C.

This film was also shown on Sundance- The Staircase Murder, which incredibly Peterson opted to have filmed in his actual home, going about day to day affairs, crying injustice and generally expressing contempt for the legal system.

While these cases have been done to death , Williams is excellent as a manipulative sociopath. What would it take for a person to murder a spouse. Remember the Jeffrey MacDonald case? That too, encompassed the community, the sentiments of people. People who simply could not believe the man could be capable of such an act.

Is there a way to gage marital discord, rage, hatred, simmering resentment? Anyone who enjoyed this case may also enjoy Fatal Vision with Gary Cole as Jeffrey McDonald. The truth is, whether the culprit is guilty or not, it is sometimes incredible to realize what people are capable of, in extreme circumstances. 8/10.

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