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The Staircase 

Soupçons (original title)
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The high-profile murder trial of American novelist Michael Peterson following the death of his wife in 2001.
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808 ( 48)

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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Michael Peterson ...  Himself 8 episodes, 2004
David Rudolf ...  Himself 8 episodes, 2004
Ron Guerette ...  Himself 8 episodes, 2004
Tom Maher ...  Himself - Defense Attorney 8 episodes, 2004
Bill Peterson ...  Himself 8 episodes, 2004
Freda Black ...  Herself 7 episodes, 2004
Jim Hardin ...  Himself 7 episodes, 2004
Arthur Holland ...  Himself 7 episodes, 2004
Todd Peterson ...  Himself 7 episodes, 2004
Margaret Ratliff ...  Herself 7 episodes, 2004
Martha Ratliff ...  Herself 7 episodes, 2004
Clayton Peterson ...  Himself 6 episodes, 2004
Patricia Peterson ...  Herself 6 episodes, 2004
Caitlin Atwater ...  Herself 6 episodes, 2004
Bettye Blackwell Bettye Blackwell ...  Herself - Juror 5 episodes, 2004
Lori Campbell ...  Herself - Kathleen Peterson's Sister 5 episodes, 2004
Kellie Colgan ...  Herself - Juror 5 episodes, 2004
Margie Fargo ...  Herself - Jury Expert 5 episodes, 2004
Shirley Ferrell Shirley Ferrell ...  Herself - Juror 5 episodes, 2004
Charlene Gill Charlene Gill ...  Herself - Juror 5 episodes, 2004
Keith Hall ...  Himself - Juror 5 episodes, 2004
Paul Harrison Paul Harrison ...  Himself - Juror 5 episodes, 2004
Orlando Hudson ...  Himself 5 episodes, 2004
Kristen Lyon Jones Kristen Lyon Jones ...  Herself - Juror 5 episodes, 2004
Ann Pennington Ann Pennington ...  Herself - Juror 5 episodes, 2004
Tonia Rogers Tonia Rogers ...  Herself - Juror 5 episodes, 2004
David Saacks ...  Himself / ... 5 episodes, 2004
Richard Sarratt Richard Sarratt ...  Himself - Juror 5 episodes, 2004
Julia Sims ...  Herself / ... 5 episodes, 2004
Kerry Sutton ...  Herself 5 episodes, 2004
Henry Lee ...  Himself 4 episodes, 2004
Candace Zamperini ...  Herself 4 episodes, 2004
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Storyline

Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, presents a gripping courtroom thriller, offering a rare and revealing inside look at a high-profile murder trial. In 2001, author Michael Peterson was arraigned for the murder of his wife Kathleen, whose body was discovered lying in a pool of blood on the stairway of their home. Granted unusual access to Peterson's lawyers, home and immediate family, de Lestrade's cameras capture the defense team as it considers its strategic options. "The staircase" is an engrossing look at contemporary American justice that features more twists than a legal bestseller. Written by Julie Pouillon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Did He Do It?


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Staircase See more »

Filming Locations:

Durham, North Carolina, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Maha Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(entire series)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film editor Sophie Brunet had a 15-year relationship with the subject Michael Peterson, lasting from 2002 until May 2017. Jean-Xavier de Lestrade claims her involvement never influenced her editing. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Girls: Daddy Issues (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Murder In My Heart For The Judge
18 April 2009 | by valis1949See all my reviews

THE STAIRCASE is protracted and meticulous, yet a fascinating study of how a 'Dream Team' legal defense is organized and executed. In December of 2001 acclaimed author, Michael Peterson, was accused in the death of his wife, Kathleen. It was his contention that Kathleen slipped and fell on a staircase in their home after an evening of wine and relaxation, while the prosecution maintained that Mr. Peterson had bludgeoned his wife, and positioned the body to appear as an accident. Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, the writer/director, has culled this account from more than six-hundred hours of taped documentation. Every aspect of the case is dissected and examined in great detail, and the viewer watches as each piece is crafted into the best possible case for the defense. The film demonstrates how expert witnesses are selected and coached so that the presentation to the jury becomes a calculated performance. The facts of a case are seen as nothing more than elements in a construction to portray the defendant in the most positive light. Truth is of secondary importance, and it is clear that in the American justice system, only the wealthy can receive anything approaching fairness. If you are a fan of The Courtroom Procedural, THE STAIRCASE is well worth your attention. Superb soundtrack by Jocelyn Pook.


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