The Staircase Poster

(2004– )

Episode List


Season 1

7 Oct. 2004
Crime or Accident?
Michael Peterson relates his version of the fatal events of Dec. 9, 2001. Oscar winning filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade chronicles the sensational murder trial, granted unusual access to Peterson's lawyers and his immediate family.
7 Oct. 2004
Secrets and Lies
Michael Peterson's hidden sex life comes shockingly out in the open. Was his loving relationship with his wife authentic or a complete fraud?
14 Oct. 2004
A Striking Coincidence
The death of another woman close to Peterson from 17 years earlier sparks a new investigation. She also died on a staircase, casting major doubts over the defense case.
14 Oct. 2004
A Prosecution Trickery
On the eve of the trial, a damning report in the press threatens Peterson's defense, who believe the prosecution is unfairly trying their case in the media.
21 Oct. 2004
A Weak Case
The prosecution presents its case that Michael Peterson murdered his wife. The defense questions the validity of the forensic testimony presented.
21 Oct. 2004
The Prosecution's Revenge
A reluctant witness with shadowy ties to Peterson rivets the attention of the courtroom. How will his testimony sway the jury?
28 Oct. 2004
The Blowpoke Returns
In another shocking twist to this murder trial, a new discovery comes to the attention of the defense. Has the murder weapon finally been found?
28 Oct. 2004
The Verdict
Michael Peterson's fate hangs in the balance as the jury delivers the final verdict. Will justice be served?
21 Nov. 2013
Reopen the Case
Flashforward to 2011. It has been eight years since Peterson was incarcerated in prison. His family and his lawyers have never given up hope for an appeal, but the North Carolina Court of Appeal and Supreme Court have denied him the right to a new trial. As this chapter recalls the details of the case, a dramatic twist throws doubt on his conviction, and we visit a tired and emaciated Peterson in his prison cell.
21 Nov. 2013
The Last Chance
The testimony of one of the key witnesses in Peterson's trial, forensic investigator Duane Deaver, has come into question. And as a result, in December of 2011, Peterson is released on parole. But he is by no means a free man. There are very important choices to make-and more twists in the Peterson saga to come.
8 Jun. 2018
In Search of a Resolution
Should Peterson undergo a second trial (and risk another conviction) or plead guilty? He says he totally rejects the word "guilty," but saying it in a courtroom could be the only way to close the case and ensure his freedom. Peterson's family discusses their relief at his parole, but also their fears at what lies ahead.
8 Jun. 2018
Between Despair and Anger
The judge in Peterson's original trial rules that, notwithstanding Deaver's misconduct, there will be no dismissal of his conviction. David Rudolf, Peterson's friend and lawyer has declined to represent him at a new trial, but explains that a second jury might be no more equitable than the first. Proposals are advanced for Peterson to plead guilty, but he still refuses to pronounce the word.
8 Jun. 2018
Imperfect Justice
After much fraught deliberations, a deal has been negotiated for an "Alford plea," wherein Peterson will plead guilty while still asserting his innocence. He attends the hearing, facing his late wife's sisters, who still believe that he murdered her.

 Season 1 

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