Did Michael Peterson fake the accidental death of his wife Kathleen, whose body was found in a pool of blood on the stairway of their North Carolina home? It’s more complicated than that.
That’s the central question that drives “The Staircase,” a Peabody Award-winning, eight-part examination of Peterson’s high profile 2001 murder trial directed by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, who won a 2002 Oscar for criminal justice doc “Murder on a Sunday Morning.”
“The Staircase” premiered on French television in 2004 to raves before hitting the Sundance Channel. Village Voice called it “a remarkable eight-part documentary that offers an intimate, vérité glimpse of a very sensationalistic trial”; The New York Times wrote that it’s “so brilliantly conceived, reported, filmed and paced that you may come to wish it were twice as long.”
Starting March 23, i.e. today, SundanceNow Doc Club is hosting the VOD premiere of this serial doc, which Thom Powers called “ahead of its time as a serialized documentary… sets the bar for its incredible twists and turns…takes on a case even more complex that delves into the mysteries of marriage and human beings.”
The first episode is free for all here, and SundanceNow Doc Club subscribers can start binging on the series now. Below, watch an exclusive clip that shows the DA team discussing their doubt that Mrs. Peterson fell down the stairs.