Sunday, February 26, 2017
Watched - The Staircase
'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.'
After watching The Jinx recently, people recommend The Staircase to me. I found it was available from Netflix, bumped it to the top of my list, and marathon watched the whole series today. Wow. I have mixed feelings about this case. I'd like to read more about the case, or see some other shows about it if there are any. I realize this series is from Mike Peterson's side and while they didn't really glorify him, it was still *his* story. Just in the quick skimming of a couple online articles after watching the series, I see things that weere never mentioned on the show. So my thoughts in this post will be about *this show.*
Kathleen Peterson was found in a bloody mess at the bottom of the staircase one night by her husband. He called 911 and hysterically exclaimed she'd fallen down the stairs. The police and the medical examiner felt that her injuries were more likely from being beaten to death, and her husband Mike was soon arrested. Leading up to the trial, information about another woman's death many years earlier was investigated. Why was this significant? Because it was a very close friend of Mike's and, similarly, he was the last one to see her the night she died.
I'm not sure he did it. The one big hangup for me is that case of the other woman. If you took all of that out, like they tried to have done in the trial, I think I'd believe the defense's theory that Kathleen fell, was bleeding, got up and slipped in her own blood and fell again. She had severe cuts to her scalp but no skull fractures or brain injuries. How many times have we all whacked our heads on things? Heck, I've had a stainless steel pipe fall on my head from the blend platform at work. These blows can be quite violent, but we soldier on. I think falling backwards from the third or fourth step might give you a nasty bump and a headache but not a skull fracture. On the other hand, cuts to the head bleed like crazy. I remember when hubby was building our greenhouse and one of the rafter beams slipped down and bashed him on the head. It dropped him to the ground and was bleeding so bad we were sure he'd busted his head right open. We raced to the emergency room and they had to put several staples in the split skin but there was no worse damage than that. So if Kathleen fell in a way that the edge of the door frame might have sliced open her scalp, I can see her being panicked and dazed and bleeding like crazy. I can see her maybe trying to get up, slipping in the blood and falling again on those steps, in the small area, and maybe ripping another part of her scalp open. Maybe I'm a fool, but I can see it.
Again, according to *this show,* I don't see a motive for Mike killing her. The theory of her discovering he was bisexual and them arguing was weak. Okay, maybe she'd found out and they'd argued, but why would he have to kill her over that? What about his life needed that level of secrecy?
Like I said, I want to know more about this case now. I did read one article about The Owl Theory that I found freaky, but it makes sense. The tears to her scalp probably could have come from an angry owl's talons swooping and attacking. She had been walking back to the house from their swimming pool that night. Perhaps it attacked her shortly before she got there, she went inside already bleeding and panicked, and this led to her falling on the stairs? I'm almost sure I've seen a show or movie about this theory. So many things about it seem familiar to me. Maybe I've seen a Dateline type show or something about it on ID channel?
I know there were big developments in the case after this show was made. I think his conviction was overturned or something but I haven't yet read why. And I know just in the past couple days he's been freed after a plea deal. Yes, I really need to read up on this case now! I wasn't too worried about doing all that before this post though because, like I said, this post is about the original show.
Are you familiar with the Kathleen Peterson staircase death case? Do you think her husband did it? I'd love to hear your thoughts!