Netflix’s recent addition to the legacy of The Staircase reshuffles the pieces of Peterson’s high profile criminal trial.
Crime grips us as much as it revolts us–it’s a love and hate relationship, which oscillates between stories of macabre and those who are intrigued by it. Netflix’s revival and reinvigoration of The Staircase takes us back to the narrative that unlocked this uncanny obsession and left its mark across future crime documentaries.
Gateway to TV’s First Crime Obsession
The genre of crime fiction and documentaries has waves of content today; the hour-long gateways wade through the web of murders and do just enough to pique interest. What’s lost is the roiling underbelly of murky details, which are easier to forget. Started as an eight-part series in 2004 to navigate through the details of Michael Peterson’s murder trial, creator Jean-Xaveir de Lestrade went on to lay bare all pieces of the puzzle, with more than 600 hours of footage. Details about the trial proceedings and personal records of the family analysed every piece of evidence and occurrence in the grim murder.
Looking at the Peterson Murder Trial
The saga dates back to 2001 when Peterson found his wife dead at the bottom of the staircase, apparently from falling. A devastated phone call was made to the police, and on investigation, the lacerations on Kathleen’s head and grisly blood across the floor failed to match up with a fall on the stairs. Peterson was curiously found involved in a previous staircase fall-related death in Germany, suspicious enough to be charged for murder. The camera rolled this point onwards, as Lestrade was given full access to the trial proceedings as well as the familial and legal entities in Peterson’s life.
Netflix’s The Staircase
The thirteen-episode released by Netflix includes the eight-part docuseries debuted in 2004 and two episodes from 2013, infused with updated reality with three recently shot episodes for Netflix. A case spanning over a decade, twists and surprises have been credibly filmed to illustrate an encompassing account of the murder. The docuseries chronicles every grim shade of Peterson’s life and ensures that you’re in the backdrop to witness it all; the account of the murder, the legal proceedings, and the accused perpetrator himself. Netflix’s The Staircase takes you through the re-baffling of your little grey cells as the case of the murder-slash-accident remains open.