"The Staircase”, which follows the thrilling twists and turns of the investigation into the cause of death of Durham, NC resident and Nortel executive Kathleen Peterson, made its television premiere on Sundance Channel on April 4, 2005. The original eight tautly structured chapters of The Staircase, culled from 14 months of shooting and 650 hours of footage, revealed the true and utterly gripping details of a man whose life was clearly on the line.
As documented in "The Staircase”, Michael Peterson swears his wife's death was the tragic result of a fall-- Peterson’s sons and adopted daughters rally to his defense and his legal team prepares to battle the prosecution. Meanwhile, Durham’s district attorney and his assistant build a case that will put the Peterson marriage – and Michael Peterson’s private life – at the center of the trial.
Ultimately Michael Peterson was found guilty of killing his wife. To press their case, the District Attorney uncovered incredible truths about Peterson’s sexuality and his suspected involvement in a similar case 18 years prior. Further supporting their theory, a blood spatter expert provided extensive testimony confirming that this was no accident. But was he telling the truth?
In a stunning follow-up to the original court case, “The Staircase: Last Chance” reveals the shocking discoveries and an astounding revelation that opens the door for the convicted murderer’s final appeal. Viewers will have the chance to find out the judge’s ruling in this mind-bending murder trial and decide for themselves if Michael Peterson is truly innocent or a cold-blooded killer. (Source: Sundance Channel)