The Staircase

Show Notes

Join us in the latest episode of Three Fates Decide as Sam unravels the enigma that is “The Staircase.” In this episode, Sam delves into the tale of Michael Peterson, a crime novelist whose life took an unexpected turn when he was accused of the murder of his second wife, Kathleen Peterson. Sam dissects the HBO Max series that shines a spotlight on Michael’s trial. Discover the details of that fateful night when he made an emergency call, reporting that he found his wife unconscious at the foot of their stairs. However the autopsy report noted severe injuries that point to an assault.

The prosecution contends that Michael’s bisexuality and potential financial motives cast a damning shadow over his innocence. Yet, the defense asserts a tale of a blissful marriage and an accidental fall. As the plot thickens, Sam explores the missing blow poke, the eerie similarities to a friend’s tragic death in Germany, and the Durham ME’s revelation that turns everything on its head. Sam also discusses the aftermath of the trial, where only Kathleen’s daughter stood firm in her belief of Michael’s guilt. “The Staircase” features acclaimed actors Colin Firth and Toni Collette in key roles.

But the burning question remains: Is Michael Peterson guilty or innocent? Join us as we embark on a quest for truth, watching the docuseries on Netflix to gather more information. We invite you, our listeners, to share your thoughts and opinions on Michael’s guilt or innocence. Tune in to our podcast, available on various streaming platforms, and follow us on Instagram and TikTok. Stay tuned for part two, where we dive even deeper into the Netflix docuseries. We can’t wait to embark on this journey with you.

In This Episode

  • “The Staircase” true crime series
  • Michael Peterson trial
  • Guilty verdict and appeal
  • Alfred Plea and release
  • Emergency call and autopsy report
  • Defense vs prosecution arguments
  • Bisexuality and financial motives
  • Happy marriage and acceptance
  • Missing blow poke and German death
  • Overturned ruling and ME evidence
  • Markings on Kathleen’s head
  • Blended family and wrongful death claim
  • Retrial and life sentence
  • Owl attack theory and other theories
  • Greg Taylor’s wrongful conviction
  • Falsified evidence and fake expert
  • Retrial and Alfred plea for Taylor
  • Eight-part docuseries on Netflix
  • French documentarians and media attention
  • Behind-the-scenes footage and interactions
  • Backlash from family members
  • Exploitation of personal tragedies
  • Kathleen’s struggles and different theories
  • Financial issues and Michael’s bisexuality
  • Host questioning Michael’s guilt or innocence
  • The Staircase Docu series on Netflix
  • Michael’s children’s support and strained relationship
  • Involvement of Sophia and owl theory
  • Alfred plea and discovery of lies
  • Michael’s current residence and unhappiness with The Staircase series
  • Promise of part two episode on docuseries

Key Notes

In 2001, Michael Peterson was accused of murdering his own wife. This sparked a legal battle which has been documented in the award-winning true crime series ‘The Staircase’ on HBO Max.

Despite the defense’s claims of a happy marriage, Kathleen’s daughter remains steadfast in her belief that Michael murdered her mother due to his dissatisfaction with her refusal to accept his bisexuality.

The tragic death of Elizabeth Ratliffe was reclassified from an accident to a homicide.

After years of imprisonment, Michael Peterson was granted a retrial due to misrepresentation of evidence by the SBI, leading to his exoneration.

The explosive true crime series, ‘The Staircase’, based on the Peterson case, dives deep into the dark and disturbing secrets of a broken marriage, exposing the troubling controversies of our society’s obsession with crime entertainment.


“The defense completely disputed the theory.”

“Defense argued that their marriage was extremely happy and that Kathleen accepted Michael’s bisexuality.”

“Kathleen’s daughter immediately thought that Michael did kill her mother after seeing the autopsy report.”

“The discussion of Elizabeth Ratliffe’s death and the similarities to Kathleen’s case raised suspicion against Michael.”

“It just shows what a chameleon Colin Firth is. He’s so amazing. I love him.”

“They used his lies and bisexuality as motives for the murder.”

“Kathleen was just completely stressed. She felt like everything was her responsibility. She had to help everybody.”

“Michael’s two boys each had their own problems and Kathleen was supporting them basically.”

“They showed different variations of Kathleen and Michael being happy and loving and supportive and just being so madly in love that you can’t even stand it.”

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