Friday, December 5, 2014

Essential viewing: The Staircase

For those of you who can't satiate your closeted trial laywer/detective/forensic pathologist yearnings with Serial, I highly recommend watching the 8-episode mini series The Staircase, by French documentarian Jean-Xavier Lestrade. The series documents the first degree murder trial of novelist Michael Peterson for the death of his wife, Kathleen in their Durham, NC home in 2001. After Michael made a frantic 911 call, his wife's body was found, blood-soaked and crumpled at the bottom of a flight of stairs. The prosecution's claim was that he beat her to death with a blow-poke, the defense claimed she had fallen down the stairs in a tragic accident.

I don't want to give away too much, but suffice to say this one still has me thinking after I burned through all 8 episodes in a day and a half. It's got more twists and turns than an episode of American Horror Story, and like Serial, the essential question appears to be: is an innocent man on trial for a murder, or was there a secret side to him that no one else knew about?

Watch episode 1 below, all episodes are available for streaming on Youtube.