The Staircase (2004)

26 Feb

Review of the documentary The Staircase

Writer Michael Peterson was at home with his wife Kathleen at their swimming pool, when she decided she wanted to go back into the house. When her husband also returned he found her at the bottom of the stairs, covered in blood, but still breathing. He dialled 911, but his wife died. At least that’s the story Peterson is telling. The police didn’t believe that story and treated him as a suspect, a man who murdered his wife.

This 8 part documentary mini series shows the details of the case, follows the defense and witnesses the unbelievable things which happen during the trial. As the defense lawyer states to the camera crew when something from Peterson’s past is dug up: “Your documentary just became very interesting”.

Review of the documentary The Staircase

When you see the staircase yourself and the amount of blood still present, you can understand why Peterson is a suspect. It’s hard to believe so much blood would be there if his wife had just fallen. It’s a tough case for the defense, but they hire a lot of experts who can explain what might have happened.

As the prosecution investigates Peterson, they keep uncovering things which are not helping Peterson’s case. As a viewer you mainly see Peterson, his son and daughters and his attorney, so as a viewer you will start rooting for them, espcially since they make a very convincing case.

Review of the documentary The Staircase

Reality can sometimes be stranger than fiction and The Staircase proves it. Each episode has some new information and as you are watching it, you have no idea whether Peterson will be convicted or not. According to him a trial isn’t about truth anymore, but about who manages to tell the most convincing story. With behind the scenes access to Peterson’s private life and conversations with his lawyer you get an idea about who he is and the way he looks at life.

This is a mini series which I really couldn’t stop watching and that doesn’t happen often. I almost became obsessed with it as I just had to know where it would all go. So if you are looking for a compelling documentary, then you shouldn’t miss The Staircase.

Score: 10


One Response to “The Staircase (2004)”


  1. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015) | Just Documentaries - 19 March 2015

    […] of the facts, but also because of Durst himself. If you are into true crime series and movie like The Staircase, Paradise Lost or Dear Zachary than this is one of those shows you shouldn’t miss. Especially […]

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