KATHLEEN Peterson was a woman whose life was, on the surface, rather ordinary.
But the circumstances of her death made it extraordinary.
What happened to Kathleen Peterson?
On December 9, 2001, Kathleen Peterson was found unconscious at the bottom of a staircase in Durham, NC.
Her husband, Michael Peterson, found her.
Kathleen Peterson later succumbed to her injuries.
But how she got to the bottom of those stairs became the focal point of the salacious trial of her husband.
What are the theories surrounding Kathleen Peterson's death?
According to the prosecution in the Michael Peterson case, Kathleen Peterson was struck on the back of her head by her husband, and she subsequently died.
But during the trial, Michael Peterson's attorney said that Kathleen Peterson drank wine and Valium, which caused her to fall after becoming dizzy.
That fall proved to be fatal.
Later, Michael Peterson — though his attorney, David Rudolf — claimed an owl killed Kathleen Peterson.
“I [couldn’t] now stand up and say forget about all that, she really didn’t fall, it was an owl,” Rudolf said.
What happened to Michael Peterson?
In 2003, Michael Peterson was convicted of murdering his wife, Kathleen Peterson.
The trial was the subject of the popular Netflix documentary series, The Staircase.
In 2011, Michael Peterson was granted the right to a new trial.
To avoid going through the trial process again, he took an Alford plea and was freed on "time served."
An Alford plea is when a defendant acknowledges that there's enough evidence to convict him or her at trial, but doesn't plead guilty to the crime, and in fact asserts innocence.
HBO Max has announced that they will be releasing a dramatized version of The Staircase.
Toni Collette, Sophie Turner, Parker Posey, and Juliette Binoche are all slated to appear in the series.
Colin Firth will play Michael Peterson.
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