Netflix has just announced a follow up to 2004’s critically acclaimed docu-series The Staircase, which delved into the 2001 death of Kathleen Peterson and the trial of her husband Michael, a bisexual crime novelist, accused of her murder.
In 2003, Michael was convicted of killing Kathleen, after one of the longest trials in North Carolina history. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Since the very beginning, Michael has insisted Kathleen’s death was an accident and that her injuries were caused when she drunkenly fell down a staircase. He maintains that he was outside by the pool when it happened and that he called the police as soon as he found his wife’s body.
But authorities have felt differently. They believe Michael bludgeoned Kathleen to death with a fireplace poker after she discovered he was bisexual and has been cheating on her with other men.
In 2003, Michael was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. But in 2011, a judge vacated Michael’s verdict and ordered a new trial. Then last year, Michael entered an Alford plea to voluntary manslaughter. He was released from custody with credit for the seven-plus years he had already spent behind bars.
To this day, he maintains his innocence but says he had little other recourse.
Throughout the final developments in his case, Michael was followed by a documentary crew. Netflix will premiere three new installments of the true-crime docu-series this summer, after airing at the Tribeca Film Festival later this month. An exact release date has not yet been announced.
Watch the trailer.