Synopsis of Behind the Staircase
December 2001 was the beginning of the long, arduous journey for Michael Peterson, who was accused, placed on trial, and convicted of murdering his second wife, Kathleen Peterson. In Behind the Staircase, a memoir, Peterson recounts the events leading up to the incident which would forever change his life.
After spending eight years at the Nash Correctional Institution and several attempts at appeal, Peterson filed an Alford Plea, changing his original plea from not guilty to that of guilty yet still asserting his innocence. His sentence was converted to voluntary manslaughter and he was subsequently released from prison for time served. Having spent 98 and a half months behind bars for his allegedly killing his wife, Peterson was finally a free man.
In Behind the Staircase, Peterson shares the devastating events of Kathleen’s death, his trial and conviction for murder, and the many grueling years that he spent with murderers, rapists, gangbangers, and pedophiles. In Peterson’s own words, he painstakingly describes what his life has been like since that fateful night nearly twenty years ago and what it has meant to him to be ultimately released from prison.
Peterson’s story has been featured in many film and miniseries episodes, each sharing its own twist of events based on the original trial, interviews with jurors, and the retrial proceedings. Behind the Staircase will leave you questioning what really occurred on the evening of December 9, 2011, and how, if at all, was Michael Peterson involved in his wife’s death.