In December 2001, Kathleen Peterson’s bloodied, lifeless body was found at the bottom of the back staircase of the Durham mansion she shared with her husband, Michael, who eventually went on trial and was convicted for her murder.
Nearly 16 years later, we’re still talking about it.
The most recent media offering: BBC Radio’s 5 Live program released a podcast this week about Kathleen’s death and the subsequent trial. (Peterson was sentenced to prison in 2003, but granted a new trial and released in 2011. In February of this year, Peterson took an Alford plea to the reduced charge of manslaughter, was sentenced to time served and set free.)
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The podcast, called “Beyond Reasonable Doubt?”, is reported by BBC Radio’s Chris Warburton, who spent time in Durham interviewing people involved with the case, including friends and neighbors. Full disclosure: Joe Neff, a reporter for The News & Observer, is among those featured on the podcast. Tom Gasparoli, a former Herald Sun (Durham) columnist who contributes to The News & Observer, is also interviewed extensively.
The podcast will contain an undetermined number of episodes. The first four – plus two preview episodes – are available for streaming or download now at the BBC website: bbc.co.uk/programmes/p054dybk. New episodes will be updated weekly.
The case has been featured on multiple true crime TV shows, has been the subject of several books and was the focus in 2004 of an award-winning French documentary, “The Staircase.” (That, in turn, inspired the 2017 NBC sitcom “Trial & Error” starring John Lithgow).