Michael Peterson’s defense attorney introduces a blow poke into evidence
David Rudolf is best known these days for his appearance in the Netflix documentary series “The Staircase,” getting lots of screen time as the lawyer for accused murderer Michael Peterson.
Since Netflix released “The Staircase” in June, the Charlotte-based attorney has been making live appearances, speaking to sold-out crowds about his experiences with the Peterson case.
He’s bringing that show — “Inside The Staircase: Lies, Fake Science and The Owl Theory” — to Carolina Theatre in Durham on Oct. 3. The show will be moderated by WRAL anchor David Crabtree.
The French documentary series “The Staircase” follows the story of Michael Peterson’s trial for the murder of his wife, Kathleen, who he says he found on the night of Dec. 9, 2001, in a pool of blood at the bottom of a back staircase in their Durham home. Peterson was indicted on a first-degree murder charge 10 days later and went on trial in May 2003. It became one of the longest murder trials in North Carolina history — and one of the most unbelievable.
Peterson, who has always maintained his innocence, was convicted of first-degree murder in 2003 and was in prison for eight years before his conviction was overturned because of improprieties at the State Bureau of Investigation. Peterson entered an Alford plea while awaiting a new trial last year, allowing him to plead guilty to manslaughter while maintaining his innocence.
Netflix premiered the full series in June and has exclusive rights to all 13 episodes. Rudolf wrote responses to each episode on his website, in a series called “The Staircase: An Inside View.”
Rudolf has also made appearances this summer with Jerry Buting, one of the attorneys for Steven Avery, the subject of a 2015 Netflix documentary series, “Making a Murderer.” Buting and attorney Dean Strang came to Durham in 2016 for a live “Conversation on Justice” at the Durham Performing Arts Center.
Buting will not be available for the Durham show, nor for an Oct. 4 show in Charlotte that Rudolf mentioned on Twitter. Allyson Luchak, a producer on “The Staircase,” will join Rudolf in Durham.
Rudolf has been active on Twitter this summer, engaging in conversations with “The Staircase” viewers who want to know more about various aspects of the case, and tweeting stories about owl attacks that would give credence to the theory that Kathleen Peterson’s death may have been a result of an attack by an owl.
This weekend, Rudolf tweeted a story about a man in the UK who went into shock from blood loss after being attacked on the head by an owl.
The Carolina Theatre website describes the Durham show as a chance for Rudolf to discuss the case and his decision to let filmmakers shadow him and his client. The theater also says he will talk about some of the more “contentious issues” in the case, including Duane Deaver and the blood spatter evidence, the revelations about Peterson’s bisexuality, and the issues involving a previous death in Germany.
And yes, The Owl Theory.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. this Friday (Aug. 17) on the Carolina Theatre website, and if you’re interested, I wouldn’t wait. Rudolf tweeted today that overseas shows in Cork, Dublin and London have sold out.