The Staircase is one of the most well-known true crime docuseries on Netflix, with episodes being released over the span of 14 years. It follows the murder of mother and wife Kathleen Peterson and the trial of her husband Michael Peterson who was convicted of the crime. But, as most of these captivating cases go, there were many reasons to believe maybe Peterson did not kill his wife after all.
In 2001, Michael Peterson called the police after allegedly finding his wife dead on the floor at the bottom of their staircase next to a pool of blood. He believed Kathleen fell down the stairs while intoxicated, but authorities did not believe him and instead thought he bludgeoned her to death.
After a lengthy and emotional trial, Michael was sentenced to life in prison, however, the case was opened back up in 2011 and the verdict was overturned. There are so many complexities to this case that you just have to see to believe. The Staircase became a phenomenon, with viewers coming up with their own theories as to what happened to Kathleen.
The success of the docuseries spawned a dramatized telling of the story produced for Max (then called HBO Max), also titled The Staircase. The series stars Toni Collette, Colin Firth Sophie Turner, Odessa Young, and other big-name actors.
With 13 episodes total, The Staircase is one of the longest docuseries on this list, but it’s worth the binge if you’re into true crime mysteries.