The death of Kathleen Peterson shocked everyone; neighbors, police, and supposedly Michael Peterson himself. Was her death truly an accident, or a planned murder? Attorney David Rudolf gives an insider’s look into “The Staircase Chapter 1: Crime or Accident?”
As Michael’s bisexuality came to light, would he face prejudice before the trial even began? David Rudolf gives insight into how his team dealt with this new development in “The Staircase Chapter 2: Secrets and Lies”.
In 1985, Liz Ratliff, a friend of Michael and his first wife Patti died in Germany after falling down her stairs. Coincidence, or a series of murders? Get an inside view with David Rudolf into “The Staircase Chapter 3: A Striking Coincidence”.
For months prior to the start of the trial, the prosecution had known about Liz Ratliff’s death in Germany. Our nightmare was that this evidence would be allowed at Mike’s trial. Read more in “The Staircase Chapter 4: A Prosecution Trickery”.
We knew the prosecution’s case was going to rely heavily on blood splatter expert Duane Deaver, we had to be prepared to show the weaknesses in their methods and conclusions. Learn more in an Inside View of “The Staircase Chapter 5: A Weak Case”.
Was Liz Ratliff truly a victim of murder? David Rudolf explains the phenomenon “Confabulation”, and how it might have affected Michael’s case in “The Staircase Chapter 6: The Prosecution’s Revenge”.
Was Kathleen Peterson truly bludgeoned by the suspected blow-poke, or was the prosecution’s theory all hot air? David Rudolf explains how the alleged murder weapon fit into the case in an Inside View of “The Staircase Chapter 7: The Blow poke Returns”.
Finding the blow poke created a dilemma for the defense. It was potentially critical evidence, and we couldn’t just ignore it. David Rudolf explains how he dealt with the “missing murder weapon” in an Inside View of “The Staircase Chapter 8: The Verdict”.
We knew during the trial that Deaver was essentially making it up as he went along. It was up to us to prove this to the judge and the court. Find out more in an Inside View of “The Staircase Chapter 9: Reopening the Case”.
Was Duane Deaver an expert as he claimed, or were his “experiments” all just an act? David Rudolf explains how he questioned Deaver’s “expert” testimony in an Inside View of “The Staircase Chapter 10: The Last Chance”.
After many years of trial, we believed it was time to finally end this case by dismissal. David Rudolf explains why he left the case, and why he believed dismissal was the best option in an Inside View of “The Staircase Chapter 11: Looking for Closure”.
I went to the hearing on the motion to dismiss hopeful, but as I watched it unfold, I began to worry. David Rudolf explains more in an Inside View of “The Staircase Chapter 12: Between Anger and Despair”.
After 16 years Michael’s case had finally drawn to a close. Attorney David Rudolf explains shocking new revelations and the closing of the 16 year case in an Inside View of “The Staircase Chapter 13: Flawed Justice”.
For me, the importance of The Staircase is not whether an owl was involved in Kathleen Peterson’s death. But since it has generated such interest, I will provide my thoughts on the “owl theory” here, to respond to the questions and skepticism on social media.