Netflix’s The Staircase
Yes, you read the title of this article correctly! Bisexuality becoming a motive for murder sounds absolutely preposterous on the surface. But as you learn more about this horrific situation the correlation becomes very clear. Netflix’s The Staircase is a 13 part true crime docu-series that delves into the Michael Peterson stairway murder of 2001. Peterson is a well-known mystery author who was on trial for murdering his wife Kathleen. The details of the crime are very strange to say the least. That has sparked a huge controversy over whether or not he killed her, or if she merely fell down the steps.
After drinking by the pool late at night with her husband, Kathleen excused herself and headed to bed. When Michael came inside a bit later he claims to have found her desperately grasping to life while lying at the bottom of the steps in a massive pool of blood. There was an immense amount of blood. And her head had multiple contusions that appear to have been caused by being struck with a blunt object rather than by her hitting her head on the stairs, or walls, during a fall. In the series, you hear the actual 911 call placed by a frantic Michael and can judge for yourself if he is being sincere or if he is merely acting, as the prosecution believes him to have been. I, myself, believe he is innocent. Later on in the series a blood spatter expert explains how such a mess could have been caused by a drunken fall down the stairs.
How does bisexuality come into this?
Well, I thought you’d never ask!
After Kathleen’s death, the police found email correspondences on Michael’s computer between him and a male escort named Brent. Brent was booked through a military fetish escort website that Michael frequently used to hook-up. Michael admits to having written the emails. He also admits to having many other males as sexual partners during his marriage. The police and prosecution believe that Kathleen found these emails and confronted Michael about his extramarital homosexual affairs. Which they believe have pushed him over the edge causing him to violently murder his wife in a fit of rage.
Michael claims that Kathleen always knew about his bisexual nature and was fine with it. Many of Kathleen’s friends testified during the trial that they knew nothing of Michael’s bisexuality, and that Kathleen didn’t either. The actual male escort was also called to testify during the trial. He was very candid about his role as a callboy, and held nothing back when informing the jury of the details of the situation. This left the jury in a position to either believe Michael. He said Kathleen knew about him being bisexual. Or should they believe Kathleen’s friends when they say she didn’t.
The Staircase is a very entertaining docu-series
The trial starts out being about whether or not she had an accident or was killed. But it morphs into a question of motive due to Michael’s now exposed bisexuality. All in all, this is a very entertaining docu-series in the same ilk as HBO’s The Jinx and Netflix’s wildly popular Making a Murderer.
If you are a true crime buff like I am, I strongly recommend going out of your way to watch this series. Aside from the compelling story told in this series, you also get the eye candy of Peterson’s oldest son who is drop-dead gorgeous. Is Peterson guilty or innocent? You can follow me on Twitter using the link below to shoot me a tweet to let me know what you think.
Johnny Kashmere is currently Program Coordinator for a NJ College, and is the Commissioner of “A Matter of Pride” LGBTQ Pro Wrestling League. He is a former international professional wrestler who owned/operated Pro Wrestling Unplugged in Philadelphia. Johnny lives in Burlington, NJ. You can follow him on twitter.com/JohnnyKashmere