The death of Kathleen Peterson became national news in 2001 after her body was found in a pool of blood at the bottom of the staircase in the home she shared with husband Michael Peterson. Now, the Investigation Discovery network will air a new special titled An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase on Sunday, April 8, and will revisit the suspicious details of what really happened in the family’s home in Durham, North Carolina.
In an exclusive Us Weekly sneak peek, Candace Zamperini, Kathleen’s sister, details what she saw when she arrived at the crime scene on December 9, 2001 — the day her sister was found dead. “The whole property is surrounded with yellow tape,” Zamperini says in the clip, adding that a police officer told her it was a crime scene. “He was like, ‘Well, there’s a lot of blood.’ He must have said eight to 10 times, ‘There’s a lot of blood,’ like, ‘You need to prepare yourself.”
Once investigators allowed the family to go inside, Zamperini found the staircase covered in blood. “There’s blood washed up on the walls, like gallons,” she says in the video. “It is eight to 10 feet high on the walls, it’s thick on the floors, it’s up on the stairs. There’s just blood everywhere.”
The three-night event will feature new interviews with key players in the case, including Zamperini and Brent Wolgamott, a male escort Michael was emailing with at the time of the crime, as well as legal experts, jurors and reporters who were part of the trial. Michael pleaded not guilty but was eventually charged with his wife’s murder. In October 2003, the Durham County jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to life in prison. Michael was released in February 2017 after accepting a plea deal.
“The death of Kathleen Peterson is one of the most confounding cases in history,” said Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America. “There are so many pieces to this puzzle – from Michael’s salacious secrets to investigator misconduct to the odd owl theory.”
Schleiff added: “We are eager to bring our viewers the first complete look at this fascinating crime and subsequent trial.”
Watch the preview above. An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase airs on ID on Sunday, April 8, at 10 p.m. ET.
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