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The Staircase /// Part 1 /// 243

2018-09-25 | 🔗

The Staircase /// Part 1 /// 243

Part 1 of 2


Kathleen Peterson was smart, vibrant, professionally successful, and by all accounts a superb daughter, mother, sister and friend. On December 9th, 2001 Kathleen died mysteriously in her home. Was it an accident or murder? In 2004 HBO documented her death and the trial and conviction of Kathleen’s husband, Michael Peterson. In 2018 Netflix documented the release of Michael Peterson. This has been by far one of our most requested cases. HBO and Netflix covered “The Staircase” and this week True Crime Garage is on the case! Beer of the Week - Secret Stairs by Trillium Brewing CompanyGarage Grade - 4 and a quarter bottle caps out of 5

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
The The.
Welcome to true crime garage wherever you are whatever you are doing, thanks for listening, I'm your host Nick in with me as always, is a man that would like to remind us all that you can observe a lot just by watching. He is the captain, and I'd like to remind you that playing a game of flick. You flicking in public is a crime, it's good to be seen, and it's good to see you thanks for listening thanks for telling my friend
tonight. We are drinking secret stairs by trillium, brewing company garage grade four and a quarter bottle caps out of five secret stairs is trilliums signature stout! It's bold, balanced and very satisfying is not too sweet or syrupy. There's an earthiness with bitter cocoa hints, which makes secret stairs awesome, and this wonderful beer was brought to us by these good good peeps right here. First up we have a Manda from Baltimore Maryland, a big shout out to Nicole from Rahway New Jersey. Next up, we have Mario at the tattoo studio and parts unknown. Yeah Mario just gave me an awesome tattoo of a moose mowing grass on my ass. We also have Marianne Lee. She is in beautiful parts unknown as well. A big we, like you, zip to Ryan and Belmont New Hampshire, want to go out west and fist bump this guy Jason from California and last but not least, we have Christina and Bothell Washington thanks to everybody for filling up the fridge for this week's show. If you want to help us out with next week's beer, run, go to true crime, garage dot, com and click on that donate, but and that's enough, but the bay is mess. That's right! Everybody gather round grab a chair grab a beer. Let's talk some true crime.
I can now awhile I u market by way of breeding. What kind of I have dire now am I right away. Catholic Petersen was born February, twenty first nineteen, fifty three and Greensborough North Carolina. She group and link answer Pennsylvania and graduated first in her class in high school. Also voted girl
of the year, so it's why obvious? She was well liked and respected by her fellow classmates. She moved Durham North Carolina to attend Duke University. It's reported. She was the first female student accepted into Duke's engineering school so, a very bright young woman she met her first husband, Fred Atwater at Duke they had a daughter Caitlin their marriage did not. Last later she met Michael Peterson MIKE graduated from Duke as well after extensive schooling and Education Peterson took a job with the: U S, department of Defense, to reason military involvement in Vietnam, He also had a first marriage to a lady named Patricia Sue Sheet, Elementary School on the Rhine, main air force base. In where Germany, two children, Clayton and Todd
in nineteen sixty eight Petersen enlisted in the Marines and served in Vietnam and nineteen seventy one. He received an honourable discharge with the ring of captain. After a car accident left him with a permanent disability, Michael and Patricia lived in Germany for some time there they befriended Elizabeth and George Ratliff and their two children in Martha Unfortunately, George would pass away and after his death Peterson's and the rat live. Families became very close when I with Ratliff died in nineteen. Eighty five, Michael became the guardian of her two children after Michael and Patricia divorce. In nineteen, eighty seven in TAT, the two sons went to with their mother, Patricia and Mark. Martha stayed with Michael who then move Durham, North Carolina and Todd would later also join their father. Both are divorced.
Then, when later Michael and Kathleen Meet, and then they are together- and ninety ninety two the couple bought a fourteen room dream home on seed Street five years later, Kathleen and Michael married T. Ninety seven now are or case, and the in question, takes place in two thousand and one by it's time, It is, and has been a successful business executive for Orton, making about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year. Peterson Michael Peterson wrote three novels, based around his experiences during the vietnamese conflict. The Immortal, dragon a time of war and a bitter peace, the three titles of his books. He also co, authored several other books and he will as a newspaper columnist for the Durham Herald Sun, where his tie became known for their criticism of police and Durham County district attorney, James junior, mainly
because of what Peterson suggested was a lack of ability for local law in order to solve cases and get convictions star with the time line of the murder, so will start a day before the actual event. So Friday December. Seventh, two thousand and one Kathleen it's the day off from work afternoon, the Petersons Michael Kathleen go Christmas shopping fright evening, the Peterson attend any event for the North Carolina Independent Party. Michael, was involved in politics at different points in his life, so it makes sense that they would be attending. This event now on Saturday December eighth at approximately three thirty p m hundred The files are deleted from Michael Peterson's, pc with a disc program called quick clean. Four forty one p m Michael arrives at the. Why am see a gym
at approximately six p m the couple talks about renting a movie for the night as such Fifty nine p m Michael Rents, America's America, wheat hearts at Block MR video at night forty five p M, teen Thomas Seti arrives at the Peterson's home to take time their son to a party. Sees Kathleen and Michael sharing a bottle of wine at this time around ten twenty p M, Christine and Todd leave for this party at ten what he p M, the password, Atwater Water, into the Peterson's pc. Michael Peterson says that They finished the movie, probably around eleven p m. And then they went to the kitchen and talked for awhile Michael later says that the two would talk at night for two to three hours sometimes and that he knows that they drank two bottles of wine. That night here
give a more exact amount of time that they are in the kitchen drinking and talking attention, because the following times are extremely important to our case. At all, one thousand and eight p dot M Norton Networks, Co. Helen Helen, later test, Why does she talk to Kathleen Peterson at this time? Kathleen did not sound, intoxicated and did not seem abnormal in any way. She since that Kathleen and Michael Peterson were fighting at this time. Any calf, Kathleen, ask her huh for his email address Miss bristling or said he We needed a document for a teleconference scheduled for ten a m the next day and was expect in a male with that. A dark with that document attached the email was in fact sent to Michael Peterson's email address at ten fifty Three p m a male email arrives. The
E mails, powerpoint attachment was never open the attacks. Was titled readiness, on Sunday December, ninth, thousand on one may be some time after midnight. The Peterson drank and talked outside near the pool. Please note it is, fifty degrees out at night, that at this time according to Michael after talking in the kitchen, the two into the pool, and quote we were walking here indicates near the pool for fair amount of time. Again. Captain not giving us a great exact understanding of how long he believes they were out there and at what time They go to the pool but indicate that they were outside talking in another statement he actually says that they're out on the porch for a while, then they go to the poor area, but Michael was a pipe smoker Well, he would smoke his pipe and talk outside. So
yes, it's kind of chilly outside, but he's smoking. I think Kathleen might have been a smoker maybe on some level. You know you know we have those people that smoke when they drink right, and I say that, because later there was some nicotine found in her body, so she could have joined him for a smoke or just took up or two when they're outside having their conversation, but there's also a lot of people that when they drink like Robin start drinking, they don't need one, but once it, it a certain point? They need many cigarettes. Oh right away, I dont see I don't have any red flags, no major red flags going off regarding Michael Petersen. Statements about that night I mean other than the computer being cleaned right That seems odd, but On top of that, I mean as far as what's going down at this point in the evening eleven o clock, twelve o clock Renee be a little bit later.
Having watched the Docu Series, the staircase, they didn't actually show this, but often win. Michael Petersen is kind of doing the one on one thing with the camera, I all we always see like little red, stains on the side of his lips, like this comes off to me as a guy that very much likes drinking his wine. And so him saying that Him his wife were hanging out on a Saturday night having a couple bottles of wine. Does not strike me as weird it. Actually, I think, is probably exactly what was going down at that time, and we also have the eye witness. That came in to pick up the sun says: hey, I saw the two hanging out and they were drinking together. According to Michael. This is where I start to wonder about things because, according to Michael at approximately two thirty a m, he leaves the poor area he goes inside and he finds his wife at the bottom of the stairs. Go back.
Did. She leave the poor area where that's. What's a little bit unclear to me, because he states that we were out here for a fair amount of time talking. We were walking together and he estimate It's that she could have left as long as forty five minutes to an hour before he left the pool area or it could have been as little as thirty minutes from when he left the pool area. But during at time sometime. During that time, Kathleen leaves the area and inside for bed Michael stays outside to drink and has a smoke like you said then, if at some point suffers multiple deep, complex lacerations in a Vulcan's to the scalp apple, small abrasions and contusions to the face and a fracture with associated hemorrhage of the thigh, cartilage in the neck, so quite a bit of injuries during this time. Right now
depending on which You read in this is not a major deal because we're talking about a difference of sixty seconds or so some reports. Two forty a m, some say to forty one. A m Michael Petersen calls nine one one and the nine, when one call that you heard at the start of the show now the opera picks up and says: Durham nine one one. Where is your emergency, to which my replies. Eight in ten Cedar Street please operator, what's wrong. Peter said, my wife had an accident. She still breathing opera what kind of accident Michael P, since she fell down the stairs she still breathing, please come nine one one. Is she conscious Petersen why, nine one one. Is she conscious Peterson, no she's, not conscious, please nine one one. How many stairs did she fall down? Michael Peterson? What what Nine hundred one how many stairs Peterson,
he's failing to give an answer there. Regarding the stairs I get this. Doesn't seem like a question he might have been expecting weather guilty or innocent The nine normal one operator tells him to calm down calm down, Sir CALM down Peterson. No, damned sixteen twenty. I don't know please somebody here right away, please nine when one o k somebody's dispatching the ambulance. While I'm asking you questions Petersen, it's o It's forest hills: okay, please, please, nine! one. Ok, sir. Someone is dispatching the ambulance. Is she awake now Peterson nine when one hello, hello, Peterson, now That's the end of that call if she's awake now Peterson does not give an answer and for whatever reason we don't know but the call is ended to Fort
Six, a m Michael Peterson calls nine hundred and a second time nine one one during nine one one, what is your emergency Peterson? Where are they? eighteen, ten cedar she's, not breathing. Please please, would you hurry up? nine hundred one Sir Peter, can you hear me now. Don't want Sir Peterson, yes, None were more sir calm down there on their way. Can you tell me for sure she's not breathing, sir hello, hello, A two forty eight, a m paramedics arrive and Catholic Petersen is found dead in the hallway, the three I am police detectives begin to arrive and search eighteen, ten cedar street at three four a m investigator secure the scene now between four fifteen and five, a dot m went Peterson logs onto his office computer and he's overheard mumbling, something about email. At five. A m Michael Peterson calls his attorney
let's go into some more detailed accounts of what took place? during this time, shall we so we have James Rose and RON page paramedics with the Durham County Emergency medical services. They arrive the petersons residence at this time Michael son, Todd Peterson arrived the Peterson's house is a large estate home with an open floor. Your entrance, the Paramount found the front door open and noticed blood on it straight? through the front door, The large main staircase leading to the second floor ITALY to the left after entering is a front hallway, leading down to the kitchen. Off of this hallway near the kitchen, is an enclosed, narrow, stairwell, also leading to the second floor. Connect Turning in the staircase as well yeah, and upon entering the house, the parent
is observed, Kathleen lying at the bottom of this stairwell. Her legs were out into the hallway and our head was just inside the encased open door frame where the first few steps are located. Now the stairwell runs parallel to the hallway, but has a You angled steps, as you had just mentioned at the bottom design. To open up the staircase perpendicular into that hallway. Michael was seen standing over Kathleen in a semi knees, bent position, blood on his hands, arms legs and feet he wore shorts and a t shirt this t, It is partially soaked blood soaked with sir or spots when pay medics arrived at Kathleen Body Tom. The son tried to pull his father away, stating dad she's dead. The pear eggs are here text rose and Paige quickly, determined that Kathleen had no pulse and she was not. Breathing Michael
did the he had gone outside to turn off the lights came again and then found her at the bottom of the steps. Rose testified later that there was an enormous amount of blood. He said dried blood was on the apps and also on the Wall also look like it had been, wiped away or wiped on it had been smeared. Instead, of just blood droplets on the wall. He that, based on his experience, there was unusual amount of blood for a fall. The most severe injury he had seen. From a fall was a broken neck, the blood, under Kathleen's head had all clotted and started to harden said active HOLLAND was asked to give his opinion on this scene. Yeah he's from the homicide unit and they wanted to bring him in because they were little confused about what they are see right. There's, We have a call that a a
fell down. The stairs that there has been accident they're, seeing a lot of blood and they're seeing blood in different places throughout the house which, calling it there calling the scene suspicious right. So HOLLAND says that he received a page approximately around three o clock in the morning and If he was going to arrive at this death investigation, he said that The call he received came in as someone had fallen down the steps Palmer rival, Detective HOLLAND says this does not look like an accident forming an immediate opinion, detective an identified himself to Mr Peterson and even took his hand and explain to him that he was sorry for his loss, but that appeared that the scene look suspicious and it now need to be processed trial. Detective HOLLAND was asked, was Michael, helpful at that point. Did he answer your initial questions, the hall and said no, no,
pretty much, was very quiet, kept to himself I didn't say a whole lot now pull video tape. The scene as the officers found it Michael Peterson's, tennis, shoes and socks by the foot, of the body white soaked red with blood, from Kathleen's injury to the back of her head blood smears up the oak staircase, and on the walls above active hall and called for a crime scene analysed and expert in blood spatter who, in turn and told the detective. He fell strongly that this was a homicide for the next Twenty hours officers meticulously photographed and documented what they now regarded as a crime scene. There was a small amount of blood outside on the walkway bloodshed. On the front door the blood the kitchen sink a wine bottle and glasses on the counter? Every inch of the
Three acre property was called luminal testing revealed bloody footprints, leading from Kathleen Peterson's body into the laundry room. Then go to the kitchen refrigerator and sink then to a wine glass cabinet which also bad blood on it. The foot mysteriously stopped at the cabinet. They just stopped Later at trial, the defense would challenge the cops on what they didn't do. Petersen House police didn't tape off the area of the stairwell until three hundred and thirty four a dot m almost our hour after the call came in and by and it was too late. Peterson's lawyers criticised what they called sloppy police procedures. The blue in that area had been altered. The at the house had been contaminated. Example Michael goes up to Kathleen with the pull he's watching hugs her it takes in the Sun
TIM on the couch, where they blood transfer and then says, can I at some soda in a glass and the police. Say sure, he goes there Todd walking around the kitchen with blood on his hands police would point out that they blood in suspicious locations, mainly in different areas of the kitchen, and these were red flags, however, as I just stated, you can see you can kind of see why there may Ben blood in strange locations throughout the kitchen, and it opinion. The blood in the kitchen area, for example, was a complete irrelevancy once you, stab listed, there was contamination there in the kitchen with the police standing right by while they also did test to make sure that their there were any cleaning products used in the kitchen to clean up any evidence,
and there was none found later that day, Dr Deborah radish, a pathologist with the Office of the North Carolina medical Examiner, performed an autopsy on Catholics body toxicology results showed that Kathleen's blood alcohol content was poor. Zero, seven percent, the autopsy report concluded that Kathleen sustained a matrix of severe injuries include a fracture of the thyroid net cartilage and seven lacerations, caused by a homicidal assault to the top. Back of her head consistent. With blows from a blunt object. The result of heated blows with a light. Get rigid weapon and had died? from blood loss. Ninety minutes to two hours after sustaining the injuries. They also found that took a volume that night later Michael Peterson's defense disputed this theory According to their analysis, Kathleen Skull had not been fractured by the blows was she brain damage which
inconsistent with injuries sustained in a beating death forensic expert Dr Henry Lee, hired by the defense, testified that blood. Spatter evidence was consistent. An accidental fall down. The stairs police investigators concluded that the injuries were, in system was such an accident. We'll get right back to the staircase right after this quick beer break, there's a reason, rackets and has fifteen million members. It's an online shopping platform that rewards you for shopping you're, going to shop. Why not get rewarded gets and gives you cash back when you shop at thousands of merchants across category for
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Alright cheers to all to everybody? How about Theory scat captain. Let's get into some reasons why the oppressed locution and law enforcement would believe that Michael Peterson had motive to kill. His wife so we have Durham County district attorney. James Harden Jr and the prosecution attacked. Peterson's credibility focused on his alleged misreporting of his military service and what ascribed as Michael's secret life, and we will get into that and a bit, but first Michael's credibility, dirt A campaign for Mayor MIKE Repute, Michael Petersen, claimed he was awarded a silver star abroad.
Star with valor, and two Well hearts. He has all of these metals but said he did not have the documentation for them. He claimed he received one purple heart after being hit by shrapnel when another your stepped on a land mine and the other when he was shot Peterson later admitted his war. Injury was not the result. Of the shrapnel wound in Vietnam, but was the result of a very vehicle accident in Japan. Where he station after the war as a military policeman, okay, He was a military policeman in his hip. Why a car or he's in a car accident claims that he got a purple heart for that, but not for that, but before the well! When he's running for mayor, he claims that he sustain big time, big time wounds during the course of war he was inflicted with shrapnel and then he was also shot, which is
bigger difference than being in a car accident, so we have a liar on our hands, will not only that these are big lies a mean. This is also guy that wrote three books, The Vietnam WAR right right, fictitious books, I believe, They centered around the Vietnam WAR, while some articles refer to him as a war, Hero I don't know if I was so as far as he is a war the row here I mean I mean technically, I guess in my mind, anybody that serves overseas serves this great country. Is some four of hero. The problem I have here is he's elevating himself to a whole different level, and you was obviously not deserving of any of that credit that he was willing to take. I mean we have we had men and women come home to their families in caskets, right there, see purple hearts that receive some of the awards that he is claiming that he earned and he
in and like you said, a lie in these are big lies another motive for Kathleen's murder would be a one point: five million dollar life insurance policy. The process huge and witness rain, Young said Peterson's were spending about a hundred thousand dollars a year more than they made during the eet during each other. The three years before Kathleen Peterson's death young also testified that when Kathleen Peterson died, the Petersons were carrying more than one hundred forty two thousand dollars in credit card and credit line debt spread across twenty active accounts. Now the defense objected to this, unsuccessfully that young squire card information. Essentially, A report of a report The two hearsay testimony
Defense also complain that Young did not distinguish between different kinds of expenses such as reoccurring bills and the aggression, Erie purchases during his analysis of Peterson's cash flow. The pointed out that young had counted checks written to buy stocks as expenses. Didn't count the sale of those stocks, as quote nor income, defense also question young about why he did not account for the thousands of dollars that flow through Kathleen Peterson's accounts when networks her employer reimburse her for business expenses using Young's own figures of the couples, assets. Mortgage liabilities and credit card debt, dance, showed that the Petersons had a combined net worth of more than one point: four million dollars. Fence. Lawyer Thomas Mare, ask as they sat there that December weekend, even
With your analysis, this. Opel was worth more than one point. Four million dollars isn't that correct? That's young replied so again, the prosecution is trying to prove that they had some money issues, and that would be the motive because then he could collect the insurance check. That kind of backfired on the prosecution. Their next theory for motive is going to be kind of a dark secret yeah this this theory would be that Kathleen's murder was motivated by the discovery of Michael's secret life by Kathleen on the night of the murder The prosecutor believe that Catholic stumbled upon something explosive on the Peterson's home computer, downloaded images of naked men. There was to approximately two thousand of them There were also liaisons outside of the marriage, a series of email exchanges between Michael Peterson and a local, male prostitute.
Through the internet. That Kathleen didn't know about the other man introduced in trial- was Brad from rally say that way too thousand downloaded naked pictures of dudes correct. Pornography on his computer? That's a lot of twig and berries, Well, this guy Brad from Raleigh was a twenty year old twenty six year old. Excuse me, former soldier, I think he went by the moniker top soldier his web. Pick: was a beef cake pose complete with dog tags? According the prosecutor by late summer, two thousand and one for months before Kathleen's death. My Peterson agreed to get with Brad for sex at Peterson's, home Brad, on the stand said we were. Hook up, I believe on September. Fifth, thousand and one the prosecutor asked and was the price you quoted him. Brad said. I believed it was one hundred and fifty dollars per hour, but
I told the court when the appointed Hey came around. He was tired and cancelled the prosecutor so you just simply didn't contact him back at all, Brad stated, I don't think I contacted him that night I have found out. That I contacted him about twenty five days later. I apologize for not showing up prosecutor, asked after you contacted him to apologize for not showing up. Did you have further communication with him Brad no Ma'Am, Brad testified that he and Peterson had never met until they were in court together for the prosecutor, the bran episode. One to show that the marriage was anything but rock solid. The trail of email messages that became the trigger that the state talked about. I want to throw out something a little strange that, as noticed during the documentary,
one Brad is very charming on the stand. Telling jokes, please smart, in a good looking guy and at some point Michael Peterson's daughters are are listening to his testimony, and one of the daughters is kind of glowing and the way a girl would be listening to attract. Guy talk and be charming. You know she's kind of being spending by him. If that makes any sense, then, and that and then he says something to basically remind the court room that he's a gay man and her face like shrivels up. Well, I I hate to say But it's Durham North Carolina. This is tough some people in the audience to identify with say, let's continue on with with some of the things that Brad said. What do I mean by that? I mean Actually what I said, it's Durham with Carolina this
testimony at the thought of a bisexual, married man going outside of his marriage is going to be tough for people in that audience to identify with now France was asked, was that an unusual occurrence for you to have, or plan to have sexual relations with them with married men Right Brad stated contrary, married men, are in the majority of of the clients that I saw when I was an escort, the defense with regards to the kinds of men that you too to have escort relationships with. Can you give us some indication as to their professions, for example Brad answered sure? Usually the are professionals, because my fees are quite high. I saw doctors, attorneys and one judge. The judge says not this judge
right. In the end it was noted he was noted in court transcript the defence and asked did a number of the men, the married men that you had sexual relations with have wives that knew they were bisexual Brad's? Did? I believe most of them did from my experience, the defence asked in Europe Was it unusual for a wife married a bisexual man to know that he was bisexual, Brad's answer was not at all the defence asked. Was it unusual for a bisexual man using your services to be in a happy marriage? Brad answered not at all most of the men who would see me would have your time with me and then go back to their happy. Healthy law it's not unusual to be loved by anyone. Fence asked. Was there any kind of personal relationship involved between you and Michael Peterson?
stated no, sir, I believe in one of the emails it was very explicit. There would be no emotions involved, no personal relationships involved and it would be strictly physical. I mean. I think he also stated he loved his I they had a really good marriage if your beauty exactly right. The defense ass did Michael Petersen ever do or say anything either on the phone or by e mail to indicate that he was not in love with Catholic Petersen Brand to the contrary, in his emails. Unlike most of my clients, he stated that he had a great relationship most dont, don't want to say anything about their relationship. He said He had a warm relationship with his wife and nothing but ever destroy that the defence showed the jury Peterson's own words and in a male to Brad, which stated quote I am married very happily married with a dynamite wife. The
Allocution alleged, Kathleen been infuriated by learning that her husband was having an extra marital relationship not with another woman, but a man might their statement. That once she learned this information that an argument ensued and then homicide occurred. The argued, the calf, accepted my bisexuality The marriage was very happy, a position supported by Michael in Catherine's, children and other friends and associates. Now we do No, the cake when so Caitlin is technically Kathleen's daughter from her first marriage Caitlin. Stop supporting Michael Petersen Win. This information was disclosed disclosed. So, let's back to the children Shelly. We have children of Michael Petersen from his first marriage, that's Clayton and talk his two sons and they support him- correct,
And then we have children of George and Elizabeth Ratliff, who are both deceased but were raised by Michael Peterson. This is Margaret and Martha they both support him as well. Correct, then have the daughter of Calf Lean Petersen, Caitlin Atwater. She initially proclaimed Michael's innocence and publicly supported him, but after learning of Peterson's bisexuality and to reading her mothers autopsy report where she broke off from the rest of the family and this mode of his kind of hard to decide if it gets even work as a motive. Cuz, you don't know if his wife about his bisexual year, I agree captain for me. It kind of like you know, I fancy myself, a pretty open minded dude. And for me it really just kind of put me at the top of the fence. You know where I could see one side and see the other side and mainly,
practically agree with both sides. You know, I think what they did here is, I think the execution made, strong case. This could be a motive. I think that the fancy good job of stating. Maybe this is no motive at all right cuz. If she knew and she- and that was the arrangement that their marriage had where When Brad the escort said that he felt that most of his clients were mainly heterosexual. With some homosexual tendencies, and so it was just kind of young. A percentage out while they're eighty percent straight twenty percent, gay or whatever it is, and and so if that's the arrangement that their marriage had then, who are we to say how they should live their life for or how They should conduct their marriage right that that's on them, but The issue here then becomes as far as like the children go:
did you have any knowledge of this? You did you even have a thought process that your father was doing this, so that would be so. I can see why this children are support, I can see why there would not be and cuz. I also think it if you didn't know, and now they're, saying that you're your mom knew, but you had no proof. Well. Can we have him lying about his war record? Now he was ill, not lying, but not telling the full truth. Is children about sexuality? so. I don't question that so much because I don't know that I don't know if I had children, if I would share you know the things tat I mean to with them. I don't think there's a weird conversation of this policy is now so right, reigners. I I have what I mean is that that they might feel like. It was another way of being lied to. As what I'm saying,
No, I agree with that, but what I'm stating is that I don't find the children not knowing to be weird right. You know I I I don't, of course, if they knew then. Obviously I'd be convinced that there was no problem with this thing, but if they didn't know that doesn't to me suggest that there is a problem and actually, furthermore, you know somebody is talking to the two said: hey so really. The sole question regarding the states case is did if we know, or did she not know and I said I see what you're saying there. But, however, it's not necessarily did she know, or did she not know it? Was she okay with it? If she did know right, they're trying to present a mode of the problem with this is as a special. In a marriage there could be thousands have different motives that we would never know, because there could be hundreds of conversations that they had in private that nobody even knew about Sammy, so it's like there
trying to establish a motive like you said they do a good job. Prosecution does a presenting it the fence does a great job of deflecting it and so yeah. It kind of puts you on the the center of the posts, yeah and I think, what they did was they both present their side and then it's left up to the members of the jury. To figure What side they fall to what they believe actually occurred, one thing, though, that I do question here. Is his defense very good thought? It was a good team, smart group of people, they questioned a lot of things. They defended him very well the thing that That did not happen, and I know it doesn't exist, because I know that they were smart enough that they would have presented this at trial. Was they couldn't prove that Kathleen Peterson knew that Michael was bisexual date improved. The Catholic was ok with it, so
you know that a conversation took place between the the head. Defence attorney and Michael Petersen that there's a it down or closed room where he says to Michael Michael? Is there any? anywhere any proof that you can show me the we knew and that she was okay with it or, was there any proof that you can show me that she at least knew that gets us over one speed bump right and so that didn't exist and when you have Michael Peterson who talks about this he's a little vague too. Don't you when you agree, he says yes, she knew did I talk about- no wasn't really something we spoke about again, but this is a this is a tricky thing, because these are conversations behind closed doors and be a situation where she's like okay, I understand that mean they could have been. Don't they develop into a relationship- and he says to her- I have
side of me that I like to explore and she might have said, that's fine with me. I want to hear about it right. You know as long as you're, not being with other women right there the agreement who knows running- and that's I don't know it's it's it's very tricky. And again, though, I stick by what I said, where its less important carefully new, it's more important that she was either o k with it or not away with Willis Starr. With the idea of should this in Britain been allowed in the courtroom, I believe the judge later that he almost wishes that he would have just said? No, we can't talk about this, and the reason why was because he was afraid you know- it's in the south. Would it be present prejudicial, basically
basically, if you bring up that this guy's is bisexual. Would there just be one or two people and the jury that would just find him guilty because he's bisexual right and I think, me if I were the judge or the prosecutor, my argument that it would would we in the trial- and I understand, don't send a weird email that I've claiming that the judge and prosecutor work together, but I understand that way the system works. But what I mean by this is it's a part of the states case. Might the states case is? Did Catholic in Peterson that night stumbled upon information she found on his computer this it did. This kind of activity was going on. Therefore, she, confronted him about that that night? They got into an argument and he beat the death rate, the case yeah, but that's because
the other motive wasn't going to stick so well. So when they found this, I think it was more about less make. This. Apart of our motive, so we can bring up the the that he has almost double life and Vandyke do. You think that shows something if she didn't know about the double life nets. Kids didn't know about what the double life, and it seemed like nobody. Nobody knew about the double life, then it's like, then. What is he capable of you don't know, because you don't really know the real person I with that. But what I mean by it goes with the states cases. If you follow the timeline of events of known events, that night, not what Michael Petersen says, but what others state right is it Catholic Petersen was using his computer that night to receive information from her work. We know that from her co worker who says I overheard Kathleen asking him for his email address. We have the password being accessing. The computer
So the state's case would be this. The computer, that she didn't often use or didn't regularly use, maybe used it for first time who knows covered this information there. That night and when confronting Michael about it? It turns into an hour that leads to him killing her yeah? I think the other thing too about this is we have some kind of record that he's trying to use software to clean the computer. So what did the process find what did the fine on his computer afterwards, and why that supposed to been cleaned off of his computer and wasn't Well, there was a mean there was at least all of those pornographic pictures of men ran where they were they supposed to be wiped away. I d, I don't know what his intent. I don't know who we can't say for certain hoo who applied that computer
scrubbing software to the computer, we can't say for certain. All we can say is that it was used, and so, if we can't say who was using it, it's tough to gauge the Intentions of the user. I think the thing here too is that sometimes When people hear the wife finds out, he's having affairs with men and they start thing of all or why would he killer because of that? It's like book now, because that's gonna led to divorce that could lead. Huge separation that could lead to is not making a lot of money or even he just lost it in the heat of the moment right and the thing that I for embarrassment, maybe he didn't want people to know the thing that's interesting here, though I I differ from you, where I think that the the this life did this. He claims he was hiding from his wife. I think that we're going to look at this time
case as a cake. I look at to be the cake and that the money motive would have just been icing on the cake. It would have been another Another example. Another reason why, but what interesting is- and I didn't see anybody point this out during the portions of the trial that I was able to view was the defence. I think I would have attacked as the defense, because on one end, you're saying wait, one more it is money. Well, then, that would be premeditated. That would be me sitting here. Realizing we have money problems. How can I fix it? All I'm going to kill my wife, the other! Is she finds my gay pornography that I'm a big huge fan of that, I'm I'm I'm enjoying that, while she's at work I, as I'm gonna at it of the show and, and then she she confronts me we get into some kind of argument, and then I kill my wife,
different things, that's ones in the heat of the moment. I lost it and I killed my wife. The other is premeditated right. So can we the port state never bring builds a bridge to connect the I am sitting at home planning on how I'm going to kill her too. I lost it. Erupted one night and killed her young ones with a boner ones. Without there you go well that is a good segue into the possible murder. Weapon the prosecution said that the murder was most likely committed with a custom made fireplace poker called? blow poke it had been, a gift to the Peterson's from Kathleen Sister, but was missing, quote him quote missing from the house at the time of the murder, investigation and catholic sister actually gave a bunch people in their family. These blow pokers yeah, I think she gave it to her her parents into some other people in the family
her sister Candice, Kathleen Peters sister Candice, when asked about the blow poke said. Yes, it was always in the kitchen stating that she had used it and had observed Kathleen using it, and they always located in the kitchen wall. It's a big house, so we have a kitchen. That's connected to a little room and there's a little fireplace by so anytime? You see like home. Video footage will see a little kitchen pan and you'll see a fireplace in and normally was sitting there. And you actually see at one point in the documentary one of the is Goin, going back through old, like Christmas footage to try to find out when the disappeared, have the prosecution, which would tell the jury that you ve got to realize he meaning? Michael Peterson had several hours that he could clean up and the prosecution's opinion. They think that
is when the blow poke was removed from the property. Now the problem with that, as the defense would later point out that claim that the blow poker later found inside the home, covered with cobwebs and dead insects, implying that police and everyone else had just simply overlooked it? It was not hidden, said the defence because as it was never used. It was not the murder. Weapon in the first place for test revealed that the blow poke had been untouched and unruly moved. I'm sorry, unmoved for food are too long to have been used in the murder. Well ask well how not find this well, they had a garage like in the basement, part of the basement, the garage door and he had some car he was working on. Kind of hidden in the corner like not hidden on person purpose but only what happened was he was mess with the fire one day was working
Car went downstairs working on his car and put the poker beside it. Then because there's other tools and other pipes and stuff around cops display. This didn't see it? They pray. Also didn't look that. I also think that it least that night in the following day, they didn't realize that that would be a potential murder weapon You know. So, even if you salt that night or the next day, you don't care because it's not of significance at that time, I actually I think that What probably happened is it was an item that went unused up near the fireplace itself and at some point you know that's where things, in the basement and the garage that's how they get there. Sometimes there are things that are just not used and you go I'll put it out in the garage I'll put it out in the basement and, like you said things pile up and collect around it, and then it may appear years later to have been hidden but rather it's just simply place there, while the pointed poker and was missing and
the round and that the poker would go into was bent and so I wonder, if he's working on this old car and has a old jack, is, not able to jack it up with a crowbar if he went and grabbed this poker to use it to jack up the car? That's an interesting fuck They don't really present any of that, though, at try yeah, but this guy, the other problem with by your peers. But we are like to drink good time. The problem is it makes your memory? Do you, the blurry. That's interesting, you say that I was just going to ask you: do you find him to be a forgetful person, or Is he conveniently forgetful, no he made a I he's gonna, he was getting older and I think he didn't remember, I want to stuff. Like he's the one find the poker he's even like I don't know, I don't know, why would be there were? How got there, as I maybe from you maybe was from one of your kids. That's the other
the other issue. Here we don't have little kids, we have adult adults, so they're doing a lot of stuff. You know when your kid, if there are some if there was a hammer misplaced in the garage and you're, years old, it's from your father was misplaced in the hammer chances. Are you weren't messing with the hammer twenty years old and you're messing with cars and knows what happened, one of them mighty use it. Then they forget. I just he's also he's getting up there in age and he has some effects from that. So I think a couple of things here regarding his memory first I'm going to go back to the wine I actually think Michael Peterson, probably like to indulge in quite a bit of wine drinking. I think him saying that they had two bottles of wine. That night might have conservative, I He might have had two bottles of wine that night and she helped
and some other bottles of wine well yeah, but isn't that what you do I mean if you're hanging out with your wife or you're hanging out with some friends? It's like you, don't count drinks you just drink and talk and have a good time yeah I mean when you're a kid. You count drinks when you're twenty you're going to I'm up to ten beers. Alright, when you're done You actually do less when I've only had six. You know you had been that's why I think the outcome- a combination of a few things, one this guy- has seen wartime could be some p s de from that. The acts of that- and I very difficult wartime I think as well- is there's probably been a history of nights second of nights of drinking wine or maybe even a lot of wine or alcohol, and once he puts on those fake metals, he got. I mean he. Probably William down a little bit, and he probably trips and falls a lot because of it he's
older, so I think a combination of those three things lens to him being forgetful and maybe not so much conveniently forgetful for the other vibe too- and I have no proof of this. This is the gut feeling that I got when watching the his children and the way that they, spoke about their household and the family and one thing I do want to point out here is seem to be, a very close family. Even though it was a bit of a patchwork quilt, it was a his family to the extent that I hear his Children and Michaels older, referring to Kathleen as mom over and over again and I also hear her daughter refer to Michael as dad cast of the the two adopted kids. They call her mom their real mom, the birth mom. They call Kathleen their mom They they took away the whole
mom or whatever right and I think, and who knows maybe there was a conversation about it, but you know that It's also them showing respect to her. She is made them part of her life. She treated them as actually like daughters, were going to treat you just like I think that, and also you got these very well, rounded smart, intelligent kid seem well adjusted. Oh yeah, yeah and they seem well adjusted and they have all this craziness. That's going on with their lives, I mean like you would expect them to be. Like maybe maybe our mom died accidentally. Maybe our fine murdered her we're not for sure. You would think that the hinge yeah, the hinges would come off and they're not and that's a sign of. How you were raised and how your raise is not always the lessons that you were taught it's
the actions that you were shown meaning and then again ever friend, Every family member says they had a loving marriage, that means something alright, and we have so much stuff to get to do. We have enough time you think, to get into some of the blood experts at ten By during the trial, yes, okay, so this AIDS, blood, spatter expert tone, the jury that he was certain Kathleen Peterson was beaten to death. Because the drop patterns of blood and spray on the steps and walls of the stairwell were just what he is acted to see You imagine a weapon rising striking rising casting off blood up the wall with each new blow right and blood, and on the inside. Lower leg of Michael Peterson. Shorts confirms His theory
he said he saw evidence of an attempt to clean up some of the blood on the stairwell. Horses, his testimony, was much longer and lengthier than this? That's the team. Now simplified version yeah, but it's also stating that she here the black object, that's what's crate These marks on Kathleen's head but there is no cast off like she was hit in the head. There be a cast off meaning blood. Is from an object, could be cast off normally that would hit the ceiling okay from her height, So he he saying that there was cast off on the wall with each blow and that he expected to see yeah during his testimony, he's going to show you a bunch expire,
as he did to try to get these to recreate these patterns, and so it's basically that that she gets hit. One time, Kathleen then falls and then all the rest of the hits would happen. Why she's on the ground, making this spot the inside of his shorts, makes sense right because he would be on top of her or standing over her, and that would be the reason there'd be no cast off on the ceiling. So it's it's almost like he has this picture now. He has to figure out how we got there: right. That makes sense and well in in a way, though, the defense is going to have to do the same thing or try to do the same thing when they put on a celebrity expert witness Dr Henry Lee. I'm sure most of our listeners are familiar with Henry Lee he's been in of the more well known cases, including
He was involved in the o J Simpson case now. Explain that the blood spatter Explain it in a theatrical manner. He switch a small amount of ketchup, took a deep breath and then spit out replicating. He said the victim of the fall, bring up blood staggering about the stairwell. The result he says spatter up the wall? all of the staircase and on the inside leg of Peterson shorts as he did to her doctor He told the jury that the copious- blood spatter on the back staircase convinced him Kathleen Peterson had died of a fall not a beating. So if trying to Forgive me if you're trying to picture this at home. What he's talking about is he saying she fell and as she's laying there she's coughing up blood, she's, breathing blood and is what is projecting
that blood onto the wall behind right. They also believe at some point. She tried to get up explain the blood, that's on the bottom of her feet, but explain like if she did try to get up and she slipped that her body would have moved so she's more outside of the door, her head still inside the doorway. Again once she's then continues to cough up blood at that position would account for some of the rest of the blood splatter, yet it too, the jurors. Imagine how a woman fall and end up like this, that they are indicating you know, keep in mind. Kathleen was in flip flops as she was medicated with valium. She might be tipsy with having drinking wine. That night, oh, no, not might be tipsy. I mean one of the things that people really should look up is. The effects of volume. The of the volume
Pretty much the same effects as far as alcohol is concerned, but once you mix both of them times it by ten let's say right, so one of the major effects as dizziness loss of balance and so you're talking about a very odd staircase I almost argued that that staircases should it's been made or you just go into a little square room turned to the right, and then you go the steps. So there would be no initial stairs directly in front of you so the stairs. Basically, you walked into this into this stairwell. It's almost like a mini spiral. Staircase, it looks like it. Air came like a closet that you're walking into almost right and you take a couple of steps and then you turn to your right and you go up the rest of the stairs the stairs to your right, there's quite a bit more stairs there than what would be at the bottom straight ahead of you now the captain pointed out.
You're right, it would have been a safer situation to just have that be a flat landing there, as if you are walking into a closet, turn to your right and then go directly up the stairs without turning. So The other thing to is this would be one call. This, like you, know how they have some older homes they have like servant quarters and in right that you know that guy, what is probably what this is a second staircase for people to work behind the scenes of big house like that. It's been for two as a mansion I'd. I think you could call it that I think that some one of an area description, it's a big house, but here here's what's weird, though, to his, because you have this weird landing at the bottom and you have. These steps are actually curve. Whether you fall by accident, whether you fall by Jim Push, whether you, because you got pulled down whether you fall, because you got hit by something once
in that area you're on multiple levels that aren't level. By trying to get up by trying to move. You are then going to be If there's any blood you're going to be pushing a lot of blood around you. There's very possible that you could make a big man in this small area because of the the floor not be in love Not only that the turn and how narrow this space is on a normal staircase, you might not be able to spit. Off that much blood onto the wall, because you would be more centred, you would be more away from the wall and its and when you see the scene, the the pictures of the senior like lot of blood, it's a lot it and it's enough blood to the point where you're like did he her head against the wall for an hour like it I mean the blue Is it and its tragic to see it in, and I can see how the stew
in how the investigators job two, this is a murder. This is not an accident. There's too much blood. Here I mean when you see the initial photos. The first thought is this is not an accident right, but then Then it becomes odd to because you, you have her feet, covered and blood and you just wonder if she tried to get up again that does not blood on her feet. Does not determine whether she was hit pushed or she fell well in The state is going to try to point out to the jurors that a woman and flip flops medicated with Valium, had been thinking all this could have been a combination that might have led to a fall. The blood. The body motion expert showed an animation that only climbs the stairs to go to bed, she suddenly loses her. Balance falls backwards from the fourth step: hitting her head on the molding cutting
open. A nasty wound to her scalp, which is roughly a v shape, she stunned. She tries to get up, but she slips in a puddle of her own blood, falls again and then now she's doomed to lay there and bleed out, but we also have impact points on the moulding in the staircase and one of the impact points they? Basically it's it's science, the you know this I don't remember what it was called Bio I don't know why he remembers, but but with you captain, the Woody did was they basically made a model of her I turn we if she fell at this point that she would a hit. That frame of hit here right sure to hit here about this height bow matching impact points based off the sides? They did so
I don't know, I mean they try to discredit this guy. I thought he was very credible but the The problem with this guy is the prosecution should have push more ok. This is true if she fell from the third step, the first step or whatever, but all These things are also true if she got pulled down at that step, correct hour, pushed down at that step. So again, I believe I think what he is stating happen or is most likely what happen? Ok, but think that does improve if somebody helped her or not doesn't prove other theories, weather are true or not either way I get to those later. A couple of things, though, here regarding what you just stated was you know count the count, the stairs the number of steps thousand one fifteen and forty. Is what I think he says in the nine one call call, but so,
Let's use that, as as the general math right, let's say it's fifteen steps. What what thank you point out here, which is interesting is that the prosecution once they hear hey she felt this guy says she fell from the fourth step in this is how where she hit- and this explains her injuries where the process- can failed, then was they said they could have said. While there one out of fifteen steps, math adequately, it's less likely that she fell from that exact step than any of these. You know what I mean right: she's likely could have fallen from another step and therefore those impact points don't match up with your theory. The thing that you pointed out that interesting. Is they never? bother to present the idea that maybe she was pushed down the stairs. Did she was at a different location and pushed down the stairs they stuck with the she was struck with the
blunt objects in the body and the blood object lesson cover that real, quick. The issue with her being struck with a blunt object, is going to be that there is no brain swelling brain no the fractures to the skull to the scar, and there is no brain bruising either. Which sometimes you won't get a fracture, but you have a brain bruise underneath and none of those three three things happen. So you'd have to. Sickly hit so lightly that you cause any fracture, yes, for those of you that have not seen the staircase or are unfamiliar with this case picture this Most people are familiar with a fire poker. You would have at any normal fireplace okay it has never had a hollowed one though so that
that's the only that's, really the only difference between a blow poke and I a fire poker. Is that it's hallowed so that when you poke at the fire, you can blow adding air that would then spread. Sparks or spread the fire in Your fireplace right, it's like stoking the fire. So the only difference here is that this item would be. We can assume that it's lighter than a traditional fire poker, because it's hollow, but it still has that jagged engine that end and what Captains try to point out is the thing that I can't get over is if somebody is attacking somebody with a weapon or an object shaped like that that How in the hell, are you going to be able to strike the sky? and of the skull with enough forced to create these lacerations, and these are big gashes, but precise enough or or get lucky enough, the
process of creating those lacerations union fracture the skull at all? It seems inconceivable to me than bright, and but then everybody believes that she had to be. Wald with something maybe fingernails or maybe she was clawed by the poker in right. Because he has these lacerations again they're getting up in age. Your your skin becomes thinner possible that you could bump into something hard enough. That would not create brain bleed brain bruising or a fracture, but still Puncture the skin and therefore creating a mass of Mount a blood and bay. Because the defense is not going to deny that these injuries occurred, that these lacerations to her scalp occurred but they're. Basically, their answer is stating look
had several points of impact where her head would have impact with something else and it didn't necessarily tear the skin open. Some of is this the skin splitting, in you once you hit upon impact that it's a cut, as well as the skin splitting yet created these strange shaped. Laceration all her of her head right than algae there were using as if you take me to watermelons, prevents any melon and he dropped on the ground, it's not gonna. Just Perhaps half is not going to just have one point of impact: it's going to actually split, so is it possible She hit her head against the frame the frame of the war and that cause split were possibly two splits. I mean it's possible I mean and and that's what the I witnessed that did the bio whatever was called test that that they,
prove that it was possible some circumstantial evidence, captain the officers, called by the prosecution noted that the husband Michael Peterson his snow. In bloody socks. They noted this and stated that this is odd, because Michael was barefoot upon paramedics arrival to the home and they the question: how did one of those same sneakers, a bloody footprint on the backside of dead, wife's sweatpants the side face, in the floor. There was testimony from other prosecution witnesses, Peterson had tried to clean a large stain of blood off of the front of his shorts. Now some other details on the kitchen counter police or stay with his shorts for a second, is short We're soaked in blood right and so again he trying to clean off a section or was he wiping off because his hand
were covered in blood too. So that's where tricky with some of the stuff. It's like There's a lot of blood if you trying to help her. If he picked her up up and got blood all over his hands, then he try to wipe that on his pants, wiping on. Your pants is gonna, look the same as if your trial wipe it off your pants. Some other details on the kitchen counter, police or a bottle of wine in two glasses neatly arranged implying. Perhaps the couple had passed relaxing evening at home. Sipping wine together the problem with that cozy image, though according to the prosecution, is that his Ed wife's fingerprints were on either glass. The process We argued that Peterson Head pro? at least set out the bottle and color ass is to suggest a Catholic had too much to drink tumbled down the stairs inebriated, the defense
presented the idea that the police may have had it in for the husband once they realized he was the same Michael Peterson, taking regular pot shots at them in his paper column, accusing them of only solving a small fraction of crimes and getting a handle on trafficking in the city, and maybe this was payback back to make sure you get a true crime garage dot com, good our store page, the team. Shirts are on sale because of his birthday in honor of Nick's birthday. He is twenty one and a half we celebrated his half birthday, also new team. Captain v next there in the store check those out
all of our old episodes check us out on Stitcher and they're. All free from show one to now I find them on Stitcher for free, plus we have our great show off the record on Stitcher premium. Wait hold on real, quick are are off, the record shows are supposed to be twenty thirty minutes long, something like that. And lately we've been putting out hour long episodes? So if you're looking for some, more grudge in your life get off the record join us back here in the garage tomorrow for part two of the staircase
until then be good, be kind and don't listen.
Transcript generated on 2022-03-22.