The Staircase tells the story of Michael Peterson, a renowned crime thriller writer who was accused in 2001 of the murder his wife, Kathleen. Although Peterson claims his wife fell by herself, investigations do not support this claim. Here is The Staircase Ending Explained for all the fans!
The media coverage revealed many secrets about the family, including infidelity. The Staircase ending ends with Michael being sentenced to prison after being convicted. The Staircase is an adaptation of a true story with several series in different formats. It is an 8-episode mini-series in 2022 with drama, crime, and biography themes.
We are sure you watched the entire series in one sitting. If so, and you still have questions about Michael Peterson’s guilt, we will look at The Staircase’s ending theories.
Also, read Elite Season 4 Spoilers!
Michael Peterson (Colin Firth), in The Staircase
Get to know your suspect criminal. Michael Iver Peterson (played by Colin Firth) is 78 years of age and was born in Tennessee, America. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Duke University.
He participated in 1965 research on arguments supporting increased military involvement in Vietnam. He married Patricia Sue, an elementary school teacher. Clayton and Todd were their two children. They were also foster parents to two daughters. We must get to know his family from his actual life as we will witness them testifying before the Staircase ends.
Peterson was a Vietnam War veteran in 1968. Peterson was injured in a car accident in 1971 and became permanently disabled. He was discharged honorably with the rank of captain. In 1987, he and Patricia Sue split. Peterson wrote three novels about the Vietnam war: A Time of War and Immortal Dragon.
In 1997, Michael married Kathleen Atwater (a successful business executive), and Kathleen’s suspicious suicide occurred in 2001. We will continue to follow Michael Peterson’s lawsuit for his wife’s death until The Staircase ends.
The Staircase Ending Owl Theory
The Owl Theory discussed in The Staircase Ending is not a pseudonym for another metaphor. It is the Owl Theory itself! Could an Owl have killed Kathleen Peterson? Although we don’t think this is possible at first, once we hear more, it becomes more plausible.
What are the details? Any blow-by murder patterns cannot explain the deep wounds to Kathleen Peterson’s head. The lawyers who investigated the case were confronted with a new question: What if the injuries weren’t caused by a blow to Kathleen Peterson’s head but an attack by an owl?
As we all know, convincing evidence is required to prove that an owl did it. Rudolf Peterson, Michael Peterson’s lawyer, could not provide any evidence.
This was when someone came forward with claims that could alter The Staircase’s ending. T. Lawrence Pollard, a neighbor of Petersons, did not take part in the murder case. He was a neighbor to the family, and the fact that the case was reported to the media allowed him to access information about it. He was also a lawyer and could access the data.
He perused the evidence that the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation had obtained that night and found that a tiny feather from an owl had been discovered at the crime scene. Peterson’s owl-containing theory was presented to the court years after he was first tried. Kathleen also held an owl feather and a small branch of a tree.
In September 2008, Pollard’s theory was confirmed, and the Kathleen hair strand was reexamined. Two more tiny owl wings were also found in his hand! Pollard also believed that Kathleen had suffered cuts and injuries from owl claws. David Rudolf (the lawyer for Michael Peterson) clung to the evidence and repeatedly claimed in court that owls could have caused these wounds and cuts.
Rudolf and Pollard demanded in 2009 that Peterson’s conviction is overturned and a new trial be held using the evidence they had. Even though the evidence was presented to support this possibility, the court officials didn’t believe it, as seen in The Staircase ending.
What do you think of this theory? Did The Staircase’s ending satisfy? Are you sure Michael Peterson is innocent? An owl may have killed Kathleen Peterson.