30 of the best true crime documentaries to unleash your inner detective

These true crime documentaries are stranger than fiction

The Staircase (Netflix, 2018)

30 of the best true crime documentaries to unleash your inner detective 1

Written and directed by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, The Staircase documents the high-profile murder trial of novelist Michael Peterson following the death of his wife Kathleen. In December 2001, Michael called authorities that Kathleen had fallen down a set of stairs in their mansion and died. According to Michael, Kathleen was drunk when he fell down the stairs. But authorities concluded that Michael bludgeoned her to death, most likely with a blow poke that was discovered missing from the house. Peterson was soon charged with murder.

Told from the point of view of Michael and his defense team led by David Rudolf, The Staircase highlights the shortcomings of the American legal system and how things can become so complicated and chaotic that both victims and the accused will never find justice. While Michael was ultimately convicted for the murder of Kathleen, The Staircase leaves viewers wondering whether he is actually guilty or innocent.

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