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Summary

Step inside the mansion of Michael and Kathleen Peterson, the home where they lived as empty nesters in North Carolina.

December 2001 marked the beginning of the long, arduous journey for Michael Peterson, who was accused, placed on trial, and convicted of murdering his second wife, Kathleen Peterson. In Behind the Staircase, a memoir, Peterson recounts the events leading up to the incident which would forever change his life.

Follow Michael’s depiction of the tragic events leading up to his conviction and incarceration for his wife’s death and the next eight years of his imprisonment for her alleged murder. Upon his release, Peterson shares in his memoir, Behind the Staircase, his perspective on what happened to his loving wife, the misleading evidence of the trial, and the years that he spent behind bars with criminals, murderers, and rapists.

Listen as Michael painstakingly describes how as the prime suspect in the investigation, he was forced to endure one of the longest trials in North Carolina history, all the while asserting his innocence in her death.

You will be engrossed in the real-life depiction of the events and left in awe at the harrowing tales of his life in prison.

Listen and learn about Kathleen’s tragic accident and Michael’s desperate plea for justice.

©2020 Public Domain (P)2021 CSA Publishing

What listeners say about Behind the Staircase

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Excellent

This is a really tragic story, well told. It makes you realise how the justice system can fail miserably.

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  • daniel d.
  • 20-02-21

Could not stop listening

I followed this case for many years and also watched the Netflix special. This audio book was even better.

For someone that travels regularly, this was the perfect fit for hours of travel entertainment. It's suspenseful, and even emotional at times. Mike Peterson is a talented writer and his book is both fasinating and enlightening about the case.

This 11 hour audio book is worth a second listen.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jackie Harwood
  • 17-02-21

Breathtaking Story - 10/10

This is an exceptionally well written book. Mike does not only guide you through the detailed events that decided his fate, it simultaneously makes you feel the strong emotions that resulted from him having to make painstaking decisions.

Michael Peterson’s creative, intriguing and easy to follow writing style matched with the the narrator’s dynamic, clear and captivating voice shapes a breathtaking story.

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  • Rachel A.
  • 01-03-21

Riveting real-life story

This real-life story of Michael Petersen will keep you on the edge of your seat. Did he do it? Did he really kill his wife Kathleen? I felt like I was deep within a movie scene, thinking “this can’t be real!!” This well written book gave me insight not only into life behind bars but inside the justice system. Written from Michael’s perspective, my heart went out to this seemingly loving father and husband while questioning his guilt or innocence. Great read!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-02-21

netflix documentary

adds a spin into the netflix documentary. closely follows for the most part. easy to listen to.

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  • Amanda Knight
  • 19-04-22

Contemplating.

I'm not convinced he didn't do it. I've watch it on Netflix and now listening to the book I can't think otherwise. I tried to be open minded.

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  • Val Cummings
  • 13-06-22

So many mispronunciations

This is a fascinating case but didn’t anyone check the pronunciation? A major source of distraction and I can’t believe Mr.Peterson was happy with this!

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  • P'an
  • 09-06-22

On the merits...

Leaving aside thoughts re guilt-- There's no reason for this to be a bad book, he's a writer. And it isn't. It's really quite good. Funnier than I expected, clever, well paced, plain good. At risk of sounding as arrogant an overeducated liberal as Michael, it's novel to find a true crime book written by an intellectual equal. (Ok, I AM an overeducated liberal, you caught me) But the guy reading it..... sigh. He doesn't know words, he doesn't understand sentence structure, he freaks out every time there's a hyphen, and he just destroys the good writing. It's frustrating.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 31-05-22

An American Tragedy

Homicide Detectives and prosecutors often get tunnel vision.
Their theme is commonly “Find a CULPRIT get a CONVICTION” .
Typically an investigation would start at the scene. In the Peterson case it stopped at the scene.
This book does an excellent job of detailing incompetence of the investigation. Everything from Dwayne Deavers deception to the homophobic nature of Black & Hardin’s statements and arguments.
A bludgeoning with no scull fractures no injury to the brain, that’s is impossible.
Get the story straight from the source. This is an excellent read..

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  • Gideon Brown
  • 15-08-21

It just made me more curious.

After watching the staircase documentary I became fascinated with the Michael Peterson murder case. It is true that the documentary is very one sided for the defense, and mostly filled with behind the scenes access to how defense lawyering works. I think it was the fascination with how all of the circumstantial evidence against Michael Peterson would be overcome, or if it would be overcome, that drove me to watch the series multiple times. This was the catalyst that drove me to read this book. I wanted to learn more, even if only from the point of view of the accused. Perhaps it might shed new light on my opinions about the case.
At the very beginning I was completely convinced of Michael Peterson’s guilt. The amount of blood, the lacerations, the last person to see Kathleen alive, the possibly credible motives, the blood spatter on the inside of his shorts, and perhaps most damning- the autopsy report. It all led me to believe he was guilty. As I expected, this book did little in the way of convincing me otherwise. But I will admit, there is a small shred of me that believes he is just simply one of the most unlucky people on planet earth, and, if he is guilty, which I still believe he is, surely that was one of his goals in writing this book.

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  • Patrick
  • 07-07-21

Excellent

I watched the Netflix version first which compelled me to get this audiobook. Well written story, captivating, and great narration. I would recommend this 10/10.