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The Staircase Murders: When Michael Iver Peterson, a successful novelist and aspiring politician in Durham, North Carolina, finds his wife Kathleens body on the staircase, bloody but still breathing, he calls 911 in panic. His son Todd confirms his parents were in true love, would never harm each-other. However the police, notably Detective Joe Castel, and D. A. Jim Hardin, holding a grudge for a column the author once wrote against the incompetent force, disbelieve their postulation she fell from the stairs, notably because her blood was found very high. Adoring step-daughter Caitlin, who privately shows suspicious pleasure in the jewelry inheritance and is named executor of Kathleens estate, was all night at her Cornell sorority. The female coroner excludes her trainees preliminary theory of a fall, bluntly stating multiple blows and at least two hours painful death-struggle. Wine - and blood traces suggest Michael may have staged her having drunk too much wine and tried to wipe her blood. The family is banned from the house, all his research etc. confiscated. After star lawyer David Rudolf accepts his defense, and gets prizewinner Ericas TV crew to include his case in its critical story on the U.S. justice system, the press recalls he probably lost the mayoral election because his claim to have been awarded two Purple Hearts was refuted by the military. Michael must admit he is a bisexual who picked up men at the gym. Caitlin moves in with Kathleens sister Candace, who claims she would never have allowed that, while the rest of the family sides with dad who claims Kathleen knew and understood; when he passes on bills for funerary arrangements Caitlin made behind his back, she bitches Kathleen never actually signed her $1,4 million life insurance. Michaels lawyer also investigates the death of his other adoptive daughters mother Elisabeth Ratliff, wife of an army mate of his in Germany (while he was married to Patty, who still loves him as father of her children), also fallen from a staircase, both she had a blood disease; after an autopsy, Michael is charged with a second murder and put on trial. The defense does a great job concerning forensics, especially the lack of a murder weapon and of any markings on the alleged one (a blow pipe for the fire place), and credibility of hostile witnesses...

  • Currently 60/5
(1 votes)
Released: April 15, 2007
Runtime:
Genres: Drama Thriller Crime Mystery
Countries: USA
Director: Tom McLoughlin
Actors: Bernard Hocke Billy Slaughter Brandon Olive Brett Rice Brian F Durkin Carol Sutton Cynthia LeBlanc Dana Lee Daurice Cummings Debby Gaudet Don Yesso Douglas M Griffin Elton LeBlanc Eric F Adams Gary Michael Smith Geoff Falk Geraldine Glenn Harold Evans Henry Pelitire Jan Falk Jearl Vinot Kevin Lorio Kevin Pollak Kyle Russell Clements Lara Grice Laura Bailey Lynette Zumo Nancy McLoughlin Nina Jones Ric Reitz Ross Rouillier Samaire Armstrong Stephanie Honore Treat Williams

The Staircase Murders (2007)

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