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The Staircase: Exploring the Intriguing Cast and Compelling Storylines



The Staircase is an American docu-series that follows the dramatic trial of Michael Peterson, an author accused of murdering his wife. The series has gained immense popularity since its release and features an impressive cast of characters who bring the story to life.

Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson is the subject of the docu-series The Staircase. He is an American author who was accused of murdering his wife, Kathleen Peterson, in 2001. Peterson has maintained his innocence throughout the process and has been supported by his family and friends. His case has garnered national attention due to its mysterious circumstances and the media circus that surrounded it.

Role in the case

Michael Peterson is at the center of The Staircase and his role in the case is of utmost importance. He has served as the defendant throughout the process, maintaining his innocence and providing insight into his version of events.

Personal life and relationships

Michael Peterson has had a long and varied life prior to his involvement in the docu-series. He is the father of five children from two marriages, and has had numerous romantic relationships throughout his life. In addition to being a husband, he was also a soldier in the US Army and served two tours of duty in Vietnam.

Kathleen Peterson

Background information

Kathleen Peterson was the wife of Michael Peterson and the alleged victim in the docu-series The Staircase. She was a successful businesswoman, mother, and stepmother before her death in 2001. Her sudden passing left many unanswered questions which served as the basis for an intense investigation into her husband’s possible involvement.

Life before her death

Kathleen Peterson was a successful businesswoman and mother with a thriving career prior to her death. She had been married to Michael Peterson for several years and the two shared five children together. Kathleen was also close to Michael’s children from his first marriage, having served as a stepmother figure in their lives.

Role in the case

Kathleen Peterson’s role in the case was significant, as she was the victim at the center of the investigation. Her death had mysterious circumstances and her husband, Michael Peterson, was immediately suspected of involvement.

David Rudolf

Background information

David Rudolf is an American defense attorney who represented Michael Peterson in the docu-series The Staircase. He has been involved in numerous high-profile cases throughout his career and is renowned for his ability to appeal to juries.

Role as defense attorney

David Rudolf was the defense attorney for Michael Peterson throughout his trial and subsequent appeal processes. He is renowned for his ability to appeal to juries and his skills were tested in the Peterson case. He presented extensive evidence in favor of Peterson’s innocence and argued passionately on his behalf, ultimately leading to a successful outcome.

Legal strategy and arguments

David Rudolf was the defense attorney for Michael Peterson throughout his trial and subsequent appeals processes. His legal strategy focused heavily on the lack of evidence pointing to Michael’s involvement in Kathleen’s death, as well as alternative theories that could explain her tragic passing.

Background information

Candace Zamperini is a key figure in the docu-series ‘The Staircase’ due to her role as the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case against Michael Peterson. A career prosecutor, she has been involved in numerous high-profile cases throughout her career and was determined to prove Peterson’s guilt in Kathleen’s death .

Role as prosecutor

Candace Zamperini was the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case against Michael Peterson in The Staircase. Throughout her career, she has been involved in numerous high-profile cases and was determined to prove Michael’s guilt in Kathleen’s death. She presented extensive evidence throughout the trial and argued passionately that Michael was responsible for Kathleen’s death.

Legal strategy and arguments

Candace Zamperini’s legal strategy in the Peterson trial focused on proving Michael’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, she presented evidence such as blood spatter analysis, testimony, and computer-generated diagrams to prove that Kathleen had been murdered and Michael was responsible for her death.

Margaret Ratliff

Background information

Margaret Ratliff was a key figure in the docu-series ‘The Staircase’ as she was Michael Peterson’s sister and provided invaluable testimony for his defense. She was an experienced nurse who had cared for Kathleen in the past, and her knowledge of Kathleen’s medical history as well as her close relationship with the Petersons gave her testimony an important weight in the trial.

Role as Kathleen’s sister

Margaret Ratliff was a key figure in The Staircase as she was Michael Peterson’s sister and provided invaluable testimony for his defense. She had known Kathleen since the late 1980s and had been her nurse for some time, providing her with medical care. Her relationship with Kathleen gave her insight into the victim’s medical history, which she provided to the defense as evidence that Kathleen could have died of natural causes.

Involvement in the case

Margaret Ratliff’s involvement in The Staircase was invaluable to Michael Peterson’s defense. She provided testimony about her knowledge of Kathleen and her medical history, as well as her past interactions with Kathleen that shed light on the victim’s character.

The Peterson Family

Background information

The Peterson family was an integral part of the docu-series The Staircase. Throughout the series, we get to know Michael and Kathleen’s two sons and their extended family. Todd and Clayton were Michael’s sons from his first marriage and were living with Kathleen at the time of her death.

Relations to Michael and Kathleen

The Peterson family was closely related to both Michael and Kathleen through marriage and blood. Todd and Clayton were Michael’s sons from his first marriage, while Caitlin Atwater was his daughter from a previous relationship. The extended family members also played a role in the case, providing emotional support for Michael throughout the trial.

Impact of the case on the family dynamics

The Peterson family’s dynamics were greatly affected by Michael Peterson’s trial. Throughout the series, it is clear that Todd and Clayton viewed Kathleen as their mother figure, despite not being related to her biologically. As such, the events of The Staircase had a profound impact on their lives.


The Staircase is an intense and captivating series that has gained immense popularity since its release. Its cast of characters brings the story to life and keeps viewers hooked throughout the entire series. From Michael Peterson, Kathleen Peterson, David Rudolf, Candace Zamperini, Margaret Ratliff to the entire Peterson family – each character plays a crucial role in building up the case and providing insight into the lives of those involved.

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