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Who Is Michael Peterson? Everything To Know About His Murder and Trial Case

Michael Peterson
Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson is an American novelist born on October 23, 1943, in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1966. After graduation, he served in the United States Marine Corps as a lieutenant in Vietnam.

Michael Peterson Career

Peterson worked as a journalist for many years, writing for newspapers such as The Durham Sun and The Herald-Sun. In 1983, he published his first novel, “The Virginian,” a retelling of the classic Western story. He went on to write many more novels in various genres, including mystery, thriller, and true crime.

Michael Peterson

In 2001, Peterson’s life took a dramatic turn when his wife, Kathleen Peterson, was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in their Durham, North Carolina, home. Peterson was charged with her murder and went on trial in 2003. The trial and the events surrounding it were the subject of a 2020 Netflix documentary series, “The Staircase.”

Peterson maintained his innocence throughout the trial and subsequent appeals. In 2017, he entered an Alford plea to a reduced charge of manslaughter and was released from prison after serving eight years. An Alford plea means that the defendant maintains their innocence but admits that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict them.

Michael Peterson - Crime Museum

Overall, Michael Peterson is a novelist and former journalist who gained national attention following his trial for the death of his wife, Kathleen. His case has been the subject of much controversy and media attention, and it continues to generate interest among true crime enthusiasts.

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