Netflix has confirmed evidence for one of the theories for their show The Staircase.
The true crime story about the death of Kathleen Peterson has encouraged people to do what they do best when faced with a mystery – cook up a theory for what happened.
While these theories are usually just thrown about the internet with no one to confirm or deny them, this time Netflix has confirmed there’s evidence for what people have been speculating about.
The 13-episode series of The Staircase follows the story of Kathleen Peterson’s death and her husband, Michael Peterson – the novelist who was charged with the murder of his wife in North Carolina in 2001.
One of the main theories to arise about her death is the ‘Owl Theory’ – the idea Kathleen’s husband was in fact entirely innocent, and an owl was to blame for the woman’s death.
While at first this theory might seem an implausible one, Netflix have released a video to confirm evidence exists for the theory.
Watch it below:
Kathleen was found dead at the foot of the staircase in the couple’s mansion, while her husband claims he last saw her alive, heading inside to go to bed.
At just 48-years-old, Kathleen suffered terrible injuries, including fractured thyroid neck cartilage and multiple lacerations to the top and back of her head. She died from blood loss.
James Hardin Jr., the Durham County district attorney, initially said Kathleen’s husband, Michael, had beaten his wife to death with a blow poke.
While this theory initially made sense, defence attorneys weakened the evidence of this accusation by pointing out the blood-spatter patterns at the scene were inconsistent with such a scenario.
The ‘Owl Theory’ was first presented by the Petersons’ next door neighbour – lawyer Larry Pollard.
While this might seem quite an odd conclusion to come to, Kathleen was actually found with tiny owl feathers in her hand, along with hair which had been ripped from the roots.
The lawyer suggested an owl had attacked Kathleen when she went to go inside, and so she went into the house to escape the bird. He proposed the theory Kathleen headed for the stairs, but slipped and fell backwards.
The director of The Staircase, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, spoke about the theory to Vulture:
The first time I heard about the owl theory, I really laughed. But when I started looking at it and I met with Larry Pollard … It might be the more plausible explanation.
How can you explain all the cuts and lacerations and the absence of fractures? When you start thinking about the owl theory, and the kind of injuries she had, you start thinking maybe there is something there.
The ‘Owl Theory’ has intrigued a lot of fans of the show, and will leave people wondering whether it is in fact the truth behind Kathleen’s death.
“The Staircase” was amazing and I am 100% onboard with the “Owl Theory.”
— Josh Wolf (@joshwolfcomedy) July 1, 2018
— Mk (@TheJohnsoma) June 22, 2018
Okay. I watched #TheStaircase. Still undecided if Michael is guilty or not (a biased documentary) but i'm intrigued about the owl theory.
— D. (@dnlxsnts) June 27, 2018
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.