Series showcasing the best of international documentary filmmakers works.
Runtime: 80 minutes
Storyville - Michael Peterson (criminal) - Netflix
Michael Iver Peterson (born October 23, 1943) is an American novelist who was convicted in 2003 of murdering his second wife, Kathleen Peterson. On December 9, 2011, Peterson was granted a new trial which was scheduled to begin on May 8, 2017. On February 24, 2017, Peterson submitted an Alford plea to the reduced charge of manslaughter. He was sentenced to time already served and freed. Peterson's case is the subject of the documentary miniseries The Staircase, which started filming soon after his arrest in 2001 and followed events until his eventual Alford plea in 2017.
Storyville - Suspicion surrounding Elizabeth Ratliff's death - Netflix
Elizabeth Ratliff, the friend of the Petersons who died in Germany in 1985 (and mother to Martha and Margaret, Michael Peterson's adopted daughters), had also been found dead at the foot of her staircase with injuries to the head. Her death had been investigated by both the German police and U.S. military police. An autopsy at the time of her death concluded she died from an intra-cerebral haemorrhage secondary to the blood coagulation disorder Von Willebrand's disease, based on blood in her cerebrospinal fluid and reports that she had been suffering severe, persistent headaches in the weeks leading up to her death. The coroner determined that the hemorrhage resulted in immediate death followed by Ratliff falling down the stairs after collapsing. The Petersons had dinner with Ratliff and her daughters, and Peterson had stayed and helped Ratliff put the children to bed before going home. The children's nanny, Barbara, discovered the body when she arrived the next morning. Peterson was the last known person to see her alive. Before Peterson's trial, the Durham, N.C. court ordered the exhumation of Ratliff's embalmed body, buried in Texas, for a second autopsy in April 2003. Arrangements were made for the Durham medical examiner/pathologist who had initially performed Kathleen Peterson's autopsy, to perform this reevaluation, over the objections of defense counsel who argued that the autopsy should be performed by Texas medical examiners. The body was then transported from Texas to Durham. The Durham M.E. found sufficient evidence drawn from the results of the second autopsy, along with new witness statements describing the scene, to overturn the earlier findings and list Ratliff's cause of death as “homicide”. The prosecution declined to accuse Peterson of Ratliff's death, but introduced the death into the trial as an incident giving Peterson the idea of how to “fake” Kathleen's accident. Despite police reports that there was very little blood at the scene of Ratliff's death, the nanny, who was the first to discover Ratliff's body in 1985, took the stand at Peterson's trial and testified that there was a large amount of blood at the scene. Another witness testified to spending much of the day cleaning blood stains off the wall. The admissibility of the Ratliff evidence in court was one of the grounds for the subsequent appeal against his conviction, lodged by Peterson's lawyers in 2005.
Storyville - References - Netflix