Netflix's true crime series 'The Staircase' leaves out the much talked about owl theory in Kathleen Peterson's death
The Staircase documentary released on Netflix showed that Michael Peterson was the culprit but what about the theory that his wife Kathleen could have died of an owl attack?
When Netflix first released the documentary 'the Staircase' it quickly caught the attention of the people for the suspense it brought along with it. The documentary shows the story of Kathleen Peterson who was found dead near her staircase on December 9, 2001. The murder had a three-month trial that was conducted in 2013 which convicted Kathleen's husband, Michael Peterson. He was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
However, after eight years in prison, Michael was finally released for six years on house arrest because it was seen that one of the key evidence which would have found Michael not guilty was misinterpreted during the trials. According to Cosmopolitan, there is another theory that comes in place when we talk about Kathleen's murder and it is none other than the owl theory. As crazy as it may sound, there is a theory that suggests Kathleen's death might have been because of an owl.
While every other theory makes its way to the Netflix documentary, this bizarre owl theory has been missing. In the new episodes released on Netflix, the only reference to the existence of The Owl Theory is in a courtroom reference to a "raptor" attack, but that's all you'll get in the series. Safe to say, this omission was enough to get people curious.
The owl theory was initially brought to light by a neighbor of the Petersons who also happened to be one of the attorneys in the case, T. Lawrence Pollard (or Larry Pollard). In 2009, further investigation was done in the case and it was found that Kathleen was holding clumps of her own hair in her hands. It was also noticed that microscopic feathers were found along with wood splinters and cedar needles were also found along with her hair.
Larry knew that barn owl had been the reason for many people getting hurt and getting involved with an accident. He theorized that Kathleen might have been attacked by one of the owls outside her house (there was blood found outside as well). He further added that the owl might have become entangled in her hair when Kathleen tried to fight it and let herself free. According to three experts, the lacerations to Kathleen's head could have been caused by an owl's talons.
Owl expert Dr. Alan van Norman also noted that Kathleen's scalp had "the appearance of a trident with three limbs converging to a point at roughly 30 degrees from each other, and a fourth limb converging to the same point at nearly 180 degrees from the center limb of the other three limbs." Professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Patrick T. Redig also seemed to be convinced by this theory.
"In my professional opinion, the hypothesized attack to the face and back of the head resulting in the various punctures and lacerations visible in the autopsy photographs is entirely within the behavioral repertoire of large owls," he wrote in an official document. Even though Michael did not go forward with his second trial, there is a possibility that it would have been submitted as a cause for reasonable doubt that Michael committed murder. Even Michael's second defense attorney, Mary Jude Darrow seemed to believe so.
Talking to Audubon she said, "When you look at her injuries, they do appear consistent with being made by an owl's talons." But Mary decided to go with what Michael wanted. "I would hate to risk my client's life or future on that argument," she added. Michael has now been living in a 1,200-square-foot, two bedroom condo and reportedly spends most of his time with the family or writing a book.