How Many Episodes of The Staircase: A Comprehensive Guide


True crime documentaries have become increasingly popular in recent years, with audiences around the world tuning in to solve mysteries and learn more about notorious cases. One of the most talked-about series is The Staircase, a gripping documentary that explores the case of Michael Peterson, a man accused of murdering his wife Kathleen. The show has captivated viewers with its compelling storytelling and detailed examination of the evidence, but many are left wondering how many episodes of The Staircase there actually are. In this guide, we will break down the episode count of this hit Netflix series, providing a comprehensive look at each season and release.


The Staircase is a true crime documentary series that has captivated audiences worldwide since it first premiered in 2004. The series chronicles the trial and subsequent conviction of Michael Peterson for the murder of his wife, Kathleen Peterson, who was found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their home.

What sets The Staircase apart from other true crime documentaries is its unparalleled access to the courtroom and its key players. Filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade secured permission to film Peterson’s trial from start to finish, providing viewers with an intimate look at the legal proceedings as they unfolded.

Since its initial release, The Staircase has become a household name among true crime enthusiasts, and its popularity only grew after it was released on Netflix in 2018. The streaming service added three new episodes to the original series, offering even more insight into the case and the aftermath of Peterson’s conviction.

But what is it about The Staircase that has people so hooked? Perhaps it’s the complex and nuanced portrayal of Peterson himself, or the shocking twists and turns that arise throughout the series. Or maybe it’s the fact that, even after all these years, there are still unanswered questions surrounding Kathleen Peterson’s death.

Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: The Staircase is a must-watch for any true crime aficionado. So settle in and get ready to dive deep into one of the most fascinating and perplexing criminal cases of our time.

What is The Staircase?

The Staircase: A True Crime Documentary Series

If you’re a true crime aficionado, then chances are you’ve heard of “The Staircase.” This gripping Netflix documentary series follows the high-profile case of Michael Peterson, who was accused of murdering his wife Kathleen Peterson in 2001.

The series delves into the complex legal proceedings that followed the discovery of Kathleen’s dead body at the bottom of a staircase in their North Carolina home. Michael claimed that she had died as a result of falling down the stairs, but prosecutors argued that he had beaten her to death.

Over the course of its runtime, “The Staircase” explores various theories and evidence related to the case, including the infamous “Owl Theory.” This theory suggests that Kathleen may have actually been attacked by an owl, which caused her to fall down the stairs. While this theory has been widely criticized and debunked, it nonetheless serves as a fascinating example of the many twists and turns that the case took over time.

Despite its focus on the Peterson case, “The Staircase” also offers a broader look at the American criminal justice system and the challenges faced by those accused of serious crimes. The series raises important questions about the role of circumstantial evidence, eyewitness testimony, and expert witnesses in criminal trials, making it a must-watch for anyone interested in the legal system.

Overall, “The Staircase” is a powerful and thought-provoking documentary series that offers valuable insights into one of the most notorious criminal cases of the 21st century. It’s a must-watch for anyone fascinated by true crime and the complexities of the American justice system.

How many episodes are in The Staircase?

The Staircase is one of the most popular true crime documentary series on Netflix, providing a gripping and detailed account of Michael Peterson’s trial for the murder of his wife, Kathleen Peterson. With its compelling storytelling and suspenseful twists, The Staircase has captivated audiences around the world. If you’re wondering how many episodes are in The Staircase, we’ve got you covered.

Firstly, it’s important to note that The Staircase has been released in different variations over the years. The original series was released in 2004 and consisted of eight episodes. This version of the show followed the trial from start to finish, with exclusive access to Michael Peterson’s defense team and family.

In 2018, The Staircase was re-released on Netflix with additional episodes and updates. The new version of the series consists of 13 episodes, including the original eight plus five new episodes that provide updates on the case and explore new evidence and theories.

Additionally, there is a three-episode follow-up to the original series that was also released in 2018. These episodes, known as “The Staircase: The Last Chance,” examine the aftermath of Peterson’s trial and explore the impact that the case had on those involved.

So, to answer the question, there are 13 episodes in the current version of The Staircase available on Netflix. However, if you include the original series and the follow-up episodes, there are a total of 24 episodes to watch.

In summary, The Staircase is a fascinating and complex documentary series that delves deep into one of the most intriguing criminal cases of recent times. With its multiple versions and episode counts, it can be confusing to keep track of how many episodes there are. Hopefully, this guide has provided some clarity and insight into the various versions of The Staircase and their respective episode counts.

Breakdown of The Staircase Episode Count

Season 1

Season 1 of “The Staircase” originally premiered in 2004, consisting of 8 episodes that delved into the high profile murder trial of Michael Peterson, an American novelist who was accused of killing his wife Kathleen Peterson.

Each episode of Season 1 is a rollercoaster ride of emotions as it takes viewers through every step of the investigation and trial. The documentary series showcases the hard work of the defense and prosecution teams, as well as the opinions and views of experts on both sides.

From the initial shock of Kathleen’s death to the intense courtroom scenes, Season 1 offers a gripping insight into one of the most notorious trials in recent history. Most notably, it highlights the impact of media attention on such cases, as the documentary itself has been subject to controversy and criticism.

Despite being released nearly two decades ago, Season 1 of “The Staircase” continues to captivate audiences with its powerful storytelling, intricate details, and real-life drama. It also paved the way for future true crime documentaries, making it a must-watch for those interested in the genre.

Overall, Season 1 of “The Staircase” remains a classic among true crime enthusiasts and is worth revisiting for anyone looking for a compelling and thought-provoking documentary series.

Season 2

Season 2 of The Staircase, released in 2018, consists of 3 episodes that continue the story of Michael Peterson and the death of his wife, Kathleen. The season picks up where Season 1 left off, with Peterson’s plea deal for manslaughter and subsequent release from prison.

The additional episodes provide more insight into Peterson’s life after leaving prison, as well as his continued fight to clear his name. Director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade delves deeper into the case, exploring new evidence and theories that were not presented in the original trial.

One notable addition to Season 2 is the inclusion of the “Owl Theory,” which suggests that Kathleen may have been attacked by an owl prior to her death. This theory was not presented at trial but has gained traction among some supporters of Peterson’s innocence.

Overall, Season 2 provides a fresh perspective on the case and adds new dimensions to the story of Michael Peterson. With only three episodes, it is a concise but compelling addition to the true crime genre and a must-watch for fans of the series.


The “Re-Release” of The Staircase in 2018 brought new life to the popular true crime documentary series. This version includes all 13 episodes, providing viewers with even more insight into the infamous case of Michael Peterson and the death of his wife Kathleen.

The original 8-episode series, released in 2004, followed Peterson’s trial and conviction for the murder of his wife. However, in 2011, Peterson was granted a new trial after it was discovered that one of the prosecution’s key witnesses had lied under oath. The three additional episodes in the re-release cover this development and the subsequent trial that resulted in Peterson pleading guilty to manslaughter and being released from prison.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the re-release is the inclusion of new evidence and theories, including the controversial “Owl Theory.” This theory proposes that an owl may have attacked Kathleen Peterson outside of the couple’s home, leading to her death. The new episodes delve into this possibility and provide further analysis and discussion.

Overall, the re-release of The Staircase provides a more comprehensive look at the case and allows viewers to draw their own conclusions about what truly happened on that fateful night. With its gripping storytelling and compelling characters, this true crime series continues to captivate audiences years after its initial release.



In conclusion, The Staircase is a gripping true crime documentary series that has captivated audiences around the world since its release on Netflix. With its detailed examination of the mystery surrounding the death of Kathleen Peterson and the trial of her husband Michael Peterson, the series offers a compelling look at one of the most fascinating criminal cases in recent years.

Through its 11 hours of total runtime spread over two seasons and a re-release, The Staircase provides a thorough and nuanced exploration of both the legal and personal aspects of the case. The documentary allows viewers to form their own opinions about what really happened on that fateful night in December 2001, while also providing a glimpse into the US justice system and its flaws.

Furthermore, The Staircase highlights the power of storytelling, as it draws in audiences through its intricate plot twists, character development, and cultural significance. It serves as a reminder that real-life stories can be just as captivating as their fictional counterparts.

Overall, The Staircase is a must-watch for anyone interested in true crime, legal dramas, or simply high-quality storytelling. Its popularity and critical acclaim attest to its enduring appeal, and it will likely continue to inspire discussions and debates for years to come.
The Staircase is a true crime documentary series that has captivated audiences since its first release in 2004. With the release of new episodes in 2018, viewers have been left wondering about the total episode count of the series. This comprehensive guide has examined The Staircase’s episode count and provided a breakdown of each season’s episode numbers. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a newcomer to the series, this guide has shed light on the mystery of how many episodes there are in The Staircase. As we continue to revisit and reexamine the events surrounding Kathleen Peterson’s death, it’s clear that The Staircase remains a significant and thought-provoking piece of true crime storytelling.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button