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Mansion featured in Netflix’s The Staircase on sale for $1.9m

The former home of novelist Michael Peterson, where his wife was found dead at the bottom of the back staircase, has hit the market in North Carolina for $1.9million.

The lavish 9,429-square-foot home in Durham’s Forest Hills has hit the real estate market and it appears that the bloody history behind the home hasn’t put a dent in the asking price.  

The selling price is in line with the tax value of the home, $1,937,733, as listed by the Durham County Tax Administration.

The sprawling five-bedroom mansion built in 1940 and located on a 3.4-acre lot in Durham gained quite a bit of fame after featured in the Netflix mini docuseries The Staircase in 2018, which is about Michael Peterson and the bizarre murder case of his wife.

The former home of novelist and convicted killer Michael Peterson, where his wife Kathleen Peterson was found dead at the bottom of the back staircase, has hit the market in North Carolina for $1.9million

The lavish 9,429-square-foot home in Durham’s Forest Hills has hit the real estate market and it appears that the bloody history behind the home hasn't put a dent in the asking price. The selling price is in line with the tax value of the home, $1,937,733, as listed by the Durham County Tax Administration

The lavish 9,429-square-foot home in Durham’s Forest Hills has hit the real estate market and it appears that the bloody history behind the home hasn’t put a dent in the asking price. The selling price is in line with the tax value of the home, $1,937,733, as listed by the Durham County Tax Administration

The sprawling five-bedroom mansion built in 1940 and located on a 3.4-acre lot in Durham gained quite a bit of fame after featured in the Netflix mini docuseries The Staircase in 2018

The sprawling five-bedroom mansion built in 1940 and located on a 3.4-acre lot in Durham gained quite a bit of fame after featured in the Netflix mini docuseries The Staircase in 2018

A view of the lavish living room with a fire place, ornate gold furniture and plenty of natural light above

A view of the lavish living room with a fire place, ornate gold furniture and plenty of natural light above 

The home features wrought iron gates, a swimming Pool, brick & stonewall walkways and 19 rooms in total

The home features wrought iron gates, a swimming Pool, brick & stonewall walkways and 19 rooms in total

Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson pictured with wife Kathleen

North Carolina novelist Michael Peterson, 76, called police in December 2001 saying he found his wife Kathleen Peterson (together right) bleeding at the bottom of the back staircase in their home. In 2003 he was convicted of murdering here. After eight years he was granted a retrial and in 2017 he submitted an Alford plea to the reduced charge of manslaughter. He was sentenced to time already served and freed from jail

In December 9, 2001 Peterson called the police saying he found his wife Kathleen unconscious at the bottom of the staircase in their mansion. 

He said she must have fallen down because she had been consuming alcohol and Valium. 

The poster for Netflix' The Staircase above

The poster for Netflix’ The Staircase above 

However, toxicology results shows her blood alcohol content was at 0.07 and she could have passed a Breathalyzer test. 

A coroner determined she suffered wounds consistent with blows to the head with a blunt object.

A medical examiner concluded that Kathleen had died from lacerations of the scalp caused by a homicidal assault. 

Peterson, the only person home at the time of Kathleen’s death, was the prime suspect and charged with murder. 

He was convicted in 2003 and after eight years was granted a new trial. In 2017 he submitted an Alford plea to the reduced charge of manslaughter. 

An Alford plea is a legal device that allows prisoners to plead guilty to a lesser charge while maintaining their innocence.

He was sentenced to time already served and freed from jail. 

There were several twists and turns throughout the case.

One of them was resurfaced concerns over the death of Elizabeth Ratliff, a friend of the Petersons who died in Germany in 1965. She had also been found dead at the foot of her staircase with injuries to the head and Peterson was the last person to have seen her alive.

In 2009 one of Peterson’s attorneys brought up a new theory claiming an owl was to blame for her death. The theory asserts that a Barred Owl, a species common in Durham, got entangled in Kathleen’s hair causing serious injuries and removing part of her scalp, causing her to fall to her death down the stairs.

The autopsy said she had pine needs stuck to one hand and three small feathers in another.  

Today the million dollar home sparkles with new renovations including refinished hardwood floors, an updated kitchen, and a beautiful spiral staircase. A view of the lavish dining room above

Today the million dollar home sparkles with new renovations including refinished hardwood floors, an updated kitchen, and a beautiful spiral staircase. A view of the lavish dining room above 

The mansion also features an upper and lower gallery to display art, ornate furniture and elegant centerpieces

The mansion also features an upper and lower gallery to display art, ornate furniture and elegant centerpieces 

New renovations to the home include a sparkling, updated kitchen that boasts plenty of space and new appliances

New renovations to the home include a sparkling, updated kitchen that boasts plenty of space and new appliances

The kitchen is incredibly spacious, making it a great place to host parties and large dinners for family and friends

The kitchen is incredibly spacious, making it a great place to host parties and large dinners for family and friends 

In total the home as 19 rooms - five of which are bedrooms and six of which are bedrooms. A bedroom with wood furnishings above

In total the home as 19 rooms – five of which are bedrooms and six of which are bedrooms. A bedroom with wood furnishings above

A view of a lounge area at the 9,500-square-foot home in Forest Hills above

A view of a lounge area at the 9,500-square-foot home in Forest Hills above 

A view of the main entrance into the home including a breathtaking spiral staircase above

A view of the main entrance into the home including a breathtaking spiral staircase above 

Today the home sparkles with new renovations including refinished hardwood floors, an updated kitchen, and a beautiful spiral staircase.

Photos from inside the home reveal high ceilings, ornate gold furniture, red carpets, a grand staircase near the front door, and a new state of the art kitchen. The home has a courtyard in the back that leads to a pool.

In total the house as 19 rooms, including six bathrooms. There’s also a library, game room, master bedroom wing, and guest family wing.

Though the description for the listing doesn’t mention The Staircase, it says, ‘This home has been featured in Netflix documentary as well as a major feature film.’

However, the listing doesn’t provide photos of the back staircase where Kathleen bled to death.

Though the description for the listing doesn’t mention the Netflix docuseries The Staircase, it says, 'This home has been featured in Netflix documentary as well as a major feature film'

Though the description for the listing doesn’t mention the Netflix docuseries The Staircase, it says, ‘This home has been featured in Netflix documentary as well as a major feature film’

Photos from inside the home reveal high ceilings, ornate gold furniture, red carpets, a grand staircase near the front door, and a new state of the art kitchen. The home has a courtyard in the back that leads to a pool

Photos from inside the home reveal high ceilings, ornate gold furniture, red carpets, a grand staircase near the front door, and a new state of the art kitchen. The home has a courtyard in the back that leads to a pool

A view of the drained pool and expansive backyard on the historic 3.5 acre property above

A view of the drained pool and expansive backyard on the historic 3.5 acre property above 

According to tax records the current owner is Biond Fury, a clairvoyant and medium from New York, who purchased the home for $1.3million in 2008.

He had purchased it from Jason Balius, the first post-Peterson owner. 

He bought the hosue for $640,000 in 2004 after its selling price sunk. He did renovations and placed it back on the market in 2007.

The home has quite a storied history running well before Kathleen’s grisly death. 

In June 1989 the home was bought by scholar and author Henry Louis ‘Skip’ Gates Jr who lived there while teaching at Duke.

Peterson's murder trial following her death in 2001 was one of the longest in North Carolina history. Defense attorney David Rudolf pictured with Peterson, right in August 2003

Peterson’s murder trial following her death in 2001 was one of the longest in North Carolina history. Defense attorney David Rudolf pictured with Peterson, right in August 2003

Peterson spent close to eight years in jail.

In 2017 he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of his wife Kathleen and was sentenced him to a maximum of 86 months in prison, with credit for time previously served. He was released from jail because he had already served more time than that

Peterson spent close to eight years in jail. In 2017 he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of his wife Kathleen and was sentenced him to a maximum of 86 months in prison, with credit for time previously served. He was released from jail because he had already served more time than that

The bloody staircase where Kathleen was found above

The bloody staircase where Kathleen was found above 

Before he bought the home it was the shooting location for the 1990 movie The Handmaid’s Tale, which starred Robert Duvall, Faye Dunaway and Natasha Richardson. 

The property was used as the Commander’s home.

Today Peterson still lives in Durham and wrote a book in January 2019 entitled Behind the Staircase, which chronicles his life since Kathleen’s death including his time in prison.

Harrison Ford has been tapped to play Peterson in an upcoming project based on The Staircase.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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