What really happened to Kathleen Peterson? Almost 17 years ago, the bloody body of the business executive was found at the bottom of the staircase at the Durham, North Carolina, home she shared with husband Michael Peterson.
In a new three-night event, the Investigation Discovery network will take viewers through the harrowing details of the tragedy while interviewing those closest to the case, which saw Michael found guilty in 2003. (He was released in February 2017 after a plea deal.)
In this exclusive sneak peek for the special titled An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase — which airs on Sunday, April 8 — the Petersons’ neighbor at the time of Kathleen’s death in 2001, Larry Pollard, details his theory that she was killed by an owl.
Pollard’s belief that the large bird could have ultimately been the reason for the fatal fall, stems from the State Bureau of Investigation’s analyzation of all the hairs on Kathleen’s head. “Bloody feather,” he said in the clip, noting that the slide of the feather is on page 4 of the first lab report.
The attorney added: “We took that slide and had pictures made with a microscopic camera — 400 power — and we found the feather wrapped around Mrs. Peterson’s hair shaft with fresh droplets of blood on top of it.”
“When I saw that,” he continued, “I got a hunch that maybe this had been done by owls. They are one of the only species of birds in the world that have microscopic feathers. They go all the way down their legs, across their feet, to the talons.”
Watch the clip above and tune into American Murder Mystery: The Staircase on ID Sunday, April 8, at 10 p.m. ET.