Serial Fans, Do We Have a Documentary for You

Photo of Michael Peterson
Did writer Michael Peterson kill his wife? Image: Sundance Channel

The country has been buzzing about NPR's true-crime radio drama, Serial.

One of the inspirations for Serial's storytelling was a 2004 Sundance Channel documentary called The Staircase, which the U-M Library has in our Askwith Media Library collection. 

In an interview with Fast Company, Serial's senior producer, Julie Synder, said:

For this story in particular we had talked about a documentary series by French filmmakers that aired here on The Sundance Channel called The Staircase. It's about a murder trial in North Carolina where a man was convicted of killing his wife. And the reason we talked about that is because I recognized there was a similar kind of constant shifting in what you think really happened, and so many doubts. There was a feeling I got over the last year of following Sarah [Koenig's] investigation and just thinking you understand everything and then you find out something else and it colors everything, and then you flip again.

If you're not already familiar with the Peterson case, which grabbed big headlines in the early 2000s, you'll enjoy the series a lot more if you refrain from brushing up on the backstory.

(Full discolsure: I got sucked in and binge-watched all eight episodes in a single weekend.)