Forensic Files: 13 Active Duty Military and Veteran Homicide Cases [Full Episodes]

Beaten By A Hair (Season 3, Episode 9):

Full Episode: In 1992, Laura Houghteling disappeared from her Bethesda home and was never seen again. Five days later, police discovered a bloody pillow and pillowcase lying in the woods near Laura’s house. Laura’s bedroom was then searched and forensic science was used to direct them a to prime suspect. -Beaten By a Hair, Forensic Files (S3,E9)

Forensic Files Premiered ‘Beaten By A Hair’: Laura Houghteling Reported Missing, Confessed Killer Led Police to Body (November 26, 1998)

True Lies (Season 8, Episode 27):

Full Episode: Kathleen Lipscomb’s body was found on a deserted street outside of San Antonio. Months passed, then years, and the crime went cold. Then Kathleen’s family hired a private investigator who discovered a diary among her personal effects. Two of the diary entries helped police to piece together what had happened to Kathleen Lipscomb, and why. -True Lies, Forensic Files (S8,E27)

Forensic Files Premiered ‘True Lies’: Military Spouse Kathleen Lipscomb Found Murdered on Side of Texas Highway (January 7, 2004)

The Financial Downfall (Season 9, Episode 12):

Full Episode: A beautiful, vibrant young woman fell to her death from a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Initially, investigators thought it was just a terrible accident. But after a closer forensic examination of photographs taken at the scene, police had a very different story of what had happened. -The Financial Downfall, Forensic Files (S9,E12)

Forensic Files Premiered ‘The Financial Downfall’: Navy Spouse Deanna Wild Falls to Her Death While Sightseeing at Big Sur Cliff in California (August 11, 2004)

Plastic Puzzle (Season 10, Episode 3):

Full Episode: A man riding a bicycle was fatally injured, and police believed he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident. Tiny clues found at the scene created a picture of the vehicle which struck him and led police to its driver. -Plastic Puzzle, Forensic Files (S10,E3)

Forensic Files Premiered ‘Plastic Puzzle’: Navy Veteran Kirk Hudson Struck & Killed in Hit-And-Run Accident in Kalamazoo, Michigan (June 1, 2005)

Shear Luck (Season 10, Episode 9):

Full Episode: When the wife of a serviceman was brutally murdered in the Philippines, the Air Force Office of Special Investigators swung into action. Clues led to the victim’s husband, but he insisted he was innocent. Investigators would have to do something unprecedented: Reassemble a 5 1/4 inch computer disk which had been cut to pieces with pinking shears. -Shear Luck, Forensic Files (S10,E9)

Forensic Files Premiered ‘Shear Luck’: Military Spouse Found Stabbed to Death Near Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines (August 3, 2005)

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Investigation Discovery Published ‘The Missing Pieces: The Staircase’: The True Crime Story of Michael & Kathleen Peterson (June 18, 2018)

In 2001, Kathleen Peterson’s body was found at the foot of a staircase in her home. The Missing Pieces looks at the nagging questions surrounding her death, dissecting a frantic 911 call, a potentially killer owl, and a blood-soaked stairwell. -The Staircase, Investigation Discovery

Related Links:
The Missing Pieces: The Staircase | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)
Military Widow Elizabeth Ratliff Found Deceased at the Bottom of Stairs in Germany; Michael Peterson Last Person to See Alive, Adopted Ratliff’s 2 Daughters (Nov. 25, 1985)
Kathleen Hunt Found Deceased at Bottom of Stairs in NC Home; Spouse Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter to Avoid Second Trial (Dec. 9, 2001)
Marine Corps Veteran Michael Peterson Convicted of the Murder of Wife Kathleen; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (October 10, 2003)
Marine Vet Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter of Wife Kathleen to Avoid 2nd Trial; Agreed to Alford Plea, Released with Time Served (Feb. 24, 2017)
Investigation Discovery Premiered ‘An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase’ (April 8, 2018)
Netflix Premiered ‘The Staircase’: A Docuseries Examining Marine Veteran Michael Peterson’s Durham, North Carolina Murder Trial (2018)

Netflix Premiered ‘The Staircase’: A Docuseries Examining Marine Veteran Michael Peterson’s Durham, North Carolina Murder Trial (June 8, 2018)

On December 9th, 2001, Kathleen Peterson was found dead at the bottom of a staircase. Did he do it? -The Staircase | Netflix

Season 1:

1. Crime or Accident? Following his wife’s suspicious death, Michael Peterson speaks about his version of the events while lawyers and expert witnesses prepare for trial.
2. Secrets and Lies: As Michael’s hidden life comes out into the open, defense experts debate if it will have a significant impact on the coming trial.
3. A Striking Coincidence: The defense team is shaken when a suspicious event from the past comes to light. Later, the team visits Michael’s first wife in Germany.
4. A Proseuction Trickery: As the trial looms and media attention heats up, an autopsy report’s wording ruffles the feathers of the defense team.
5. A Weak Case: The prosecution presents its case while the defense strives to cast a reasonable doubt within the minds of the jury.
6. The Prosecution’s Revenge: A witness brings surprising levity to the stand, the judge rules on an important matter, and Michael’s alleged temper comes under scrutiny.
7. The Blow Poke Returns: Kathleen’s sisters pore over Michael’s writings. Jurors visit the staircase at Michael’s home. A vital piece of evidence reappears.
8. The Verdict: Is Michael Peterson guilty or not guilty? The jury delivers its verdict regarding the mysterious death of his wife, Kathleen.
9. Reopening the Case: Eight years later, the possibility that a key witness for the prosecution may have misled the jury could prompt the need for a new trial.
10. The Last Chance: After more experts testify about the questionable conclusions and claims of Duane Deaver, the judge rules on whether a new trial is necessary.
11. Looking for Closure: Following two and a half years of house arrest, Michael must decide whether to push for a plea or risk his freedom with a new trial.
12. Between Anger and Despair: Their faith in the justice system forever shaken, Michael and his family discuss what they can hope to achieve by continuing the fight.
13. Flawed Justice: Michael speaks to a reporter about the reasons behind his plea. Later, Kathleen’s sister delivers a statement of defiance in court.

Source: The Staircase, Netflix

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Investigation Discovery Premiered ‘An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase’ (April 8, 2018)


‘Reversal of Fortune’ | An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase

Michael Peterson appears to have it all – a doting wife, a loving family and a successful literary career – but, that all changes on December 9, 2001, when Michael’s wife, Kathleen, is found dead in a pool of blood at the bottom of a staircase in their home in Durham, North Carolina. Michael claims it was a tragic accident. Investigators, however, fear something far more sinister is at play and direct their attention to him. Did Michael Peterson murder his wife? Investigation Discovery (ID) delves into one of the most fascinating cases in criminal history in AN AMERICAN MURDER MYSTERY: THE STAIRCASE. Premiering Sunday, April 8 at 10/9c, the three-part special event provides a unique and comprehensive look at the death of Kathleen Peterson, exploring the shocking theories, critical evidence and surprising secrets that thrust this case into the national spotlight.

Read more here.

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.


With the knowledge of the criminal evidence against him, Aphrodite Jones speaks with convicted murderer, Michael Peterson, about the murder of his wife and his bisexual affair. -True Crime with Aphrodite Jones

Related Links:

MJFA Links:
Military Widow Elizabeth Ratliff Found Deceased at the Bottom of Stairs in Germany; Michael Peterson Last Person to See Alive, Adopted Ratliff’s 2 Daughters (Nov. 25, 1985)
Kathleen Hunt Found Deceased at Bottom of Stairs in NC Home; Spouse Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter to Avoid Second Trial (Dec. 9, 2001)
Marine Corps Veteran Michael Peterson Convicted of the Murder of Wife Kathleen; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (October 10, 2003)
Marine Vet Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter of Wife Kathleen to Avoid 2nd Trial; Agreed to Alford Plea, Released with Time Served (Feb. 24, 2017)
Netflix Premiered ‘The Staircase’: A Docuseries Examining Marine Veteran Michael Peterson’s Durham, North Carolina Murder Trial (2018)

Forensic Files Premiered ‘A Novel Idea’: Michael Peterson Convicted of Murdering Two Women for Life Insurance Money (December 13, 2006)

Full Episode: Emergency Dispatch in Durham, North Carolina received a frantic call from a man who said his wife had fallen down the stairs; she was unconscious but still breathing. When paramedics arrived, they could do little more than pronounce the woman dead. The number and volume of bloodstains at the scene was greater than usual. It was up to forensic scientists to find out why. -A Novel Idea, Forensic Files (S11,E22)

Editor’s Note: Full episodes of Forensic Files are available on a variety of media platforms. FilmRise Channel and Forensic Files Channel both feature full episodes of Forensic Files on YouTube. You can also find full episodes of Forensic Files on both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. On Netflix, the seasons are grouped as collection 1-9. On Amazon Prime Video, you can find Season 1-10 here; Season 11; Season 12; Season 13; Season 14; Season 15; Season 16; Season 17; Season 18; Season 19; Season 20; and Season 21. Start bingeing and see for yourself why Forensic Files is such a hit!

Related Links:
A Novel Idea | Forensic Files | IMDb
A Novel Idea | Forensic Files | FilmRise (S11,E22)
A Novel Idea | Forensic Files | Full Episodes (YouTube)
A Novel Idea | Forensic Files | Netflix (Collection 2, E36)
A Novel Idea | Forensic Files | Amazon Prime Video (S11,E7)
Military Widow Elizabeth Ratliff Found Deceased at the Bottom of Stairs in Germany; Michael Peterson Last Person to See Alive, Adopted Ratliff’s 2 Daughters (Nov. 25, 1985)
Kathleen Hunt Found Deceased at Bottom of Stairs in NC Home; Spouse Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter to Avoid Second Trial (Dec. 9, 2001)
Marine Corps Veteran Michael Peterson Convicted of the Murder of Wife Kathleen; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (October 10, 2003)
Marine Veteran Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter of Wife Kathleen to Avoid 2nd Trial; Agreed to Alford Plea, Released with Time Served (Feb. 24, 2017)
Investigation Discovery Premiered ‘An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase’ (April 8, 2018)
Netflix Premiered ‘The Staircase’: A Docuseries Examining Marine Veteran Michael Peterson’s Durham, North Carolina Murder Trial (June 8, 2018)
Forensic Files: 7 Active Duty Military and Veteran Homicide Cases