Investigation Discovery Published ‘The Missing Pieces: The Staircase’ on YouTube: 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 (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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48 Hours Premiered ‘The Evidence Room’ on CBS (2017)


“48 Hours” goes behind the scenes with a defense team and cutting edge forensic animators as they strategize to defend a woman accused of murder. CBS News correspondent Tracy Smith investigates in a special two-hour edition of “48 Hours” airing Saturday, Dec. 23 starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Honoring the victim: Robert McKernan.

Related Links:
Sneak peek: The Evidence Room | 48 Hours
“It was the last time he was going to hurt me” | 48 Hours
Colleen McKernan reaches plea deal, avoids third murder trial
Air Force Veteran Colleen McKernan Shot Husband Robert 10 Times; Plead Guilty to Manslaughter to Avoid 3rd Trial, Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison (2014)

48 Hours Premiered ‘The Soldier’s Wife’ on CBS (2017)


A young wife shot dead — her soldier husband pulled the trigger. Was it an accident or was it murder? “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty investigates Saturday, July 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Skylar’s actions speak louder than his words. “The strongest evidence, believe it or not, is what he does immediately after the fact.” Skylar didn’t call 911, a neighbor did. And there wasn’t a single drop of Danielle’s blood on him, a clear sign that he didn’t try to save or even comfort her says Deputy prosecuting attorney Jared Ausserer. “He doesn’t render aid. He never checks on his wife. If it was an accident, he’s going to drop the weapon immediately, run over, grab her, assess her. He doesn’t do that.” He [Skylar’s defense attorney] knows the challenge will be convincing 12 jurors that a highly skilled soldier with years of weapon’s training could make such a fatal mistake. Juror and retired Army soldier: “Never point the weapon in the direction of anybody and pull the trigger like that believing that it’s unloaded.” -48 Hours

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48 Hours: The Soldier’s Wife
Preview: The Soldier’s Wife | 48 Hours
Sneak peek: The Soldier’s Wife | 48 Hours
Neighbors report Danielle Nemetz shooting | 48 Hours
Skylar Nemetz’s behavior after shooting wife captured on camera | 48 Hours
Skylar Nemetz awaits his verdict in his murder trial | 48 Hours
Skylar Nemetz on his mom’s fight for his freedom | 48 Hours
“48 Hours” investigates shooting death of soldier’s wife
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Soldier Cleared of Murder in Wife’s Shooting Death – Crime Watch Daily
Rising Military Star Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison for Wife’s Shooting Death – CWD
Skylar Nemetz Trial Defendant Testifies Part 1 02/11/16
Skylar Nemetz Trial Prosecution Closing Argument 02/23/16
Soldier fatally shoots his 19-year-old wife in the back of the head ‘because another man bought her liquor’
Soldier who shot his wife dead ‘after another man bought her alcohol’ is found guilty of manslaughter but CLEARED of murder because ‘he thought gun was unloaded’
Former Army soldier gets max sentence for shooting his young wife to death
Lakewood killings net vastly different sentences for JBLM soldiers from the same unit
2 soldiers get vastly different sentences for deadly crimes
Defense attorney loses on claim the Army and Pierce County ‘schemed’ to punish ex-JBLM soldier accused of murder
Danielle Nemetz was Shot and Killed; Army Soldier and Spouse Skylar Nemetz Convicted of Manslaughter and Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison (2014)
The Soldier’s Wife | 48 Hours | CBS (website)

Fort Hood Army Sgt. Sean Van Der Wal Died in a Traffic Crash on I-35 in Texas; Driver Spc. Timothy Corder Found Guilty of Felony, Received Probation (2016)

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Sgt. Sean Van Der Wal, US Army

Sgt. Sean Van Der Wal, 25, US Army, was killed in a vehicle crash on Interstate 35 near Georgetown, Texas on March 6, 2016. Sgt. Van Der Wal was in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by Spc. Timothy Corder that collided with the back of a parked semitrailer (hazards were on). The two other crash victims including the driver were hospitalized. Sgt. Van Der Wal was a military policeman assigned to the 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade at Fort Hood. Sgt. Van Der Wal joined the Army in 2014 and his home of record is listed as New Castle, Pennsylvania. Spc. Timothy Corder, 24, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault. Corder was booked and released from the County Jail on a $100,000 bond on April 11, 2016. Spc. Timothy Corder found guilty   of felony and the final disposition was probation.

Data from Corder’s vehicle showed he was traveling at a steady 78 miles per hour just prior to the crash, with no braking or cruise control, the affidavit states. The speed limit at the crash location is 55 mph. –KXAN

Related Links:
Fort Hood Press Center: Sgt. Sean Vanderwal
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier
Obituary: Sgt. Sean McGregor Van Der Wal of Ft. Hood, Texas
Fort Hood soldier killed in crash near Georgetown
Fort Hood IDs soldier killed in Texas crash
ID’ed: Ft Hood soldier killed in crash
Fort Hood: Soldier killed in weekend accident identified
New Castle soldier dies in Texas traffic accident
Police arrest Fort Hood soldier after accident that left a military policeman dead
Man charged in March crash that killed Fort Hood soldier
Man charged for I-35 crash that killed Fort Hood military policeman
Sgt. Sean McGregor Vanderwal, 25, killed, and two people injured in car crash with semi truck near Georgetown, Texas
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Hunter Kelly, US Army (2015)

Hunter Kelly

Honoring Spc Hunter Kelly, US Army, who was found dead at another’s soldier’s home near Fort Stewart, Georgia on August 29, 2015. Peter Petri, also a US Army soldier, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct. Ryan Brown, another US Army soldier was also arrested for obstruction of a law enforcement officer. This case is under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Long County Sheriff’s Office. Military officials are cooperating.

“He had this unexplainable ability to excel at everything he did.” ~Ron Kelly (Hunter’s father)

Soldier from Sparks shot to death in Georgia
Fort Stewart soldier killed in Saturday shooting identified
Ft. Stewart soldier shot and killed in Long County identified
3rd ID specialist charged in fellow soldier’s death
Ft. Stewart soldier dead, another charged
Soldier charged in shooting death
Soldier killed near Georgia army base ID’d as Sparks resident
Sparks soldier killed; soft spoken, bigger than life
GBI investigating shooting death of Ft. Stewart soldier
Soldier held without bond in death of fellow soldier

Air Force Veteran Colleen McKernan Shot Husband Robert 10 Times; Plead Guilty to Manslaughter to Avoid 3rd Trial, Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison (2014)

Robert McKernan, 29, was shot ten times in his home in Massillon, Ohio by his wife Colleen on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2014. Originally charged with murder, US Air Force veteran Colleen McKernan went to trial twice in 2016 and both times jurors were deadlocked. Colleen claimed she had been ‘hit by her husband’ of eight months for the last time and admitted shooting him ten times in self-defense. It was duly noted that Colleen was a Security Forces airman who not only had extensive fire arms training but that training included how to stay calm in stressful situations and environments. Colleen McKernan accepted a plea deal on the eve of her third trial and was given a 7-year sentence for manslaughter in 2017. Under the plea deal, Colleen could serve as little as 3 1/2 years in prison.

Related Links:
Northeast Ohio police investigate fatal shooting
Air Force Veteran Accused of Killing Husband on New Years Eve
Two Stark County murders keep police busy overnight
Two killed in Stark overnight: Wife charged with murder in Massillon; second man killed in Canton Township
Shooter tells 911 that ‘husband hit her for the last time’
Family of Massillon shooting victim given gift from good Samaritans
Parents of Massillon woman accused of killing husband ask for lower bond
Family of Massillon shooting victim given gift from good Samaritans
Strangers at restaurant give gift to Ohio family mourning shooting death of son
“They’re angels:” Mother, grieving her son’s murder, blown away by actions of complete strangers
Man’s Family Receives Gift From Strangers After His Death
McKernan murder trial: Couple argued night of fatal shooting
Coroner: Robert McKernan shot 10 times
Coroner: Robert McKernan shot 10 times (2)
Defense begins its case in Colleen McKernan murder trial
Aug. 15 is new trial date for Colleen McKernan
Dissecting second trial of Colleen McKernan as defense continues making its case
MISTRIAL: McKernan back in court Tuesday after jury fails to reach verdict in murder trial
Colleen McKernan to be tried again for murdering husband
Testimony Underway In 2nd McKernan Trial
Coroner: 10 bullets found in Robert McKernan’s body
Defense argues Robert McKernan was shot in face first
Prosecutor Grills Colleen McKernan After She Sobs Through Story of Shooting Husband
Attorney Ian Friedman Discusses Retrial of Colleen McKernan for Murder
Trial in fatal New Year’s Eve shooting ends in 2nd hung jury
Deadlocked again: Judge declares mistrial in McKernan case, third trial possible
Trial in fatal Canton, Ohio New Year’s Eve shooting ends in 2nd hung jury
Newlywed Colleen McKernan’s Murder Trial Ends With Second Hung Jury
Attorney Ian Friedman Discusses Similarities Between Both Colleen McKernan Murder Trials
Colleen McKernan Looks To Relocate
McKernan jurors: What if Colleen and Rob’s roles were reversed?
McKernan could serve 3 1/2 years under plea deal
Colleen McKernan reaches plea deal, avoids third murder trial
Colleen McKernan Reaches Plea Deal
Storify: Colleen McKernan agrees to plea deal
Colleen McKernan: Father Speaks Out–Part 1
Colleen McKernan: Father Speaks Out–Part 2
Mother of Rob McKernan’s son reacts to Colleen McKernan’s plea agreement
‘Til Death Do Them Part: A Husband Pushed Off a Cliff, a Wife Drowns and Other Newlywed Homicides
Colleen McKernan on Shooting Husband | 48 Hours
The Ultimate Pledge | Bride Killa (Investigation Discovery)
The Ultimate Pledge | Bride Killa (Investigation Discovery on YouTube)
48 Hours Premiered ‘The Evidence Room’ on CBS (2017)
Incident | Gun Violence Archive | Robert McKernan, Ohio


New Years Eve 2014 a holiday full of anger destroys a young Ohio couple when one is charged with the other’s murder. But this marriage is not a story of deceit and betrayal but rather a cautionary tale of how a volatile relationship can develop. -Bride Killa, Investigation Discovery

Danielle Nemetz was Shot and Killed; Army Soldier and Spouse Skylar Nemetz Convicted of Manslaughter and Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison (2014)

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Skylar Nemetz, US Army, and his wife Danielle Nemetz

Learn more: Violent Crime at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

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Neighbors report Danielle Nemetz shooting
Skylar Nemetz’s behavior after shooting wife captured on camera
Skylar Nemetz’s behavior after shooting wife captured on camera (YouTube)
JBLM soldier charged with murder in wife’s death
Lewis-McChord Soldier Charged with Murder in Wife’s Death
JBLM soldier charged with murder in shooting death of 19-year-old wife
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Jury reaches verdict in Skylar Nemetz murder trial
Army soldier found guilty of manslaughter
Ex-JBLM soldier convicted of manslaughter in shooting death of wife; victim’s family reacts
Seattle-are Soldier Convicted of Manslaughter in Shooting Death of Young Wife
Former Army soldier gets max sentence for shooting his young wife to death
Skylar Nemetz Sentenced to Over 13 Years for Shooting Death of Wife
Soldier who shot his wife dead ‘after another man bought her alcohol’ is found guilty of manslaughter but CLEARED of murder because ‘he thought gun was unloaded’
Lakewood killings net vastly different sentences for JBLM soldiers from the same unit
2 soldiers get vastly different sentences for deadly crimes
Army soldier defends Skylar Nemetz
Skylar Nemetz on his Mom’s Fight for Freedom
Case of former JBLM soldier who killed his wife to be featured on “48 Hours”
Danielle Rippeon Nemetz, Skylar Nemetz: On ’48 Hours,’ Former Soldier Murdered Wife Over Whiskey Gift from Male Visitor
48 Hours: The Soldier’s Wife
More coverage of “The Soldier’s Wife” on 48 Hours YouTube
Danielle Nemetz loved ones fire back after 48 hours episode
48 Hours Premiered ‘The Soldier’s Wife’ on CBS (2017)
Facebook: Justice for Danielle Rippeon

Army Specialist Morganne McBeth Killed by Fellow Soldier in Iraq, Specialist Nicholas Bailey Sentenced to Nine Months in Prison (2010)

Honoring Morganne McBeth @USArmy (2010)

Spc. Morganne McBeth, US Army

Army Spc. Morganne McBeth, 19, died July 2, 2010 of wounds sustained on July 1. This was considered a non combat death in Iraq and her death was ruled a homicide. Morganne was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. McBeth was stabbed by a fellow Army soldier Specialist Nicholas Bailey. According to court testimony, Bailey stabbed Morganne McBeth while ‘horsing around’ in a tent in Iraq. Nicholas Bailey was sentenced to nine months in prison, demoted to private, and given a bad conduct discharge.

“Involuntary manslaughter can be committed in one of two ways,” an 82nd Airborne official said in an e-mail. “…through culpable negligence or by causing a death while committing or attempting to commit an offense directly affecting the person, other than burglary, sodomy, rape, robbery, or aggravated arson. Note that these are the five offenses covered in the felony murder rule. As the manual for court martials points out, culpable negligence is a degree of carelessness greater than simple negligence. It is a negligent act or omission which is accompanied by a culpable disregard for the foreseeable consequences to others of that act or omission.”

Related Links:
DOD Identifies Army Casualty
Army Spc. Morganne M. McBeth
82nd Airborne combat medic dies in Iraq
Fredericksburg Service Woman Dies in Iraq
Army reported Va. medic’s death in Iraq as accidental, then self-inflicted, now murder
Soldier’s Death Called Murder
2 Bragg soldiers charged in stabbing of spc.
Pflugerville soldier charged with manslaughter
Bragg soldier gets nine months in prison for medic’s death
Hiding Military Sexual Trauma
Military women die in suspicious non-combat events. Families ask: Why?
No End in Sight for a Family’s Agonizing Guessing Game
Stepmother of Slain Female Soldier Asks Court to Show Leniency