‘Dateline NBC’ Episode Guide (April 7): Michael Peterson on His Wife’s Death

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‘Dateline NBC’ Episode Guide (April 7): Michael Peterson on His Wife’s Death

“Dateline NBC: Down the Back Staircase” (04/07/17) – In his first network television interview since pleading guilty to manslaughter in the death of his wife Kathleen, Michael Peterson tells “Dateline NBC” correspondent Dennis Murphy that accepting a plea deal was, “the most difficult decision I ever made in my life.”

Kathleen’s sister Candace Zamperini reacted to the plea, telling Dateline, “We weren’t quitting until we heard the word guilty. We thought we were going to hear it from another 12 jurors but we got to hear Michael say guilty.” To watch the preview, click here. The transcripts of the interviews, which are part of a new, two-hour Dateline airing Friday, April 7, are included below.

In 2003, Peterson was originally convicted of first degree murder after Kathleen was found dead at the bottom of their staircase. The trial made national headlines as prosecutors tried to link Peterson to the death of a family friend who was also found dead at the bottom of a staircase. Peterson spent eight years in prison until his conviction was overturned. He was granted a new trial after a judge ruled that he had not received a fair trial. In February, Peterson entered an Alford plea – pleading guilty to manslaughter but maintaining his innocence – before a new trial was set to begin. He was sentenced to time already served.

“Down the Back Staircase ” also features interviews with key players in the case, including: Peterson’s daughters Martha Ratliff and Margaret Ratliff, Peterson’s brother Bill Peterson, Detective Art Holland, former Assistant District Attorney Freda Black, Peterson’s defense attorney David Rudolf and Kathleen’s daughter Caitlin Atwater. Murphy has reported on this case for more than a decade.

“Dateline” is NBC’s signature newsmagazine, bringing viewers storytelling at its best. The stories range from compelling mysteries to powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations. When major news breaks, they go to the scene, putting the pieces together to bring the viewer the full picture. And in every story they tell, they help the real people who lived the events share their journeys with the viewer.

On the air since 1992, “Dateline” is the longest-running prime-time program on NBC. “Dateline’s” work has been honored time and again with broadcast journalism’s highest awards.

Lester Holt is the principal anchor, joined by correspondents Andrea Canning, Hoda Kotb, Josh Mankiewicz, Keith Morrison and Dennis Murphy.

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