Local News

More Media Outlets Head To Durham For Mike Peterson Trial

Posted May 13, 2003
Updated December 9, 2006

— As the Mike Peterson trial approaches, more national media outlets are making their way to Durham.

As TV crews roll out cables and set up microphones, it is clear the Mike Peterson case is becoming a major production. This week, Court TV is gearing up for its gavel-to-gavel coverage of the trial.

Peterson, a novelist and formal mayoral candidate is accused of killing his wife, Kathleen. In December 2001, she was found dead at the bottom of the stairs inside the couple's mansion.

The story has intrigued a host of national media, including the CBS Early Show. Correspondent Tracy Smith says the Peterson case has it all -- a wealthy, socially prominant couple, a high-powered, flamboyant defense attorney and plenty of mystery.

"Here's a seemingly ideal couple in a very tragic situation. I think curiosity is peaked not only here in Durham, but across the country," Smith said. "You know, people watch Law and Order, they watch CSI. They're fascinated by these sorts of cases."

In the last six months, a French documentary film crew has also focused on the case. Maha Films is taking a close look at the American judicial system.

"Either this man is guilty and what he has committed is a horrendous crime or he's not guilty and what's happening to him is terrible," said Denis Poncet of Maha Films.

The Peterson story could air on the CBS Early Show sometime next week. As for the documentary, it may be six months to a year after the trial ends before it airs. The crew will not say where on television the documentary will be shown, but it is reportedly for HBO.

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