This Is How Much Michael Peterson From The Staircase Is Really Worth

On December 9, 2001, writer Michael Peterson found his wife's lifeless body at the bottom of the stairs in their Durham, North Carolina, home. At least, that's his version of events. According to The Cinemaholic, a jury found him guilty of her murder in 2003, but he was released after a weird deal known as an Alford plea allowed him to plead guilty without pleading guilty, and the judge let him go with time served.

However, many viewers of "The Staircase," the Netflix documentary series that focuses on the murder of his wife Kathleen and subsequent trial, are not as convinced as that judge appeared to be. For example, as Oxygen points out, the documentary failed to mention that Peterson was flat broke at the time of his wife's death, and that he was the beneficiary of her $1.4-million life insurance policy. He also received $384,000 in death benefits from Kathleen's employer, Nortel Networks, which he promptly spent on his defense. So people understandably have a few questions about the whole ordeal. For one thing, how much is Michael Peterson worth now, after being released from prison? Let's take a look into is net worth and see.

The Staircase's Michael Peterson isn't broke anymore

As CNN reports, prosecutors pointed to Peterson's financial troubles at his 2003 trial. He had over $1.4 million in debt at the time of his trial. He and his wife had over $140,000 in credit card debt at the time of her death. The Intelligencer reported that the money problems were posited as a motive for what they cried as murder. "Kathleen's death — accidental death — would have then allowed him to continue to live the affluent, privileged life to which he had been accustomed, even though he had no job," said District Attorney Jim Hardin.

If Peterson did it for the money, he still had to pay a price to get it. So how well-off is he financially after all his trouble and nearly a decade in jail? According to Celebrity Net Worth, Peterson is now worth $500 thousand. He's not rolling in it, but neither is he flat broke. So, who knows? Maybe for Michael Peterson, crime really does pay.