Martha Ratliff, the younger sister of Margaret Ratliff, is the second adopted daughter of Michael Peterson. Michael and his wife Patricia were in Germany when they met Margaret’s parents. Patricia was close with Martha’s mother Elizabeth McKee Ratliff as they both taught elementary school at Rhein-Main Air Force Base. Elizabeth grew up with two sisters in Rhode, Island.
Elizabeth was described as a serious and artistic child. She reportedly sang and played an acoustic guitar, and spoke French and German. Also, she taught the children of military families for 17 years.
According to her obituary, Elizabeth was born on 3 November 1942. Sadly she died on 25 November 1985, she was found dead which was initially ruled out as a natural cause, spontaneous intracranial hemorrhages. The night before she was found dead, Elizabeth had dinner with Petersons.
And the last person who Elizabeth reportedly saw was Michael because he went to drop her off.
After, Elizabeth’s death, Michael and Patricia became the legal guardian of her two daughters: Margaret and Martha. According to the obituary, in Elizabeth’s will, she named Michael Peterson and his wife the legal guardians of her daughters and directed that her $44,000 estate go to their support and education.
Meanwhile, Margaret And Matha Ratcliff’s biological father was Captain George Ernest Ratcliff. George was born on 15 October 1949 in Fort Bend County, Texas, USA. He was the son of Martha Jett Dowdell and George Ernest Ratliff Sr. He died on 21 October 1983 at the age of 34 in a non-hostile incident in Classified Location, according to his obituary.
George was an air force navigator who married Elizabeth in 1981. Sadly, George died under mysterious and unknown circumstances in 1983. As reported by Charlotte Observer, George died of a heart attack during the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983.
Below you’ll learn where Mathra is today, her age, her job, and details related to her husband.
Meet Martha Ratliff, Michael Peterson Daughter
After the divorce of Michael and Patricia, the children went to live with Michael. However, after Kathleen’s death, Elizabeth’s story was brought up. Her corpse was exhumed from a Texas grave in the murder investigation of Mike Peterson concluded that her death in 1985 in Germany was a result of a “homicidal assault” and not an accident as authorities had previously determined. The autopsy was done upon the request of Durham District Attorney Jim Hardin.
The result showed that Elizabeth’s death was “inconsistent with a fall down a set of stairs” because of the severity and number of lacerations — seven — found on her head. Later in court, prosecutor Freda Black pointed out the similarity between the two deaths.
But, despite all of this, Martha and her sister maintained in court that her father Michael was innocent. “We just looked at Dad and said ‘we know you didn’t do it.’ He said, ‘of course, I didn’t do it,’ and I have never had a doubt. They just loved each other so much,” Margaret said.
Furthermore, Martha and Margret also wrote a letter to Jim Hardin. In the letter, they wrote, “We are horrified by your choice of action and utter disregard for the deceased. We want to convey our feelings of distress in this matter. We merely ask for your respect… However, seeing that you have no compassion for the memory of our mother, we reluctantly agree to consent in regards to your request to exhume our mother’s body. The pain and anguish that you are causing our father and us are beyond comprehension because even you know it is a futile cause …. Even so, you may proceed in the desecration of our mother’s grave.”
Michael later in 2004 spoke with Katina Rankin of WTVD about Elizabeth’s death. He shared, “To hear them describe Liz’s death, this woman that I have known forever. I raised her children. This is the mother of these children, and then they would bring in the autopsy photographs, pictures of her in the coffin. It was just awful.”
He added, “I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t [impact the jury]. Every day in the newspaper. It was a major event. The prosecution goes to Germany. The coffin is exhumed. The coffin goes to Chapel Hill. The body is examined. On and on. It was the main focus for weeks before the trial and once the trial began. The macabre fascination. What does the body look like after 18 years in the grave… for anybody to say that that didn’t have an effect, that’s just insanity. That’s just an outrageous lie to say that didn’t have an effect on them.”
Michael talked about Martha and her sister, “I mean it had nothing, nothing to do with what was real, it had nothing to do with anything… to see that, and see what it did to Margaret and Martha — that hurt. It was just awful. That hurt I suppose as much as anything did”.
Where Is Martha Ratliff Now?
On 29 May 2004 wedding of Martha’s brother Clayton Peterson, she and her sister Margaret were listed as Bride’s Attendants. She is today living in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Is Martha Ratliff Married?
The marital status of Martha Ratliff is unclear. She is very private unlike her sister Margaret. So, whether she has a husband or is she married, remains a mystery.
Martha Ratliff Age
Since Martha was born on 3 January 1983, Marth Ratliff is currently 39 years old.
Martha Ratliff Job
A few documents reveal that Martha Ratliff is working in the field of mental health as a psychotherapist. As of 2022, she is reportedly working as Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Utah.
Martha had also founded Martha Ratliff, LCSW where she worked as a licensed clinical social worker in Loveland, Colorado while she was living there.
Is Martha Ratliff On Instagram?
No, Martha Ratliff doesn’t seem to be on Instagram.
Who Plays Martha Ratliff On HBO Max’s The Staircase?
On HBO Max’s The Staircase, the role of Martha Ratcliff is played by Odessa Young.