Patricia Peterson, the first wife of Michael Peterson, stood by his side throughout the time of the murder trial for allegedly killing his second wife Kathleen Peterson, also known for the 2001 “The Staircase” murder. Patricia was also the subject of Netflix’s crime documentary The Staircase.
Her husband Michael was sentenced to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of murdering Kathleen in 2003. Due to issues with the work of a State Bureau of Investigation blood analysis, his conviction was overturned in 2011. Michael entered an Alford plea in 2017, acknowledging that prosecutors had sufficient evidence to convict him of voluntary homicide but refusing to admit guilt.
Throughout the period, Patricia claimed that her ex-husband was innocent. “He is innocent of any involvement in Kathleen’s death,” she told The N&O in 2014. “I’ve always believed he did not do this,” she said, “and I always will.”
Meet Patricia Peterson, Michael Peterson First Wife
Patricia Peterson is best known as the first wife of Michael Peterson. They reportedly married in 1966 at Fort Belvoir, VA. Their marriage blessed them with two sons; Clayton Sumner Peterson and his wife Rebecca, and Todd Bancroft Peterson. In addition, they also had two adopted daughters; Martha Katalin Ratliff and Margaret Elisabeth Ratliff.
Patricia and Michael became the guardian after the death of the parents of Martha and Margaret. As reported, the father of the two girls died in 1983 on an Air Force mission. Their mother Elizabeth Ratliff, who was a good friend of Patricia, was found dead the day after she had dined with the Petersons, and Michael Peterson had taken her home in 1985.
Elizabeth’s housekeeper discovered her body the next day sprawled near the bottom of the stairs. After Kathleen’s death, Elizabeth’s body was exhumed from a Texas grave and a new autopsy revealed that she died as a result of a homicidal assault.
They reportedly divorced around 1994 after Michael moved back to Durham. Her ex-husband later married Kathleen Atwater, a Nortel Networks executive.
Where Is Patricia Peterson Today? Is She Still Alive?
According to News & Record, Patricia “Patty” Peterson died on 8 July 2021. She reportedly died at Duke University Hospital after a massive heart attack the night before. Clayton, her son confirmed the news of her death. “She was a very kind person,” Clayton Peterson said. “She touched so many lives”.
“Patty Peterson was in generally good health, but started feeling poorly late Wednesday night,” Clayton Peterson said of his mother. Todd, Clayton’s brother was called by Michael who came over and called 911.
Patricia Peterson Age At The Time Of Her Death
Born on 12 March 1943, Patricia Peterson was 78 years old at the time of her death.
Who Were Patricia Peterson’s Parents And Siblings?
Patricia Peterson was born to her parents John Paul Balkman Sr. and Mary Jo Winston.
John, Patricia’s father, was born on 29 September 1916 at a farmhouse in Logan County, Arkansas to John Robert Balkman and Ocie Mabel Freeman Balkman. In school, John was active in football, track, drama, music, and FFA Club. Patricia’s parents met at a hotel where he was working as a night manager at St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.
In 1942, John joined the army as a second lieutenant. When he retired from active duty on 30 November 1971, he was a colonel. After that, John and May relocated to Springfield, Arkansas.
Patricia’s mother, May was born to Thomas Grady Winston and Josephine Davis Robinson on 3 April 1919. She lost her mother on 3 December 1998 at the age of 79. As for her father, he died on 12 February 1995.
Patricia has a brother named John Paul Balkman Jr. and Doug Balkman. John Jr., who was born on 5 July 1945, died on 5 July 2021 at the age of 76.
Patricia Peterson Job
Patricia Peterson received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas in Austin. She enrolled and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, where she received a master’s degree in either education or English, Clayton Peterson said. After moving to Germany, she taught elementary school for children of U.S. military families for about 35 years.
Did Patricia Peterson Remaary After Her Divorce From Michael Peterson?
No, Patricia Peterson and Michael Peterson didn’t remarry after their divorce. However, for the last two years before Patricia’s death, she was living in a southwest Durham apartment with Michael Peterson. “They were companions,” Clayton confirmed. “They took care of each other”.
Where Was Patricia Peterson From?
Patricia Peterson hailed from Paris, AR. She was living in Durham, at the time of her death.
Who Plays Patricia Peterson On HBO Max’s The Staircase?
Actress Trini Alvarado is set to play Patricia Peterson in HBO Max’s The Staircase. Trini is a New York-born actress known for Little Women (1994), The Frighteners, (1996), and Stella (1990).