The house at 1810 Cedar Street in Durham, North Carolina has a lot of history. It’s the grand family home from which novelist Michael Peterson called 911 after he claims to have found his wife, Kathleen Peterson, dead at the bottom of the back staircase on Dec. 9, 2001, as outlined by a News & Observer report. In 2004, a true crime documentary called The Staircase debuted, detailing the subsequent trial and the debate over the events that occurred in Michael Peterson’s house on the night of Kathleen’s death. Netflix has since acquired the series, and is releasing the existing 10 installments, along with new episodes that provide an update on the case. But what happened to the house with the now infamous staircase?
Per WRAL News, Peterson was convicted in 2003 of Kathleen’s murder and sentenced to life without parole. He has always maintained his innocence. And in 2011, the judge on the original trial ordered a new one for Peterson, in light of misleading testimony given by an expert for the prosecution. Rather than face a new trial, in February 2017, Peterson entered an Alford Plea for a charge of voluntary manslaughter. This plea allows the accused to continue to maintain their innocence, while acknowledging that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict. He was sentenced to 64 to 86 months in prison, however, the judge gave Peterson credit for his 89 months spent behind bars. As of then, Peterson is a free man.
In 1992, according to NBC, Michael, Kathleen, and their combined total of five children moved into what Zillow outlines as a five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bathroom, 9,429 square-foot house. That was five years before the couple officially tied the knot and committed to a life together.
By the night of Kathleen’s death, the kids were grown and away. And it being close to Christmas, the couple was excited for the house to be full again, according to the same NBC report. After Christmas shopping, a movie, and some wine, the report describes, Kathleen went to bed while Michael stayed outside for a smoke. Michael claimed that he found Kathleen in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs when he came back into the house.
After his release, Peterson did not return to that family home. In fact, the house on Cedar Street was purchased by a local couple for $640,000 in 2004, according to a report from WRAL News. They renovated it and re-sold it in 2008 to its current occupant, Biond Fury, a self-described metaphysician, music and film producer, and publisher who, at the time of the purchase, had a psychic call-in show on New York cable television. The property was sold to Fury for $1.3 million, according to the same report. WRAL News also reported that Fury claimed he had no knowledge of its history, nor that he was aware of Peterson’s trial.
Fury has an official website that advertises his psychic services, but it offers very little description of what he actually does. Its home page reads "Go Beyond With Biond Fury," and features navigation tabs titled "Shop Now," "Merchandise," and "Contact." Fury encourages his customers to become a member of BiondFury.com and "Capture the Biond Experience" with "DVDs, designer T-shirts, and other rare collectibles." He also offers free "consultations" — again, there is no description of them to be found on the site — by appointment only. If you scroll down to the bottom of the site’s homepage to find his contact info, he lists his address as none other than 1810 Cedar Street in Durham, North Carolina, so it’s possible that he sees clients in the former Peterson home. He also lists three phone numbers to reach him, office hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and notes that he provides services internationally.
According to the property’s posting on Zillow, the house "was designed by George Watts Carr for the Buchanan family in 1935," and when it was renovated, much of its "original grandeur" was restored, including the original gardens layout complete with native trees and plants. "The grand entry foyer sets the tone," the post says. "With a sweeping staircase and a large gallery for artwork display … It combines the best of the old and the new with state-of-the-art appliances, open architecture, and a family room with an original fireplace. Upstairs there are five major bedrooms, all en suite. The master suite consists of three rooms — the sleeping quarters, which opens onto an upper deck, a sitting room and a dressing room." Note that the description fails to mention a staircase at the back of the house.
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