HBO’s The Staircase: Who were Dennis Rowe, Tyrone Lacour?

Kathleen Hunt Peterson and Dennis Wayne Rowe grew up on the identical block in Lancaster, Pa., they usually each died violent deaths in Durham.

Rowe makes an look within the HBO Max collection “The Staircase,” a dramatization of the Netflix documentary that explores Kathleen’s 2001 demise on the backside of bloody stairs, the trial and conviction of her husband Michael Peterson in 2003 and his launch from jail in 2011.

Rowe seems within the scripted collection not solely as an outdated pal of Kathleen and her sister, Lori Campbell, however as certainly one of Michael Peterson’s nameless lovers.

Since Kathleen Peterson bled to demise on the backside of the staircase in her Durham dwelling, the twists and turns within the case — the paid escort “Brad from Raleigh,” the second girl discovered lifeless on the backside of stairs in Germany, Peterson being convicted after which granted a brand new trial — have captured the eye of many.

The HBO collection provides a minimum of yet another twist — one which can or might not be true.

The brand new twist signifies that Rowe informed prosecutors about trysts he and Lacour had with Peterson. Not proven within the collection (a minimum of not within the first 5 episodes made accessible to some members of the media previous to the present’s launch) is that 4 years later, Lacour killed Rowe. He reportedly stabbed and beat him, wrapped his head in duct tape and left the 42-year-old’s physique stuffed in a rubbish can.

Durham District lawyer Jim Hardin holds a photograph of Kathleen Peterson throughout opening assertion’s Tuesday within the homicide trial of Michael Peterson. Chuck LIddy File photograph

Kathleen Peterson and Dennis Rowe

Kathleen Hunt Peterson was born in Greensboro, however grew up in a southeastern Pennsylvania city the place she was voted “woman of the yr” and “Lancaster lass” as a youth, in response to her obituary.

She went on to be president of the talk membership, editor of the varsity journal and primary pupil in her senior class in highschool, in response to her obituary.

Rowe and his three brothers lived a couple of homes down from Kathleen Peterson and her two sisters, neighbors informed The Information & Observer in 2004.

Peterson, then Kathleen Hunt, left Lancaster first to attend Duke College, the place she acquired a masters in Mechanical Engineering in 1975, in response to her obituary. She went on to work in govt degree positions at Merck and Nortel Networks, the place she labored as an govt when she died.

Toni Collette as Kathleen Peterson and Colin Firth as Michael Peterson within the HBO Max collection “The Staircase.” HBO/Warner Bros

Rowe adopted after graduating from highschool in 1979. He graduated from Duke in 1982 with a level in English, in response to his obituary.

Rowe labored on the Duke Medical Middle Library, and designed elaborate formal robes and high-end throw pillows, which have been marketed in shops throughout the nation by H. Coulston Designs, Rowe’s obituary states.

He was working in technical help for the U.S. postal Service in Raleigh when he was killed in 2004.

Michael Peterson (middle) is flanked by his attorneys David Rudolf (left) and James D. “Butch†Williams (proper) on the Durham County Courthouse, in Durham, N.C. Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. He was chatting with the media after taking an Alford plea for manslaughter within the demise of his spouse Kathleen Peterson on Dec. 9, 2001. Peterson maintains his innocence despite the fact that he plead responsible, which is allowed when taking an Alford plea. Chuck Liddy File photograph

What HBO’s ‘The Staircase’ says about Rowe

Within the Episode 3 of the HBO collection, a detective identifies Rowe after then District Legal professional Jim Hardin stated the connection between emails Peterson despatched to a male escort and Kathleen’s demise months later was “somewhat fuzzy” for a motive.

“I need precise infidelity,” Hardin stated.

Durham Detective Artwork Holland then went to an grownup video retailer, a health club, and a bar earlier than somebody stated one thing about Rowe mentioning Michael Peterson, in response to the scripted present.

In one other scene, Rowe informed Hardin that he had had nameless intercourse with Peterson at a intercourse store and on the Forest Hills YMCA.

When prosecutors requested if Rowe knew anybody else who had intercourse with Peterson, Rowe talked about Lacour.

Rowe informed Hardin that he wasn’t pals with Lacour, however “we’re a small group.”

Rowe informed Hardin within the collection that talked about Peterson to Lacour after a marketing campaign occasion at which found Michael Peterson’s identify. He stated Lacour seemed Peterson up and thought he seemed acquainted.

The collection then reveals a scene with Holland speaking to Lacour.

Lacour denied the connection to Peterson, utilizing a slur to point he’s not homosexual.

Holland declined to remark for this story. Hardin didn’t return phone messages.

Parker Posey as Freda Black and Cullen Moss as Jim Hardin within the HBO Max collection “The Staircase.” HBO/Warner Bros

Jim Hardin’s donors?

Rowe doesn’t find yourself testifying, the HBO present portrays, after he handed an inventory of “vital married males” he had slept with in Durham, a few of whom have been Hardin’s donors.

Hardin expressed reluctance about outing harmless individuals on the stand.

“I don’t see this enjoying out nicely for us,” he informed Freda Black, his co-counsel, within the collection.

Later, the collection reveals Lacour calling Rowe.

“I do know you gave them my identify, Dennis,” Lacour stated. “I’ll do you want that Peterson (expletive). You hear me? You shut your mouth. Shut it.”

From the HBO restricted collection “The Staircase”: Parker Posey as Freda Black and Cullen Moss as Jim Hardin. HBO

What we learn about Rowe’s demise

Rowe was discovered lifeless at his Maynard Avenue dwelling in Durham, inside a trash can in November 2004 — a few yr after the Peterson trial.

He was the wrong way up and sure with duct tape, The Information & Observer reported. He was crushed, stabbed and his palms have been tied behind him, WRAL reported.

Rowe left work sick about midday on Nov. 22, 2004, a supervisor on the postal service informed The Information & Observer then.

The subsequent day, a pal who went to examine on Rowe at his dwelling discovered his physique. Blood was spattered on the ceiling, in response to The Herald-Solar.

Lacour fled and wasn’t arrested till he was present in Virginia in October 2006.

In January 2009, Lacour pleaded responsible to second-degree homicide. Lacour was launched from jail in June 2020 after serving almost 16 years incarcerated for killing Rowe.

Three years earlier than Rowe’s demise, Lacour was additionally a suspect within the killing of his roommate in Individual County in 2001, WRAL reported.

Lacour informed authorities the roommate died by suicide after he set himself on hearth, however Lacour was charged with homicide till the case was ultimately dismissed in January 2003.

The then Individual County Sheriff stated then that he thought Lacour bought away with homicide, The Herald-Solar reported.

In December 2021, Lacour was charged with two counts of second-degree forcible sexual offense in Orange County, in response to court docket paperwork. His handle was listed because the streets of Chapel Hill.

Extra on HBO’s ‘The Staircase’

For full protection of HBO Max’s “The Staircase” and different background on the demise of Kathleen Peterson and the homicide trial of Michael Peterson, go to: newsobserver.com/subjects/staircase

This story was initially revealed Could 5, 2022 8:30 AM.

Comply with extra of our reporting on Staircase: Kathleen Peterson’s demise and Michael Peterson’s homicide trial

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