Xavier de Lestrade (Vincent Verminon) and Denis Ponce (Frank Face). In real life, it was de Lestrade and Ponce who first felt the dramatic 

potential of the Michael Peterson murder trial in Durham, North Carolina. They joined Peterson after about two years and created 2004's original The Staircase,

one of the first and greatest true crime documentaries. In doing so, they also left an indelible mark on the way the world viewed Peterson, 

one of the first and greatest true crime documentaries. In doing so, they also left an indelible mark on the way the world viewed Peterson, 

even two decades after he was accused of murdering his wife, Kathleen. (Michael is released from prison after a retrial and applies to Alford.)

In the HBO Max adaptation, which premiered the first three episodes Thursday, the documentary is turned into a compelling storyline —