Death by Talons: Did An Owl 'Murder' Kathleen Peterson? by Tiddy Smith
An Outrageous Owl Theory For Murder! On December 9, 2001, Kathleen Peterson was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in her Durham, North Carolina home. Her scalp was laced with deep incisions, and her blood was strewn from outside to inside the house. The sinister truth of that night turned her murder into North Carolina's most enigmatic criminal case, capturing media attention across the globe. Police zeroed in on Kathleen's husband, Michael Peterson, and charged him with murder. But Was It The Truth? A neighbor, Larry Pollard, came up with an alternative "killer"; he claimed an owl had attacked Kathleen outside her house. He said it sliced her scalp with its fierce talons and caused her to run inside, collapsing at the stairwell, and bleeding to death. When the media heard about his theory, Larry was mocked. And Michael was convicted. Now, twenty years later, author Tiddy Smith explores Pollard's theory and questions whether law enforcement ignored, or even hid, evidence to convict Michael Peterson. And was an owl, in fact, the real killer?
Author Tiddy Smith received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Otago in 2017. Since then, he has published mostly academic work on scientific naturalism and religious epistemology. He ventured into the world of true crime in 2023, after reappraising the evidence in the Kathleen Peterson murder case.
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