Sometimes there are no answers.

It’s hard to accept that, much like Jon Benet Ramsey‘s murder or the Zodiac Killer’s identity, Kathleen Peterson‘s death may remain a mystery. People can speculate about the events of December 9, 2001 but they will not be able to prove them. It is really know how it is that Kathleen, played by Toni Collette in The Staircase, died that night.

And while it’s only human to speculate about whether Kathleen’s husband Michael Peterson, played by Colin Firth, killed her (he entered an Alford pleaIn 2017, in which he maintained his innocence while acknowledging there’s enough evidence to convict him of manslaughter), the obsession with the case also impacts those with ties to the victim. This is As Odessa Young (Who plays) Martha RatliffKathleen’s stepdaughter (adopted by Kathleen) said to CelebHomes News that everyone loves to be an armchair detective, but it is easy for us all not realize how grief can ruin everything.

It’s this empathy that informed Young’s portrayal of Martha, who is one of the few characters to question Michael’s innocence.