The case of the mysterious death of his wife Kathleen Peterson has flummoxed and fascinated true crime fans for over 10 years. The case was so full of twists and turns that it even inspired a documentary crew to capture the victim's husband Michael Peterson's entire trial, resulting in the 2004 acclaimed documentary series The Staircase, which drops on Netflix on June 8, along with three brand new episodes. One of the people who provided key testimony at the trial was Brent Wolgamott, a man who, at the time, was a sex worker who had had an online correspondence with Michael Peterson . But where is Brent Wolgamott in 2018?
Wolgamott first became known to the public during the investigation into the 2001 death of Kathleen Peterson. Kathleen was found dead at the bottom of the staircase in the home she shared with husband Michael on the night of Dec. 9, 2001, per CNN. Peterson claimed that his wife had fallen in his call to 911, but investigators on the scene became suspicious of Peterson due to the large quantities of blood splatter found on the walls, per the same CNN report. Peterson's correspondence with Wolgamott supplied what prosecutors put forth as a possible motive for murder, according to Vulture. Peterson was charged with murder and stood trial in 2003.
At the time he was contacted by Peterson, Wolgamott was in the service and a sophomore studying chemistry at North Carolina State University, per The News & Observer. The same article noted that Wolgamott also made money as a sex worker, advertising online as "Brad from Raleigh." Peterson and Wolgamott exchanged emails in August and September of 2001, and during these email exchanges the two planned to meet up and have sex, which Peterson would pay for at a rate of $150 an hour, according to The News & Observer.
But the meet-up never occurred, and Wolgamott testified that he had been too tired to meet with up Peterson when he had agreed to, per The News & Observer. Their contact ended after that, but that didn't stop the prosecution from postulating that Peterson's wife could have found the emails, leading to an argument. The publication reported that prosecutors were not able to definitively prove that she had seen the email, per The News & Observer. In The Staircase, Peterson and his defense maintain that Kathleen was aware of his bisexuality and that he sought sex outside of the marriage. Wolgamott insisted during his testimony that Peterson told him that his marriage was a happy one, and that Wolgamott knew "diddly" about Kathleen Peterson's death.
Peterson was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole, according to WRAL News, though he was granted a new trial in 2011. In 2017, he entered an Alford Plea to a new charge of voluntary manslaughter — this plea allows a defendant to admit that there is enough evidence to convict them while still maintaining their innocence.
But though the length of the case as well as the acclaimed docuseries has kept Peterson's name in the news, Wolgamott has mostly faded from the public eye, though not because he's avoiding it. Wolgamott's social media presence is very public; his Instagram account even casually references the trial, featuring a picture of Wolgamott in a military uniform with the caption "#TBT...this was pre-addict, and pre-Peterson. So innocent, I was. 🙈."
Wolgamott's Twitter is also public, and his Twitter bio gives a bit of a sense of what he's been up to since the 2003 Peterson trial. "Reality TV watcher, slots enthusiast, gameshow freak, RHAP podcasting Live Feeds Correspondent, & partnered to the hottest doctor in KY. VIEWS ARE MY OWN," he writes. A little sleuthing reveals that Wolgamott is part of a team called "Live Feed Correspondents", a group that commentates on episode of the reality show Big Brother on the channel Rob Has A Podcast (RHAP).
In addition to that, Wolgamott has a YouTube channel called Brent's Lucky Slot Channel, which features video after video of Wolgamott at the casino gambling at the slot machines. This channel has quite a few loyal followers — as of press time, he boasts 21,928 subscribers. Clearly Wolgamott has managed to tap into a market for people who enjoy watching others gamble.
Wolgamott was also a contestant on The Price Is Right. He appeared on the show in 2002, after the death of Kathleen Peterson but before the 2003 trial, and when his name is announced as a contestant he seems absolutely elated. Though he didn't win, it seems like Wolgamott really enjoyed his time on the show.
Though Wolgamott has long since moved on from sex work and from the Peterson case, the release of The Staircase on Netflix might bring drag Wolgamott, willingly or unwillingly, back into the spotlight. He's already had to address the case, and the documentary, on Twitter:
Whether or not The Staircase explodes to the levels of popularity seen by other Netflix true crime series such as Making a Murderer, Wolgamott is leaving that experience behind.