Pulling triple duty as point-of-view character, co-director, and sound recordist, Epperlein interviews both her own family members and academic experts, whose specialties range from suicide to the reconstruction of shredded documents. For all its post-modern drollery (for example, the third-person narration, read by Tucker and Epperlein’s daughter) and ruminations on totalitarian culture and the German language, Karl Marx City is at heart a psychological family drama—the story of a tightly knit household that outlived an oppressive society, only to find itself faced with a doubt about the past that amounts to an existential quandary. After acknowledging the complicated process involved in requesting, finding, and retrieving files from the Stasi’s surviving archives, Epperlein and Tucker hold off until the final stretch to unseal the answer to that burning question. What they come to passes that most essential test of non-fiction narrative—which is to say, it would be just as troubling and affecting if it were a work of fiction.
Recent studies produced by historians Christian Booß and Helmut Müller-Enbergs also show domestic surveillance in East Germany went far beyond the Stasi's network of IMs. The two work at the BStU and not long ago, they happened across Stasi informant groups into which hardly any research has been conducted. They found that institutions in which people provided information about others were categorized as POZW -- which stood for "Partner in Political-Operative Cooperation." In contrast to IMs feeding information to the Stasi, these people were not forced to sign a document obliging them to pass along information. But they did so nonetheless. Numerous POZW reports are still in existence -- from banks, for example, or libraries, hospitals, registration offices and judiciary agencies.
Peterson’s defense team, meawhile, argued that Savio accidentally fell in her tub, hit her head and drowned. However, pathology experts for the prosecution testified that the injuries Savio sustained—a wound on the back of her head and more than a dozen bruises on the front of her body—could not have been caused by a single fall. On September 6, 2012, a jury in Joliet, Illinois, found Peterson guilty in Savio’s murder, and on February 21, 2013, he was sentenced to 38 years behind bars. Stacy Peterson has never been found. Drew Peterson has asserted that she left him for another man, but authorities suspect Peterson murdered his fourth wife because she could have implicated him in his third wife’s death. No charges have been filed in that case.