Why Did Tyrone Lacour Kill Dennis Rowe?

In the seventh episode of HBO Max’s crime series ‘The Staircase,’ Dr. Deborah Radisch examines the dead body of an individual killed by a flashlight. Radisch finds out that the skull of the body isn’t fractured even after the blunt force trauma suffered, as she theorized in the case of Kathleen Peterson. While meeting Radisch, Sophie finds out that the dead man is Dennis Rowe, who apparently had an affair with Michael Peterson. Sophie soon learns that Rowe was killed by Tyrone Lacour, who allegedly had sex with Michael. If you are intrigued about Rowe’s murder and wish to know Tyrone’s motive, let us be your ally! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Why Was Dennis Rowe Killed by Tyrone Lacour?

In the show, Dennis Rowe reveals to DA Jim Hardin and ADA Freda Black that he had a sexual relationship with Michael Peterson. Jim and Freda ask Rowe whether Michael had any other sexual relationships, only for the latter to reply that Michael might have had sex with Tyrone Lacour. It doesn’t take long for Tyrone to know about Rowe’s interaction with the attorneys. Tyrone calls and threatens Rowe to make him stop talking about the former. However, the seventh episode of the show depicts Tyrone killing Rowe without any prior planning.

Image Credit: WRAL

In the episode, Tyrone gets into Rowe’s house after waiting for him to leave the house in his car. While Tyrone is inside the house, Rowe returns, seemingly forgetting to do or take something. He encounters Tyrone, who beats him to death with a flashlight. Radisch comes to know that the murder is the result of a “robbery gone wrong” than a pre-planned one. In reality, Rowe was beaten and stabbed before getting stuffed in a trash can. When his dead body was found, Rowe’s head was covered in a plastic bag, and his hands were tied behind him. Multiple body parts were wrapped with duct tape as well.

Morgan Henard as Dennis Rowe in ‘The Staircase’

After Rowe’s murder in November 2004, Tyrone was on the run until October 2006. He was arrested from Lancaster, in the state of Virginia, and then extradited to North Carolina. In January 2009, he pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Rowe. Tyrone was incarcerated for nearly 16 years for the murder of Rowe in North Carolina Central Prison. In June 2020, he was released from prison.

Before Rowe’s murder, Tyrone was charged with the 2001 murder of his then-roommate Eric Pennebaker, who was set on fire, while he was in Person County. At the time, Tyrone informed the officials that Eric’s death was a suicide but he remained charged with the case until its dismissal in 2003. Still, he didn’t get tried for Eric’s murder.

Read More: Where is The Staircase’s Duane Deaver Now?