Other info used by the prosecution
What Laci was wearing when she went missing is somewhat of a mystery. Laci was found in tan maternity capris and a maternity bra. Her sister Amy, the last person who saw Laci conclusively, said she was wearing tan maternity capris, a floral blouse, and dress shoes when she saw Laci on the evening of the 23rd. Those clothes were found in the home during the search warrant. The blouse was in the hamper and the pants were in the hanging in the closet. Laci was found in very similar pants to the ones she was wearing on the 23rd, she may have had two pairs of the same pants. She was not found in a white shirt or black pants like Scott and neighbors claimed she as wearing. This was the outfit on Laci’s missing poster.
Scott refused to get Laci’s dental records for Modesto PD for weeks. He made excuses such as he didn’t know the address or couldn’t remember which dentist she went to. When police got the records, it showed that Scott and Laci went to the same dentist.
Scott never inventoried Laci’s things. When he discovered she was missing he never looked to see if she took her purse, cell phone, or coat with her on her walk.
At the home an open bottle of ranch dressing was on the counter on the night of the 24th. When asked Scott said he didn’t like ranch dressing and that it was for Laci’s pizza, which they ate the night before.
The Rochas wanted to retrieve some of Laci’s things such as mementos and Laci’s diary from the Peterson home, but Scott would not comply. Scott replied by getting a security system and Lee said the Rochas could not have these things because they were “Scott’s property.” Scott called the security company for his house and made sure the company knew “no Rochas” was his policy. Sharon later broke into the house to get these things- no charges were filed against the Rochas.
Scott tried to sell he and Laci’s home only three weeks after Laci went missing. He asked realtors to keep the story out of the press and wanted the house sold as is, completely furnished, with everything in it. Despite this he still would not give the Rochas Laci’s things such as her wedding dress, diary, or décor from the home.
There has been much debate over whether or not Scott wanted to have a baby or not and his behavior shows both a doting father and a bachelor playboy, depending on who you ask. At one-point Scott was talking to Anne Marie Rocha, Brent’s wife when he told her that he “was hoping for infertility” in the middle of Laci’s struggle to get pregnant. She thought it was a weird joke. On a home video of a holiday, Scott has to hold a baby for a few minutes and says “well this isn’t very fun” Laci says, “this is the only time you’ll see him do that (hold a baby)” and laughs. Scott told Amber Frey that he was so adamant about not having a child he wanted to get a vasectomy. Adversely, others have mentioned that Scott did want a baby. He painted Conner’s nursery and when Laci was trying to conceive, he got a Viagra prescription to make sure they would be able to have sex when she was ovulating.
In January 2003, Sharon Rocha called Scott to inform him that in a Jan. search of the bay searchers did not find Laci, only an anchor. Scott seems to whistle in relief. The conversation was so unsettling it was played for the jury.
Throughout the investigation Scott never participated in any public events for his wife. He refused to talk at vigils, on the news, or even get his photograph taken by local reporter Ted Rowlands. This was surprising to Rowlands as most missing people get very little press and when they do loved ones typically jump at the opportunity to spread the word about their missing relatives. Eventually, Scott contacted Gloria Gomez and gave a total of four interviews. In these interviews Scott said things like "I loved Laci" past tense and other statements which made him look bad to the public.
In January det. Grogan asked Scott again if he had had any affairs. Scott said no and Grogan produced a picture of Scott and Amber. Scott peered at the photo for a while and then responded, “Is that supposed to be me?”
In early January, when Laci had been missing for three weeks, Scott called dish network and added the Playboy channel to his subscription. Four days later he canceled the channel and instead added the TENXtsy channel, a hardcore porn channel instead which cost I believe an extra $12.99 monthly. This was for the TV in the living room. He canceled the channel on February 18th 2003, the day a search warrant was to be executed in his home. He told the dish network he was cancelling because he was moving abroad. One documentary claims that the police bought the subscription to frame Scott. Like many other tidbits in this story alone it doesn’t mean much but it shows how Scott was behaving as if his wife was not coming home.
Before his arrest Scott was staying with his half-sister Anne Bird in San Diego. While there Scott’s came on to Anne’s babysitter and made her mixed drinks, he called flirtinis. Jackie Peterson also said to the babysitter “I hope Scott can meet a nice girl like you.” The behavior of both Scott and Jackie was so outrageous and inappropriate the babysitter never came back.
Scott had two debit cards. One was linked to a PayPal account that Laci did not know about. He used this account to buy things for his various girlfriends.
Scott bought Ayiana, Amber’s daughter a pop-up book for Christmas. This book was purchased for Conner by Scott’s sister and given to Laci at Conner’s baby shower.
There were some rumors in this case that Laci had previously also had an affair with a man who worked at her gym. These rumors were unable to be verified by either the prosecution or the defense and no evidence to support this theory was ever found.
When patrol officers first entered the house, they noticed the defense attorney ad was open in the phone book on the kitchen counter. Later tests showed that the phone book naturally opened to several different ads because of how the pages were designed. This ad was one of those pages.
On Dec. 25th Lee Peterson made sure that Scott had an attorney, and was no longer speaking to anyone within the police department. This made some think that Lee was suspicious of his son from the beginning. Others have said that Lee was simply being proactive.
By February police told Laci’s family that they had cleared all of Laci’s family members… with the exclusion of Scott.
Chris Pixley and Richard Cole are two journalists who are always interviewed in documentaries about the case. Both men stayed with the Petersons and were planning on helping the Petersons write a book about the case after Scott was exonerated. Both men attended the trial on family passes.>
Laci’s family supported Scott for the first few weeks of the investigation. After the testimony of over 100 prosecution witnesses, the Defense’s presented this case
Laci was alive and well on the morning of the 24th when Scott left for work and she met with foul play outside her home that morning. There were a variety of theories pushed forward.
- One was that Laci was accosted when she confronted the men robbing the Medina house across the street at approximately 11:40 am on Christmas eve. This is corroborated by a witness, Diane Jackson, who saw a van in the area at that time.
- Another was she was attacked in the park by either a sex offender or because of her nice jewelry.
- The third was that Laci was abducted by a family in a brown van who used her for some type of Satanic ritual.
Mark Geragos, Scott’s million-dollar celebrity attorney said in his opening statement that he would produce witnesses who saw Laci walking that morning, witnesses who saw Scott’s empty boat, and a witness who saw a pregnant woman being pushed into a van (a man named Tom Harshman), but none of these witnesses were produced at trial. Timeline and theories
Early on in the case the defense scored major points by showing the jury that it was likely Laci was alive on Christmas eve, which was contrary to the prosecution who tried to show that Laci died on the evening of the 23rd. The defense showed this by demonstrating that Scott watched Martha Stewart that morning, and because Scott described Laci wearing clothes witnesses saw her in that day, white shirt and black pants. They also pointed to the fact that the dog was found with a leash on and that Laci’s curling iron was out on the counter. The computer evidence such as the online shopping on the computer that morning added to this theory. Geragos also told the jury that the prosecution could not answer how Laci was murdered, when she murdered, or where she was murdered with any detail at all. All of these things made the prosecution look like bumbling idiots and the jury was impressed.
Geragos also showed that Modesto PD had not interviewed all area sex offenders in an effort to show reasonable doubt. Brocchini explained that he did not interview all sex offenders because some were so elderly, but the damage was done. In another prosecution guffaw, it was revealed that not all witnesses who saw Laci that morning were formally interviewed by the police. Modesto PD claimed that it was impossible to interview every person, but that mistake was another piece in the puzzle that showed that perhaps, the police had tunnel vision in this case.
Geragos also tried to display that the men who robbed the Medina house were good suspects. The Medinas who lived on Covena Ave. left their home at 10:32 am on Christmas eve and did not return until the afternoon of the 26th when they discovered they had been robbed. Assuming that the robbery happened on the 24th and not the 25th or 26th like the robbers later claimed, it is believed the burglary happened at about 11:40 am, after the Medinas left for the Christmas holiday. This time is corroborated by a neighbor named Diane Jackson who saw three “dark skinned but not African American” men behind a van in front of the Medinas’ home at this time. Police put out a reward for information and got a break within days.
Steven Todd and Donald Pearce were arrested for the robbery on January 2nd 2003 after trying to sell some valuables from the Medina’s home. When apprehended the first words out of Steven Todd’s mouth was “I didn’t have anything to do with the pregnant girl.” The defense has always reasoned that the police should have pursued this exclamation, but they didn’t. Both men pleaded guilty to the robbery but claimed it happened Christmas day or early on the 26th, not on the 24th. Modesto PD asserted that they cleared these men as they believed the robbery happened later, after Laci was already missing. The defense and Scott’s family believe the burglary took place on the 24th and the criminals lied about the date to distance themselves from Laci’s disappearance.
This theory was somewhat strengthened by the statement of Russell Graybill, the Petersons’ mailman. Graybill testified that when he delivered a package to the Peterson’s home between 10:35 and 10:50 am. McKenzie did not bark at him. Graybill testified at trial that McKenzie normally barked at him but he didn’t bark on Christmas eve. This was shown to “prove” that Laci was walking him at that time.
Scott supporters have touted two other pieces of evidence to prove this theory. The first piece of the evidence in this story involved the fact that in January a woman who knew the burglars pawned a Croton watch similar to the one Laci had and was presumably wearing. The problem with the watch “evidence” lies in the pawn ticket. The pawned watch is not listed as having diamonds embedded into it like Laci’s did, casting doubt onto this idea that the watch was Laci’s. The second piece of evidence is much more compelling. From scottpetersonappeal.org,
“Yet another concerning tip came from a Lt. Aponte who worked in a California prison. He called Modesto Police to report a monitored phone conversation that one of their inmates had with his brother, who lived in Modesto. The brother told the inmate that Laci had confronted the burglars who were robbing the house directly across the street from where she lived. That house was, in fact, robbed the day Laci went missing. This conversation was recorded by the prison. Not only has the Modesto Police Department never handed over any follow up on the tip from Lt. Aponte, the tape has been lost.” This is a thought-provoking piece of evidence, but I am not sure it proves anything conclusively.
The problems with the “Laci confronted the burglars” theory are numerous. The timeline would go something like this. Laci leashes up McKenzie who gets out and wanders in the street until found by Karen Servas at 10:18 am. Servas puts McKenzie away and then later Laci walks McKenzie through the park where she is seen by witnesses. Laci returns home, puts McKenzie away (but keeps the leash on) and takes off her shoes. She either changes clothes or later the robbers re-dress her. Then shoeless, Laci at 8 months pregnant waddles across the street and confronts either 2 or 3 male burglars without even her dog for protection. (PS the men are breaking into the home in the middle of the day). The men kill her, rob the house, change Laci into a new outfit, only a maternity bra and tan capris, and dump her in the ocean ninety miles away EXACTLY where Scott Peterson was fishing. It is also important to note that the defense did not call any witnesses who could bolster this theory except Graybill.
Another possible theory floated by Scott supporters and the defense was the idea that Laci was kidnapped while in the park. One witness, Diana Campos, who worked at a hospital that abuts the park (only three blocks from the Peterson house) remembers seeing a pregnant woman walking a Golden Retriever in the park at 10:30 am on Christmas eve. The woman was struggling to control the dog, who was barking incessantly. A man in a beanie apparently yelled at the woman “Shut that f*cking dog up!”
The problem with this theory is that both the Modesto PD and Scott’s attorneys interviewed this woman and chose to NOT call her to testify at trial. I believe if the lead was credible, the woman would have testified for the defense. Another issue is the timeline and the details of the sighting. For this sighting to work we have to ignore Karen Servas’ testimony. If this woman in the park was Laci, she must have gotten McKenzie from the yard after McKenzie escaped then walked to the park where she encountered someone who wanted to harm her. This person then would have had to return Laci’s shoes to the house, re dressed her, put McKenzie in the backyard and then dump her body in the ocean ninety miles away EXACTLY where Scott Peterson was fishing.
A third possibility was mostly pushed by Matt Dalton, an attorney who worked on Scott’s case but was fired before trial. Geragos kicked Dalton off the case because Dalton was obsessed with the idea that a satanic cult kidnapped Laci and another woman, Evelyn Hernandez. I think Geragos did not want this to be mentioned at trial and focused on other angles, but this still needs to be discussed. As mentioned above a woman was raped in Modesto in the week before Laci’s disappearance. The victim called a crisis line and reported that she had been raped by a group of people in a brown van and that the assault was part of a Satanic ritual. The abductors then told the woman that they were going to commit a Christmas murder that she would “read about in the papers.” The police found the people and van in question and processed the brown van for evidence, surprisingly no evidence of any crime was found in the van. When the police were done with the vehicle, Geragos bought the van, but he never found anything or used the van at trial- leading spectators to believe that the van held no evidentiary value.
Other proof for this theory is mostly found in Dalton’s book about the case. Matt Dalton first dreamed up this theory when went to a bar in Modesto one night where he interviewed some young locals about the goings on in Modesto. After seeing some people in skull t-shirts playing Dungeons and Dragons, Dalton asked about cult activity. The people told him that Modesto had Satanists, including a weird family who lived in a brown van. Dalton then learned that Dec. 24th is a holy day in the Satanic calendar and thus he extrapolated that Satanists did sacrifices on this day. He also discovered that May 1st, the day Evelyn was last seen was also a Satanic holiday. He soon became obsessed with this idea that Laci was abducted for a ritualistic purpose. Once Laci’s body was found Matt Dalton walked along the beach where he found some weird paintings on rocks and determined this was where rituals were taking place. (The paintings ended up being a strange art installation by a group called The Bulb.) He also found a police report that someone had reported finding a bucket of organs on the beach, but this has never been independently verified. Dalton surmised that these were Laci’s organs as she was found mostly skeletonized and had very few organs left.
Dalton is famous for connecting Laci’s case to the case of Evelyn Hernandez. This piece of evidence is talked about online extensively and is used to show that pregnant women were going missing and being found headless in San Francisco bay. While it is a strange coincidence, what documentaries and Pro Scott pundits never tell you is that Evelyn’s case has a prime suspect and it is not a serial killer or a Satanist family, it is Evelyn’s boyfriend, Herman Aguilera. This man is presumed to have killed Evelyn when she was only one week from giving birth, on May 1st 2002. As friends and family later discovered Evelyn was Herman’s “other woman.” Evelyn did not know her boyfriend was married. According to Aguilera’s family Herman did not want to deal with a pregnant mistress or want another child. Evelyn was last seen at a gas station frequented by Herman. Tragically, Evelyn’s son Alexis age 5, and her full-term baby boy, Fernando disappeared with her and have never been found.
The problem with this satanic angle is that it is far-fetched and does not explain most of the evidence. If Laci was abducted, where? Was she walking down the street in the mid-morning when some Satan worshippers happened to drive by and abduct her, put the dog in the yard, put her shoes in the house, changed her clothes and then dumped her body in ocean just where Scott Peterson was fishing? And what about Evelyn? Were these same people driving by as she and her son went to a gas station near Aguilera’s home in the middle of the afternoon? As I said this theory doesn’t hold water, but it important to explore. Rush to judgement
Another thing focused on heavily by the defense was the idea that the Modesto PD “rushed to judgement” and wanted to nail Scott from the beginning. The defense asserted that this began with officer Evers saying that home was “suspicious” at 6 pm to his superior. Geragos and team asserted that this was improper and created tunnel vision in the department.
The Modesto police has always held that they simply followed the evidence and focused on the most likely suspect, Scott. After all it was not just Evers who thought the scene was suspicious. It was Evers, Spurlock, other patrol officers, Brocchini, Laci’s friends, Amy Rocha, Sergeant Duerfeldt, neighbor Karen Servas and others. If the Modesto PD wanted to frame someone, as sad as it is, they could have framed the Medina burglars and no one would have batted an eye. But they didn’t. Other evidence used by the defense Laci sightings
Approximately 12 people called the MPD to report seeing a woman who matched Laci’s description walking a dog on the morning of the 24th within one mile of the Peterson home. The prosecution called four women to the stand who were dog walkers who lived in the vicinity of the Peterson home at the time of the disappearance to account for some of these sightings. Most people saw Laci or someone who resembled her in black leggings and a white top, the same outfit she was in on her missing posters. However, when she was found she was wearing tan maternity capri pants and a maternity bra only. According to the Petersons, nine of these witnesses were never interviewed by a detective. What they don’t tell you is that a patrol officer and the DA’s investigators did some of the interviews. Nevertheless, not all people who called in with witness sightings were interviewed which helped the defense. Let’s look at these witnesses who we know about.
The people interviewed in the documentary The Murder of Laci Peterson were apparent “witnesses” who were never interviewed by the police and were not called at trial. Why? Because when Geragos interviewed them he found them to be unreliable, confused, or just wrong. Homer Maldonado
claimed to have seen Laci walking the dog three times…during times she was proven to be elsewhere. Maldonado also refused to be interview by police. Because of this he was not called. Vivian Mitchell
was another witness who claimed she saw Laci walking the dog on Dec. 24th. She then specified she knew exactly the time because she saw Laci during the football game on TV, but there were no football games on TV on the 24th. Vivian was also 80 years old and her husband was 84. Her husband Bill told police he did not remember ever seeing Laci. Mike Chiavetta
remembered seeing a woman walking a Golden Retriever in La Loma park on the most likely 24th but said that it was a bright sunny day and the park was filled with people. It was misty and overcast on the 24th although the 23rd was bright and sunny. Scott supporters will have you believe that Laci was abducted right after the Chiavetta sighting even though Chiavetta claims the park was filled with people that day. Also, Chiavetta never reported he saw Laci, he saw a woman in a white shirt walking a Golden Retriever. When asked if she was pregnant, he said “I don’t know.” Tom Harshman
is the man who saw a pregnant woman pushed into a van on the 24th of December, however police documentation says this was not reported until the 28th. In between 2 and 4 pm, he saw a woman in a red shirt and black pants urinating against a fence. There was a man standing over her and she looked scared. Then he saw a hand reach out of a van and pull the woman into the van. The tip was not investigated by the Modesto police department because they circumstance, location, and clothing did not fit. Either way Geragos interviewed many of the witness and didn’t call any of them. He said specifically he would call Harshman, but he didn’t. Conner’s live birth and condition of the bodies
One thing that is brought up often by the defense is information brought forth by their expert that Conner was alive for one week following Laci’s disappearance. The defense believed Conner was born alive and died at a different date, or that Laci and Conner were alive after Laci was abducted. They also like to talk about twine, or tape that was wrapped around Conner’s body. Laci’s body also had trace amounts of caffeine present even though Laci gave up caffeine during her pregnancy.
Laci and Conner were found in the same area but separately on different days. Laci was badly decomposed; barnacles were on her bones and most of her organs except parts of her uterus were gone. There was a large hole in her womb from decomposition. Conner was somewhat decomposed but he was fully intact. The medical examiner thought this was because he was protected inside of Laci until her uterus decomposed expelling him into the bay. The medical examiner could find no cause of death for Laci and ruled that Conner died due to his mother’s death at approximately 33 weeks gestation. Conner seemed to be inside of Laci until shortly before he was found. The medical examiner explained to the jury that Conner most likely floated out of his mother’s abdomen due to gasses building up in her body. Additionally, his umbilical cord was torn, not cut or clamped and he had no injuries of any kind. He was not even bruised. Further, Laci’s cervix was closed indicating she had not given birth recently. The ME also explained that there was 28 cm worth of tape around Conner’s torso, head, and shoulders. It is not a nice neat bow but rather a tangled length of tape or twine. To me it actually looks like the remains of a plastic shopping bag.
The defense has always argued that this twine was wrapped around his body on purpose by someone, although they cannot explain the function of the twine. Picture here- http://pwc-sii.com/Research/connetwine.htm
. (PS this is from a website called Scott is Innocent just fair warning). They also cannot explain how Conner died as he was not even bruised. On cross examination the ME admitted that it was “possible” Conner was born alive. He also admitted it was possible he had lived longer than his mother. He could not conclusively rule out those things even though they were improbable. The defense saw this as a win and brought in their own expert to testify.
Dr. March, the defense expert is not a medical examiner or a forensic pathologist; he is fertility doctor who helps couples get pregnant. Using the same methods as the ME, which involves using ultrasound pictures and measuring the baby’s femur, Dr. March determined that Conner was 33 weeks gestation, BUT he also decided that when Laci went missing, she was only 32 weeks pregnant meaning she had survived a whole week after her disappearance. How did Dr. March know this? Dr. March pushed Laci’s conception date forward six days because “women always talk about these things.” Dr. March heard that Laci attended a baby shower for a friend on June 8th and did not tell her friends that she was pregnant. Because of this he surmised that Laci must have learned about her pregnancy on June 9th meaning her conception date was the last week of May. This was the evidence used to prove Conner was alive until the end of December.
Not surprisingly March was destroyed on cross examination. He admitted he did not know about decomposition or autopsies and was not an expert in those fields. He also admitted he really had no way to know when Laci got pregnant and he was just guessing from her behavior when she got pregnant. At one point he even said during cross “Cut me some slack!” when they were grilling him. By the end of his examination he was saying “I’m sorry” and “I really don’t know” To most questions. He was not a good witness and his blunders were some of the biggest in the trial. Concrete
The defense always held that the missing concrete in Scott’s warehouse was used to repair the driveway and not used to make anchors for Laci’s body. The prosecution brought a petrographer to the stand who testified that the cement was not the same in the driveway as it was in the anchors- they had different chemical compositions. The defense also brought an expert to the stand who testified that the concrete samples weren’t the same…but they were very similar to one another. Gebler the defense expert testified that the driveway sample could have been different because it picked up debris already on the driveway. Boat evidence
The final evidence that is brought up by the defense was an experiment conducted by Geragos’ investigators. They bought a boat similar to Scott’s and filmed someone trying to throw a 100 lbs. object off the boat. The experiment was meant to show that the boat was too small and throwing a person off the side would capsize a boat. At trial an expert fisherman testified that in order to throw a body off a boat that size you had to do it from the back of the boat, not the side. Nevertheless, Geragos wanted his video to be admitted at trial, but it was not.
The critical thing to note here is that this video was never meant to be admitted into evidence, it was a media stunt. Geragos sent this video to the media and then placed a similar boat two blocks from the court house and invited people to see how small it was. According to a book written by the jury after the trial, Geragos did this stunt to try to distract, confuse, or accidentally bias the jury in hopes of getting a mistrial. It did not work and the trial went on. The boat also backfired on Geragos as it became a shrine to Laci and baby Conner. Here’s the defense’s video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x03H94jjDGQ
. Amber was the aggressor
One thing that Scott’s apologists will often bring up is the fact that Scott wasn't really in love with Frey and that Amber was the “aggressor” in that relationship. Some people, like Matt Dalton have said things like “Scott wouldn’t leave Laci for Amber. Laci was way more attractive!” (yes, he really made that claim). They try to show that Amber aggressively pursued Scott even when he was trying to distance himself from her. They believe that Scott’s lies to Amber such as “I will be in Maine for Christmas” were his attempts to ditch her. They also make a fuss because on Dec. 26th Amber called Scott several times on the same day which proves that she was obsessed with him. Whether or not this is the case it doesn't really matter because Scott is a grown man who could have broken it off with Amber or even ghosted her at any point but he didn't. He chose to call Amber after Laci was missing, he continued to speak to Amber, and he continued seeing Amber in person. Further, he kept lying to her hoping she would not find out about his missing pregnant wife.
Whether Amber was Scott’s soul mate, a one-night stand, or a girl he took out to lunch a few times an affair is an affair. Scott did not have to be completely and utterly in love was Amber in order for that to be a motive for him to kill his wife. In my completely amateur opinion, Scott wasn't in love with Amber at all. Scott was in love with being a player who could do whatever he wanted and wife and child was getting in the way of that lifestyle. Scott’s history of non-violence
One interesting thing that the defense uncovered was Scott’s history of non-violence. Going through school records the defense was able to show that Scott had absolutely no history of violence. Not even a school yard fist fight. Most spouse killers have a history of domestic violence, but Scott did not. In fact, most people remember Scott as being passive in his marriage, not angry or violent. Scott would not plead down
In “Presumed Guilty” Dalton explains that he questioned Scott extensively and asked him if something happened, such as an accident or a domestic violence situation that lead to Laci’s death. Dalton thought that if this was the case Scott could plead to a lesser charge. Scott was adamant this was not the case and insisted he had nothing to do with Laci’s demise. Scott insisted on pleading not guilty. Brocchini’s bad testimony
One thing that aided the defense in the trial was the testimony of Al Brocchini. Brocchini made several mistakes on the stand and the defense showed that four specific parts of Brocchini’s testimony were lies. Brocchini lied about one witness who he said he contacted. He also lied (or was confused) about the times certain tips came in to the tip line. Finally, he chose not to include one witnesses (Ms. O’Donnell) statement in his reports. This damaged Brocchini’s testimony and was a win for the defense. When asked about this the jury said that this was not a good look for the state, but it wasn’t Brocchini’s testimony that convinced them that Scott was guilty, it was detective Grogan’s. And of course, Scott’s own behavior and movements that day. Five women who were pregnant went missing
Another piece of evidence spread around by Scott apologists is the fact that five pregnant women, seven if you include Evelyn and Laci, went missing in the time around Laci’s disappearance. Additionally, it was touted that these women all went missing from Northern California and area where 15 million people reside. Five women would be an interesting coincidence if they went missing from Modesto, or even the same county, but this is not the case. Pregnant woman heckled
In one documentary on the case a pregnant woman in Modesto claimed that on Christmas eve, 2002 when she was heavily pregnant, she was opening her shop at about 11:00 am when she was “heckled” by two men. The incident made her uncomfortable enough that she got a male co-worker who told the men to get lost. While this is an interesting piece of information it doesn’t prove anything. Not enough time to commit the murders
Some of Scott’s supporters will tell you that Scott had no time to commit these murders because his whereabouts were known for all of the day on Christmas eve. First, this assumes Laci was killed during Scott’s timeline which obviously wasn’t going account for this. Second, it does not explore the possibility that Scott killed his wife before 8:30am on the 24th when Scott said he got up for the day. Incompetent legal counsel
There are also some people who are concerned that Mark Geragos was incompetent as Scott’s attorney. Mark Geragos has represented Michael Jackson, Winona Ryder, Jussie Smolet, Robert Clinton, Chris Brown and many other prominent clients. In general, he argues down and makes sure his clients never land in jail but rather get counseling, probation, and community service. Geragos may be cocky, but he is far from incompetent. Tried in the court of public opinion
You cannot talk about this case without mentioning that Scott Peterson was tried in the court of public opinion. There is no denying this and an unbiased jury was hard to compile. But if history has shown us anything it is that good attorneys can keep hated clients (OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony) out of jail. Scott’s representation was the best of the best and he was still convicted. The jury and the rush to judgment angle
The jury actually thought about this in deliberations pretty extensively. This idea of rush to judgement was woven through the opening statement as well as Geragos’ performance in the early weeks of the trial. In those first few weeks most jurors agreed that acquittal was on the horizon. Not only did the Modesto police seem to have tunnel vision, they made some extensive mistakes, and Geragos presented information in a much more interesting and compelling way. He made big promises to show Scott as “stone cold innocent” and vowed to bring witnesses who would break the case wide open. But after months of testimony and no compelling witnesses the jury had to convict because it wasn’t about who was more entertaining to watch. It was about the fact that 1) Scott was fishing in the vicinity of Laci’s body. 2) Scott washed himself and his clothes before even calling his missing wife. 3) Scott was the last person to see Laci alive. 4) And that Scott had a means, motive, and opportunity like no one else did. Although the jury were rubbed the wrong way by Scott’s demeanor, Scott was not convicted because the jury simply thought he seemed like he was lying or had bad character.
Random Info Who’s is supporting Scott?
Scott’s supporters are mainly women most notably his sister Susan Caudillo, and his sister in law Janey Peterson. They run several websites and blogs about the case and call themselves the SPA (Scott Peterson Appeal) team. Their websites are linked below. They have explanations for everything Scott did in this case and spew their beliefs all over the internet.
The SPA team has pushed forward other suspects besides the ones discussed at trial. Laci’s family are some of their favorite suspects. Ron Grantski, Brent Rocha, Dennis Rocha, Amber Frey, and Amy Rocha have all been mentioned as possible suspects. For example, the SPA team throws suspicion on Dennis Rocha as Dennis had “deep-seated hatred” towards Scott. How do they know this? During his victim impact statement at the end of the trial Dennis said to Scott “You always thought you were better than us.” Apparently, this shows that Dennis had the motive to kill Laci or something. I don’t know their explanations are bizarre. Why is Scott getting an appeal and maybe a new trial?
Scott is getting an appeal and maybe a new trial for two reasons. First, Scott gets a series of appeals because he was sentenced to death. It is routine for death row inmates to get a variety of appeals before their execution. The reason that Scott is possibly getting a new trial is because of issues with the jury in the first trial. As discussed above the case was incredibly hard to get a jury for and the appeals attorney is asking for a new trial due to juror misconduct, unreliable sniffer dog evidence, and issues with dismissed jurors. Scott is NOT getting a new trial due to new evidence, poor legal representation, or corruption within the police department or DAs office. Misconceptions
There are two major misconceptions I have seen mentioned online and I wanted to correct them here before the end of this piece. The first misconception that was spread by the media was that the Petersons’ house smelled like bleach when patrol officers first arrived. This was not true; patrol officers never reported this. The second misconception is that Diane Jackson saw the Medina home being robbed on the 24th. This is not true. Diane saw three men by a van who she thought were landscapers. She only reported this information when she learned of Laci’s disappearance later that day. Diane Jackson never saw the men robbing the house or carrying a safe to the van. Sources:
These books are a good place to start:
Deadly game by Catherine Crier
Presumed guilty by Matt Dalton
We the Jury by the members of the jury
Blood Brother by Anne Bird
For Laci by Sharon Rocha
The Murder of Laci Peterson by Pete Dove
Because most books are anti-Scott, I also read all information on these pro Scott websites in order to be thorough. https://www.scottpetersonappeal.org/ https://pwc-sii.com/
An interesting Psychology today article- https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/blind-injustice/201801/is-scott-peterson-innocent-part-one
If you want some laughs check out the Scott is Innocent Facebook page. There are a lot of people who think that Laci was abducted for a ritual purpose and that it has something to do with something called Pizza gate and Hollywood elites who cruise around northern CA abducting Hispanic looking women and cutting out their babies. (No, I am not kidding.)
If you want some thought provoking information about the Peterson family read this reddit post- https://www.reddit.com/ScottPetersonCase/comments/9eu7zi/peterson_family_lies/ Conclusion
After researching, reading, and exploring this case I think it is safe to say that Scott Peterson is guilty of his wife’s murder and that the doubt in this is case is not reasonable doubt at all. With that being said I do not think the media allowed for Scott to get an unbiased jury and I do think the hate spewed towards Scott’s family by the public was cruel and inappropriate, like the one bystander outside the court house who yelled at Jackie “I hope they fry your son!” However, I think if Scott gets a new trial, which he deserves, the outcome will likely be the same. What do you think, is there really doubt in the Laci Peterson case?