The Modesto Police Department took advantage of an irresponsible media to secure this wrongful conviction. Journalists and pundits (usually attorneys) must be held to a higher standard. The "press" is protected by our Constitution so it will be "free" to protect the citizens against intrusions by the Government. A "person of interest" is perhaps in more need of this protection than any other citizen.
Items are in chronological order, so you can see the stories and headlines as they appeared. To use your browser's search function to find an article quickly, click Edit, select Find on this page, and type in a person's name or key word. Some titles only have summaries, or the article's lead-in; others the entire article. NOTE: National Enquirer, Globe, People and other weekly magazines are listed by issue date. Books are listed under their publication date.
Some of the media have excellent collections on this case. These are indexed in alphabetical order.
Modbee: The Peterson Case
2003 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2004 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2005 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2006 Jan Feb Jun
2008 Feb Jun Jul Oct
December 25, 2002. Modesto Police Department's (MPD) first press release on this case. Basic information includes that Scott went fishing at the Bay, Laci planned to go for a walk in Dry Creek Park, when Scott returned home, he found the dog with his leash on in the backyard. Missing persons call was placed approximately 5:48 p.m. by a "man claiming that his pregnant wife had not been seen since 9:30 a.m. Christmas Eve." Laci's description plus the number to call (the tip line had not yet been established). The press release was issued at 10:30 a.m. and the press update was scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
Woman vanishes on walk
December 26, 2002. First article on this case published by the Modesto Bee. Describes the search conducted thus far, and notes that the police had made contact with individuals who saw Laci in the park on the 24th.
December 26, 2002. MPD Press Release. "Modesto Police continue to search for Laci Peterson, who was last seen on Christmas Eve morning about 9:30 a.m. Laci is eight months pregnant and was reported missing by her husband, Scott Peterson, on the evening of December 24. On the morning of December 24, Scott Peterson went fishing in the Bay Area and Laci stayed home with plans to shop for dinner and walk their dog at East La Loma Park and Dry Creek. When Scott returned home that evening, Laci was not home. The dog was found earlier and returned to the backyard by a neighbor. The leash was still attached to the dog’s collar. Modesto Police Officers immediately began a search of the park and the Dry Creek River area. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department helicopter was called in to assist with the search. On Christmas morning, additional assistance was received from the Water Rescue Units from Modesto City Fire Department and Stanislaus Consolidated Fire. Modesto Police canines and equestrian teams were used to further the search along the creek bed and in the park. The search for Laci continues to expand beyond the park and river area. 'We have organized volunteers for a systematic search and it is our hope to find Laci and bring her home,' said Chief Roy Wasden. The family and friends of Laci Peterson have established a $100,000 reward for the safe return, or information leading to the safe return, of Laci Peterson. Additionally, an anonymous person has also established a $25,000 reward through the Carole Sund-Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation. Friends of the family have established a fund to assist with any search efforts. Donations can be made to: AG Edwards and Sons Laci Peterson Fund 1549 McHenry Ave. Modesto CA 95350 Attn: Stacey Boyers/Jeffrey Sutton"
FBI joins inquiry into woman's disappearance
December 27, 2002. ModBee. Reviews the search conducted so far, including the search warrants served on the Covena home. Mentions the blood hounds used and their results.
December 27, 2002. MPD Press Release. "The Modesto Police Department is continuing their investigation into the next phase. Last night, a search warrant was served at the peterson residence. The focus of the search warrant was to attempt to locate evidence of any activity before or after Laci's disappearance and evidence of a stranger intrusion. FBI agents assisted the Modesto Police Department in processing the residence for evidence." Repeats basic information about Laci's disappearance and her description. Includes the request: "Investigators would also like to speak with anyone who personally spoke with Laci anytime between Sunday and her disappearance on Tuesday."
December 27, 2002. An ad by Anthony Rocha, requesting psychic assistance to find Laci.
December 28, 2002. Mercury News article on the search for Laci. Includes more detail about Karen Servas' reason for not suspecting anything was wrong when she found McKenzie. Also notes that the police said they had no solid reports of Laci sightings.
December 28, 2002. MPD Press Release. Report on the areas being searched: "At a press conference at Modesto Police Department at 2:30 p.m. today, Modesto Police explained that the search for the eight-month pregnant woman has expanded outside of the city limits and into the rural Stanislaus County area. Modesto Police, with the assistance of Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputies, equestrian teams from the Police Department and Sheriff’s Department and members of the Valley Search and Rescue team searched the wetlands along Highway 132. Police explorers, members from special units and volunteers have been used to search the ground. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department helicopter has been used to search rural areas from the air. Modesto Police Detectives with the assistance of Contra Costa County Search and Rescue did conduct a search of a marina in Berkley. “It’s a logical step in the investigation in an attempt to investigate all possibilities,” said Sgt Michael Zahr of the Modesto Police Department Investigations Division. “As of this time, we haven’t found anything conclusive. It is still our hope to find Laci and bring her home to her family safely.”" The PR also mentioned that an anonymous donor brought the reward total to $500,000.
December 29, 2002. MPD Press Release. Notes the areas searched thus far have failed to produce any "conclusive evidence to assist Detectives with their investigation." . . . "We are expanding our investigation to another phase. We are contacting known sex offenders that live or frequent the area to determine their whereabouts on day Laci was reported missing,” said Sergeant Michael Zahr, Investigation Supervisor. The tip lines have received approximately 340 calls so far, and police continue to follow-up on those that are credible. "Unfortunately, we have no concrete leads from those tips at this point," said Zahr.
December 30, 2002. MPD Press Release. "Modesto Police Department has searched vacant homes and buildings in search of Laci Peterson. Investigators have also contacted 155 registered sex offenders that live in the southeast area of Modesto. Police received information that Laci may have been in the Copeland's Sports Store on McHenry Avenue in the evening or late afternoon of December 24. Police are still viewing the surveillance tape. Police detectives do have a Berkeley marina receipt from Scott Peterson, Laci's husband." Also announces the Candlelight Vigil for December 31 at 4:30 p.m.
December 30, 2002. Cnn.com article on the status of the search for Laci, reported Dec. 30, 2003. Includes acknowledgment by Detective Ridenour that police did have a boat launch receipt to verify Scott's fishing trip. Also includes Ron Grantski's comment "Scott Peterson is 'a good man. He's always treated our daughter like a lady'."
December 30, 2002. KPIX report on possible connection between Laci's disappearance and a burglary across the street from her home. The Medina home was burglarized sometime between Christmas Eve morning and late on December 26, and Susan Medina thinks that maybe Laci saw something that put her in danger. Police were also looking at surveillance videotape from a sporting goods store on the north end of Modesto. There were reports that Scott may have been seen there on Christmas Eve. But investigators said that was still unconfirmed.
December 31, 2002. MPD Press Release. "Police read a written statement in the disappearance, which may involve foul play. At a press conference at Modesto Police Department at 2:30 p.m. today, Modesto Police explained that they are continuing to be hopeful, but increasingly discourage over Laci Peterson’s disappearance. . . . Searches conducted this far have yet to reveal any conclusive evidence or clues as to the expectant mother's whereabouts. At the conference today, police read a prepared statement from the investigation team “…as we continue to profile Laci’s [Peterson] background, gather witness statements, recognize her close relationship with family and friends, investigate the circumstances of her disappearance, and in view of the timing with the holiday season, it is becoming more apparent that her disappearance is the result of foul play. The investigation is progressing forward with that as the main focus, but we have not ruled out other possibilities,” said Detective Jon Buehler, Homicide Unit. We are expanding our investigation to another phase."
January 1, 2003 San Francisco Chronicle. Reports on the New Year's Eve vigil for Laci. "It's unfortunate that he didn't choose to go golfing instead of fishing that day because it would have been a lot simpler investigation," she said. "So that is taking more time, and time is very important here in this case." Scott Peterson had never gone to the Berkeley Marina before Dec. 24 but was interested after he read an article about sturgeon fishing, his sister said. Also reports on family suspicions that Laci was abducted when she witnessed a burglary at the Medina home across the street.
January 2, 2003. MPD Press Release. "Police investigators revealed photos of a truck and boat owned by Scott Peterson and urge the public to contact the Department if anyone recalls seeing the truck and boat between December 23 and December 25th. Modesto Police Department continues their search for Laci Peterson, the 27-year-old expectant mother who has been missing since Christmas Eve. Her husband, Scott Peterson, reportedly last saw Laci at 9:30 on Christmas Eve morning. Scott left the family residence in his pickup truck, hooked the boat up at another location and went to a marina in Berkeley for a fishing trip. The truck is a 2002, Ford F150 pickup, bronze in color, with California license 6T59718. The boat is a 1991, 14-foot aluminum boat and trailer with a 15 horsepower outboard motor. Police are trying to corroborate Scott’s trip to the Berkeley area."
KPIX.com. Brief description of the search conducted January 2-3, 2003.
January 3, 2003. The KRACChannel.com. A Berkeley police officer said that his department's bay patrol has only conducted a small-scale search with respect to Laci's disappearance. Their focus, in helping Modesto police, is to gather information to verify husband Scott Peterson's whereabouts, according to officials. This article also reports on the calm weather at the Marina for Dec. 24.
January 3, 2003. CBSNews.com.
Thursday released pictures of a pickup truck,
boat and boat trailer they impounded from Laci
Peterson's husband and asked the public to tell
them if they saw Scott Peterson before
Christmas. At a news conference, Police Lt. Doug
Ridenour said the department has still neither
declared nor ruled out Scott Peterson as a
suspect in the Christmas Eve disappearance of
his wife, who was eight months pregnant.
Family members bristled at notions he may be a
factor in his wife's disappearance.
January 3, 2003. ModBee.
Columnist Judy Sly discusses the positive
reactions, and the boorish reactions, of the
general public and media. She also gives a
personal perspective: "Laci and Scott
Peterson live nearby. I don't know them, but I
have seen them in the neighborhood. Some of the
witnesses in this mystery are my friends. Right
now, they are weary, frazzled, even scared."
Sly believes Modesto being Chandra Levy's
hometown is a major reason for the national
interest in Laci's disappearance.
January 3, 2003. MPD Press Release. Announces the arrest of Todd and Pearce for the Medina burglary, along with their pictures, that the burglary occurred on the 26th, that their statements have been verified as truthful, and that the burglary had no connection to Laci's disappearance.
Levy's parents understand the pain Peterson's family is feeling
January 4, 2003. ModBee.com.
Robert and Susan Levy understand better than
most the pain and anguish being felt by the
family of Laci Peterson, the 27-year-old
pregnant Modesto woman who disappeared Christmas
Eve. . . .
January 4, 2003. KCBS article on police using special dogs that can detect human scent to survey the water at the Berkeley Marina and shortly before 3 p.m. a hit came back. "One of the teams detected that there might be something to look for and we at this point don't know if it's substantial. We've got the divers here and we'll go ahead and use them and check out the spot," said a spokesman from the Berkeley Police Department.
January 4, 2003. MyMotherLode.com News / KVML 1450 AM. Short article, with main point being that the burglary was assigned to the morning of December 24: Modesto Police say they've arrested two men in connection with the Christmas Eve morning burglary to the house across the street from Laci Peterson's Covena Avenue home. The article also says that police have ruled out any connection between the burglary and the disappearance of Laci Peterson.
January 4, 2003. MPD Press Release. "The search for the 27-year-old pregnant woman continued into counties adjacent to Stanislaus County and over to a marina in Berkeley where her husband reportedly was fishing on the day of her disappearance. Sgt. Ron Cloward, who is heading the search efforts, added C.A.R.D.A., the California Rescue Dog Association, to the list of resource agencies assisting Modesto Police in their extensive search. “Today there are approximately 37 law enforcement individuals searching for Laci,” reported Sgt. Cloward at today’s news conference. There is also a team of individuals searching the Berkeley marina, that specific number was unavailable at the time of the conference."
Psychics, others offer to help police in search
January 5, 2003. ModBee.com. Article reports on the psychic attention to the Peterson case. Provides information about instances when the FBI and the military have used psychics, but also acknowledges the general disrespect for this profession.
Dogs and divers go to work in SF Bay
January 5, 2003. ModBee.com. Search dogs and scuba divers came up empty Saturday in the water and on the shore of San Francisco Bay, as the investigation continued into the disappearance of Modesto's Laci Rocha Peterson. . . .
Always with a smile
January 5, 2003. ModBee.com.
Sharon Rocha lies in a hospital bed at
Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, woozy
from the combination of painkillers and
pain. It is May 4, 1975. A nurse cradles
a tiny baby girl and hands her to
Sharon, who gently takes her daughter
into her arms. Sharon stares at the
child, and the two melt into one. The
pain disappears. Laci is here. . . .
Searchers comb through new areas
January 6, 2003. ModBee.com.
The search for Laci Peterson has
expanded beyond the Berkeley Marina and
the Highway 132 corridor, police said
Sunday. . . .
January 7, 2003. The PixPage, CBS5.com. Brief article stating divers were back in the water, searching a river in Calaveras County for clues to Peterson's disappearance. There was no word whether a blue tarp discovered over the weekend in the Berkeley Marina is connected to the case.
January 7, 2003, Connie Chung Tonight, CNN. Friends interviewed were Stacey Boyers, Renee Garza, Lori Ellsworth, and Rene Tomlinson. Each stated emphatically that Scott could not be involved in Laci's disappearance. Rene talked specifically about Scott's spontaneity and how relaxed they were with each other.
January 9, 2003. MPD Press Release. "Further
search today in the area of the Berkeley Marina revealed
an object on the sonar device that is possibly a human
body. Weather and diver fatigue did not permit divers to
examine this object today. Saturday, weather and
conditions permitting, divers will attempt to examine
the object and determine what exactly it is. Again as
explained to the media in the past, we will not
speculate on information that has not been confirmed or
talk about areas that may impact our investigation. If
anything is confirmed to be relating to this case, a
press advisory will be forwarded through normal
communications and a press conference will be scheduled
allowing ample time for the media to respond."
January 10, 2003. CBSNews.com. "Police say divers searching for 27-year-old Laci Peterson with a sonar device discovered an object Thursday, possibly a human body. But bad weather coupled with fatigue forced them to put off their search at California's Berkeley Marina until the weekend. . . . Laci's mother Sharon Rocha tells NBC's "Today" show she doesn't feel what was found in the marina will end up being her daughter's body. Rocha says the family also doesn't believe Scott Peterson had anything to do with his wife's disappearance, and describes him as being "devastated."
January 11, 2003.
MPD Press Release. "We have concluded our search
at the Berkeley Marina today. Dive teams found an anchor
in the area where the unidentified object was located.
We were unable to remove anchor, however, the Side Scan
Sonar device was brought back through the area to
confirm that the area is clear of all other suspicious
objects. No other object was detected. Again, as
explained to the media in the past, we will not
speculate on information that has not been confirmed or
talk about areas that may impact our investigation."
January 13, 2003. MPD Press Release. "There will be no further press conferences until significant information or a break in the case occurs in the Laci Peterson investigation. We continue to investigate leads and search areas surrounding Stanislaus County. Those locations will not be revealed. As explained to the media in the past, we will not speculate or talk about areas that may impact our investigation."
January 13, 2003, Larry King Live. Sharon Rocha, Ron Grantski, Amy Rocha, Lee Peterson, and Janey Peterson; with brief remarks by Kim Peterson, executive director of the Memorial Reward Foundation, and Modesto Police Chief Roy Wasden. Larry's debate panel included: Nancy Grace, Mark Geragos, and Mark Klaas.
January 17, 2003. MPD Press Release. "There will be no further press conferences in the Laci Peterson investigation until there is significant new information or a break in the case. We will not confirm or deny reports from news agencies that are not from official police comments that are properly releasable. The Modesto Police Department will not respond to rumors or speculation. The Peterson case continues in a logical, methodical and customary law enforcement investigative manner. Today, we continue to investigate leads and search areas surrounding Stanislaus County. Those locations will not be revealed at this time."
Relative Voices Suspicion
January 17, 2003. ModBee. Presents suspicions of an unidentified family member. Includes picture of Scott at the New Year's Eve vigil for Laci, and information about the police visit to the Rocha family to tell them about the life insurance and affair.
January 17, 2003. TheDenverChannel.com. "The husband of a missing pregnant Modesto woman broke his silence Thursday, telling a TV news reporter his only concern is keeping his wife in the media spotlight. 'I really don't care what people think of me. Make me the biggest villain in the world if you want to, as long as it keeps her photograph in the press,' Scott Peterson said." About the volunteer center in Los Angeles: "About 12 or 15 of Scott's family is coming down to head this up, and what we're doing is a one-day volunteer command center, short of phones and fax machines, and what we really hope to accomplish is people that come by, just pick up four fliers," volunteer Brad Saltzman said.
Peterson eyed for link to missing student
ModBee January 18, 2003 report that San Luis Obispo detectives were looking at Scott Peterson in connection with the disappearance of a college student nearly seven years ago. Provides picture of Kristin Smart and background on her disappearance. Includes statement from Rocha family for Scott to prove he has nothing to hide. Also reports on McAllister's investigation of the van reportedly seen in the neighborhood about the time Laci disappeared. A family member is reported to say "I don't think she made it through the night. If she was alive that morning, she would have opened up her drapes."
January 19, 2003. KTVU. Provides human interest background information on Laci and Scott in college and early marriage.
January 20, 2003. MPD Press Release. "The home of missing Laci Peterson was burglarized during the past few days while Scott Peterson had been out of town. Detectives are investigating the break-in and don't believe it is connected to the missing person case. Sometime between Thursday and Sunday, the home of Scott and Laci Peterson was burglarized. Scott Peterson reported the burglary Sunday night to police around 7:46 p.m. The burglar broke a window and entered the home. Police are not releasing the property taken at this point. "We are currently investigating this break-in and we are not prepared to release much information. Detectives are working on leads that may solve this case soon, and we don't want to interfere in identifying the suspect(s)," said Sergeant Michael Zahr, supervisor of detectives."
January 21, 2003. PixPage Channel 5 report that a hotel in Southern California that is being used as a volunteer center by Laci Peterson's husband has been receiving threatening phone calls. An organizer of the new outreach effort to find Laci says that people have been calling the Doubletree Hotel in Los Angeles and blaming the staff there for "supporting a murderer."
January 23, 2003. PixPage Laci's cousin Kathy Rocha describes the feelings the Rocha family had after finding out about Scott's affair.
January 24, 2003, 3:30 p.m. MPD Press Release. "There will be a scheduled updated press conference today on the Laci Peterson missing person case 6:30 p.m., Friday, January 24, 2003 in the Public Meeting room at Modesto Police Department, 600-10th Street, Modesto. We will not be making any statements prior to the Conference."
January 24, 2003, 6:30 p.m. MPD Press Release. "Today, police officially verified a prior relationship between Scott Peterson and Amber Frey. Police will continue their stance to only notify the media when significant information or a break in the case occurs. Amber Frey, 28 years old, informed the media of her relationship with Scott Peterson during a press conference at the Modesto Police Department. Detective Doug Ridenour, spokesman for the department, read the following statement: "We would like to preface the news conference by requesting that you respect our willingness to inform the media when it won't compromise the investigation. Ms. Amber Frey will make a brief statement; neither she nor the police will be answering questions. For the near future, we have asked Ms. Frey not to make statements to the media. It is her desire that you respect her privacy. Please don't follow, harass or make any attempts to interview her during this investigation." Amber Frey contacted the Modesto Police Department on Monday December 30, 2002; she met with detectives and gave information about a relationship with Scott Peterson that was verified by a variety of means. Amber Frey has been cooperative in the investigation and is not a suspect in Laci Peterson's disappearance."
January 24, 2003. TheSanDiegoChannel.com Reports on Amber Frey's press conference and several statements by Brent Rocha. Brent confirmed that Scott admitted the affair with Frey to him on Jan. 16.
January 25, 2003. SacBee.com.
Article discusses previous high-profile cases in
which a rush to judgment permanently damaged an
innocent person's life and career. Cases
discussed include Richard Jewell, Gary Condit,
John & Patsy Ramsey, and Sam Sheppard.
Several experts are quoted.
"The public gets a couple bits of information, and they condemn him.
There needs to be patience on the part of the public and any suspects
January 25, 2003. SFGate.com article on Amber's press conference, which followed Laci's family's press conference on Friday, January 24, 2003. Includes a statement by Janey Peterson that Scott could not be involved in Laci's disappearance and that Amber is simply a distraction from finding Laci.
January 25, 2003. LATimes.com. Detailed report of Amber's public acknowledgement, and Rocha family members' reactions.
[January 25, 2003] SacBee comprehensive report on Amber's public acknowledgement, her description of her relationship with Scott, and the Rocha family reaction.
Interview with Sharon Rocha and Amy Rocha
January 27, 2003, On the Record with Greta van Susteren. Sharon states that she did not consider it unusual that Laci didn't tell her Scott was going fishing. She said, "usually they're very prompt, so there was no reason for her to even mention it if she thought that he was going to be home by 6:00 o'clock." Sharon also mentions that a family member had asked Scott about 3 days after Laci's disappearance if he was having an affair, and he denied it.
January 28, 2003, Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer. A summary, not a complete transcript. Includes Scott's infamous statement: "You know, I can't say that even, you know, she was OK with the idea, but it wasn't — it wasn't anything that would break us apart." 2nd part of the interview aired on January 29. Video Pt 1. Video Pt 2. People's 270A-B, transcript of portion shown at Trial.
January 28, 2003. Associated Press/CBSNews.com. Reports on Scott's interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC's Good Morning America. Quotes Brent Rocha: Scott "has not been forthcoming with information regarding my sister's disappearance and I am only left to question what else he may be hiding. ... We have so many questions that he has not answered."
Dark Twists and Turns
January 28, 2003, National Enquirer article claiming the police found blood on Laci's kitchen floor and mentions Amber Frey calling the police, the life insurance policy, and the bag of cement and a bucket.
Husband fails Lie Detector
January 28, 2003. National Enquirer. Interview with Alfred Starewich, touted as "the nation's leading voice stress analyst, a former Marine counterintelligence agent and police chief." Starewich identified the "lies" Scott told during the Good Morning America interview.
His Mistress stole another mom-to-be's Hubby
January 28, 2003. National Enquirer. Identifies Amber Frey as Scott's mistress. Includes 4 semi-nude pics of Amber with braces, and an interview with Michelle Hart, ex-wife of a former Amber-lover, Joshua Hart.
January 29, 2003. TheDenverChannel.com. "'It's been incredibly brutal. During the day I know what to do. With the volunteer center, the core group of volunteers we continue to have to work to keep her picture out there through the groups and corporations and organizations. In the evenings I don't know what to do. Those are the dark hours when I lose it and I can't sleep, I go to exhaustion occasionally and get a couple of hours. But it's the dark, silent hours when I don't know what to do that are the hardest part,' Peterson said."
Peterson says he told police about affair
January 29, 2003. Mod Bee Reports the police "no comment" response to Scott's claim that he told them about the affair with Amber on Dec. 24. Also provides detail about the Good Morning America interview, and comments by Ron Frey.
Mercury News, Jan 29, 2003. Opinion piece with the thesis: With our nation in the midst of a debate about guilt, fairness and the death penalty, is it too much to ask for a little due process for Peterson?
ModBee January 30, 2003 report on Scott's media interviews and the media harassment, including a pair of shock jocks from a Los Angeles radio station. When Peterson came home, one of them yelled into a megaphone: "Nobody believes your story."
January 31, 2003. MPD Press Release. "The Modesto Police Department is continuing their ongoing investigation on the Laci Peterson Missing Person case. Detectives are aware of the information from Longview, Washington. The Modesto Police Department has received over 6000 tips so far from all over the country. Modesto Investigators are currently working with investigators in Longview, however we will not be making any public statements regarding the investigation or results of any collateral investigations with other agencies regarding this case."
January 31, 2003. KCRA reports on the possible sighting of Laci Peterson in Longview, Washington, in December.
January 31, 2003. TheDenverChannel.com. "Police in Washington state reviewed surveillance tapes Friday from a grocery store where a clerk said she may have spotted a missing pregnant Modesto woman, but said the tapes revealed nothing of significance. . . . The clerk told authorities that when the man stepped out of line to get something, the woman told her she had been kidnapped and asked her to call police when they left. A police report said the clerk intended to do that -- but got distracted and forgot."
Peterson suspicious in eyes of experts
February 1, 2003. ModBee article on analysis of Scott's media interviews by experts who study words and behavior. Experts interviewed said Scott's words and behavior are "telling," and consensus is they tell Scott is guilty. The article briefly reports on the possible Laci-sighting in Longview, Washington.
February 4, 2003. "The past few days have been too much for Sharon Rocha, Laci Peterson's mother, to handle, NBC11's Karen Brown reported on Tuesday. Rocha's suspicions and distrust towards Scott Peterson has grown after learning that he sold her daughter's Range Rover. This has really disrupted Laci's family, Brown reported." Report from family members that Laci and Scott were having financial difficulties. "Dennis Rocha released a statement saying, 'I think it's awful, just awful. It just aggravates us how he can keep doing this to our family, tearing us apart'." The Rover was given to Dennis.
February 5, 2003. Associated Press. Family members of missing woman Laci Rocha Peterson stepped up their criticism of her husband Wednesday, saying he sold his pregnant wife's car and considered selling the couple's house. "I found it hard to understand a lot of things Scott has done, so why should this be any different," Grantski said. "He has said since the first night he wanted the focus on finding Laci, not on him. Well, with the things he's been doing and saying the focus is all on him. You want to change the focus, Scott, talk to the Modesto police. End this circus."
February 6, 2003. Reports on the Feb. 5, 2003 news conference in which Ron Grantski read a Rocha family statement about Scott selling the Rover and trying to sell the house.
February 7, 2003. MPD Press Release. "For the next three weekends, the family of missing person Laci Peterson will be conducting coordinated searches. The family has met with members of the Modesto Police Department in an effort to organize these searches. Between the family and Modesto Police, areas of search have been discussed and decided upon. Although assisting in the coordination of these searches, the Modesto Police Department will not be assisting in the searches, concentrating instead on their own investigative search."
February 10, 2003. Associated Press. Notes Laci's due date and the search over the weekend at a canal area west of Modesto "to uncover new clues in her disappearance that may have been overlooked by police." Laci website has attracted not only the sympathetic but "hundreds of angry postings accusing Scott Peterson of Laci's murder and calling him an adulterer. . . . Because some of the postings are so rabid, so over-the-top, we were forced to add a dozen volunteers to scan the guest book several times daily."
Interview with Sharon Rocha, Ron Grantski, Brent Rocha, and Amy Rocha
February 11, 2003, On the Record with Greta van Susteren. Ron: "I -- I talked to Scott two days after Laci was missing, and I -- I asked him then. I said, you know, if you -- if you had an affair, was seeing somebody, I think this is time to say something because I know the police are going to bug you about your fishing story, and he said, no, no problem. And so I let it drop." The family re-affirmed that there were no signs of problems in Scott's and Laci's marriage and that if Scott had nothing to do with Laci's disappearance, then he needs to prove it to them.
Pregnant Wife Discovered Hubby's Affair Just Days Before She Disappeared
February 11, 2003. National Enquirer. Quotes a "source close to the case" for information that Laci found a photo of Scott and Amber and "was so furious . . . that she demanded a divorce." Laci reportedly told some friends about the affair, but wanted to wait until after Christmas to tell her family. The source also said there were no presents under the Christmas tree from Scott to Laci, and quotes a source from Salon Salon that Scott was vain and went to the Salon much more than Laci did. Reports that the police suspect Scott put Laci into a 50-gallon steel drum, like the ones used for fertilizer, and that Scott and Laci had "once declared bankruptcy and were again heavily in debt."
February 12, 2003, Connie Chung Tonight, CNN. Sharon and Brent both state that Scott lied when he said he told the police about Amber on the night of the 24th. Amy and Sharon both say that they do not believe Scott told Laci about the affair. Sharon describes again the problem-free nature of their marriage: The way they were as a couple, we would never be able to believe that. They were just so loving towards each other. They were always happy together. And there was no indication that there was ever any kind of a problem between the two of them.
February 12, 2003. PixPage. Laci's family has described the recent behavior of her husband Scott Peterson as "weird" and said they are troubled about what they call his lack of emotion and grief since his wife disappeared. Cites comment by Brent Rocha. Also notes that Scott is in the Fresno area at an agricultural show.
February 12, 2003. Contra Costa Time. A predawn sighting of a man in a wetsuit steering a motorized raft toward the Bay Bridge on Tuesday sparked a massive multi-agency effort to explain a report that raised grave homeland-security concerns. The search began soon after 3 a.m., when the captain of the Alameda-based tugboat Polaris telephoned the U.S. Coast Guard to say his boat had nearly collided with a 10-foot Zodiac-style raft about a mile south of the Bay Bridge. "This raft had no lights, which looked fairly suspicious," said Dale Kline, Seaway's general manager. "The guy (on the raft) is either incredibly stupid or he was trying to hide something."
February 13, 2003, Larry King Live. Guest Host Nancy Grace interviewed Ron Grantski, Brent Rocha, and Amy Rocha. Amy described what Laci was wearing the evening of December 23 when she and Scott went to Amy's salon. They discussed Scott's selling of the car and efforts to sell the house, and other issues they have with Scott. Panel includes Mickey Sherman, Wendy Murphy, Marc Klaas, Michael Welner, and Ted Rowlands.
Cops Quiz Maid as they Follow Trail of Blood
February 18, 2003 National Enquirer. "Sources have said cops found blood spots on the floor of Laci's kitchen. Police think the blood is Laci's but are waiting for test results to come back from the California Crime Lab, said a source close to the case." The article also reports on blood being found in Scott's truck and on Mark Klass' denial that he ever spoke with Scott.
February 18, 2003. MPD Press Release. "Discoveries during the Laci Peterson investigation have necessitated revisiting the Peterson residence with a second search warrant. A search warrant was served this morning at the Peterson residence at 8:10 a.m. The position of the Modesto Police Department has been and remains that no details about this investigation will be released. Mr. Peterson was cooperative with us this morning. He took some personal and work related items from the home and left the home voluntarily while the search took place" said Craig Grogan, lead investigator in the Peterson case. Scott Peterson was at home when detectives arrived and he was not taken into custody. Scott's status in this case of his wife's disappearance has not changed. He has not been identified as a suspect nor eliminated from this investigation.
February 19, 2003. ModBee. Reports on the search of the Covena home by MPD, who spent about 10 hours in the home on the 18th, and returned on the 19th. Dodge Dakota truck was seized; Amy Rocha arrived at 12:30 and came out about 2 hours later. Doug Ridenour said Scott was cooperative and no arrest was imminent. "At about 10:15 a.m., while talking to detectives, Peterson threw his arms up in apparent frustration, then went into his back yard with detectives. About 15 minutes later, Peterson left in the rental truck, taking two duffel bags and a plastic bag filled with clothes. Ridenour later said investigators had packed the bags with personal and work-related belongings Peterson had requested." Some items removed: a half-dozen paper grocery sacks, a manila envelope, a lunch sack, several boxes, dozens of brown grocery bags, one large green garbage bag.
February 19, 2003. CNN.com. "[Scott] is not a suspect yet, nor has he been eliminated from the investigation," said Modesto police Detective Doug Ridenour. "Discoveries during the investigation necessitated this second search warrant." No arrests are imminent, he said. Notes the press conference Scott's family had in San Diego, and their plea for continued help to find Laci.
February 19, 2003, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. Jackie confirmed her confidence that Scott had nothing to do with Laci's disappearance and her concern that everyone had stopped looking for her. She also said: "in the beginning, there was the dog found with his leash and their hound dogs found that she had gotten into a car in the middle of the street, and they followed the scent out to a rural area, out of town, and people have lost sight of that total picture." Jackie described Laci as: "She's wonderful. She's like the sparkle in the family. We all just couldn't wait for her to come and be around us, and we visited her as often as we could. She's just delight, and everybody loved her. The grandkids are nuts about her. The siblings adore her. She just makes everything wonderful for people. She's just the nicest person you'd ever want to meet."
February 20, 2003. MPD Press Release. "The media satellite trucks stationed in the area of the Covena neighborhood are causing a noise disturbance for neighbors. Citizens are also reporting to police that media personnel and equipment make it difficult to drive down their street or get into their homes. Modesto Police are asking media producers to remove their satellite trucks and personnel from the residential areas impacting the Covena neighborhood."
February 21, 2003 Opinion piece published by WRTV. Favorable to Scott, recaps some interesting elements of the case and focuses on media and police efforts to "lynch" Scott.
February 24, 2003, The Today's Show, interview with Brent and Amy Rocha. Channel 3 KCRA's report on the interview. Notably, Brent said it wasn't because of the affair that he stopped supporting Scott, but the affair raised other questions that Scott was not able to answer or gave different answers and contradicted himself. Brent also noted that the weekend search at New Melones Reservoir was unproductive.
Lover's Dad Speaks Out: He broke my daughter's heart
February 25, 2003.
National Enquirer. Ron Frey called the
Enquirer after it ran the story about Amber's affair
with Joshua Hart 4 years earlier. "After that
problem, Amber realized that it doesn't pay to be around
married men," said Ron. "But Scott fooled her and she
had no clue in the world he was married." "Scott said
all the right things--that he wanted to be with her and
her daughter and quit traveling so much."
Laci Mystery: Cops Rip Husband's Alibi Apart
February 25, 2003.
National Enquirer. Multiple claims:
that the boat had no traces of saltwater, had no traces
of ever being launched at sea; Laci's blood was found in
Scott's truck; detectives are investigating a tip that
Scott ordered 3 55-gallon drums just before Christmas; a
neighbor quit working at the Volunteer Center because
every afternoon Scott would say he was going to put up
fliers, but would go golfing instead; and the Red Lion
room services manager says he saw Scott at the hotel's
bar three times laughing and having a good time.
February 25, 2003, Larry King Live. Amy said that she was at the search the previous week to "assist the detectives." Panel discussion included: Nancy Grace, Mark Geragos, Dr. Henry Lee, Marc Klaas, and Ted Rowlands.
February 26, 2003. PixPage. Bruce and Christine Peterson, who sold the boat to Scott, were asked to examine it. They noted a missing life preserver and launch wheels, as well as a cement-like powder inside the boat. The article also notes that the Rochas didn't know anything about the boat prior to Laci's disappearance.
February 26, 2003. NBC11.com. Laci's family says what they find strange is that Scott Peterson never told Laci about the boat. And he told them later that he was saving the boat as a surprise for Christmas Day. Bruce Peterson says Scott never mentioned anything about the boat being a surprise.
February 27, 2003 MSNBC.com. Peterson related what he found different about the boat when the police asked him to look at it: it had a powdery cement like substance in it, was missing the auxillary wheels and a life jacket.
February 27, 2003. KTVU. Two neighbors (Vivian and Bill Mitchell) reported to the police that they say Laci on the morning of December 24, but they were never called back. Lee Peterson's reaction: "How do you follow up on a lead if you don't return someone's calls? It makes me wonder about their competency. Here's an eyewitness account of my daughter-in-law and they don't follow up on it." Modesto Police spokesman Doug Ridenour told The Modesto Bee that several people reported seeing the missing woman that morning. He said detectives investigated the reports, but didn't return every tipster's call. Capt. Greg Savelli said his team meets every day to carefully piece together a battle plan and is confident in the direction of the investigation.
February 28, 2003. MPD Press Release. "In recent news, people who had left tips have spoken to the media about their tips to the Laci Peterson Hotline. We did receive the tip from Mrs. Mitchell. It was documented and appropriately handled during our investigation. Mrs. Mitchell gave detailed information to the employee who took the tip. She went into great detail while speaking to this employee so there was no additional information needed from her. Our tipline has received many calls ranging from legitimate tips to people expressing their opinions and feelings. We have logged and processed the calls and they are all forwarded to an investigator. This investigator then reviews the tips. The majority of the 8,000 plus tips have not received calls back. If the caller only left minimal information or the investigator feels further information is needed, there will be follow-up. On those tips where the caller is detailed and thorough, the person is generally not called back. No tips have been ignored. We will continue to take tips from anyone who feels they have information which could lead to this case being solved."
The Disappearance of Laci Peterson: Why Her Husband, Even If Innocent, Should Not Agree To A Lie Detector Test
March 3, 2003. Advice from attorney Jonna M. Spilbor against taking a lie detector test. In this opinion piece, Spilbor explains that only suspects are given polygraphs in the first place and that these tests often are inaccurate and can provide evidence against the innocent.
March 3, 2003. Globe. Interview with Dennis Rocha, Laci's father, who believed from the very beginning that Scott was guilty. Dennis calls Scott a "liar and a cheat." The article provides detail about Laci's childhood, including the cyst she had that required the removal of an ovary at the age of 8.
March 5, 2003. MPD Press Release. "'As the investigation has progressed we have increasingly come to believe that Laci Peterson is the victim of a violent crime. This investigation began as a missing person case and we all were hopeful that Laci would return home safely. However, we have come to consider this a homicide case. Based on this belief an additional reward is now being offered for information that leads to her location and recovery,' said lead investigator Detective Craig Grogan, Homicide Unit. Kim Petersen, executive director of the Sund/Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation, announced today that donors from an earlier reward for Laci's safe return have approved the transfer of $50,000 dollars to be used for information directly leading to the location and recovery of Laci Peterson." The Press Release repeated the information about how tips are processed and that no tips were ignored.
PI's discovery piques interest
March 5, 2003. ModBee. Describes the search by Bill Garcia, private investigator, and the results. Garcia says he found a spot, which looks to be less than three months old, where a half bag of concrete mix was spilled from the back of a trailer or truck that was backed up against the Delta Mendota canal. The spot, on the edge of the canal about 20 feet off of the road, has a track in it that looks like it's from a trailer tire, Garcia said.
March 5, 2003. NBCSanDiego.com. Doug Ridenour of the MPD, with the Rocha's standing by, announced the change in status from Missing Person to Homicide. He gave Laci being 2 weeks past her due date and "other things" he could not talk about. Kim Peterson read a statement from the Rocha family. Sources told Ted Rowlands that ""it's not a matter of if, but when" an arrest will come." Capt. Greg Savelli said "his team watches the local and national media reports of Laci's disappearance with special interest."
March 11, 2003. PixPage. Reports Ron Frey's claim that Scott told Amber that he had lost his wife a year ago, but did not say how. Amber assumed she had died.
"I was the Target Not Laci": Look
alike neighbor's shocking claim
March 11, 2003. National Enquirer. A Deputy DA in the Modesto area, who looks like Laci, has a golden retriever named McKenzie, and was visibly pregnant in October when she received verbal death threats from the wife of a man being sentenced, called the police to report she thought Laci's disappearance might be mistaken identity. "Police investigated the deputy D.A.'s story but decided that it was not connected to Laci's disappearence," said the source.
Laci's Husband Tells Mistress: "MY WIFE IS DEAD"
March 11, 2003. National
about what Scott told Amber in
December comes from Amber's sister
(she asked that her name be
withheld) and Amber's father, Ron
Frey. Scott told Amber first
week in December that he lost his
wife; Amber assumed he was a
widower. Amber didn't hear
about Laci because she was too busy
to watch the news. She asked a
friend, a private investigator, to
check out her boyfriend, and on
December 29 he told her about
Scott's missing wife. Amber
took and passed a polygraph test.
March 12, 2003. KTVU. Discusses the search effort. Primary interest is the Ted Rowlands interview with Ron Frey. Reveals who introduced Amber to Scott, and who helped Amber figure out who Scott was.
March 13, 2003. MPD Press Release. "The search team that was in the Richmond Point Bay area have suspended their operations. Sgt. Ron Cloward, search team supervisor said, 'the weather conditions require us to discontinue the search.' It is not clear when the search team may return to this area."
March 16, 2003 WRTV News. Opinion article that debunks much of the "evidence" against Scott and remarks on how the police investigators used the media to redirect attention away from reports in Scott's favor.
April 4, 2003. MPD Press Release. "The Stanislaus County Superior Court made a decision today regarding release of information from search warrants in the Laci Peterson investigation. The Modesto Police Department was present in court for a hearing held today regarding the Modesto Bee's petition to the court. This petition was regarding the procedural release of search warrants obtained in the Laci Peterson investigation. The Police Department supports the argument brought forth by the District Attorney's Office that this information should not be released to the public or the media while the investigation is ongoing. The decision by the Court today was to allow an in-camera (private) hearing where the judge will decide if all or part of the search warrants should continue to be sealed or should be released to the public. Detectives from the Modesto Police Department will be present at the hearing to provide statements that will support our request for the continued sealing of the search warrants. In addition, the Police Department will be researching possible legislative action to further clarify the law in regard to such hearings and the potential pre-complaint unsealing of the search warrants."
April 8, 2003. Globe article claiming the mop taken from the Peterson home had traces of Laci's blood and vomit. Also claims that the DNA tests from this mop prompted the February 18-19 searches.
April 10, 2003. MPD Press Release. "A judge ruled today on the petition filed by the media to unseal the search warrants and affidavits in support of search warrants in the Laci Peterson investigation. The Court denied the request to unseal the warrants in its entirety. Around 11:00 a.m. today, Roger M. Beauchesne, a judge of the Superior Court, announced his ruling regarding the warrants in the Laci Peterson Homicide case. Judge Beauchesne ruled that the petitioners' request was denied in its entirety. "We believed the release of information from the search warrants would have been premature and so we were pleased with the court's decision" said Greg Savelli, Commander of Investigative Services Division. Modesto Bee filed the media request to unseal the warrants. The court heard this matter on April 9, 2003, in an in-camera hearing for the purpose of determining the unsealing petition. Lead investigator Detective Craig Grogan of the Homicide Unit and Captain Greg Savelli testified in an effort to keep the warrants sealed for integrity of the investigation. "…revelations of confidential information contained in the warrants, affidavits and returns would irreparably harm the investigation," stated Judge Beauchesne in his ruling. The media felt that the public's need to know was more important than the keeping the warrants confidential and the investigation intact until such time as the case is filed for criminal complaint. The court will allow the sealing for up to 90 days at which time the court can consider an application for extension from the Police Department to keep warrants sealed."
April 14, 2003, 9:00 p.m. MPD Press Release. "The Modesto Police Department was notified around 12:15 p.m. today, that an unidentified body had washed up in the Point Isabella area. The East Bay Regional Park Police Department contacted our Department to inform us of this body. Investigators from our Crimes Against Persons unit responded to the Point Isabella location to provide information in the event this body was identified as Laci Peterson. At this point, we have no information nor has the recovered body been identified as that of Laci Peterson. Until such time as our department has been notified and it has been confirmed that the East Bay body is related to the Modesto case, this is an East Bay Regional Police Department case."
April 14, 2003. Contra Costa Times article about the discovery of the dismembered female body at Point Isabel on April 14. Provides details as to the time of the discovery and the condition of the body and also of the baby found on April 13. "The coroner's office said the newborn was a full-term baby boy."
April 14, 2003. KTVU report on the finding of the two bodies and the Rocha public statement. Provides initial descriptions of the conditions of the bodies and the parts of the bodies that are being used for DNA identification.
April 15, 2003, 11:00 a.m. MPD Press Release. "There will be a scheduled press conference today, Tuesday, April 15, 2003, 4:00 p.m., in the Public Meeting room at Modesto Police Department, 600 10th Street, Modesto, for an update on the Laci Peterson homicide case. For additional information on this case, you may view our web page www.modestopolice.com."
April 15, 2003, 4:00 p.m. MPD Press Release. "The two bodies found on the East side of the San Francisco Bay have not yet been identified. Jurisdiction of the two bodies will remain with the Bay area law enforcement agencies. Today, the Contra Costa Coroner's office announced that they were conducting a Coroner's investigation on a male baby and female adult at their facility. Both of the bodies were located in Contra Costa County. The Modesto Police Department was notified Monday, April 14th, around noon, of the female body located at the East Bay / Point Isabel area. We had been informed that a deceased baby was found in the Richmond area on Sunday. Contra Costa County Coroner's office released information to the public "…calling the body a full-term male baby." They also confirmed that the adult body is that of a female. Contra Costa County Coroner's Office is responsible for identifying these two bodies. Until the identities are confirmed and if it is determined to be Laci Peterson, only then will the Modesto Police become the investigative agency. Yesterday, the East Bay Regional Park Police notified our department of the found body and invited us to observe. They were aware that we had been searching in this area for Laci Peterson. Detectives from our department responded to the area where the female body was located. Detectives remained in the area until about 10:00 p.m. when the autopsy was completed. The forensic pathologist completed the examination and ordered additional examinations to determine the identity of the two bodies."
April 16, 2003. AP. Article explains what is meant by coffin birth, and also notes other ways the fetus can escape from a dead woman's womb.
April 16, 2003. CNN news article reporting on the wait for DNA tests to identify the bodies found. Jimmy Lee, from the coroner's office, is quoted as saying an "alluviating" expert was being brought in to determine how long the remains were in the water.
April 17, 2003. CBS.
District Attorney Jim Brazelton is quoted as
saying he feels "pretty strongly" that the
female body found at Pt. Isabel is Laci.
"I just can't see Scott being out there
free," Dennis Rocha told WBZ-TV in Boston.
"That would just eat me up." He predicted
that an arrest "will happen very soon."
Kenneth Grise, a Modesto resident,
commented: "If he comes out innocent,
I think we'll all feel badly and go out and
apologize to him, but right now he makes
people nervous." Tracy Shelton was
among those who have placed flowers among
the rocks where Laci was found. "I've
never done this before," she sobbed, "but
I'm very compelled now." State Department of
Justice spokesman Nathan Barankin said
sufficient DNA was obtained from the baby,
and were epxected to know on Thursday if
they had sufficient from the female body.
The full-term baby still had an umbilical
April 17, 2003 Associate Press. Discusses the means used by the crime labs to do DNA testing on the two bodies found. Also discusses media efforts to locate Scott while the bodies were being identified.
April 17, 2003. ABCNews article which includes excerpts from Dennis Rocha's interview with WBZ-TV in Boston. The article includes police source information that the decomposed state of Laci's body is consistent with the time frame of Laci's disappearance and that she had on a nursing bra.
April 18, 2003, 6:00 p.m. MPD Press Release. Reports the identification of Laci and Conner, and Scott's arrest. "Late this morning Scott Peterson was arrested at the intersection of Callas and Torrey Pines Road in San Diego. The arrest was made by DOJ Special Agent Supervisor Ernie Limon, Special Agent Peter Shear, and CHP Officer Claude Jubran, without incident. He was immediately turned over to Modesto Police Homicide Detectives. Scott Peterson is being transported back to Modesto to be booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on two counts of murder. The family of Laci Peterson was notified late this afternoon that the bodies were confirmed to be that of Laci and her unborn son. They were also notified of Scott Peterson's arrest. Modesto Police also contacted Scott Peterson's parents and notified them as well."
April 18, 2003. CNN. Brief article reporting the identification of the remains and Scott's arrest. Notes that a black tarp was found close to Laci's body, but that it's relationship to the case has not been identified.
April 18, 2003. Larry King Live. Panel discussion after the arrest of Scott Peterson. Includes interview with Attorney General Bill Lockyer and panel comprised of Mike Brooks, the CNN correspondent; Nancy Grace, Mark Geragos, Marc Klaas, and Dr. Henry Lee.
April 19, 2003. CBSNews.com. Discusses the suspicion the police had of Scott from the very start of the case. Provides some background information for the case as well as brief information about the efforts of the police to keep track of Scott after Laci's and Connor's bodies were found.
Laci's husband held
for murders: How young husband became
April 19, 2003. San Francisco Chronicle/sfgate.com. Very good overview of Scott's background and the causes for suspicion.
[April 19, 2003] ContraCostaTimes. A chart showing the prosecution's theory of how the bodies were moved from by the wind and the waves to where they were found.
April 20, 2003. Daily News. Includes Mike Richardson's report on when Scott changed his hair color and Scott's explanation for the change. Also reviews some claims that Scott flirted with female volunteers and his efforts to evade the police surveillance in the days before his arrest.
April 20, 2003. LATimes.com. Claims that a law enforcement official said Scott had $10,000 on him when he was arrested.
[updated July 14, 2004] CourtTV. Lists the items found in Scott's Mercedes at the time of the arrest.
Scott Peterson arrested
April 20, 2003. ModBee article reporting on Scott's arrest. Includes California Attorney General Lockyer's statement: "This is a compellingly strong case," he said. "I would call the odds slam-dunk that he is going to be convicted." Also reports on the press conferences that announced the results of the DNA tests and provides a recap of the case to date.
April 20, 2003, Time. Jackie and Lee Peterson after Scott's arrest. (excerpts) We're just very critical of the way the Modesto police has handled this investigation. They worked strictly on a theory that was dreamt up by this lead detective within the first eight hours, and they've pursued it backward from there and they have neglected so many good leads. The Rochas know Scott is innocent. They supported him fully until the police misled them, and that was to divide and separate him from them. During their trip to Carmel with Laci and Scott, the week before Laci disappeared, they discussed selling the Rover and getting a better car for Laci.
April 21, 2003. KWTX report on charges being filed against Scott. Significant content is the statement by Kelly Huston, spokesman for the Stanislaus County Sheriff's department, that Scott had far less $10,000 in his possession when he was booked.
People want to know: Who is Scott Peterson?
April 21, 2003. ModBee article providing very good background on Scott's life. Good detail on Scott's youth, when and how Laci and Scott met, their move to Modesto, some background on Laci's disappearance and Scott's arrest, and interviews with Guy Miligi and Mike & Heather Richardson.
PI's discovery piques interest
April 21, 2003 ModBee. Describes the search by Bill Garcia, private investigator, and the results. Garcia says he found a spot, which looks to be less than three months old, where a half bag of concrete mix was spilled from the back of a trailer or truck that was backed up against the Delta Mendota canal. The spot, on the edge of the canal about 20 feet off of the road, has a track in it that looks like it's from a trailer tire, Garcia said.
Driver says that she saw something in back of Scott Peterson's truck
April 21, 2003 ModBee. Article about Connie Fleeman and her reported sighting of Scott at the Crescent Food convenience store on the morning of December 24. Fleeman says she saw Scott again at a stop light, as she attempted to tell him that that the box in the truck bed was slightly open. She said he gave her a "horrifying, scary look." Fleeman says she saw the same truck and boat at Crescent Food the next morning, Christmas Day.
April 21, 2003 Knight Ridder Newspapers . One of the better written articles describing the married life Laci and Scott enjoyed.
April 21, 2003. CNN report on the arraignment hearing for Scott, and the particular moment when Jackie Peterson went over to Sharon Rocha, hugged her, and said, "I'm sorry."
April 21, 2003. Larry King Live. Panel Discusses Scott Peterson's Arraignment, Rocha Family Reaction. Begins with video clip of Sharon Rocha's press conference. Interviews with Jim Brazelton, Stanislaus County DA, and Kelly Huston, Spokesperson for the Stanislaus County Sheriff's office. Panel includes: Nancy Grace, Mark Geragos, Dr. Henry Lee, and Ted Rowlands of KTVU.
April 23, 2003. Commentary on Laci and Scott's marriage, and Scott's complicity in Laci's murder. "They were always sitting real close in family pictures, always smiling. Friends and family said they never argued. They were the picture-perfect couple."
April 24, 2003. NBC 7/39 report that Scott used the alias Jacqueline Peterson and a Florida drivers license to purchase a burgundy 1984 Mercedes-Benz, the car he was driving when arrested. He paid for the car in cash.
Cops used lover to trap Scott
April 25, 2003. National Enquirer article on Amber's cooperation with the police, and their constant surveillance of Scott to protect her from him. Claims Scott, even at the time of his arrest, continued to bombard Amber with romantic calls--every one of which were recorded by the police. Mentions Amber's vacation in March, when she and her daughter went to Vero Beach, Florida, and one occasion when Scott was detected driving near her home in Fresno.
April 25, 2003. New York Post reports that Amber's impression of Scott changed about the time of Laci's disappearance, and a client PI offered to investigate him for her. That became unnecessary when Scott's pictures plastered the media.
April 26, 2003. Fox News article written before the autopsy report declared cause of death unknown, says police theorize that Laci could have been beaten, hit over the head, strangled or even poisoned. They believe she was killed in her house on Dec. 23, the night before Scott reported her missing. Article sources say Scott used several mean to cover-up the murder: including mopping the kitchen floor with chemicals, vacuuming the living room, and washing his clothes.
April 27, 2003 Oakland Tribune. Discusses the police secrecy surrounding the supposed find by Gene Ralson of Laci's remains in the Chevron Shipping Channel, through the use of a side-scan sonar. However, bad weather prevented the retrieval of the body, and a freighter passing through the channel apparently dislodged the body, allowing it to be moved by the tides and currents. Provides some information about the side-scan sonar and its use, as well as some general information about conditions in the Bay that affect this kind of search.
[April 2003] AP Report. Mike and Heather Richardson say that their trust in Scott Peterson has been shaken. Mike Richardson says it's "unfathomable" to think that his friend may be a killer. And his wife says whether or not Scott Peterson killed his wife -- the fact that he was having an affair is a "betrayal just in itself." Mike is the person Scott told his air was bleached while swimming in a friend's pool.
April 21, 2003. Newsweek. Reports on 3 witnesses who saw Scott at the Berkeley Marina on December 24th -- the gardener and two fishermen. [April 28 issue]
April 28, 2003. ContraCosta Times. Good background on Scott's life before Laci and their marriage.
April 29, 2003. MPD Press Release. "A date has been chosen for a memorial for Laci and Conner Peterson. This memorial will be open to the public. The family of Laci Peterson has chosen to have a public memorial service for Laci and Conner on May 4th, 2003 at 3:00 p.m. The location of this memorial will be the First Baptist Church, 1316 12th Street, Modesto (12th and M Streets). The family chose this location since it can seat over 2000 people. The public is invited to share this memorial of Laci. It has been decided to cover this event using pool media. There will be pools for electronic media, print media, photography and radio. Information regarding the pool will be released later this week. At the request of the family, there will be no cameras or recording devices of any type allowed inside the services."
Psychic bombshell in Laci Peterson murder
April 29, 2003. National Enquirer article on Noreen Renier's relationship with Jackie Peterson and the results of her psychic experience in this case. Renier's visions support the prosecution's claim that Scott murdered Laci. Renier's last vision on Laci was March 27, and a report was sent to the Modesto police. Renier said an envelope with Jackie Peterson's $450 check for her services was seized from Scott's truck by the Modesto police.
April 29, 2003. Larry King Live. Panel Discussion. Panel consists of: Bill Kurtis, host for the new documentary, "Who Killed Laci Peterson?"; Nancy Grace; Chris Pixley; Dr. Michael Baden; Dr. Larry Kobilinsky, renowned criminalist.
April 30, 2003, Larry King Live. Panel: Ted Rowlands of KTVU, Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, and Aissa Wayne. Lee Peterson's call at the end of the show, and his discussion with Nancy Grace.
May 1, 2003. NBC11.com. McAllister told NBC11 that the defense's case is "strong." When asked why, he said, "because we investigated it instead of calling press conferences like the police did." The key to Peterson's defense will be the testimony of witnesses uncovered by McAllister, witnesses he says need to be protected, Brown reported. "I'm protecting witnesses, because I have concerns for them if I go public," he said.
May 1, 2003. CrimeNetDaily. Kirk McAllister, Scott's first attorney, claimed he had uncovered evidence that will exonerate Scott. He says the police approached this entire case with the attitude 'We have our theory, don't confuse me with the facts.' "I've made a bond with the citizens who've come forward and talked to me and talked to my investigator, and what I could promise these people was what they tell us will ultimately come out in trial. B ut I'm not gonna do like the police have and call a press conference and visit this hurricane of publicity on these people. ... I'm not gonna dislcose what I have – before I have to do it – either to stroke my ego or kiss the media's a--." Includes information about Geragos, rumored to take over the case.
May 2, 2003. MPD Press Release. Contains information about the media pools that will cover the Memorial on May 4.
May 5, 2003. Detailed CourtTV report on the Memorial service (May 4). Several quotes from attendees who never knew Laci, as well as from several speakers.
May 5, 2003. ABCNews.com. Includes report on Laci's Memorial service.
May 6, 2003. Star article on Laci's marriage. Dennis Rocha was late for the wedding, so his father walked Laci down the aisle.
Interview with David Wright
May 7, 2003. On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. David Wright, reporter for The National Enquirer, has reported extensively on Amber Frey and her involvement in this case. Wright says he spent "hours" with the Frey family. Amber went to the police on the December 29th, armed with photos of she and Scott in intimate poses. Prior to this, Wright says, police believe Scott's contention that his marriage with Laci was perfectly happy. Wright says that she told police Scott called her on the 27th and 28th, and the conversation had been just boyfriend/girlfriend talk. Wright also says that Amber asked the question "Did you have anything to do with your wife's disappearance?" on the day before her public press conference. Wright said Scott denied it, but appeared nervous for the first time. Wright said Scott never did confess, but the police could sense a growing feeling of desperation in him as the phone calls went on.
May 8, 2003. Comprehensive, in-depth ABCNews.com article on the legal rights of a fetus in context of this case. Specifically discusses the rights of a fetus in a wrongful death suit, should the Rochas bring one against Scott. Mentions that under current California law, the Rochas would have to prove that Conner was born and then died as the result of Scott's actions.
May 8, 2003. Channel 5. Results of the Channel 5 poll of the jury pool taken on May 5, 2003. The poll showed that 83% in the Bay Area already believe Peterson is guilty or probably guilty. In the Central Valley, which includes his hometown of Modesto, eight out of ten people felt same way.
Warrant for Peterson hair
May 9, 2003. ModBee. Details the search warrant for Scott's hair, body photo, and body hair photo. Provides known details of other search warrants.
May 10, 2003. NBC7/39 Newsroom report on concern over the wiretaps of Scott's phones that included conversations with the media and raises the question of whether the media conversations were the actual targets. "What we're talking about here is a most extraordinary event, and it's one that, as a civil libertarian, is very worrisome," said Bernard Segal, a Golden Gate University law professor.
May 12, 2003. One of two men arrested for a Dec. 26 burglary in the neighborhood -- Donald Pearce or Steven Todd -- has told police while casing the neighborhood he saw Scott Peterson doing something suspicious at around 3 a.m. on Dec. 24. The article also reports on Geragos' statement that he would produce several witnesses if a grand jury was held that would point the finger at another suspect in the killing of Laci Peterson and her unborn son, Connor.
May 12, 2003. ABC News. Discusses the importance of Amber Frey in establishing motive for Laci's murder.
May 12, 2003. ABCNews.com. Describes Scott and Laci's marriage. Reviews comments by friends Greg and Kristen Reed. Includes wedding photos.
May 13, 2003 Globe article on alleged connection between Scott and three other missing women: Evelyn Hernandez, Kristin Smart, and Kristen Modafferi. Also includes report that Sharon Rocha called Scott after Laci's body was found, asking him to come to identify it. Includes an interview with Kristen Smart's mother.
Divers search San Francisco Bay again
May 17, 2003. ModBee, Reports on the May 17 search of the Bay for more evidence. Article mentions the search work by Gene Ralston, using his side-scan sonar equipment. Dive teams from the Marin County and Contra Costa County sheriff's departments assisted investigators from the Modesto Police Department. Coast Guard crews also took part, with their vessels taking up positions near divers south of Brooks Island.
May 19, 2003. ABCNews.com. Reports on continued search of the SF Bay to find more evidence, and the defense is pursuing a "two-killer" theory and also looking into whether a satanic cult killed Laci, sources said, a theory they say was first introduced by police.
May 19, 2003. KABC-TV. Reports on the press conference by Amber Frey and Gloria Allred announcing Amber has hired Gloria.
May 20, 2003. CBS reports on the May 20, 2003 press conference by Amber Frey and her victims rights attorney, Gloria Allred. Allred notes that Amber needs an attorney to help protect her from media privacy invasions and from "attack dog" defense attorneys.
Behind Closed Doors
May 21, 2003. A People sneak peak at its interview with Scott's family. "Reminding the world of the bond that once existed between Laci and Scott — whether it be yoga, a shared love of cooking or their desire to have a baby together — has become a kind of mission for the Peterson clan." Includes Geragos' statement that "Scott does not have the genetics of a cold-blooded, premeditated killer."
May 22, 2003. KNBC-TV in Los Angeles reported that Scott's defense team had in protective custody a woman who called police to say she could clear Scott Peterson's name. The woman alleges that the deaths are linked to a satanic or cult killing and that "crazies" are involved, and is providing the defense with crucial information that may lead to the identification of Laci's murderer(s). The district attorney in Modesto had no comment.
Skeptics question Peterson claims
May 23, 2003. ModBee, The image of Scott Peterson fishing alone in San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve does not sit well with some longtime sturgeon fishermen. Their skepticism mostly is rooted in the size of Peterson's 14-foot aluminum boat. "That's totally ridiculous," said Tim Sellars, manager of Fisherman's Warehouse in Manteca. "I've been out there in a 30-foot boat and it's spooky."
May 23, 2003. KTVU. San Francisco television station KTVU said both the defense and prosecution confirmed that investigators had located two women with whom Peterson reportedly had what one source called "some sort of relationship." The sources did not go so far as to call the women actual "girlfriends."
ABC13.com, May 23, 2003. Modesto LE isn't talking about the satanic cult theory, but early on in the investigation, they received an anonymous tip that a satanic cult was operating out of Bill Austin's Modesto furniture store. Austin claimed he knew nothing about cults and doesn't believe one is operating out of his building. He said he never heard anything more about the cult from police after that initial phone call.
May 27, 2003. CourtTV. Portion of the Scott Peterson phone tap reports which discusses the private investigator hired by Scott. Related a phone call occurred between Scott and Amber on January 20.
May 27, 2003 FoxNews. A source close to Amber Frey told Fox that Scott sometimes called her five to six times a night after she went public with details of their affair in January. He used at least three different cell phones to contact Frey, according to the source. The report also details the "confession" Scott made to Amber that he knew who was responsible for Laci's disappearance, and Frey's claims that Scott pressed to see her, offered her expensive gifts, and sent expensive jewelry to her. The method and place of delivery might prove an interesting point in the case, according to the source.
May 27, 2003. ABC7 News article about Scott's court appearance on May 27. Includes statement that "police think Scott Peterson cheated on his wife more than once," but does not give names or details. The article provides good background information on the wiretaps, including the conversations with Amber Frey. Discusses Scott's alleged confession to Amber that he knew who was responsible for Laci's disappearance.
May 27, 2003. Globe interview with Dennis Rocha, who claims he knew on Dec. 26 that Scott killed Laci. Rocha suspected Laci found pictures of Scott and Amber, or Amber called the house, causing a terrible fight between Laci and Scott. Laci said she was leaving after the holidays or after Conner was born, and the financial effect on his lifestyle motivated Scott to kill Laci.
May 27, 2003. Larry King Live. Panel discussion of the case. Notable remarks by Ted Rowlands that in the Judge's chambers "Geragos asked the Modesto police investigators if it was true that Modesto police are now actively following his own investigators around, re-interviewing witnesses, witnesses that he says produces this theory of another person and that investigator acknowledged to the judge that indeed the Modesto police is looking into it, some of the witnesses based on Geragos' defense investigation."
May 28, 2003. Daily News. Reports of 3 girlfriends, multiple cell phones, and a secret checking account from a source close to the investigation.
2 charged in ID theft ring
May 29, 2003 ModBee. Reports on the scam to claim to be Laci's family members and run up hotel bills with stolen credit cards from Feb. 27 through March 6. Involved were Kimberly Sue Brown, 33, and Samuel Torres, 40, who claimed at least 12 victims.
May 29, 2003.
NBC 6 News Team. Dan Abrams,
NBC, was the first to reveal the contents of
Conner's autopsy, leaked to NBC by Scott's
defense team. Excerpts:
report indicates that 1 ½ loops of plastic
tape were found around Connor Peterson's
neck. In addition, the report also said a
"significant cut" was found on the baby's
body, which the report said was made after
he died. . . . Dr. Cyril Wecht, who said the
cuts found on the baby's body were
consistent with the child having been
removed from the mother's womb via an
incision, rather than expelled from the body
due to decomposition of the uterus, although
Wecht said that he could not come to a
definitive conclusion without seeing the
report himself. . . .Wecht, pointing out
that . . . "non-medical personnel"
immediately identified it as male. The
coroner's report also indicated that the
baby was clearly male, and that the genitals
and anus were intact."
May 29, 2003. CNN, Anderson Cooper. Reports on portions of Connor's autopsy report, including information about the plastic tape looped around his neck; an apparent postmortem tear exposing the internal surfaces of the right shoulder and the right hemi-thorax with no evidence of chewing or scalloping at the wound margins; and his gestational age being 33-38 weeks, based on anthropological measurements.
May 29, 2003. ABC7News. Discusses the potential for fingerprints being found on the tape that was around Conner's neck as well as the tape around Laci's body.
May 30, 2003. ABC News obtained a copy of the sealed autopsy reports and provides descriptions of the bodies and the questions raised. Also discusses the Rocha family's outrage that information from Connor's autopsy report was made public before they were given the details.
May 30, 2003. MPD Press Release. "Modesto Police responded to an alarm at the Peterson home on Covena. On May 30, 2003 at approx. 10:00 am, the Modesto Police Department responded to an alarm at the home of Scott and Laci Peterson on Covina Ave. The alarm company reported that the Rocha family was at the home. Officers responded, contacted members of the Rocha family and learned that they were removing property belonging to Laci Peterson. Both the Peterson and Rocha families have been in discussions, along with their attorneys, on how they would arrange for the transfer of the property. The police have spoken to both families and their attorneys and have determined this to be a civil dispute. The Modesto Police Department has documented the property in question as part of the civil dispute and does not anticipate taking any further action at this time."
OpEd by an attorney that first decries the publicity this case has received, then notes that public interest is not only understandable but justified. Reflects the opinion that Scott is guilty.
June 2, 2003 KTVU. "Rick Ross, who has studied cults and cult behavior in the United States for more than 20 years, told KTVU's Mornings on 2, that Scott Peterson's defense team was floating an alternative theory of the slaying based on a debunked urban myth." Ross reviews some well-known satanic murders and notes the lack of similarities in Laci's murder. Article also includes detail about the Rochas going to the Covena home and removing a few pick-up truckloads of possessions, including a rocking chair and Conner's crib.
June 4, 2003 ABCNews. Scott Peterson's defense team hopes that stains found in a mysterious brown van that could come from duct tape and blood are the evidence they need to save Scott. That defense team strategy, details of which were obtained by ABCNEWS, stem from a Modesto police report that outlines a conversation that took place between a rape counselor and police. The report reveals that a rape crisis counselor told investigators about a woman who said she was attacked in the area a week before the young pregnant woman went missing. The counselor told police the woman she helped said she had been attacked on Dec.18, by men carrying out some sort of ritual. The rape counselor said the woman explained that the man had bragged they would murder someone on Christmas Day.
Another witness saw dog
June 6, 2003 ModBee. Reports Laci-sightings on the morning of December 24 by Mike Chiavetta, neighbor and school teacher, Homer and Helen Maldonado, and Vivian and Bill Mitchell.
June 6, 2003. KTVU. "Police believe Scott drugged Laci with the date rape drug -- GHB -- and then strangled her in their Modesto home, numerous sources revealed to KTVU Channel 2 on Friday. Sources on both sides of the case told KTVU's Ted Rowlands that the prosecution's theory of the crime had been pieced together using information salvaged from a computer taken from the Peterson home." The article also reports on various rulings by Judge Girolami at the June 6 hearing.
June 6, 2003. KTVU article on Judge Giralom's refusal to grant the Prosecution's request to unseal the autopsy reports. The prosecution wanted them unsealed so they could counter false reports about their content and conclusions. The Judge set a June 19 hearing to discuss the legality of the wiretaps.
June 6, 2003. Fox News Report on this development in the case.
Body parts still a puzzle
June 6, 2003 SacBee. Yolo County authorities confirmed that parts from as many as four human bodies were discovered outside a trash bin in a trailer park in Davis. May be used by Defense to show evidence of a serial killer in the area. Article describes the remains found and the questions raised, and includes a map of Davis showing the location of the discovery. I have added a map showing Davis in relationship to Modesto and Fresno.
Analysis of Laci Peterson Case
June 6, 2003. Larry King Live. Includes interview with Mike Chiavetta, the neighbor who saw McKenzie in the Park the morning of December 24th. Chiavetta answers panel questions about what he saw, and comments on the weather that day, which he said had been hazy, but the sun had broken through.
June 7, 2003. Contra Costa Times article on the contents of the death certificates released on June 6. Also reviews the activities of the June 6 hearing.
June 9, 2003, Dateline with Katie Couric. Comprehensive interview of Sharon Rocha, Ron Grantski, Amy Rocha, Harvey Kemple and other relatives and friends of Laci. Interview conducted on the anniversary of Laci announcing her pregnancy to her family.
June 9, 2003. WRAL.com. Reports on Couric's interview Laci's family and friends.
Cruel Scott Abused Laci
June 10, 2003, National Enquirer. Article depicting a violent and abusive Scott from the beginning of his marriage to Laci. Allegedly, Scott was seeing other women while he was courting Laci, had numerous affairs during their marriage, and didn't bother to keep them a secret from her. Sources for the information were a "former colleague," and "friends."
June 10, 2003. CNN.com. Quite detailed article on the June 6 hearing and the various rulings by the Judge, including his refusal to grant the Prosecution request to unseal Laci's and Connor's autopsy reports. Discusses the wiretap issue.
Subpoena served to Ladine asking details of Peterson wiretaps
Updated June 11, 2003.
ModBee.com. Scott Peterson's attorneys on
Tuesday took the extraordinary step of serving a
Stanislaus County Superior Court judge with a subpoena,
seeking testimony about wiretaps used in the
investigation of Laci Peterson's death. Court
Executive Officer Mike Tozzi said he accepted the
subpoena on Judge Wray Ladine's behalf, then gave Ladine
a copy. The judge likely will rely on legal advice from
the state Administrative Office of the Courts, Tozzi
said. . . . Peterson's attorneys want Ladine to
testify about meetings with a prosecutor and an
investigator, co-defense counsel Kirk McAllister said.
The meetings took place every three days as authorities
monitored the phone calls, according to prosecution
documents. Defense attorneys were left with little
choice but to sub-poena Ladine because a court reporter
was not present at the conferences, McAllister said.
June 13, 2003. AP. Judge Al Girolami said that he believed the gag order was the only way to stop leaks and rumors from derailing Peterson's husband's right to a fair trial. Judge Beauchesne in Stanislaus County Superior Court ordered the unsealing of eighth search warrants and related documents in the case, but postponed their release until July 8.
June 13, 2003. San Francisco Chronicle/sfgate.com. Reports on the gag order issued by Judge Girolami and the decision to release sealed warrants by Judge Beauchesne. "Eight warrants -- including affidavits outlining probable cause for Peterson's arrest and an inventory of items seized by Modesto police -- should be released now that he is in custody, Beauchesne said." Girolami cited massive media coverage as the reason for the gag order, and noted that a change of venue and extensive voir dire of potential jurors "are not especially helpful in this case because of the exceptional amount of publicity which has been broadcast throughout this state and country,"
June 16, 2003 NBC11.com. Geragos filed papers to lift a gag order silencing lawyers, witnesses and investigators, "saying it was unconstitutional and had already failed to muffle the lawyer representing Amber Frey." Article includes Gloria Allred's public response to Geragos' accusation that she had violated the gag order.
June 17, 2003. Globe interview with transvestite Victor Cordeiro, who claims Scott picked him up at a gay bar one October night in 2000 and brought him home, where the 2 had gay sex in Scott and Laci's bed. The Globe claims Cordeiro passed a polygraph test. The article includes comments by Dr. Martha Kirkpatrick a professor at UCLA, who says Scott's repressed homosexuality may have been what drove him to murder Laci.
June 18, 2003. Larry King Live. Panel discussed the legal ramifications of the wiretapped conversations recently discovered by the prosecution. Notable comment from Nancy Grace, guest host: "But has the state's case been torpedoed by forensics, forensics indicating no blood in the Peterson's home? That's right, not a drop."
June 19, 2003. CNN article on the 176 taped phone calls found on a computer. The recordings were found June 13 when Detective Steven Jacobson reviewed calls from two wiretaps to be sure all the recordings requested by the court had been turned over. The article also discusses the Defense claim that Gloria Allred, Amber's attorney, violated the gag order.
June 19, 2003. CBSNews.com article on the 176 tapped phone calls found on a computer. Also notes that these 176 calls are in addition to the 3,858 phone calls police previously acknowledged logging on Scott's home and cellular phones. Also discusses Defense claims that investigators illegally listened to conversations between Scott and his attorney and efforts to keep the search warrants sealed.
Police talk to 4 women who live near Petersons' home about murder case
ModBee, June 26, 2003. Reports on police interviews with two women living in Laci Peterson's neighborhood who also were pregnant with their first babies Christmas Eve and who fit Laci's general description to see if they had walked their dogs Christmas Eve. Each said they had not. Also reports on two neighbors who saw Scott on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
[June 2003] Karisable. John Philpen's analysis of the media trial that started on December 25, 2002. "Laci and Scott Peterson are no longer real. They are incarnations of perfect good and perfect evil brought to us nightly by the name brands that grace our tables. She is the Madonna. He is Beelzebub."
Laci's Ex-Beau Shot his Girl Friend
July 8, 2003. National Enquirer interview with William Kent Gain, who dated Laci in High School and College. Includes a prom picture. Gain describes Laci's personality and says he does not believe Laci would have tolerated Scott's affair with Amber.
Manager claims he's forced out
July 9, 2003. ModBee article about Brad Saltzman, who was released from his position as manager of the Red Lion Hotel in Modesto because he refused accommodations to Lee and Jacki Peterson. Saltzman was instrumental in setting up the family search operation in the Red Lion, even going to LA to assist Scott in his search there.
No tie between Peterson case, woman's death, say Vegas cops
July 9, 2003 ModBee article reporting that Las Vegas Police Lt. Tom Monahan confirmed that he had contacted Modesto police after Perry Monroe was arrested for the Nevada murder. But, Monahan added that he told Modesto authorities, "We have uncovered no evidence that suggests (a serial killer)." Some observers with legal backgrounds have said it would be worthwhile for Scott Peterson's defense team to thoroughly investigate the Monroe case.
Few similarities between autopsy files, expert says
July 11, 2003 ModBee report on Dr. Baden's analysis of the Hernandez and what he knew about Laci's autopsy. Baden thought Hernandez had no signs of disarticulation, but Laci did. Includes disagreement regarding Laci's disarticulation by Dr. Richard T. Mason, forensic pathologist for the Santa Cruz County coroner's office.
A Laci Peterson look-alike 'debunks' mistaken identity
July 15, 2003 ModBee article describes the woman whom police say the eye-witnesses mistook for Laci.
July 18, 2003. KTVU Ted Rowlands interview with James Soares, who occupied a cell next to Scott in the maximum security tier of the Stanislaus County Jail. Soares describes what life is like for Scott in jail.
July 22, 2003. Geragos files Defense position on cameras in the courtroom for the preliminary hearing, asking for a "closed" hearing. The article gives a brief recap of the various positions on cameras in the courtroom filed by the parties.
July 23, 2003. News 47 report on police ruling out Amber as a suspect because she took and passed a lie detector test.
Peterson's lawyers claim open court would hurt evidence of 'true killers'
July 23, 2003 ModBee, report on a 10-page brief filed Tuesday in Stanislaus County Superior Court by Mark Geragos. Geragos claims discovery turned over last week "totally exonerates" Scott and should not be made public to prevent alerting the killers.
July 26, 2003. Reports on the law signed by Gray Davis, introduced as Assembly Bill 1083, which prohibits an insurer from issuing life insurance with a face value of $50,000 or more unless the spouse has been notified or has signed the application. The law rose out of the Laci Peterson case.
July 26, 2003, People in the News, Paula Zahn, CNN. Consists primarily of the interviews and editorial comments by David Mattingly. Includes interviews with several Peterson friends and members of Scott's and Laci's families.
Peterson rented private mailbox Dec. 23
August 1, 2003 ModBee. Provides details about the private mailbox Scott rented at Mailboxes Etc in Modesto.
Peterson team takes on state wiretap law
August 2, 2003 ModBee. Provides information about Geragos' claim that California wire tap laws violate the Constitution. Also includes information about the wiretaps used by the police in this case.
August 3, 2003 Fresno Bee. Provides very thorough birth and family information on Amber, as well as her romantic relationships.
August 4, 2003 KTVU Reports on Rita Cosby's interview of William 'Kent' Gain, who dated Laci in high school and college. Gain does not believe Scott told Laci about the affair with Amber. Gain says he was investigated by the police after Laci's disappearance, but cleared because he is currently serving time in Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen, Wash., for shooting his girlfriend.
Peterson rejected deal in January
August 7, 2003 ModBee. Reviews the 20-page defense motion to prevent wiretap evidence from being presented at Peterson's trial. Reveals that the police offered Scott a plea bargain sometime in January, which he rejected. Discusses the legal implications of the police treating the case as a capital murder case and its impact on the wiretap evidence.
August 11, 2003 CNN. Judge Girolami approved guidelines for the Defense Team to examine the remains of Laci and Connor. Dr. Henry Lee will perform the forensic examination.
Defense outlines cult theory
August 13, 2003 ModBee. Scott's defense team Tuesday briefed two forensic experts on a satanic cult theory, including paintings and artwork near San Francisco Bay and an experiment showing that the pregnant Laci Peterson's body could have been placed in the water at the art site. Includes picture of The Bulb, a peninsula near Point Isabel where the artwork is located. The picture traces the route Scott took on his December 24 fishing trip.
[August 2003] ABC News. Talks about the rape counselor who gave police information about a woman who said she was attacked in the area on December 18 by members of a satanic cult. The attack victim told the counselor the perpetrators bragged a murder would be committed on Christmas Day.
August 14, 2003 ModBee. Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Al Girolami called for an inquiry into a possible gag order violation in the Scott Peterson case, one day after The Bee ran a story detailing elements of the defense team's investigation.
Peterson's hearing open to public
August 14, 2003 ModBee report on the August 14 hearing. Girolami ruled the preliminary hearing would be open to the public, and evidence of possible gag order violations by both the prosecution and defense would be heard after the preliminary hearing.
August 14, 2003. CNN reports on the rulings made by Judge Girolami at the August 14 hearing, notably the decision to keep the preliminary hearing open and to hear evidence on possible gag order violations by both the prosecution and the defense.
Parents may not attend hearing
August 17, 2003 ModBee. Lee and Jackie Peterson were served with subpoenas by the prosecution as possible witnesses at the preliminary hearing. Witnesses typically are not able to be in the courtroom when other evidence is presented. Lee characterized the subpoenas as an attempt by prosecutors and police to prevent him and his wife from defending their son in comments to the media.
August 17, 2003 Fox News report on the findings of Drs. Lee and Wecht in their examination of Laci's and Connor's remains. They could not determine cause of death, she was more decomposed than they had thought due to her long presence in the Bay, and she was not dismembered before being put into the Bay but by her long exposure to the water. Lee and Wecht also interviewed some witnesses who say they saw Laci on the 24th, and who may be called as witnesses at the preliminary hearing.
August 18, 2003 ModBee. Review of Judge Girolami's ruling barring cameras from the preliminary hearing. "Potential jurors will have a more difficult time avoiding or disregarding something they have seen replayed 'many times on television in living color as opposed to something they have read about a few times in black and white'.”
August 18, 2003. CNN report on Judge Girolami's ruling barring cameras from the preliminary hearing.
Remains to be released to family; dogs, hypnosis may be part of hearing
August 19, 2003 ModBee. Reports on the court ordered release of the remains of Laci and Conner after the defense completed its xrays of Conner. Also discusses Kristen Deppenwolf's hypnosis by MPD.
Defense team seeks to close Peterson's preliminary hearing
August 20, 2003 ModBee. Reports on the defense appeal to the state's 5th District Court of Appeal to get Scott's preliminary hearing closed. The defense contends that closing the hearing is necessary to protect Scott's right to a fair trial by an impartial jury, and asked the appellate court for "immediate intervention."
August 20, 2003. Reuter's reports a radiologist for the defense took x-rays of both Laci and Conner. The x-rays of Conner will be compared to Laci's Dec. 23 sonogram to determine if Conner lived past Dec. 23. The article also states that "Investigators hypnotized [Kristen] Dempewolf to help her remember exactly when and where she walked her dog on Christmas Eve, and were satisfied that people who thought they saw Laci instead saw Dempewolf or another pregnant woman, sources said."
August 28, 2003. KCRA.com. Elizabeth Gleick, People's Assistant Managing Editor, appeared on the Today Show with information that the tape around Conner's neck was not ocean debris, the condition of Connor's body suggests he may not have been in the water as long as his mother, and other physical evidence suggests he may have been killed separately.
August 29, 2003. CNN review of the gag order violations and the August 28 agreement by the Defense and Prosecution to set aside their respective claims of gag order violations -- in the context of the August 29 issue of People, which discusses several evidentiary elements of the case. CNN suggests the People article is a violation of the gag order and will re-open the gag-order violation discussion.
August 30, 2003. AP Brief article about the private funeral and burial held by Laci's family.
Laci, Conner laid to rest
August 30, 2003. A ModBee article on the funeral and burial ceremonies for Laci and Connor. Includes a link to text of the Funeral services (archived) and a link to 9 funeral pics.
September 2, 2003. Court TV article on the evidence the prosecution plans to present at the preliminary hearing, as revealed in the September 2 hearing. Briefly mentions Geragos' intent to challenge this evidence.
Cops probe drug secret behind Laci's murder
September 2, 2003 National Enquirer. Article on the police probe of a suspected connection between Scott Peterson and the illegal drug trade, specifically Scott's involvement in a black market sale of the fertilizer compound, anhydrous ammonia, used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, a widely used stimulant that causes euphoria.
September 2, 2003. KTVU report on the Petersons being excluded from the Rocha funeral held for Laci and Connor, including an exchange of emails between the two families, and the defense request for a delay in the Preliminary hearing.
Funeral upsets Petersons; Rochas ask to be left alone
September 3, 2003. ModBee, Relates the exclusion of the Petersons from the private family service for Laci and Conner. Provides the email Jackie Peterson wrote to Sharon asking her to delay the funeral until Scott was exonerated, and the reply the Rochas' attorney sent back, telling the Petersons to leave the Rochas alone.
Peterson gets delay
September 3, 2003 ModBee report on the Defense request for a delay in the preliminary hearing. Provides a very good explanation of each of the four prosecution evidences the defense will challenge at the preliminary hearing: cadaver and scent-tracking dogs; hypnosis; GPS devices; and mitochondrial DNA.
Laci's doctor rebuts reports
September 4, 2003 ModBee report that Dr. James Y.K. Yip, Laci's OB, denied giving her a sonogram on her Dec. 23rd visit. He said she had only a routine pre-natal visit on that day. Also reports that Laci's last sonogram was in September, and provides some expert discussion on the value of the September sonogram and x-rays for determining Conner's age.
GPS use on Peterson in question
September 5, 2003 ModBee, article on the GPS device put in Scott's pickup and general discussion of GPS devices and that evidence from the GPS device will introduced by the DA. Also mentions that 3 other vehicles were searched under search warrants by the police.
Peterson's ex-girlfriend sticks close to home
September 6, 2003 ModBee interview with Ron Frey, who says Amber is now living in a gated community with round-the-clock security. Frey does not give specific reasons for the move, but does mention that it wouldn't do any good to put her in witness protection because everyone knows who she is.
Laci's Autopsy Report Destroys Scott's Defense
September 9, 2003 issue of The National Enquirer article on Dr. Werner Spitz's analysis of the Autopsy Diagnoses part of Laci's autopsy report. Article includes an inset of the actual Autopsy Diagnoses
Will a Parade of Women Take the Stand to say they had Affairs with Scott Peterson?
September 10, 2003. KOVR-13 news report on 7 affairs during Scott's 5-year marriage with Laci, the first in 1997. Laci was living in Prunedale, working as a wine distributor and Scott was in San Luis Obispo, living with a roommate. Laci found out about this affair on a surprise visit. She did not, however, tell anyone about it. Report suggests the defense will use this in their favor to weaken the prosecution's Amber-motive theory.
September 10, 2003 ModBee, article on the California state law passed in 1984 that severely restricts the use of information from a hypnotized witness at trial -- including limiting the testimony to matters the person recalled before the hypnosis. The law was in response to a 1982 California Supreme Court ruling saying that "most experts agree that hypnotic evidence is unreliable because a person under hypnosis can manufacture or invent false statements." Judge Girolami is to address the issue at Scott's preliminary hearing Oct. 20.
September 10, 2003. Kristin told Gomez she was hypnotized for 3 hours. She is the witness who saw Scott loading his truck on Dec. 24th. She remembers the conversation she had with Scott, but not what he was loading in to his truck. Includes picture of Dempewolf.
Hypnotized Peterson witness reportedly tells of van
September 12, 2003 ModBee report on Diane Jackson's sighting of a suspicion van parked in front of 516 Covena Ave., directly across the street from the Peterson home. One rear van door was open, the other ajar. 516 Covena is the Medina home that was burglarized when Rudy and Susan were out of town. The police had concluded the burglary took place on Dec. 26 at 6:30 a.m. Jackson was hypnotized at the police department to help her remember details of the van sighting, but the date of her hypnosis is not provided in the article. Police discounted reports of a suspicious van in the neighborhood, saying it belonged to landscapers.
September 12, 2003. ModBee article about the hypnosis of Diane Jackson, who told police she was driving to her home in the La Loma neighborhood at 11:40 a.m. Dec. 24 when she saw three men standing near a tan van parked in front of 516 Covena Ave., directly across the street from the Peterson home. One rear van door was open, the other ajar, she said. Police discounted reports of a suspicious van in the neighborhood, saying it belonged to landscapers. Jackson's account to police indicates that she saw no landscaping equipment with the three men, whom she described as Hispanic or Asian. Jackson's description of the 3 men also rules out the two men who burglarized the Medina home (516 Covena Ave), as they are white. Jackson indicates she will be a defense witness.
Is cult linked to Peterson killings?
September 14, 2003 ModBee article on newly revealed defense evidence of cult involvement in Laci's murder. "Sources close to the case say that in June, Peterson's defense team acquired a coat worn by a Modesto resident allegedly affiliated with an occult group. The man bragged about being involved in Laci Peterson's death, a source said." The article describes in detail the Salida cult murders in 1990. Also reviews skepticism from the experts that Laci's murder has any evidence of cult involvement.
September 16, 2003. ModBee. Article on the clear plastic, with a length of black electrical tape attached to it, and the separate length of black plastic that were recovered 50 yards from Laci's remains. The article interviews several experts who give opinions on what this evidence will mean to prosecution or the defense.
September 16, 2003. Globe interview with James Soares, Stanislaus County inmate who occupied a cell near Scott in the first weeks after Scott was arrested. Unlike his first interview with KTVU's Ted Rowlands, Soares has only bad things to say about Scott. He retells the incidence of Scott being forced to perform oral sex on another inmate, his obsession with Amber, his anger at Laci for getting pregnant, and his use of drugs before and during his incarceration.
Searchers return to San Francisco Bay
September 20, 2003. ModBee notice that investigators and divers were again searching the San Francisco Bay on September 19, 2003.
September 20, 2003. Fresno Bee article on the claims by Cory Carroll, a Fesno County jail inmate, that Scott met with Dirty and Skeeter, two members of a neo-Nazi gang, to discuss the theft of Laci's Rover for insurance fraud. Carroll says the conversation turned to kidnapping. The article provides the substance of Carroll's statements to the polygrapher and the questions asked in the polygraph exam.
September 22, 2003 Fox News report on Janie Peterson's claim that she and her husband were with Laci and Scott on November 29, and that Laci and Scott wouldn't have had time to return to Modesto, Scott drop off Laci and all the presents, and then Scott continue on to Fresno for the meeting Cory Carroll says happened between Scott and the two neo-Nazis, Dirty and Skeeter.
Caffeine found in Peterson's body
September 22, 2003. ModBee, Report on Laci testing positive for caffeine, but not Conner, and the implications for Scott's defense, which may use the tests to show that Conner was born before Laci was murdered.
Cops Have Fingerprints of Laci's Murderer
September 23, 2003. National Enquirer article that claims fingerprints were successfully extracted from duct tape on the tarp found near Laci's body. The 42 inch wide by 20-foot-long tarp washed up near Point Isabel in the city of Richmond on April 15. It was found about 50 yards south of the spot where Laci's badly decomposed body had come ashore the day before. The strips of duct tape from the tarp were also being compared to tape that was attached to Laci's remains and duct tape police found during searches of the Peterson home in Modesto and the nearby warehouse, Scott used for his job.
Inmate's Peterson story called 'somewhat credible'
September 23, 2003 ModBee article relating Melvin King's confidence that Cory Carroll's does believe the statements he gave King. King is the retired police lieutenant who gave Carroll the polygraph test. An anonymous source credits news of Scott's involvement with the Nazi Low Rider gang as the reason for Amber moving to a gated community and securing 24-hour protection.
Peterson, Frey had frequent contact
September 25, 2003 ModBee comprehensive article on the phone calls exchanged between Scott and Amber and between Amber and the detectives investigating Laci's disappearance. Most striking are the 14 calls between Scott and Amber on December 26. The article also identifies the time of Amber's call to the police on December 30, and the two calls which preceded it. Other noteworthy information is that a "source close to Laci Peterson" said Laci confided in the source that she was concerned Scott had been unfaithful to her in 1998. When the source asked Scott about it after Laci's disappearance, Scott confirmed it. Includes detailed graphic chart of Amber's phone calls to Scott and the Detectives between Amber & Scott and Amber & Detectives from December 14 through January 14.
Peterson defense team loses attorney Dalton
September 26, 2003 ModBee report on Matthew Dalton leaving Geragos' law firm and also Scott's defense team.
Amber Frey's lawyer says she fears for client's safety
September 26, 2003. ModBee, Article on Gloria Allred's concerns the safety of her client Amber Frey. But she stopped short of saying whether she asked police to protect her. Frey is living in a gated community in Fresno and is being protected by private security guards. Both the Fresno and the Modesto police confirmed that they are not providing this protection for Amber.
Laci Peterson's mother sues over story rights
September 27, 2003. ModBee, In the suit, Sharon Rocha claims Scott and/or his "representatives" plan to solicit and sell rights to his story. The suit requests Scott be barred from spending any income derived from Laci's murder until a verdict is reached. This suit may test the constitutionality of a recently revised California law intended to block profiting from crime.
Woman finds bones near site of Peterson's remains
October 2, 2003. ModBee report on the finding of bones near where Laci's body washed ashore. The woman said she found the bones "weeks ago." The woman apparently took the bones home and stored them in a plastic container until calling Modesto police.
Inmate's story scrutinized
October 3, 2003. Comprehensive ModBee article on the claims made by Cory Carroll against Scott. Provides the totality of his story, including the specific amounts he offered Dirty and Skeeter, two members of the Nazi Low Rider gang, for kidnapping and getting rid of Laci. Article brings out some of the inconsistencies in his story as well as other questions it has raised.
Latest bones recovered near bay came from animal, officials say
October 3, 2003 ModBee. "A forensic expert analyzed the bones found near where Laci washed ashore at the Contra Costa County coroner's facility Thursday and determined they were not human, said sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee."
Company asks for hold on Peterson benefits
October 4, 2003. ModBee, Report on request by Laci's life insurance company to place a hold on the $250K plus interest until Scott's trial is completed. If Scott is convicted, he will not be eligible as her beneficiary, and the money will go into her estate.
Frequent phone companions
October 4, 2003 ModBee, article on telephone calls made by Amber Frey in the four weeks following Amber's news conference publicly admitting the affair. The article notes the dates and number of calls Amber made to Scott and the detectives, as well as calls to the media.
Updated October 6, 2003. CourtTV. Scott sent a letter on April 25 to Amber, which she turned over to Jon Buehler. Buehler wrote in his report: "Scott believed that he would be exonerated for these charges, and that while he was in custody he would be using his position ... to do the work of the Lord. He thanked Amber for her influence with this, and apologized to Amber for having been caught up in the intense media coverage. Scott further wrote that May 4 was Laci's birth date, and that he was asking friends to fly a kite in her memory. He ended this letter by stating words to the effect that children are miracles and gifts." Scott previously had sent two emails to Amber, dated April 3 and April 8, 2003.
Team wants evidence excluded
October 7, 2003. ModBee Report on the defense allegation that two detectives mishandled key evidence -- a single "black-colored hair" attached to a pair of pliers found in Scott's boat -- after a second strand of hair appeared before the items were taken to a crime lab. The defense also is seeking to exclude testimony from a hypnotized neighbor and evidence from tracker dogs and GPS tracking devices hidden in vehicles Peterson owned, rented or borrowed from family members, according to the defense documents.
Convict: Scott Peterson plotted with two hit men to murder Laci
October 7, 2003. National Enquirer story on Cory Lee Carroll's claims that Scott met with and hired two neo-Nazis to kidnap and murder Laci. Dirty and Skeeter, the two hit men, drove a beige van and camper combo with orange stripes.
October 7, 2003. Globe article reporting on the analysis of Laci's autopsy report by forensic pathologist and lawyer Dr. Robert H. Goldberg of Marietta, Ga. Notable mention is the duct tap across the crotch of Laci's maternity pants, which Goldberg says would have prevented expulsion through the birth canal as Laci decomposed.
Defense questions hair evidence
October 8, 2003. ModBee, Interviews with several experts who give plausible explanations of how the single hair found in the pliers in Scott's boat became two hairs when examined later by two detectives that have nothing to do with evidence tampering or a break in the chain of custody, as the defense claims.
Effort made to seal warrants
October 11, 2003. ModBee, Report on efforts by the Prosecution to seal search warrant documents related to the home invasion activities in northern San Joaquin Valley. Prosecutors claim the documents should be sealed because the investigation is on-going. Investigators have said 11 the defendants are part of a criminal gang linked to a majority of 22 home invasions in the area between January and September.
Frey, family shared feelings
October 12, 2003 ModBee, article on Amber Frey's efforts to reach out to Laci's family and friends beginning January 25, the day after she publicly acknowledged her affair with Scott. By March 14, she had made 53 calls to people close to Laci, totaling nearly 6 1/2 hours of telephone time in an effort to assure them that she did not know Scott was married when they began dating Nov. 20.
Evidence handling defended in Peterson case
October 15, 2003. ModBee, Report on the 400+ page document filed by the prosecution on October 14, 2003. Prosecutors contend a single hair found attached to pliers in Scott Peterson's boat broke in an evidence package and was not mishandled by investigators. The article also provides a very good explanation of the process used with scent dogs, called leapfrogging, to trace a scent over many miles, even when the person is in a moving vehicle.
Evidence gained under hypnosis won't be used at Peterson hearing
October 16, 2003. ModBee, Article on the prosecution's decision not to call Kristen Dempewolf as a witness at Scott's preliminary hearing, but do intend to call her if the case goes to trial. The article also discusses the other hypnotized witness, Diane Jackson.
Judge grants delay in Peterson case
ModBee report on the October 17 hearing that resulted in a postponement of the preliminary hearing from October 20 to October 28.
October 17, 2003. CNN.com article reporting the postponement of the preliminary hearing until October 28. Includes details about the October 16 Defense court documents seeking to throw out a police search warrant and the evidence gathered using it during searches of Peterson's boat. Provides detail about the results of the cadaver dog, Twist.
Peterson defense spots an opening
October 17, 2003 ModBee article reporting on Defense court filings alleging "that a sheriff's dog failed to detect any cadaver scent in his fishing boat, and investigators purposefully did not give that information to a judge because it undercut their theory in the double-homicide case." Discusses the legal ramifications if the defense claim is upheld by Judge Girolami.
Frey files suit over pictures
October 22, 2003 ModBee, article on Amber's $6M lawsuit against David Hans Schmidt, and his firm by the same name, for posting nude photos of her on his pay-for-use website without her permission. The lawsuit alleges misappropriation of Amber's name and likeness, unlawful or misleading advertising, invasion of privacy, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The pictures were taken in 1999 at Emerald Photography in Clovis for a "test shoot," according to the lawsuit. Amber was 24 at the time.
October 26, 2003. USA Today. Reviews the expectations for the upcoming Preliminary Hearing, who might testify, and what will be challenged. Also compares this case to Kobe Bryant and OJ Simpson.
Prelim opens with wiretap, GPS decisions
October 29, 2003. ModBee report on the 1st day of the preliminary hearing as of 11:35 a.m. October 29, 2003. Reports on prosecution to not use evidence obtained from wiretaps or GPS devices, and the testimony of Dr. Constance L. Fisher, an FBI expert on DNA analysis.
FBI expert testifies on DNA analysis
October 29, 2003. ModBee report on the Wednesday morning testimony of Dr. Constance L. Fisher, FBI expert on DNA analysis. Also reports on the presence of the Petersons in the courtroom. 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, October 29, 2003.
FBI expert details DNA sample from hair
October 29, 2003. ModBee, Report on testimony of Constance L. Fisher, an FBI expert on DNA analysis on the 1st day of the preliminary hearing. Also reported on the Rocha family in the courtroom. 3:37 p.m. Wednesday, October 29, 2003.
Amber Tapes will nail Laci's Husband
October 28, 2003. National Enquirer, Article about the phone calls between Scott and Laci. Includes specific detail about the attempt to get Scott to take a polygraph test on February 1, 2003, and the fact that Scott last saw Amber on December 20, when he told her he was going to Maine for Christmas. The article also says Scott asked her to think about going to Europe to live with him.
October 30, 2003. KTVU exclusive report on the personal letters Scott has written to an unidentified friend from jail. They describe his sorrow over the loss of Laci and Conner and the difficulty of having to mourn in jail.
Amber Frey not expected to testify this week
October 30, 2003. ModBee report on Thursday morning's (October 30, 2003) session of the preliminary hearing, which was a continuation of Geragos' cross-examination of FBI expert Constance L. Fisher. Geragos tried to get her to say that reliability of such tests is the subject of much debate in the scientific community. "There is always debate going on in a community," Fisher said. But, she said, disputes about mitochondrial DNA are not "sizeable." She conceded that she had not visited six of seven laboratories that contributed tissues to establish a database used by the FBI.
Hearing continues with more DNA testimony
October 30, 2003. ModBee report on the testimony of FBI expert Dr. Constance L. Fisher, who said that the FBI lab technicians had one of Laci Peterson's bones but did not extract DNA from it to compare with DNA from the hair found in Scott's boat. 11:13 a.m. Thursday.
Early questions on Peterson's story
October 31, 2003. ModBee, report on Det. Jon Evers' testimony on Friday, October 31, 2003, the 3rd day of the preliminary hearing. Evers said he was the first officer to respond to the missing persons report after dispatch notified him at 5:48 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Evers said Scott could not tell him what kind of fish he was fishing for on the 24th. He also said Scott did not respond when his wife’s stepfather, an avid fisherman, commented that Peterson left late in the morning to go fishing in San Francisco Bay.
Preliminary Hearing report by Stan Goldman
October 31, 2003. On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. Stan Goldman, Fox News legal analyst, commented on the lack of emotion in the courtroom as Sharon Rocha and other family members testified. He also noted the "pleasant interchange" between Lee Peterson and Sharon Rocha.
November 4, 2003. Globe interview with James Soares, who occupied a cell near Scott when Scott was first arrested. This is Soares' third interview, his second with the Globe. In this interview, Soares claims Scott confessed to killing Laci by hitting her over the head with a golf club.
Report by Claudia Cowan
November 5, 2003. On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. Report by Claudia Cowan. Claudia gives a brief review of Scott and Laci's relationship, when they met and married, etc. She remarks that Scott and Laci started living together a month after their first date. She also gives the year for when they met as 1994, not 1995.
Preliminary Hearing discussion
November 7, 2003. On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. Panel discussion (Greta, Gloria Allred, Stan Goldman, Jayne Weintraub, Dr. Michael Baden, Ted Williams, Henry Lee) on the subject raised in the Preliminary Hearing: Could Scott have been framed? Remarks on various items covered in the day's Prelim testimony.
November 12, 2003. FoxNews. Reports on the days Preliminary hearing testimonies. Al Brocchini: made a note that he was attempting to plant the seeds of suspicion and to get friends to prod Scott about Laci's disappearance. He said he didn't recall coaxing Frey to suggest to Peterson that there had been an accident and he panicked, but he vaguely recalled officers telling her to pretend she was a suspect in the disappearance so that Peterson would feel sorry for her and take the rap, Brocchini said. Bruce Budowle was called by prosecutors to rebut testimony from a defense expert who had criticized the DNA techniques used to analyze the hair found in pliers in the boat Scott Peterson said he took fishing the day his wife disappeared.
November 17, 2003. Larry King Live. Panel includes: Ted Rowlands KTVU, Nancy Grace, Johnnie Cochran, Jeanine Ferris Pirro, Chris Pixley, Dr. Cyril Wecht.
Prosecutors: Peterson's truck involved in killing: Vehicle called 'instrument' in death of his pregnant wife
December 3, 2003. CNN.com. "Prosecutors filed court papers Tuesday saying the Ford F-150 pickup truck seized by authorities from Scott Peterson was "an instrument used in the murder of Laci Peterson" -- and contained Scott Peterson's blood in the cab. In the filing, the Stanislaus County District Attorney's office rejects Peterson's request to have his bronze-colored truck returned to him." Prosectors did consent to release the money seized from the Mercedes at the time of the arrest if certain stipulations were agreed to.
Interview with Joyce Jensen
December 11, 2003. On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. Greta's interview with Joyce Jensen, who sent three letters to Scott right after his arrest. To her surprise, he answered her on April 27, 2003. Jensen told Greta she was shocked that Scott did not call Laci and Conner by name. She also received a thank-you from the Petersons, which she thought was tacky because it included the recipe for Laci's favorite lavender cookies.
December 22, 2003. The preliminary injunction granted Friday by U.S. District Judge George H. King bars David Hans Schmidt from "commercially exploiting" photos of Frey taken during a test shoot with a Clovis modeling agency in 1999.
Analysis of Scott Peterson Murder Case Developments
January 14, 2004. Larry King Live. Panel discussion, with Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Johnnie Cochran, Jo-Ellen Dimitrius, and CTV reporter Beth Karas
January 21, 2004. San Francisco Chronicle. Judge Girolami chose San Mateo County over two other Bay area counties: Alameda and Santa Clara. Article gives a brief history on some notorious trials in San Mateo County, noting that "during the 1980s and 1990s, the county developed a reputation as a 'hanging county' where juries returned death verdicts in every capital case brought before them. But that reputation has changed in the last five years."
Judge appointed for Peterson trial
January 21, 2004 ModBee,. Announces the appointment of Judge Richard Arnason to preside over the trial.
January 21, 2004. NBC4. Judge
Richard Arnason, an 82-year-old retired judge with a
reputation for his fatherly demeanor that has won
him hugs from felons and letters from prisoners, was
challenged by prosecutors in a maneuver that
automatically guarantees his removal -- and a delay
in the case. Attorney Howard Moore Jr. said he
was surprised by the Stanislaus County prosecutor's
move. A day earlier, he had praised the selection of
Arnason and said both sides would get a fair shake
from the seasoned jurist. 'Anytime the
prosecution can't go with any judge in the house it
says something about their case,' Moore said.
The Case against Scott Peterson
January 27, 2004 SanMateoCountyTimes.com. Very well written summary of the case against Scott Peterson, featuring both the case for the Prosecution and other explanations. Also discusses possible juror-selection strategies to be used by the Prosecution and Defense and the possible role Amber Frey will play.
January 27, 2004 KTVU.com, . Announces the appointment of Alfred A. Delucchi to preside over Scott's trial. A trial judge for more than three decades, Delucchi retired from the Superior Court of Alameda County in 1998 after serving on that court for 15 years. He sat on the Municipal Court of the San Leandro-Hayward Judicial District from his appointment in 1971 until his elevation to the Superior Court in 1984. He has been an active member of the Assigned Judges Program since his retirement. Provides positive comments from defense attorneys who have tried cases before Delucchi.
Pregnant Amber moves in with lover
January 27, 2004. National Enquirer. Reports that Amber and the father of her unborn child gave up their separate apartments and moved in together. Ron Frey says he has a wonderful relationship with Amber's daughter and the whole family was delighted to watch them together at Christmas and New Year's. Amber's baby is due in April, and is a boy.
Interview with Marlene Newell, SII
May, 2004. KCRA-tv, Edie Lambert. Includes an overview of the SII website and discusses Citizen Q's involvement in the case. 3 minutes. Video
A glimpse of the Peterson jurors
May 28, 2004. Court TV. Profiles of the 12 Jurors and 6 alternates as posted in the Palo Alto Daily News.
Fun and Unpredictable, that was the real Laci
May 30, 2004. SFGate.com. Very thorough history on Laci, going back to her college days, her relationship with Kent Gain, and her marriage with Scott. Includes interviews with the Reeds and the Richardsons, as well as other friends.
The Mind of Scott Peterson
June 2, 2004. 48 Hours Mystery. Discusses the impact the interviews with Scott will have. "Forensic psychiatrist Michael Welner has also taken a look at the Peterson interviews. He says, 'The most significant aspect of these interviews to the prosecution is not so much as contradictions but the absurdities of some of the statements.' . . . In Welner's opinion, it was a mistake for Peterson to grant the interviews. 'The focus of the interviews became more of how unbelievable he was and how detached he was, rather than the substance of what he said,' he says. Peterson's nervousness at being a suspect could have caused him to give misleading answers, according to Welner. 'We don't know what it's like to have our fate, our life, hanging on every word,' he says. 'He comes into these interviews knowing that he's under suspicion. Knowing that he may be under arrest. And this isn't just his wife's disappearance. This is a potential death penalty case'."
Laci's Sister Testifies About Inheritance
June 7, 2004. Bay City News/kron.com. Laci Peterson's half sister contradicted several prosecution assertions today when she testified that Laci was walking regularly and taking a yoga class and also told the court about a sizable inheritance that she, Laci and their brother Brent Rocha were given in the weeks prior to Laci's disappearance.
Police Testimony In Peterson Trial Leads To Mistrial Request
Updated June 14, 2004. Associated Press/Officer.com. Two of the first officers [Letsinger and Spurlock] to search Peterson's house in the hours after his wife was reported missing described a ``model home'' with little out of place and a husband whose fishing story didn't quite catch. The also related that Scott threw down a flashlight when asked about his fishing alibi, causing Geragos to ask for a mistrial, which Delucchi denied.
Jury shown video of cop quizzing suspect: Peterson was calm, emotionless, detective testifies
June 23, 2004. San Francisco Chronicle/sfgate.com. A very thorough report on the day's testimony from Detective Al Brocchini. Also includes report on Delucchi's warning to the jurors that elements of Debra Wolski's testimony on Monday "had never before been told to prosecutors or police."
Scott's family relieved by Juror 5's comments
June 24, 2004.
San Francisco Chronicle/sfgate.com. Scott
Peterson's sister-in-law said today that family members
were relieved to hear an excused member of the jury say
he would be unable to convict the former fertilizer
salesman in the murder of his wife and unborn son.
"To see that juror walk out yesterday and see that he
saw that is such a relief to our family. He's seeing the
truth, and the truth is Scott is innocent," said Janey
Peterson, who is married to the defendant's brother.
Peterson Judge Scolds Modesto Police for Violating Gag Order
June 28, 2004. News10.net. At the start of the proceedings on Monday morning, Judge Alfred Delucchi called a police captain to the front of the courtroom. "No law enforcement officers are supposed to be discussing this case," Delucchi said. "I'm telling you, this has to stop." Delucchi warned police officials that any anyone making any further comments about the trial would be subject to legal sanctions. The admonishment was prompted by statements made on Friday, when Modesto police refuted claims by Scott Peterson's defense attorney that they ignored a key witness in the case.
Defense raises questions about neighbor's odd behavior
June 29, 2004.
ModBee. Reports on Al Brocchini's testimony:
his admission that he excised a key piece of information
from a police report, Amber's failure to reveal some of
her calls with Scott. Major focus is on Kim
defense maintains police turned McGregor into an
informant instead of thoroughly investigating her.
Geragos elicited testimony that she had a faulty alibi
for Christmas Eve 2002, the day that Laci Peterson's
family reported her missing. . . . Answering "no" in
staccato succession, Brocchini testified that he never
interviewed the former boyfriend or his roommates, or
determined what car the boyfriend drove or if he had
access to a van. "In my mind she was eliminated (as a
suspect)," Brocchini said. "She'd been investigated and
I don't think she was involved."
Exclusive document reveals identity of Peterson defense's 'mystery woman'
Updated July 7, 2004. Court TV. Catherine Crier claims that Deanna Renfro, who pawned a Croton watch similar to Laci's, is the mystery woman Geragos says he had, and has a connection to the woman who told the rape counsellor that she was raped by Satanists who planned a Christmas Day death.
Excerpts from police report about early Peterson mistress
Updated July 20, 2004. Court TV. Excerpts from Detective Al Brocchini's report on his conversations with Janet Ilse, with whom Scott had an affair during the first year of his marriage with Laci. Janet told Brocchini that she was absolutely sure Laci knew the relationship between she and Scott was "intimate" because of what Janet said when she caught Scott and Laci in bed together. Janet also discusses Scott's pre-occupation with the size of his penis.
Peterson's other 'other woman' didn't know he was married either
Updated July 20, 2004. Court TV. Catherine Crier claims to have possession of an exclusive document regarding Scott Peterson's affair with Janet Ilse, which lasted 5 months and occurred during the time just a year into Scott and Laci's marriage. Mention is made of Scott's obsession with the size of his penis.
Peterson Jurors See Graphic Autopsy Photos: Laci Peterson's Mother Leaves Courtroom
July 21, 2004. NBC11.com. Reviews the key points in the testimony of Veronica Holmes, who reported that the batteries were dead on the tape recorder intended to record an interview with Scott; John Nelson, from the Contra Costa County Crime Lab, who was present at Laci's autopsy and reported on evidence obtained from her body and found near the body; and Angelynn Moore, CADOJ Criminalist, who performed the DNA analysis for identification of the bodies. Notes that Sharon Rocha "wept in court and left the courtroom when the photos were displayed." Jim Hammer said Sharon Rocha's visible grief could have a powerful impact on the jury. "One of the best weapons the DA has is the living relatives of the dead."
Splitting Hairs At Laci Trial
July 22, 2004. Associated Press/CBSnews.com. In questioning so heated the jury had to be removed from the courtroom, defense lawyers in Scott Peterson's murder trial Thursday attacked the admissibility of the prosecution's key piece of physical evidence — a single strand of dark hair.
Scott Peterson was evasive and apologetic
August 12, 2004. Associated Press/signonsandiego.com. "Scott Peterson was evasive and apologetic during several hours of recorded cell phone calls played for jurors Thursday in his double-murder trial as he tried to answer relentless questions from his mistress about his missing pregnant wife." Details some of the conversation, and notes that Amber's claim that Saki had left urgent messages was a "ruse concocted by police." Jim Hammer remarked that "Peterson comes across as one of the 'most manipulative sociopathic people I've ever seen'."
Peterson defense cross-examines mistress
August 23, 2004. Associated Press/boston.com. Scott Peterson's lawyers sought Monday to portray his former mistress Amber Frey as a calculated seductress and liar who was more obsessed with him than he was with her.
Panel discusses Scott Peterson murder trial
August 23, 2004. Larry King Live. Panel includes Ted Rowlands, Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Michael Cardoza, Chuck Smith, Richard Cole, and Gloria Allred. First point of discussion is Amber Frey. Second point of discussion is the point, detrimental to the State's case, that you cannot use cell towers to place someone in a specific location.
Report: Scott Peterson's friend thought his behavior was suspicious
Updated August 30, 2004. Court TV. Reports on Brian Argain's suspicion of Scott's alibi, and that Scott wouldn't look him in the eyes when asked about Laci. Someone reported to Brocchini that Argain said, "I don't care if he killed her, he's my friend and I'll back him up." But on March 18 Argain told Brocchini he had distanced himself from Scott.
Time-stamped receipt critical to Prosecutors' version of case
August 31, 2004. ModBee.com. Discusses the report by Richard Cole that Karen Servas contacted the Court last week to change her story after reconsidering a cell phone call made the morning of December 24. Servas called the report a lie, and Cole backtracked to say that Servas called "people in the case" after obtaining an automated teller machine receipt from one of the errands she ran the morning in question. Includes more discussion on the 10-minute window.
Six Cars Tailed Scott Each Day
September 2, 2004. Associated Press/CBS. "Police had up to six undercover cars following Scott Peterson each day in the weeks after his pregnant wife vanished, according to testimony Thursday at Peterson's double-murder trial. Prosecutors are attempting to show Peterson drove erratically and acted oddly as authorities scoured San Francisco Bay for his wife's body in early January, even suggesting he made three brief trips to a marina there because he was worried police would discover her remains." Also notes that the undercover cops documented Scott working at the volunteer center and doing other things to help find Laci.
No Blood On Laci's Clothing
September 14, 2004. cbsnews.com. Reports on the testimony of Pin Kyo on the negative results from various items of evidence she tested. Also reports on testimonies of Peter Van Wyck Loomis and Hugh Roddis on the GPS evidence.
Peterson Weeps at Photos of Fetus
September 16, 2004. FoxNews.com. Notes that Scott dropped his head to his chest and wept when photos of Conner were put up on the big screen by the Prosecution during Dr. Brian Peterson's testimony. Jackie used a small notebook to shield her face from the photos, and Lee looked away. Several jurors were visibly shaken. A few cried. Others squirmed in their seats or covered their mouths. Also notes contradictions in Peterson's testimony. Peterson acknowledged he could not determine whether the fetus had been born alive. He estimated its age as nine months.
Peterson trial turns to cause of death
September 17, 2004. ModBee. "Amid grisly autopsy photos that choked up Scott Peterson, prosecutors suggested Thursday that he smothered or strangled his pregnant wife, the first indication of how they think he murdered her. That could account for what the defense has said was a lack of Laci Peterson’s blood or other bodily fluids in the couple’s Modesto home, her husband’s pickup or the boat prosecutors contend he used to dump her body in San Francisco Bay." Reports on the testimonies of Dr. Brian Peterson, who performed the autopsy, and Dr. Alison Galloway, a forensic anthropologist.
The Scott Peterson case rolls on
September 23, 2004. Larry King Live. Panel discusses Detective Craig Grogan's 4th day on the witness stand. Ted Rowlands, Michael Cordoza, Chuck Smith, and Richard Cole.
Detectives thought Scott might have used poison
September 29, 2004. Associated Press. Investigators in Laci Peterson's disappearance once considered the possibility the pregnant schoolteacher was poisoned to death by her husband to explain the absence of a bloody crime scene, according to testimony Tuesday. Grogan testified that during a Feb. 18, 2003, search of the Petersons' home that police seized a mortar and pestle to examine them for the existence of any drugs. None was found, he said.
Peterson defense: Lead detective inconsistent during testimony
[September 30, 2004]. Associated Press/KCCchronicle.com. Defense attorneys on Thursday challenged the lead detective [Craig Grogan] assigned to investigate Laci Peterson's disappearance on his claim that husband Scott Peterson seemed disinterested in how the case was going. The defense used him to accuse police of narrowly focusing on their client while ignoring other possible leads.
Prosecutors try to clear Peterson trial confusion: Video footage, detective's testimony help piece together a presentation that has puzzled jurors
October 3, 2004. Associated Press/ocregister.com. Even Prosecutors admitted the Jury was confused, but legal experts said prosecutors' luck appeared to change when a Modesto detective [Craig Grogan] took the stand recently, providing the first detailed narrative that stitched together the many circumstances that cast suspicion on Peterson. Then came aerial video footage detailing exactly how close the bodies were found to where Peterson says he was fishing on Dec. 24, 2002, around the time Laci disappeared.
Prosecutors Rest Case in Scott Peterson Double Murder Trial
October 5, 2004. News10.net. Covers the testimony of Jon Buehler, the last witness called by the Prosecution, and Kris Buelna, who testified earlier in the day. Buelna "told jurors she collected plastic debris and other items on June 21, 2003, near where Laci Peterson's body turned up in April 2003 along the Richmond shoreline. Buelna's testimony appears to be an attempt by the prosecution to deflect Peterson lawyers' suggestions that someone else could have dumped Laci's remains on shore." Buehler was asked about his work with Amber Frey and also to relate what Scott had in his Mercedes when he was arrested.
Peterson Depicted As Man On Run
October 5, 2004. Associated Press/newsblaster.cs.columbia.edu. Reports on Buehler's testimony about what was found in Scott's Mercedes at the time of the arrest.
Tough Task For Peterson Jury
October 7, 2004. Associated Press/CBS. Criticizes the length of the trial as an injustice to the Jurors. "It will become a symbol for lax judicial oversight, prosecutorial laziness and a defense tactic that seeks to take advantage of it all. Cable news made the Laci Peterson case a high-profile cause celebre case for reasons that have very little to do with its significance in the grand scheme of American law. And now the Peterson trial itself is creating a significance of its own for reasons that have very little to do with how a typical state murder trial ought to proceed."
Peterson Cash Flow Scrutinized
October 20, 2004. CBS/Associated Press. Report on testimony of Martin Laffer, a certified public accountant and former Internal Revenue Service investigator who analyzed the Peterson's cash flow. Also discusses the mock cross examination by Michael Cordoza. "I think the spin they want to get out is that Scott really wants to testify, but his lawyers are stopping him," [Jim] Hammer said. "The message coming out is Scott did badly, Scott didn't do well, and that's not a good message to get back to the jury."
Doctor May Have Hurt Peterson Defense
October 21, 2004. KRON4. Reports on the testimonies of Dr. March, Kevin Bertalotto, and Richard Cordova. Critics agreed that Dr. March's testimony fell far short of convincing anyone that Conner could not have died any earlier than December 29, based mostly on David Harris badgering March about the June 9 pregnancy test. On cross examination, Rick Distaso discredited a Laci-sighting when Bertalotto said the man had a substance abuse problem and had been arrested for his 3rd drunk driving. Richard Cordova described the scam efforts of a stranger in the neighborhood the night of December 23.
[November 3, 2004]. Court TV. List of items includes mention of the viagara; Jackie's advice to "deny, deny, deny;" and information from Janet Ilse about the first affair. Also includes links to more complete information on the various items listed.
November 11, 2004. NBC11. Characterizes the presence of the boat on Mark Geragos' property as "a publicity stunt by Scott Peterson's attorney apparently intended to sway public opinion in favor of Peterson's innocence," which "backfired." "The message of the boat was supposed to be that Scott didn't do it and to reach the community by showing this evidence that wasn't allowed at trial and trying to get community sympathy for Scott," said Robert Talbot, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law who has observed the trial. "What it brought up was how strongly people feel about Laci's death and how, generally, the community feels like Scott did it."
November 12, 2004. San Mateo County Times, Friday. The paper's front page [scanned image] report on the guilt verdict. Includes reports of the crowd cheering outside the courthouse.
November 12, 2004. LAtimes.com. Very comprehensive overview of the case against Scott.
November 12, 2004. Larry King Live. Guests: Ron Frey, Justin Falconer. Panel: Chuck Smith, Trent Copeland, Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Dr. Henry Lee, Ted Rowlands, and Richard Cole. LEE: That's part of the reason. Of course, this case, I think they shift the burden of proof to the defense. And they want the defense to introduce some solid physical evidence to prove otherwise. And when they see Mark Geragos and defense did not introduce any solid physical evidence, nor a reasonable explanation, now, of course, they look back, if it's not him, then who was the person?
November 13, 2004. San Mateo County Times. [scanned images] Paper's coverage of the public's reaction to the guilt verdict. Articles include "Peterson, Family Await Fate," "Verdict better than having my first son," "Once jeered prosecutors now cheered as heroes," and several interviews with members of the public present at the courthouse when the verdict was given.
November 13, 2004 San Mateo Daily News. Paper's coverage [scanned images] of the public reaction to the guilt verdict.
November 13, 2004 San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday. Front page [scanned image] of the paper's coverage of the guilt verdict.
November 13, 2004. San Francisco Chronicle/sfgate.com. Interviews with Defense attorney Dennis Riordan and Law Professor Rory Little to explain the concept of lingering doubt and the difficulties it poses to both sides.
November 13, 2004 San Jose Mercury News, Saturday. Paper's front page [scanned image] report on the guilt verdict. Includes picture of cheering crowd. Articles include: "Prosecutors face uphill fight to get death sentence," and "As Peterson convicted, tears, cheers greet verdicts."
New York Post, Sunday, November 14. Front page (scanned image) coverage of the guilty verdict.
November 30, 2004 The Today Show. Roy Black, defense attorney, and Dan Abrams discuss upcoming sentencing phase for Scott Peterson trial with Katie Couric.
December 13, 2004. KTVU.com. Reports on the reactions of people in Modesto to the death sentence, focusing on participants in the 2nd annual Laci and Conner Peterson Memorial Blood Drive.
December 14, 2004. Court TV online chat. Church indicated he did not find Jackie Peterson's explanation for the $14,000 found in Scott's car at the time of the arrest to be credible. He also said that Geragos indicated in his Opening Statement that the Defense would put on a "counter-argument," but failed to do so.
December 15, 2004. On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. Guests included: Jury foreman Steve Cardosi, Juror No. 1 Greg Beratlis, Juror No. 7 Richelle Nice, and alternate juror Mike Church.
Updated December 19, 2004. ModBee.
Mary Mylett, juror no. 10, relates the empathy
she had for Sharon Rocha during the trial.
18 years ago, Mylett's 22-month-old son, Sean,
walked in front of her Dodge van. She never saw
"Accident," the San Mateo County-issued death certificate reads. "Residence driveway. Run over by family vehicle." Two jurors, Cardosi and Beratlis, said they received death threats after Monday's sentence was announced. Beratlis' 14-year-old son was confronted Tuesday by a students who told him his father is a murderer. "It hurt," Beratlis said.
December 20, 2004. San Francisco Chronicle. Discusses the general difficulties jurors in death penalty cases experience, with comments from several Peterson jurors: Gregory Beratlis, Richelle Nice, and Francis Gorman. Comments also by Joseph Rice, a clinical psychologist and jury consultant who is president of Jury Research Institute in Arizona; Gerald Miller, a juror on the 1991 Rodney King beating case; Karen Fleming-Ginn, a psychologist who is a jury consultant; and the jurors from the Wesley Shermantine trial (capital case, convicted of 4 murders) who have formed a support group.
December 21, 2004. CTV online chat. In an online chat, Nice responds to questions from the public. "But, what people have to realize and understand who are not in there, there were 11 people in there who had already deliberated on issues that they did not have to re-deliberate. Only Dennis and I had to go over those issues."
February 25, 2005. ABC. Interview with John Guinasso, juror No. 8. Guinasso said the original foreman had been leading the jury in a pro-defense direction. "My personal opinion is … if he was to remain on the case I think we would have had a hung jury," Guinasso told ABC News.
Catherine Crier published her book
A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation went on sale. Crier openly bragged about having exclusive access to 40,000+ pages of discovery. "A DEADLY GAME is the definitive account of this complex and disturbing case," said Judith Regan, President and Publisher of ReganBooks. "Catherine Crier's reporting goes far deeper than all previous journalistic treatments, offering countless new revelations into both Scott Peterson and the investigation that brought him to justice." Ex Judge Crier in the Dock
March 16, 2005. CNN Live From. Interviews of the Jurors following the formal sentencing. Comments from Rochelle Nice, Mike Belmessieri, and Fairy Sorrel. "NICE: He is a jerk. He is a jerk. And I have one comment for Scott. You look somebody in the face when they're talking to you. BELMESSIERI: Well, Scott came in with a great big smile on his face, laughing. It was just another day in paradise for Scott, another day that he had to go through emotions. But -- he's on his way home, Scott figures. Well, guess what, Scotty? NICE: San Quentin's your new home." Includes comments from Ted Rowlands and Chuck Smith.
March 17, 2005. Court TV's Harriet Ryan reports on the press conference held by the MPD and the DAs, just one day after the sentencing. "The news conference at police headquarters was the first opportunity for police and prosecutors who built the circumstantial case against the 32-year-old to discuss at length the work they began on Dec. 24, 2002 — the day Peterson reported the expectant mother missing. Brocchini and another detective, Jon Buehler, said that it was an inside joke in the department that he and three other detectives at the center of the investigation only had high-school diplomas, but the man they were pursuing held a degree from California Polytechnic University. 'He liked to think he was smarter than everybody,' Brocchini said. "I want him to know I have a high-school diploma only.'"
AP. Every day of his six-month murder trial, Scott Peterson marched into the courtroom with his head held high. He smiled at his family, took his seat and paid close attention, often whispering to his lawyers or taking notes. Given a chance to defend himself in the murders of his pregnant wife Laci and their unborn son, the slick, handsome salesman with the megawatt smile had nothing to say. His demeanor seemed to infuriate jurors and many trial watchers, who came to see Peterson as a manipulative, pathological liar with a grandiose sense of self and an inability to empathize. Experts say this absence of emotion is the hallmark of a psychopath.
May 24, 2005 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. Amber goes on the Record, preceding the airing of the movie, "Amber Frey Witness for the Prosecution." Gloria Allred appears with Amber.
May 27, 2005. On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. Interview with Jim Brazelton, Stanislaus County District Attorney. Greta asked Brazelton if he was concerned that the jurors were listening to the media during the trial, to which he replied: "It was a concern of mine. I don't think that the actual trial team had that much of a concern but I certainly did. I felt that, you know, if they were going home at night and listening to their husband or wife or whatever it may be or the neighbors that were watching the shows and, let's face it, some people were watching every show they could take in that had anything to do with this case and I was concerned that the jury might be affected by that. As it turned out, I think that my fears were not justified."
Update on Scott Peterson
November 28, 2005. Fox, Geraldo at Large. Laura Ingel's report includes interview with Marlene Newell about SII, and Michael Cordoza on Matt Dalton's book. Windows media version. RealPlayer version. Click here for a free RealPlayer clone if you do not have RealPlayer on your computer.
December 11, 2005. ModBee.com. As Tuesday's one-year anniversary of the death sentence they decreed approaches, most of the 12 former strangers now call themselves friends. Some, friends for life. Because of death. Many chat with each other frequently on the phone or send e-mails. Some meet at restaurants. Most gathered last summer at the home of one juror for a reunion barbecue. They're planning a holiday get-together in a few days.
January 8, 2006, Today Show with Katie Couric. Video
Interview with Sharon Rocha
January 10, 2006, On the Record with Greta van Susteren. Video Transcript
January 10, 2006, Nancy Grace interview with Sharon Rocha.
January 22, 2006, ModBee. Interview after the publication of "For Laci." Rocha is asked about a number of topics, including her reaction to Scott's letter posted on CCADP commending her. She replied: "I don't care what he says. It just doesn't make any difference to me what Scott thinks or feels. He's just a nonissue." Her victim impact statement was a letter she wrote to Scott in February 2003 but didn't mail. She also said that she occasionally hears from jurors
January 28, 2006. The Post and Courier, Charleston.net. "Celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos told the South Carolina Bar Association on Friday that his former client Scott Peterson is innocent and his conviction will be overturned on appeal. <<< Geragos said there is a symbiotic relationship between police and the media that allows information to leak. The result is what he called the "Foxification of the criminal justice system," referring to cable's Fox News. He called the trio of morning news shows, cable TV news and the tabloids the "axis of evil" when it comes to a criminal defendant receiving a fair trial."
February 22, 2006. ModBee.com. The investigation and trial cost taxpayers an estimated $4.13 million. Authorities ultimately submitted to the state requests for $1.83 million to the county and $1.38 million to the city.
February 28, 2006.
InsideBayArea.com. Members of the Hayward
Rotary were hoping to get the inside scoop on the
Scott Peterson murder trial. And who better than
Superior Court Judge Alfred Delucchi to feed the
insatiable longing for behind-the-scene details of a
trial that two years ago captured the attention of a
nation? But Delucchi, who presided over the
latest trial of the century, didn't bite. He
couldn't, because Peterson, the Modesto man who was
found guilty of murdering his pregnant wife Laci, is
appealing his death sentence. But while
Delucchi was unable to provide juicy specifics of
the case, he did shed light on numerous issues while
addressing the Rotarians at their weekly luncheon on
June 2, 2006. Dan Abrams. Abrams' response to the Peterson website call for anyone who thinks Scott is guilty to "Tell us how Scott could have committed this crime with a series of events that fits the circumstances." Abrams' gives his own answers to the questions that "must be addressed," finally commenting that these questions should be answered by Scott himself.
Suspicion crept in at Christmas dinner
December 11, 2007. ModBee.com. Servas was interviewed by the Modesto Bee and described her suspicions on Christmas night and her experience as a key witness in the Scott Peterson trial. Video
Where are they now?
December 24, 2007. ModBee.com. Interviews with key players in the Scott Peterson case and gives their current situations. Includes: Rick Distaso, Dave Harris, Birgit Fladager, James Brazelton, Craig Grogan, Mark Geragos, Pat Harris, Kirk McAllister, Cyril Wecht, Henry Lee, Matt Dalton, and Judge Delucchi.
Five years after Laci Peterson disappeared, reporter details covering the case
December 26, 2007. ModBee.com. ModBee reporter Garth Stapley's memoirs on the Scott Peterson case. Stapley claims he has never shared his opinion of whether Scott is innocent or guilty, not even with his wife Cathy. Stapley's experience included some cold calls to find out who owned some of the numbers on Amber Frey's phone bills. A big story was breaking the news to Girolami that some Stanislaus State students fabricated the information that was used in the survey Girolami cited in his reasons for granting the change of venue. His activities included watching where jurors parked and then getting their license plates so he could identify who they were. Includes interviews he had with various jurors.
February 28, 2008. SFChronicle.com. Reports on Delucchi's death. Delucchi had been battling cancer. Article includes quotes from Mark Geragos and Birgit Fladager.
True-crime writer compares Modesto's most notorious slaying to 50 other cases
June 2, 2008. ModBee.com. Book
report on Marilee Strong's Erased: Missing Women,
Murdered Wives. Quotes from the book:
"They eliminate the women, and sometimes children,
in their lives because their victims no longer serve
any 'purpose,' or are seen as impediments to the
kind of life they covet," Strong writes. "In the
mind of this type of murderer, it is better, easier
and more satisfying for him to kill than simply to
get a divorce." Strong found a Brooks Island
caretaker who said she saw Scott's boat about 4:55
p.m. on December 24. Strong acknowledges that
the time of the sighting contradicts the 2:15 time
the police believe Scott left Berkeley Marina.
In the book, Strong compares Scott Peterson to more
than 50 others.
Peterson wrongful death trial draws near; Lawsuit could focus on money or may become full-blown case
June 3, 2008.
ModBee.com. "Modesto's most notorious
offender would not be transported from death row to
Stanislaus County Superior Court to face former
in-laws who are seeking a multimillion-dollar
judgment that is largely symbolic. But Scott
Peterson, who invoked his Fifth Amendment right
against self-incrimination over and over again
during a videotaped deposition taken at San Quentin
State Prison, will have some input, albeit remotely.
When he was questioned by his former in-laws'
attorneys, Peterson insisted that he is innocent and
the victim of a shoddy investigation by Modesto
police. Most of all, he said, he is grieving over
the loss of his family. 'I love my wife,"
Peterson said during a July 12, 2006, deposition,
which became part of the court record last week. "I
love my son. I will always love them. I have always
loved them. I should be able to hug them right now.
I should be able to hold my son'." The
question remains whether the trial will be to
determine monetary award or a full-blown trial in
which the Rochas must prove Scott's guilt.
July 15, 2008. LAtimes.com. "From
the forbidding, steely confines of San Quentin
death row, scores of California's most notorious
convicts have been reaching out to the free world
via the Internet. Scott Peterson's Web page
features smiling photos of himself with his wife
Laci, whom he was found guilty of murdering and
dumping into San Francisco Bay while she was
pregnant with their unborn son. It also links
viewers to his family's support site, where Peterson
has a recent blog posting on his 'wrongful
conviction'." Article goes on to describe the
efforts of other San Quentin death row inmates to
communicate via the internet, and various laws and
measures taken by the different states to prohibit
any internet access, even through third parties.
July 17, 2008. ABC7 Eyewitness News. Brief information about the number of California death row inmates that are using the blog to connect with the public. Quotes from Gloria Allred: "This is really offensive and distasteful to people who knew and loved Laci," said attorney Gloria Allred. Allred called the trend disturbing. She represented Peterson's girlfriend, and witness, Amber Frey, in the trial that convicted him of murdering his pregnant wife Laci. Allred said she feels as though the Web site is a way to reinforce his claim of innocence. "Meanwhile victim's family members see this and know that Scott Peterson appears to be having a good time on his Web page while their loved one is six feet under and will never return," said Allred.
Laci Peterson's Mom Outraged
July 17, 2008. Larry King Live. Guest Sharon Rocha. She expressed her disgust that Scott is able to have access to the internet via the family blog, that she has no doubts he is guilty. She also announced the upcoming event October 11th at the Gallo Arts Center in Modesto. It is a comedy show to be hosted by Larry King with guests Colin and Brad, and Wendy Liebman. King also included a series of questions answered by the Petersons.
Dr. Keith: Inside the Mind of Casey AnthonyDr. Keith Ablow, psychiatry correspondent for FOX News Channel, provided his psychoanalysis of Case Anthony, including a comparison to Scott Peterson: "Third, Anthony seems to display the same kind of misguided self-confidence or narcissism that was evident in Scott Peterson. Peterson (and it seems Anthony) was a bad liar because his lack of empathy also meant he lacked sensitivity to how others would judge his tall tales. It may well be the case that Anthony, too, has trouble telling convincing lies because she can’t intuit how her audience–whether police or a jury–will “hear” them (whether they will ring true)."