THE LACI AUTOPSY FILES
by Dawna Kaufmann and David Thompson
New Details on Modesto mom's grisly murder reveal how her unborn baby REALLY Died
New explosive revelations from the autopsy files of Laci Peterson shatter the claims of her accused husband Scott that the pregnant beauty was killed by a satanic cult and that the savage murder triggered the birth of their son Conner.
A special GLOBE
investigation into the autopsy included an intensive
detailed study of the grisly report by world renowned
forensic pathologist and lawyer Dr. Robert H. Goldberg
of Marietta, Ga. A much sought after TV commentator, he
is a member of the American Academy of Forensic
Scientists, a fellow of Britain's Royal Society of
Medicine and on the advisory board of the American
College of Forensic Examiners.
His expert review of the autopsy file lead to the following conclusions:
1. Baby Conner was NOT born alive before Laci was killed or right afterward.
2. The infant died in the womb and his body floated free from his mother's body through an opening in the body caused by decomposition.
3. Conner's body was in the water for only a short time before it was found.
4. The knotted tape wrapped around Conner's neck was debris that got tangled with the body as it floated in San Francisco Bay and was not attached by the killer.
5. Laci was wearing light colored maternity pants with duct tape stuck on the crotch, which made a so-called "coffin birth," a phenomenon frequently cited in the case, impossible.
These startling discoveries and others from the autopsy destroy the defense's strategy which blames the deaths of Laci and her unborn son on a sick ritual sacrifice by a satanic cult, says Goldberg.
"Scott's attorneys are doing their duty by trying to turn over every rock in this case," Goldberg tells GLOBE. "But I've spent time in the Dominican Republic, where cult activity is rampant, investigating witchcraft cases. From information contained in the autopsy I think a real satanic defense for Scott Peterson is a real stretch."
And Laci's heartbroken family is outraged that Scott, 30, and his lawyers would try to twist the autopsy results in an attempt to get him acquitted of the murders of his wife and son.
"It's very disturbing that Scott's defense team would use the autopsy to try and clear his name," Laci's dad Dennis Rocha tells GLOBE in an exclusive interview. "They're looking for anything to get him off. They'll try anything to show it's not Scott."
Goldberg says the autopsy results support the scenario that Laci was murdered, taken to the San Francisco Bay location, then her body was somehow weighted down and dumped in the water.
After months of deterioration, baby Conner's body floated free from her body and both bobbed to the surface shortly after, Goldberg explains.
According to the autopsy
report by Brian Peterson, Contra Costa County
Laci's body consisted mostly of just a torso. Missing were her head, both arms, the left leg from the knee down, the right foot and her internal organs.
Her cervix, the entrance to the birth canal, was "intact and closed," but there was an opening in the abdominal area above due to deterioration.
Laci was wearing remnants of light-colored maternity pants with duct tape on the crotch area.
The autopsy report estimates her body had been decomposing in the water for months. Conner's body was nearly perfectly preserved, showing little decomposition. He still had his hands, feet, and genitals. A knotted piece of tape or plastic was wrapped one and a half times around his neck. There was a cut running from his chest to his right shoulder. There was no sign of the umbilical cord or placenta.
These autopsy facts definitely rule out a cult theory that supposes Laci was murdered in some sort of sacrifice and Conner was born alive, says Goldberg. "The report says the cervix was intact and closed," "This means there was an abdominal release due to decomposition, and not a vaginal expulsion," explains Goldberg.
There were no weapon marks on the bone which would be the case if a knife was used. "Even a propeller from a passing boat would leave a tool mark. Instead, her body parts came off due to erosion."
Some suggest that the tape or plastic around Conner's neck was knotted by the killer or that the baby was put into a plastic bag and someone wrapped tape around the body. But Goldberg says the tape or plastic around Conner's neck and under his arm "seems most consistent with debris he picked up as he left the womb or floated in the bag."
Goldberg says the maternity pants Laci was wearing with duct tape at the crotch-probably used to wrap her body-helped prevent conner from being expelled through the cervix into the birth canal. This and the fact that the cervix was not dilated, refutes theories of a coffin birth.