Peterson tackles rumors, reports
By TY PHILLIPS
BEE STAFF WRITER
Last Updated: February 4, 2003, 11:16:55 PM PST
Scott Peterson conducted several televised interviews at his home on Wednesday, address-ing numerous allegations and rumors surrounding the investigation into the disappearance of his wife, Laci.
By 5 p.m., more than a dozen TV trucks had set up camp near the Petersons' house on Covena Avenue in Modesto's La Loma neighborhood.
Wednesday night, Peterson called police when other reporters -- hopeful for an interview -- followed him to his back gate and remained on his property after he told them to leave. Officers arrived, stayed 10 minutes and left, making no arrests.
Peterson declined to be interviewed by The Bee, saying that he was upset with two articles the newspaper had published.
One of the articles described Peterson at a New Year's Eve vigil for his wife, saying he was laughing and smiling a good deal of the time. He did not say what the other story was.
"With the feelings I have about the newspaper right now, I am not interested in talking," Peterson said by phone. "The articles need to have more with Laci in them and not be focused on me."
Laci Peterson's family reported her missing Christmas Eve. The 27-year-old is more than eight months pregnant with her first child.
Scott Peterson, 30, said he last saw his wife at 9:30 a.m. the day before Christmas when he left for a fishing trip and she prepared to go for a walk with their dog.
Police say they have not named Scott Peterson as a suspect, nor have they ruled him out of the investigation.
Wednesday began with the second part of Peterson's videotaped interview on ABC Television's "Good Morning America," with co-host Diane Sawyer talking not only with Peterson but with his family.
In the interview, Peterson said: Both he and Laci have $250,000 life insurance policies, taken out two years ago. He called untrue a report that he took out such a policy on his wife only last summer.
His wife may not have opened the drapes Christmas Eve morning because it was probably 40 degrees outside, and keeping the drapes closed helps keep the house warm. Family members and neighbors have said that Laci Peterson opened the drapes every day.
He routinely cuts his hands in his work on farms. Peterson, a fertilizer salesman, made the comment and showed his hands in response to reports that police had found blood in one of his and Laci's vehicles.
He loaded large umbrellas to take to his warehouse on Christmas Eve. A neighbor reportedly saw Peterson putting something into a vehicle that day.
During the interview, Peterson described his marriage as "glorious" even though he admitted to cheating on his pregnant wife. "We took care of each other very well," he said. "She was amazing. She is amazing."
Asked about the baby boy due within weeks, he responded: "That was, it's so hard."
At his home, Peterson sat down with several news outlets. He went through the interviews alone, without an attorney.
Speaking with Gloria Gomez of Sacramento TV station KOVR, Peterson explained why he said he told his wife about his affair with Amber Frey: "It was the right thing to do. And, as you know, when you're not doing the right thing, it eats you up. You know you feel sick to your stomach and you can't function. And you have a hard time, you know, looking at someone."
Throughout Wednesday, people drove and walked by the Peterson house, apparently to get a closer look.
"It's innocent until proven guilty in a court of law," said Elvira Varse, who lives a few streets away. "But he's guilty until he's proven innocent in this neighborhood."
Among the media throng was 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."
Lyanne Melendez, a reporter with San Francisco radio station KGO, walked up to the shock jocks' radio van and told the DJs: "That's just bad journalism."
One of them responded: "We're not journalists. We're entertainers."
Bee staff photographer Adrian Mendoza contributed to this report.
Bee staff writer Ty Phillips can be reached at 578-2331 or firstname.lastname@example.org.