A New Prejudice
by Nadia Taze
September 11, 2005
The Peterson case holds a lot of bias in my opinion, but recently there has been a new one that slapped me straight between the eyes. Could it be that sexism prejudiced the perception of Scott Peterson?
I was looking at some of the more exaggerated pieces of evidence used against Peterson both by Law Enforcement and the media.
What struck me were some of the reasons that the finger of suspicion was so pointedly jabbed at him:
He put his dirty sea clothes in the washer on returning home 24 December. Modesto Police Department (MPD) decided this was evidence of a clean up.
He vacuumed the Covena home floor on 25 December, having had 40 or 50 people walking in and out collecting flyers all day. (This number was testified to by friend Rene Tomlinson). Again, this was seen to be possibly part of a clean up.
He emptied away the bucket of dirty water that had been used to mop the floor. This was subsequently looked upon as an attempt to destroy evidence.
There was a rug crumpled up near a door the night of 12/24 and when pointed out by MPD, Peterson straightened it out - deemed by them to be suspicious and possibly incriminating.
Because Peterson told a member of MPD that he would prefer him not to lean his note pad whilst writing, on the table since it would leave marks underneath, it was taken that he was more interested in preserving his table top than finding his wife and
When he used a glove to put between his truck door and Laci’s to stop them from marking each other whilst being searched, again it was taken that he was far more interested in preventing damage to the vehicles than finding out what happened to his wife.
Very interesting “evidence” isn’t it? “Evidence” that was
bandied around by the media for more than a year, implicating Peterson in his
wife’s murder. “Evidence” that helped sway the public into believing Peterson
guilty before a trial even took place. In fact, there was no evidentiary value
in any of the above. Scientific tests showed no signs of any clean up.
But hold on a minute! Step back and take a moment to think about my next question before answering.
Would any of the above have been thought of as incriminating had it been a woman who had carried out these actions?
The answer in my opinion, is probably not. You see for some strange reason, even though we are now sitting in the 21st Century, it would be acceptable for a woman to immediately wash her dirty clothes, but not a man. The same with the vacuuming, emptying the bucket of water, straightening the rug and preserving the coffee table and vehicles. Had it been Scott Peterson that disappeared and Laci spotted by one of his male friends vacuuming the next day, I doubt it would even have been mentioned. I can hear the words now; “Poor thing, she needs to keep busy.”
Now had Peterson been a slob and it completely out of character for him to be so tidy etc. at home, then I could possibly raise an eyebrow. However, by all accounts, Laci never had any complaints to direct at Scott – not one. Ron Grantski, appearing on Larry King Live said; “My only thing with Scott was that he did too much stuff around the house, which meant I had to do more stuff around the house. So he was very good. He was very good around the house with Laci.”
Brent Rocha, Laci’s brother remembers; “…one of her girlfriends said when the girls would get together they'd complain about their husbands, but Laci never did.'' What? Not even about the toilet seat being left up!?
Sharon Rocha, her mother also reported on Larry King live that she had “never heard Laci say she was even angry with Scott for any reason at all.” What? Not even about him leaving his dirty clothes around?
And lastly, Amber Frey certainly didn’t have any complaints about the seafood lasagne he cooked for her either.
All in all, it sounds like Scott Peterson must have been pretty orderly when it came to the home.
Apparently, he was also very a very caring person, not only about his wife, but to any number of people. The media were full of stories of how he and Laci were the perfect couple, how happy they were, and of how they spent 90% of their time together. Also, of his many kind acts to neighbors and friends. In fact, up until news broke of Scott Peterson’s affair with Amber Frey, there wasn’t one unkind or bad word spoken of him.
So here is a domesticated, caring man who sadly must be one of only a small minority in America, because nobody recognized it. Law Enforcement and many of the general public, men and women alike, thought his actions unusual and suspicious. And we women thought we’d come such a long way in the battle for equality! Obviously not, since in the minds of many, men performing household chores or having a pride in their home and possessions is still peculiar behavior.
Sorry Mr. Peterson, but had you been female, you may just have had a fairer trial.