The Surveillance Team
September 3, 2004
Last week we heard from the 15 officers from the Modesto Narcotics division and the California DOJ about the ground surveillance conducted between January 3 and 11. We also received a little bit more information about the pole camera that was used in conjunction with the ground surveillance.
What did we learn from the 15 witnesses? The 15 agents were in 5-6 cars literally forming a caravan behind Scott. Well, Scott speeds, at least when he thinks he is being followed. The witnesses remarked that he was driving from 80-85 mph on the way to and from the Marina. He also drove erratically and tried to dodge the cars he suspected were following him. At one time, he successfully got behind the lead car and was following the undercover cop. The undercover surveillance came to an abrupt end on the 11th when Scott successfully made eye contact with one of the agents.
We also learned, from a wiretap taped conversation with Sharon Rocha on the 12th, that Scott thought he was being followed by the National Enquirer. So, the charge that he was intentionally trying to evade the police is blatantly false. That point was made quite clear when Geragos noted how some of the agents look and they readily admitted their intent is NOT to look like police. DUH! How can you be a successful undercover agent if you look and act like a cop?
We also have 15 eye witnesses, provided graciously by the State at taxpayer expense, that Scott did indeed put up flyers and engage in search efforts for Laci. Yes, Uncle Harvey Kemple, Scott did love his wife and did want to find her. The ground surveillance documented hours of putting up flyers, and hours spent at the volunteer center, and a search effort at a Manteca construction site based on a tip received. A couple friends were with him at the Manteca site.
What the ground surveillance team did not provide is any evidence that Scott murdered Laci and dumped her in the Bay. All their eye witness testimony is neutral, and is not an indication of guilt or innocence.
But overall their eyewitness testimony is a definite minus for the Prosecution. It adds one more arm of the investigation of Scott that was so thorough as to leave no doubt that Scott did not engage in any activities related to Laci Peterson's disappearance between Jan 3 and Jan 11. Like Det. Buehler's exhaustive search of the Bay after the bodies were found, the exhaustive efforts made by this 15-person surveillance team demonstrates beyond all doubt that Scott was investigated with a fine toothed comb.
Let's look again at the exhaustive investigation of Scott Peterson, which involved MPD, CA DOJ, and the FBI.
3 searches of the house, vehicles, boat, and warehouse -- involving the FBI and CA DOJ
3000 wiretapped phone conversations
over 6 weeks of spying by the other woman
telling Laci's family and friends blatant lies to turn them against Scott, and then trying to use them to bring him down
Laci's family and friends putting intense psychological pressure on him to confess
the media trying to trick him into a confession at every opportunity, certain ones threatening him if he doesn't make an appearance on their show
leaking every police report to the most pro-prosecution media possible so that Scott would be convicted in the media
an exhaustive, on hands and knees, search of the high probability area based on where the bodies were found, using the most sophisticated side scan sonar equipment and the most experienced dive teams the FBI has in the country
ground surveillance involving 15 undercover agents from the narcotics division of MPD and the CA DOJ
pole camera monitoring his comings and goings, and everyone else's, at the house 24/7
GPS devices attached to his vehicles and even a couple that he rented
thorough examination of all his financial records
thorough examination of his administration of Trade Corps' finances
thorough examination of all his home and business computers
No evidence doesn't mean that they might have missed something;
no evidence means none existed in the first place.
The MPD made the same mistake as was made with Richard Jewell, the Ramseys, and Richard Ricci. They made up their mind within 1/2 hour after the search for Laci was begun that Scott Peterson murdered Laci and they were hell bent on proving it, no matter what they faced that proved the contrary.
And who is paying the price?
The Rocha family, devastated by Laci's disappearance, again devastated by the thought that Scott murdered her, and for sure to be even more devastated when they finally see the truth -- that Scott had nothing to do with her disappearance and that if the MPD had thoroughly investigated all leads, Laci might have been rescued. Rubbing salt in the wounds will be their own regret for having been so easily convinced Scott was guilty and being so cooperative with the police in their efforts to bring Scott down.
Scott Peterson, who was denied the privilege of mourning for his wife and child and who has been wrongfully charged with their murder and incarcerated for more than a year. His loss of reputation and income are no small matters.
The Peterson family, who is absorbing astronomical costs to provide the best defense for Scott. And who have lost the daughter-in-law that they loved as a daughter, and their grandson. Their total loss of privacy and their vilification on the internet discussion forums, including lacipeterson.com, are no small matters.
The taxpayers, who are paying for a trial that should never have happened.