McKenzie's Leash


Collected on: December 27, 2002

Collected by:  Detective Rudy Skultety, Crime Scene Manager

Item No.:  48

Reason:  McKenzie being out on his leash was suspected to be part of Scott's plan

Media Reports: 

Received by:  California Department of Justice crime laboratory, Ripon, CA

Received on:  December 30, 2002

Case No:  CV-02-010941

Request No:  01

Tested by:  Pin Kyo

Bates No. for Report:

Results: Negative, nothing of evidentiary value


Initial Suspicion


Karen Servas found McKenzie in the street with his leash on, and put him into the backyard.  Grogan theorized that Scott is the one who let McKenzie out with his leash on in order to give the appearance that Laci had gone for her walk.


The testimony


The time Servas said she found McKenzie was a cornerstone of the State's case against Scott. 

Karen [Servas] finds the dog at 10:18. So we're talking about, if he left at 10:08, as his cell phone records show, not as he told us, we're talking a 10-minute time window when Laci Peterson must have finished mopping the floor, changed her clothes, gotten -- gotten the dog together, gone on a walk, gotten far enough away where then she got abducted and had time for the dog to come back. All of these things were impossible. If those things are impossible, then this man murdered Laci Peterson. (995 Motion Hearing, January 14, 2004)

Karen Servas is not lying here. Karen Servas is not doing anything here except being completely accurate to you all. And that's what we want. That dog was found no later than 10:18. And if that's the case, then this is what had to have happened in ten minutes, in a ten minute time. . . . So she has to have put her jewelry on, finish mopping the floor, put on her shoes and socks, changed her clothes . . . get abducted . . . The dog then has to be able to come home in the ten minutes time, because she's now done all these things, been abducted, the dog comes home and has to be found by Karen Servas, all in ten minutes, all in a ten minute window, because at 10:08 the defendant is just now driving away from his house.

Karen Servas had described the leash as muddy, enough so that she had to wash her hands after handling it, but the picture taken when the leash was collected, Defense 6L-9, and the picture Kyo took, People's 242, both show a pretty clean leash. Kyo was not asked about any tests on any dirt on the leash and no explanation for the clean leash was offered by either Counsel.



The test results


Kyo did test the leash for blood evidence. She used the Lumilight, swabbed for the presumptive tests, and used the stereoscope. All tests were negative.




Again Grogan seems incapable of taking his theories to their logical conclusion.  If Scott planned carefully enough to let McKenzie out with his leash on to establish that Laci did go for her planned walk, then he obviously was attempting to setup the walk as an abduction crime scene.  So, why didn't he better plan the other details, such as what she was wearing?  Why would he intentionally describe her in clothing not even resembling what he knew she was wearing when he supposedly disposed of her body in the Bay? Why didn't he get rid of the jewelry he said she was wearing? Why didn't he get rid of the cell phone, since her mother had recommended that she start bringing it on walks?  Why didn't he get rid of her keys, since most people expect someone living in a city the size of Modesto to lock the house when they leave?

After all, he had plenty of time to consider those details, as the State's theory is that he pre-planned this murder for weeks.  If he would go to so much trouble to use McKenzie to establish the walk as an abduction crime scene, surely he would have paid just as much attention to the other details necessary to fully convince the police Laci was abducted during a planned walk.