The Mailman's Timeline

At 10:38 a.m. on Tuesday, December 24, the day that Laci Peterson disappeared, Amie Krigbaum and her partner Terra Venable were awakened by the sound of barking dogs Ė not a chorus of dogs, such as when the mailman was delivering the mail, but two dogs. They recognized the barking of Sage, the dog who belonged to the neighbor just north of them; but they did not recognize the barking of the other dog. The Krigbaums lived across the street and slightly north of the Petersons. It was not until 2 days later, at the time the cars belonging to Scott and Laci Peterson were being removed from the Peterson driveway by MPD, that they heard the same aggressive barking they had heard 2 days before; and at that time they realized that the dog they had heard was McKenzie, the Petersonís dog.

Amie Krigbaum testified in the preliminary hearing that McKenzie rarely barked. She said that Sage always barked when the mailman came or when another person or another dog was walking by; but McK was not a part of the chorus of dogs that barked when the mailman came. Normally, Sage barking did not trigger McKenzie barking. Apparently then, at 10:38 a.m. McK was not behind the gate inside his own yard. He was in the area of Krigbaumís house and was barking aggressively. Sage was barking in response to McKís barking.

Just a few minutes earlier, at 10:32 a.m., Rudy and Susan Medina who lived directly across the street from the Petersons and one house south of Krigbaums had left home for a trip to Los Angeles. Medinaís home was burglarized sometime after they left.

Russell Graybill, the mailman, in testimony and in the schedule he provided for MPD, said that he was on Petersonís street between 10:35 and 10:50 on December 24. If this is so, he would probably have passed the Medinas as they left home; and he definitely would have heard Sage and McKenzie barking. He testified that McK did not bark on that day.

Graybillís timeline needs further examination.

Mr. Graybill was scheduled to deliver mail to 500 homes (testimony) during the course of his day. On December 24, 2002 he arrived at his first scan at 10:19 a.m. and at his last scan at 3:41 p.m. for a total of 5 hours and 22 minutes delivery time. He did not take a lunch break on December 24. Given an approximate delivery time of 1.5 homes per minute, Graybill would have arrived on the Petersonís block around 11:00.

Graybill had the kind of route that is called a park and loop. He would park at a certain spot and then get out of his truck and deliver mail on foot to all the houses that area. There were scan points on a few mailboxes along his route to determine where he was at certain times.

From Graybillís testimony:

My first stop would be 1402 Encina. I would walk down 1424, go across the street, deliver all these houses here, come back across Encina, go down Rowland, to the 400 block, which is off the map, come back up, come back to my vehicle. That's the first relay. Then I would get in my vehicle and I would drive to 1520 Encina, and I would shut the vehicle off, get out, drop the mail at that house. Drive around here, shut the vehicle off, drop the mail, drive around, shut the vehicle off. Same thing at 1515. Then I would park the vehicle.

On December 24, 2002, Graybill started early. He was due at his first scan point at 10:45 a.m., but he arrived there at 10:19. His first scan was at 1424 Encina Avenue (on the south side of the regular Encina on the west corner of Covena.)

After he parked at 1402 Encina and delivered mail to that house and to the scan point at 1424 (2 houses), he crossed Encina to the north side of the street and delivered mail to that block (12 houses). Then he crossed back over Encina and delivered mail on the south side of Encina (3 houses), and then delivered mail up and down Rowlands in the 400 block (14 houses). (1st Park, Scan, and Loop) Then he moved his truck to 1520 Encina (on the SW corner of Encina and Camellia) and delivered to that house (1 house). (2nd Park and Deliver) Then, he testified, ďDrive around here, shut the vehicle off, drop the mail, drive around, shut the vehicle off. Same thing at 1515. Then I would park the vehicle.Ē

We interpret this to mean that he drove around the corner and headed south on Camellia, shut his truck off, and delivered to the 400 block of Camellia (15 houses). (3rd Park and Loop) Then he drove around the end of the block and headed north on Covena where he shut his truck off and delivered to the 400 block of Covena (15 houses). (4th Park and Loop) Then he continued north on Covena across the regular Encina and drove up to the short block of Encina where he delivered to 1519 and 1515 (2 houses). (5th-6th Stop and Deliver) Then he parked at the corner of Ē little Encina ď and Covena and got out of his truck to deliver to the Petersonís block. (7th Park and Loop) How could he possibly have arrived on the Petersonís block 15 minutes after his 10:19 scan? How could he possibly have delivered mail to 64 houses, mostly on foot, in 15 minutes? It would be an incredible feat on a normal day, but on the day before Christmas when the volume of mail and packages is much heavier, it could not be done. Based on his 1.5 homes per minute rate that day, delivering to 64 homes would take him at least 42 minutes, which would be 11:01.

So perhaps Mr Graybill meant that he might not have arrived on the Petersonís street until 10:50 a.m. That is slightly more credible; but even that time does not seem realistic.


Letís examine Prosecution Exhibit 34. On a regular day Mr. Graybill was due at his first scan at 10:45 a.m. (at 1424 Encina) and at his second scan at 12:05 p.m. (at 202 Ferguson). This first leg of his route should have taken 1 hour and 20 minutes. However, on December 24, it took him 1 hour and 45 minutes.

After he finished Peterson's block (the 500 block of Covena), he drove south on Covena for 3 blocks. He probably delivered to the 300 and 200 blocks of Covena at that time (28 houses) then drove 4 blocks on Miller (about 8-16 houses) to 202 Ferguson for the next scan due at 12:05. He arrived there at 12:04. It would seem apparent that he was on the Peterson block at some time close to 11:00 even though he had started his route early on that day. Mr. Graybillís lunch break was scheduled from 12:30 to 1:00, between his third and fourth scans. On December 24 he skipped lunch but still did not return to the post office at the end of his route until 3 minutes before his scheduled time. It was a very busy day.

If McKenzie was running by Krigbaums at 10:38 a.m. and Mr. Graybill was not on that block until 11:00, it raises significant questions about Karen Servasí time of 10:18 a.m. for finding Mck in front of Medinaís and putting him back inside Petersonís yard. The prosecution implied that Karen Servas could not have found McK after Medinaís left home because Graybill would have been on the street and would have seen her. The prosecution also implied that the barking dogs heard by Krigbaums at 10:38 had nothing to do with Laciís abduction because Graybill would have been on the street at that time and would have witnessed the abduction.

There is also credible information from Mike Chiavetta (a neighbor who lived 2 doors north of the Petersons) that he saw McK in La Loma park at the north end of Covena at 10:45 a.m.

Medinaís left home at 10:32 a.m. McK was not inside his yard at 10:38 a.m. McK was seen in La Loma park at 10:45 a.m. Mr. Graybill was not on the block until approximately 11:00.

An honest assessment of this timeline would indicate that Laci was most likely abducted around 10:38 a.m. by people associated with the burglary at Medinas. This timeline also suggests that Karen Servas did not find McK at 10:18 a.m., that she was not at Austinís store at 10:34 a.m, and that the phone call she made at 10:38 a.m. was made when she was still at home. It was sometime after 10:38 a.m. that Karen Servas found McK in the street in front of Medinaís house and put him back inside the gate at Petersonís house.