Are Scott Peterson and Jodi Arias in the Same Boat? (Nov 9)

Fact-based Reporting by

Rob Roman and Amanda Chen

OB Boat

The same model as Peterson’s 14 foot Sportfisher boat

An appeal was filed for Scott Peterson on July 5th, 2012 and is winding its way through the California Supreme Court system right now.

If you can believe it, the 2005 Scott Peterson Murder case and trial was even bigger than the Jodi Arias murder case. A lovely, sweet and vivacious young wife who was nearly eight months pregnant had disappeared on Christmas Eve.

laci-jr-high

 

Laci Rocha in Middle School

The Disappearance

The media storm was palpable, omnipresent, and forceful. Near San Francisco, in quiet Modesto, California, squadrons of police and volunteers were dispatched. Bloodhounds and cadaver dogs joined the search, helicopters whirled overhead, hundreds of posters were stapled up everywhere by shattered family and friends. It grew into a Goliath story on TV and in most newspapers over the holidays and then far beyond. It cut directly to the heart.

young scott

 

Scott Peterson in Middle School

Suspicion

Weeks later, people were up in arms because the man whose pregnant wife had disappeared on Christmas Eve, 2002, seemed so detached and nonchalant. He didn’t participate in interviews, he didn’t help in the search, and he didn’t even help to staple missing persons’ posters to telephone poles.

laci-with-dog-a

Laci Rocha and friend

Scott Lee Peterson was irritated by all the invasive questions asked by reporters and the police. He kind of looked like he wanted everybody to just go away so he could go play some golf.

The former country club caddy, turned fertilizer salesman was arousing deep suspicion.

scott and laci peterson

Happier times

The TV cameras sometimes caught the handsome and athletic Scott Peterson talking secretively on the phone. Later the world would find out he was talking to his latest lover, the blond and athletic Amber Frye.

Later in April of 2003, the body of a baby boy washed up out of the cold San FranciscoBay onto the nearby Richmond shore, the umbilical cord was still attached. This was only 5 miles north of the Berkeley Marina, where Scott Peterson went fishing in his new 14 foot Sportsfisher aluminum boat on the same day Laci disappeared.

alameda-cc-map2

The Berkely Marina

One day later, as if protectively following her baby boy, the lifeless body of Laci Peterson emerged out of the bay. Her feet, hands and her head were missing.

scott amber

Scott and Amber 2 weeks before Laci disappears

With the certainty that this was now a double homicide, what does Scott Peterson do? He continues to call his girlfriend excessively, he plays golf frequently, and he begins preparing to leave the town, the state, and possibly the country.

By then, the media was in a frenzied pitch and people were screaming for his arrest for the murder of his wife and unborn son.

In case you need a refresher or you never heard of this colossal case, here is a summary from Wikipedia:

Overview

scott younger

Scott Lee Peterson (born October 24, 1972) is a man convicted of murdering his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son in Modesto, California in 2002. Peterson’s arrest and subsequent trial received significant American news media coverage until 2005, when he was sentenced to death by lethal injection. He remains on death row in San Quentin State Prison while his case is on appeal to the Supreme Court of California. He maintains his innocence.”

“On December 24, 2002, Laci Peterson was reported missing from the Modesto, California home she shared with Scott. She was eight months pregnantwith a due date of February 10, 2003, and the couple had planned to name the baby boy Conner. The exact date and cause of Laci’s death was never determined. Peterson initially reported his wife missing on Christmas Eve, and the story quickly attracted nationwide media interest.

Modesto police did not immediately identify Peterson as a suspect, largely because Laci’s family and friends maintained their faith in his innocence during the month following the young schoolteacher’s disappearance. Eventually, police grew more suspicious due to inconsistencies in his story.

Scott

On January 17, it became known that Peterson had numerous extramarital affairs, most recently with a massage therapist named Amber Frey. Frey approached police about Peterson, whom she had just begun to date, after discovering he was actually married to a missing woman.

amber_frey

 

Amber Frye, my-oh-my

At this point, Laci’s family announced that they had withdrawn their support of Peterson. They later said that they were angered not by the affair, but that Peterson had told Frey that he’d “lost” his wife and that he would be spending his first Christmas without his wife — 14 days before Laci disappeared.

To the Rochas, this meant that Peterson had already planned to kill Laci long before her disappearance.

On April 14, 2003, the remains of a fetus washed ashore from San Francisco Bay in Richmond’s Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, north of the Berkeley Marina, where Peterson had been boating the day of Laci’s disappearance.

The next day, a partial female torso missing its hands, feet, and head washed ashore in the same area. The body was identified as Laci Peterson, the fetus as Laci’s unborn child. Autopsies were performed, but due to decomposition the exact cause of death could not be determined. The medical examiner did note that Laci had suffered some broken ribs prior to her death.

Prosecutors suggested that Laci could have been suffocated or strangled in the couple’s home. The FBI and Modesto Police Department performed forensic searches of the couple’s home, Peterson’s truck, the tool box in the back of his truck, his warehouse, and his boat.

Peterson was arrested on April 18, 2003, in La Jolla, California, in the parking lot of the Torrey Pines Golf Course, where he said he was meeting his father and brother for a game of golf. (Evidence found in his car strongly suggested he was just about to flee the country).”

http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Peterson

scott_peterson_13

Trial media circus with tents

 

The Evidence

There was very little direct evidence in the case. There was very little physical evidence. Like the Jodi Arias case, proving murder as opposed to other scenarios required the analysis of circumstantial evidence.

Circumstantial evidence necessarily involves the patterns, the attitudes, and the character of the suspect.

Like Jodi Arias, there were many fingers pointing at Scott Peterson as the murderer. What’s different is that the media-tarnished patterns, behaviors, and character of Scott Peterson hold up under factual scrutiny. For Jodi Arias, they simply do not. The wide divergence continues from there.

Though Peterson had months to hatch his murder plan, Arias had weeks at the most. Still, in the Peterson case, there are literally hundreds of pieces of circumstantial evidence that fit together logically.  In Arias’ case we have a planned trip, gas cans, a bullet with the same caliber as a gun stolen from Arias’ grandfather’s home, an argument, and altered license plates.

You can readily come up with innocent and reasonable explanations for this handful of pieces of circumstantial evidence in the Arias case. This explains why prosecutor Juan Martinez thought he must hedge his bets by introducing the illogical gun-last theory. But in the Peterson case, even the greatest lawyer would have a very difficult time rationalizing the hundreds of interlocking pieces of circumstantial evidence.

The Facts

Graduating from a preppy Catholic high school in San Diego, Scott drove his black Porsche straight to ArizonaStateUniversity in 1996. As captain of his high school golf team for three years, he was hoping for a golf scholarship. ArizonaState was the number one golf school in the country at that time.

014Scott was beating his dad at age 14, and he was one of the best on his high school team. At Arizona, almost every player was much better than Scott. He transferred back home to a CaliforniaStateTechnicalCollege

in San Luis Obispo, California. He met Laci Rocha where they dated and quickly married.

Scott’s father was a trucker and he started his own packaging business. Scott’s father put his life into this business to make it successful. To help Scott get a good start in life, he handed the business down to his son. Scott showed his appreciation and devotion by keeping the business a few months, then selling it for a profit. Scott then spent all the money.

Peterson married Laci Rocha in 1997, after only a few months of dating. Laci was a strong willed woman who quickly took control of Scott, the marriage and his business aspirations. Laci graduated and was working in another town. Scott lived separately with 3 roommates while he finished college.

Infidelity

Scott took a 20 year-old girlfriend in his first months of marriage

He bought her 12 dozen rose bouquets on the first date, and bought her expensive jewelry and clothes. Scott told his lover, Janet Ilse, that he definitely did not want children, because that would interfere with his lifestyle.

Laci found out about the girlfriend, but forgave him over time. Scott’s roommates had no idea that he was even married. They only knew that different women, including Laci, were staying over from time to time.

laci 8 months new

Laci in the Fall

As far as Laci having a baby, Scott managed to

hold Laci off until 2000, but Laci wanted to start a family of her own.  Laci had difficulties conceiving, and Scott managed to conveniently be on “business trips” whenever Laci was at her most fertile time.

In 2002, Laci, in opposition to Scott’s desires, finally became pregnant. Scott wasn’t happy or excited about this in the least. His feigned enthusiasm around Laci, but his comments to family and friends betrayed his true feelings. Scott was enjoying being free to do his business and having a child was to him a millstone around his neck.

Peterson told his girlfriends he was married way back when, once upon a time. With the explosion of the internet, he wanted to protect against the ones who found out he had married, but now he needed a reason why there was no record of divorce. He started saying that he had “lost” his wife.

scott-party-4-amber

Scott and Amber

In the late summer of 2002, he met a single mom and massage therapist named Amber Frye. When one of Amber’s friends found out Scott was married, he told Amber and the friend he had lost his wife recently. He repeated his desire not to have children to Amber. Reportedly, he was very good with Amber’s 20 month-old baby. Gotta do what you gotta do. Scott told Amber he had to go on a business trip to Alaska or Maine or France, etc. whenever he needed to keep her at bay.

More Evidence

boat-geragos-replica

Then Scott decided to keep Laci at bay instead. In the late summer of 2002, he bought a $250,000 life insurance policy on Laci. In the Fall, he bought a small fishing boat. Scott bought this fishing boat, though he took no interest in fishing and told no one of his purchase.

Later, he bought an eighty pound (36 kg) bag of cement, and three fake diplomas.

Just days before Christmas, Scott studied the US geological survey for water currents around Brooks Island in San FranciscoBay. Scott was running low on funds and he convinced an upset and reluctant Laci to pawn her family heirloom jewelry for cash.

 

evidence-trailer-outlines

the cement dust reveals 5 anchors were present

 

On Christmas Eve day, Scott went fishing for a long time and Laci disappeared.  In his warehouse, police found a flat bed trailer with a fine dust all over it. There were five impressions in the dust of the same size and shape as the single homemade cement anchor found in Peterson’s boat. Also found was the mold to make the cement anchors, an empty bag of cement, and a pair of pliers with one single hair consistent with that of Laci Peterson stuck in the tongs.

Changing Stories

Peterson’s story was that the last time he saw her was 9:00 AM on the 24th, Christmas Eve day. During calls to family, friends and police, Scott let it slip that he had not seen his wife alive on the evening of the 23rd. Scott did not seem emotional or upset about Laci’s disappearance. He became guarded, defensive,

and even angry when questioned about Laci.

A second time, Scott let it slip that the 23rd may have been the last day he saw Laci alive, describing a Martha Stewart Living TV show Laci was watching about lemon meringue pies. Several times when he described details about the morning of the 24th, he kept recounting events such as the TV show which only could have happened on the morning of the 23rd.

He made a phony sounding telephone message to Laci on the afternoon of the 24th asking her to pick up a package he didn’t have time to get. He showed the police his parking receipt at the Berkeley Marina without being asked to produce it.

memorial

There’s evidence that Scott planned a golf alibi immediately after the disappearance, but switched to the fishing alibi quickly when it became clear the golf alibi wouldn’t hold up. Scott denied the early alibi, saying it was ridiculous because it was too cold to play golf that day. Yet he spent many hours out on the bay.

It’s a 90 mile drive one way from his home at 523 Covina Avenue in Modesto to the Berkeley Marina. That’s about 3 hours of driving.

Asked what kind of fish he was fishing for, Scott gave an answer of sturgeon, a fish that was out of season and for which his fishing gear was inappropriate. The middle of the day was also unusual for fishing.

scott laci grin

a picture paints 1,000 words

Laci’s stepfather was an avid fisherman and he said Scott was not interested in fishing and never took him up on many invitations to go. The one time Scott did go, he left his fishing pole at Laci’s step father’s house and he never came to retrieve it.

Scott also stated that blood was sure to be found in his truck because he cut himself that day. He tried to delay a search of his warehouse by telling the authorities that the electric was out. This was not true.  Experienced detectives and even inexperienced police became suspicious of Scott after asking just a few questions.

Just a week before Laci went to a Christmas party alone, claiming Scott was off on business. Scott was actually at a Christmas party with Amber Frye, they had sex that night, and Scott promised Amber he would try to “clear his schedule” for her after the holidays.

evidence-nursery-10

Conner’s nursery in a state of readiness

note the nautical theme

Two days after Laci’s disappearance, Scott consoled himself by adding a few pornographic channels to his cable menu. If he was expecting Laci to be found, would he have done this? Scott grew a goatee and dyed his hair blond in order to avoid the press.

007

Scott’s girfriend turned on him

He snuck around, worried he was being followed. He claimed his hair turned blond after swimming in his friend’s pool. Scott’s friend testified he never swam there. Also, it’s impossible for chlorine to change black hair to blond unless it’s in extremely high concentrations.

Peterson steered clear of Amber Frye between Christmas and New Year’s, but he called her many times per day.  He did not help to put up posters and he did not get directly involved in the search for his pregnant wife. When everyone else was desperately searching for Laci, Scott was off to the side enjoying seductive cell phone calls with Amber Frye.

 

More Facts

peterson media

Scott’s aloofness caught on cam

 

When the story of the pregnant and missing Mrs. Scott Peterson broke big on the news, Scott backpedaled. He explained to Amber that he had not lost his wife earlier in the year like he said, but now, she really was lost. Amber wasn’t buying it. She went directly to the police and helped them by recording her phone calls with Scott.

On January 5th, 6th, and 9th of 2003, undercover police followed Peterson to the Berkely Marina, where he would park and stare around out at the water. These were exactly the three days that the local paper, the Modesto Bee, said that divers would be out there searching for Laci.

“On April 13, 2003, a couple walking their dog in Point Isabel State Park found a male fetus. The next day, the body of a pregnant woman washed ashore nearby was discovered by another dog-walker. This was some 90 miles from the

 

couple’s home, but just 5 miles from the Berkeley Marina where Scott had said he’d gone fishing the morning of Christmas Eve.”

 

 

http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Peterson

The baby was proven by DNA to be Scott and Laci’s son Conner, and the body with the hands, feet, and head missing was proven to be that of Laci Peterson.  The police were already following Scott around town and they had tapped his phones. Scott was doing everything he could to evade the media and the police. The police then placed a GPS monitor on Scott’s rental car.

There is no one among Laci’s family who doesn’t think Scott is guilty. In addition, his own blood sister thinks he’s guilty and she even wrote a book naming 33 reasons why she believes this.

012

Laci’s Dad after the sentencing

A neighbor found the unaccompanied golden retriever near the Peterson’s home on Christmas Eve morning. He was dragging his leash which was covered in mud. Laci was always the one who took the dog for a long walk every morning. The dog was found and returned to the Peterson’s fenced in yard at 10:18 AM on December 24th.

Peterson claimed he left the house at 9:00 AM. According to phone tower records, Scott was somewhere between his driveway and 1 ¼ miles away at 10:08 AM.  After 1 ¼ miles, the signal switches to a different tower. Therefore, if Laci was harmed by anyone other than Scott, most likely they had only 10 minutes to do it.

 

The Trial

geragos-9-27-04-glasses

 

Marl Geragos, Scott’s famous attorney

The trial was an enormous media event. Court TV, the forerunner of HLN was front and center. The venue was changed to the next county, the jury was sequestered, and some juror members were dismissed for misconduct.

Scott Peterson had the famous defense attorney Mark Geragos, at his side. He had represented such people as Susan McDougal, Gary Condit, Wynona Rider, and Michael Jackson. Mark Geragos gave innocent explanations for scores of circumstantial evidence alleged against Peterson. Still, twelve people found him guilty of 1st degree premeditated murder of his relatively helpless wife and his defenseless unborn son. After careful deliberation, they sentenced him to death.

Escape Attempt 

peterson-scott-mug (1)

 

Swimming in friends pool caused Scott’s

hair color change and a beard to grow

According to the Rocha families’ website about their daughter Laci, this is what was found packed into Scott’s rental car when he was arrested at the golf course:

$15,000 CASH

-BROTHER’S I.D.-John Edward Peterson

-2 VISA CARDS & 1 MASTERCARD – Scott’s Name

-1 MASTER CARD – Scott/Tradecorp

-1 AMERICAN BUSINESS CARD – Scott/Tradecorp

-SISTER’S VISA CREDIT CARD –Ann E. Bird

-MOTHER’S CHEVRON CARD – Jackie Peterson*

-FOREIGN CURRENCY (for Mexico)

-MAPQUEST MAP TO AMERICAN BODYWORKS                           Amber Frye’s workplace-4 CELL PHONES

-LARGE TENT

-TENT COVER*

-WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEM-CAMPKIT WITH COOKING UTENSILS & ROPE

-CAMPSTOVE

-COOKING GRILL

-FIRE STARTERS-FILET KNIFE

-2 FOLDING KNIVES

*
-TENT CHAIR
-COMPASS
-DRIED AND CANNED FOOD
-CLIMBING EQUIPMENT & ROPES
-DOUBLE EDGED DAGGER WITH A T-HANDLE-HAND SHOVEL
-DUCT TAPE(YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU WILL NEED THIS)
-FOLDING SAW

*
-BACKPACK
-BINOCULARS
-MASK & SNORKEL
-FISHING ROD & REEL-ZIPLOC BAGS
-SCISSORS
-CAMPAXE

*
-HAMMOCK-LEATHERMAN TOOL
-THOMAS GUIDE MAP BOOK OF CALIFORNIA
-THOMAS GUIDE MAP BOOK OF CENTRALVALLEYCITIES AND SURROUNDING AREAS. 

 -2 PACKS RAZOR BLADES-9 PAIR OF SHOES

-RUBBERIZED BOOTS – Lace up

-HIKING BOOTS

-LOW TOP HIKING BOOTS

-2 PAIR BROWN SLIP-ON CASUAL SHOES

-FLIP FLOPS (Sandals)

-2 PAIR BLACK DRESS SHOES-2 PAIR DRESS SOCKS*

-2 NECKTIES

-10 PAIR ATHLETIC SOCKS

-1 PULLOVER SWEATER

-1 SCARF

-1 BLACK DRESS BELT-RAIN PANTS

-SWEATSHIRT*

-AT LEAST 6 PAIR UNDERWARE BRIEFS

-4 PULLOVER LONG-SLEEVED SPORT SHIRTS

-2 PAIR SHORTS-1 BUTTON DOWN SHIRT

-2 PAIR CASUAL PANTS

-1 PAIR RUNNING PANTS

-1 PAIR LEVI JEANS-1 JERSEY

-3 T-SHIRTS

-2 LONG-SLEEVED CASUAL SHIRTS

-1 PAIR ATHLETIC SHORTS

*

-COWBOY HAT

-12 TABLETS OF VIAGRA
-24 BLISTER PACKS OF SLEEPING PILLS

*

-WATER BOTTLE-16 MUSIC CD’S
-COLUMBIA FOUL WEATHER JACKET
-SLEEPING BAG
-LEATHER GLOVES
-WATERPROOFING SPRAY

*

-Undated bill of sale with an unverified signature
of Michael Griffin, registered owner of the vehicle
-Application for duplicate title for the vehicle also
signed by Michael Griffin 

Meticulous Planning

This is the work of a meticulous planner.  It seems like he was going on a survival mission, and he wasn’t going alone. This is a person who thinks things out deliberately and in great detail.

The Trial and Aftermath

Scott Peterson’s trial was a media giant.

scott court

 

Preliminary hearing

“On November 12 the reconstituted jury convicted Peterson of first-degree murder with special circumstances for killing Laci and second-degree murder for killing the fetus she carried. The penalty phase of the trial began on November 30 and concluded December 13 when, at 1:50 P.M. PST, the twelve-person jury returned a verdict of death.

scott phone

 

Scott talking to Amber during the search

Members of the jury stated in later press appearances that they felt that Peterson’s demeanor – specifically, his lack of emotion and the phone calls to Amber Frey in the days following Laci’s disappearance – indicated he was guilty.

They based their verdict on “hundreds of small ‘puzzle pieces’ of circumstantial evidence that came out during the trial, from the location of Laci Peterson’s body to the myriad of lies her husband told after her disappearance.”

They also decided on the death penalty because they felt Peterson betrayed his responsibility to protect his wife and son.

Arias and Peterson cases

Similarities

  • Both were charged with 1st degree premeditated murder
  • Both faced the death penalty
  • Detectives immediately became suspicious
  • Both had unbelievable stories
  • They both told massive lies about the day of the incident
  • Both cases were largely based on circumstantial evidence
  • The victim’s families’ were both fiercely against the defendant, much more than usual
  • Both were young and attractive.
  • Both went back to business as usual after their crimes.
  • Scott and Jodi were both hugely vilified in the media
  • There were huge cheering crowds upon each of the guilty verdicts
  • Both cases were behemoth media circuses
  • Both cases have some legitimate and viable appellate issues
  • Scott Peterson’s automatic appeal to the California State Supreme Court was finally filed on July 5th, 2012. The reports state that he has a good chance of success.

Arias and Peterson Cases

Differences

  • In the Arias case, there are massive amounts of crime scene, forensic, and blood evidence, though this was never properly used at trial.
  • In the Peterson case, there is almost none
  • Arias told big lies after getting arrested. Although she has been portrayed as a “pathological liar” before the incident and after her arrest, there is scant evidence that this is true.
  • Scott is a pathological liar beyond any doubt, and many of his lies were laughable “whoppers” that only the love-blind and gullible Laci could ever believe.
  • There is just a handful of pieces of circumstantial evidence in the Arias case
  • In the Peterson case, there are 100s of pieces of circumstantial evidence.
  • Arias was represented by two court appointed attorneys.
  • Peterson was represented by a legal team headed by a famous, high profile attorney, who even represented Michael Jackson in the famous child molestation case.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Arias was monogamous and was involved in only one relationship at a time.
  • Peterson started cheating on his wife within months of their marriage, and he always had at least one other girlfriend squirreled away.
  • Arias was spontaneous and rarely planned anything too far in advance.
  • Peterson was very deliberate. He planned things far ahead and in great detail.
  • Arias wanted to be married, but wasn’t. She wanted to have children, but didn’t.
  • Peterson was married, but wished he wasn’t. He was going to have a child, but he didn’t want to go that route.
  • Despite popular belief, there is no evidence that Arias is a sociopath.
  • Scott Peterson is a sociopath beyond all doubt.
  • Jodi Arias has not yet been sentenced.
  • Scott Peterson was sentenced to death.
  • Scott Peterson’s jury was sequestered due to the omnipresent and intense media coverage.
  • Jodi Arias’ jury went home every day, because that’s how it’s done in Arizona.
  • Scott Peterson’s trial was moved to a nearby county,
  • There was no change of venue in the Arias case.
  • Arias was charged with the murder of a much larger and much stronger individual.
  • Peterson was charged with the murder of two rather helpless and defenseless individuals, the baby being completely dependent on his mother to survive.
  • Arias tried to manipulate the media to her benefit.
  • Peterson avoided the probing media at all cost.
  • Arias is imprisoned in a state (Arizona) where they have the death penalty, they use it often and with great enthusiasm.
  • Peterson is imprisoned in a state (California) where the death penalty is seldom used and there are initiatives to repeal it.
  • Jodi Arias’ had zero mitigation witnesses.
  • Scott Peterson had thirty-nine mitigation witnesses.
  • Here’s the biggest difference between the two cases:

Was the Jodi Arias murder trial a fair trial?

Not by any standard.

 

jodi court

Will Jodi Arias successfully appeal her conviction and get a new trial?

This is possible, but it depends on the team of attorneys, witnesses and investigators she can assemble for the appeal.

jodi interview

 

Jodi Arias ar her post verdict interview

If she gets a new trial, will there be a better outcome?

It’s highly likely that there will be a more favorable outcome for Jodi Arias.

 

Who murdered Travis Alexander?

Jodi Arias admitted she killed him, but it was not properly proven that she premeditated the killing or that she murdered him beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

SCOTT PETERSON

 

Scott not sweating the trial

Was the Scott Peterson murder trial a fair trial?

Perhaps it was not. The higher courts are determining that now.

peterson mug

 

Scott’s most recent photo

 

Will Scott Peterson successfully appeal his conviction and get a new trial?

There is a decent chance of a successful appeal and a new trial.

If he gets a new trial, will there be a better outcome?

It’s very possible. It can’t get much worse.

 

laci-prom-friends-b

 

Laci at her prom

Who murdered Laci and Conner Peterson?

scott caught

 

Scott’s last day of freedom. (Portrayed by Dean Cain in a 2004 TV movie).

Scott Peterson murdered Laci Peterson and Conner Peterson beyond any and all reasonable doubt.

He is now in San Quentin Prison, overlooking the bay where Laci was found. This is where he absolutely belongs.

Interesting fact:

High profile attorney Mark Geragos wanted to bring a full size boat into the courtroom. The judge said Not a chance. Geragos brought a replica of Scott’s boat and he parked it as close to the court as possible.  The idea was that jurors could see the boat and see how difficult it would be to handle the anchors and the body without capsizing.

Trial watchers filled the boat with cards, candles, flowers, etc. They made the proposed defense exhibit into a memorial for Laci.

GABRIEL

 

Intended defense exhibit became an impromptu  memorial for Laci

Interesting fact:

Scott Petersons mother, Jackie, was raised by Catholic nuns after her father was murdered when she was a toddler. Scott was the youngest of five children and the only child that Lee and Jackie Peterson had together.

Interesting fact:

Top PGA Pro Golfer Phil Mickelson was a former high school teammate of Scott Peterson.

Intersting fact:

Laci had a boyfriend in high school into college. This was her first serious relationship and  it lasted three years, ending shortly before she met Scott Peterson. Laci was brought up in such a caring and wonderful family, that the idea of a manipulative and mean man was foreign to her. This boyfriend also became angry at times and was dominating towards Laci. After they broke up, he moved to WashingtonState and got involved with another woman. They got into a big argument and he shot her in the back. He was sentenced to ten years in prison and is still there.

– Interesting thoughts for those who might believe in predestination. –

evidence-trailer-anchor

 

The mold Scott used to make the 5 homemade anchors:

Spotlight Theory: When Laci was found, there was duct tape still around her thighs. In the late evening of the 23rd or the early morning of the 24th Scott choked or strangled her to death. Then he snuck her inside his truck and cleaned up the scene. He waited until around 10:00AM. He put the leash on their dog and opened the door. Then he drove away, making a phone call to his lover, Amber Frye.

evidence-carHe drove to his warehouse where he transferred Laci’s body to his fishing boat and covered it with a tarp. The body was covered with canvas or netting, to make it appear like boating gear. He headed to Berkeley Marina. There were quite a few people about and he had to get a ticket to park. He was concerned about this. Peterson said he was fishing near Brook Island. The bodies washed up a little over a mile from there.

He launched the boat and headed northwest. When he was sure the coast was clear, he tied one anchor around Laci’s two ankles, one anchor to each wrist, and one anchor around her neck. Scott used rock climbing rope and wrapped the rope around many times. Then he dumped her over the side. Scott fractured her ribs in the process.

 

Scott’s rental car loaded with travel gear and money

Scott returned to his warehouse, cleaned up and waited. He returned home and waited some more.

After many weeks, the body separated from the anchors and drifted northeast. The baby separated form Laci’s body, and floated ahead of her due to the smaller mass. The baby washed up on shore and Laci’s body followed One day behind.

evidence-anchor-72

 

A home made anchors poured by Scott

After the Sentencing

Back  at the courtroom, only after the sentence was pronounced, the Rocha family was allowed to address Peterson. They were no longer under oath and no attorney could object. After sitting through the trial, listening to the defense and watching Scott smiling, and acting smug, they were finally going to have their say.

Then the emotional fireworks began:

laci1-portrait

 

Laci after graduating college

One-by-one, Laci’s family members stood just yards away from Scott Peterson and ripped into him letting loose a flurry of rants, diatribes and tirades. Laci’s brother told Scott he had a gun and a bullet just for him, but he decided it was better not to put him out of his misery. Laci’s mother used the voices of Laci and Conner, saying “Daddy why did you kill me?”, “Scott, why did you kill your family?”

Ms. Rocha went on about how Scott had planned the murder for weeks. She even let his attorney have it. Laci’s brother Brent verbally attacked Scott so severely that Scott’s father, Lee Peterson, lost control and yelled out “You’re a liar!” in open court. It was a real emotional battle of the families.

The family members didn’t scream for revenge, but they were terribly hurt by Scott and they expected justice.

After the trial and sentencing, Laci’s family acted like Laci would have acted. They were in control, tough minded but fair. They were sensitive to Scott Peterson’s family. Laci’s family and friends did not attack defense witnesses. They trusted the system to work for them.

laci and sharon rocha

 

Laci and her Mom

In Loving Memory of Laci Rocha Peterson and Conner Peterson

laci younger

When you look at the families’ web pages, you are filled with a sense of caring and love. These people are honest and good people. Their heartbreak and love of Laci are completely genuine.

evidence-car-laci-buttons

 

Full bag of unused “Find Laci” Buttons found in Scott’s car

Read between the lines

Please don’t miss this absolutely fabulous, fair-minded and touching website about the Peterson case by Laci’s family and friends:

http://www.findlaci2003.us/index.html

Your comments and opinions are appreciated and very welcome

Unlike Many Blogs, All Comments Are Welcome And Will Be Posted

Sources:

Interview with Scott Peterson’s family.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/A-PORTRAIT-OF-THE-ACCUSED-In-a-rare-interview-2812780.php#page-6

The Crime Library – An excellent resource on all kinds of killers.

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/family/laci_peterson/3.html

Murderpedia – An excellent reference on convicted killers around the globe.

http://murderpedia.org/male.P/p/peterson-scott-lee.htm

Positive news for Scott Peterson’s pending appeal.

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Peterson-appeal-may-be-helped-by-ruling-3718197.php

Someone who read Scott’s sister’s book came up with 41 reasons why Scott Peterson is not guilty. That’s 8 more than she had for Scott being guilty.

http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/archive.cgi?read=64230

An article about Scott Peterson on death row, the article deceptively contains zero quotes from Scott.

http://sfist.com/2012/07/06/im_still_innocent_says_scott_peters.php

Another site with all the reasons people think Scott Peterson was wrongly convicted.

http://www.oregonherald.com/eforums/messageview.cfm?catid=37&threadid=92

This is an article by someone who is worried that Scott Peterson will win his appeal.

http://thestir.cafemom.com/in_the_news/140020/scott_peterson_thinks_he_has

Here’s an article comparing the Peterson case with other domestic violence cases.

http://californiavspeterson.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2012-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=20

All Rights Reserved

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “Are Scott Peterson and Jodi Arias in the Same Boat? (Nov 9)”

  1. You’ve got a few factual errors there. This is not important but Geragos was fired before the trial started, Michael Jackson was represented by Tom Meserau. Evidence of a person’s character is not admissible to prove that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character or trait (with some exceptions for example if the defendant brings it up or in regard to the victim) so character is not a part of circumstantial evidence against the accused and most jurisdictions don’t allow it (Cornell University Law School ). It is more prejudicial than probative. I think we have seen how easily a person’s character can be invented in the era of mass and social media.
    Laci and Scott dated for three years, married in 97 and conceived (evidently with the aid of fertility treatment) in 2002. Modesto to the Berkeley Marina is almost 90miles but the drive is only about an hour and a half. Modesto is inland so if you’re going to go (sea) fishing, Berkeley doesn’t seem so wacky, it’s the closest (I don’t dismiss the fact that the bodies washed up north of there). Sturgeon is in fact in season between December and March according to a prosecution expert witness, and according to testimony even Scott’s father-in-law went fishing on that day: Grantski admitted not only that he too had gone fishing on Christmas Eve day for several hours, but that he went fishing around 12:30 p.m..
    The police while telling Laci’s family about the affair, took the opportunity to insert the life insurance story, this was false and of course widely reported as being a fact. He did not take out life insurance on her shortly before her death, they each bought a policy for $250000 in April 2001 from a friend of the couple who just obtained his financial advisor license. After Laci’s disappearance Scott did not make any attempt to collect the proceeds which were eventually awarded to Laci’s mother. Laci stood to inherit a substantial amount of money from her grandparent’s house and a trust fund (far exceeding a quarter of a million dollars), in the event of her death and no surviving children this money would revert to her siblings, not Scott. The Martha Stewart show with the meringue was on on the morning of the 24th (9:48am), not the 23rd. Scott and Laci went to her friend Amy’s salon for his haircut on the 23rd around 5:45pm, Scott invited Amy to join them for dinner, she declined (funny if he planned to chop his wife up later and clean up, that would take some considerable time I would think).
    There was absolutely no sign of any struggle or crime at the Peterson home, zero forensic evidence (not even a whiff of bleach). There was no evidence in the truck that it was used to transport a body. Ditto for the boat. That’s quite something considering she was dismembered and the police were at their house on the 24th already (with Scott’s permission). There were rusty pliers which had one (or two?) of Laci’s hair on it but a prosecution witness testified that they have not been used in a very long time. There were two witnesses, employees, who testified that Laci had visited Scott at the warehouse which could explain the hair as well as indicate that she knew about the boat. It is not true that Scott took no interest in fishing, they found several old fishing licenses dating back years and both Laci’s mother and sister testified that he did indeed like fishing. Scott had no defensive wounds. The neighbors heard and saw nothing (except a burglary across the street, that’s an interesting story as well). He was very cooperative according to all the police officers and investigators, this is documented. On the duct tape found on Laci, there was a pubic hair and another one found on her body, neither belonged to Scott. How do you tie anchors to “wrists” , “ankles” and neck when the head , hands and feet are missing? Now imagine throwing a 153lbs body, weighted down by four concrete anchors, over the side of a 14ft ALUMINUM boat, in San Francisco Bay, in broad daylight, singlehandedly. The exhibit introduced with the “imprints” of the anchors in the dust in Scott’s trailer was laughable.
    You said he did not directly participate in the search for his wife, a person of interest or a suspect is usually not allowed to participate in the search (this if you’ll recall was one of the major points of contention in the Ramsey case where the father was sent to look for his daughter, and found her body).
    If “Laci was a strong willed woman who quickly took control of Scott, the marriage and his business aspirations.” that might give us a clue as to why he had affairs (not condoning, just sayin). A guy with no criminal or domestic violence history gets rid of his pregnant wife because he doesn’t want children only to be with a woman who has a child, does that make sense? He had many mitigation witnesses, well beyond the bounds of his family, they all testified to a completely different character than the one which has been portrayed by the media and similar to the character that Laci’s family portrayed before the evidence of the affairs surfaced.
    Yes he had a power lawyer, resources and family support, in contrast to Arias and yes his jury was sequestered. However his jury was also “death qualified” and the media attention surpassed both Manson and OJ. There was a bill board outside the courthouse where a radio station asked listeners to call in to vote guilty or not. The prosecution also “changed their story” in closing arguments and offered not time, place or cause of death. I am not saying I’m a firm believer in his innocence but I would say there are many more similarities in regard to the fairness of the two respective trials than differences.

    1. I am aware that Gerragos was fired, but he did in fact represent Michael Jackson in the beginning of the molestation case. I didn’t get into it because the article is not about them and I hoped people would comment if they saw that.

      The Berkeley Marina is in fact a 3 hour round trip and I figured readers could do the math without having to spell it out.

      Aspects of the character and past habits of the defendant are admissible on a case by case basis where it is determined if a specific incident is more probitive than prejudicial and I submit that this is needed as much in order to determine innocence as much as to determine guilt.

      You’re right that they met in 94 and married in 97. I will fix that.

      I knew that the father-in-law went fishing that day. Who the hell goes fishing at midnight on Christmas Eve? Maybe he is Jewish.

      I correctly reported that Scott took out life insurance “earlier in the year”. I am aware that they did it because Laci had become pregnant. I never give a lot of weight to life insurance testimony unless it is grossly suspicious (doubling it before a murder. Suddenly taking it out or changing it shortly before a murder).

      I am aware of the inheritance. In order to get the benefits of the inheritance, Scott would have to remain married to Laci which he clearly didn’t want. Also, the inheritance is a very good point, but when was she to receive that inheritance?

      The Peterson family and the Rocha family did indeed have a prolonged fight over the life insurance money.

      No effort is needed to invent Scott’s character, it was present for all to see as he preferred to avoid the cameras at first to help save his wife and unborn son in preference to not letting Amber discover that he was married to the missing woman.

      Indeed, the Martha Stewart show on the 23rd was all about meringue. Scott’s attorney discovered that the show on the 24th mentioned meringue just once(referring to the previous show). It is far more likely that Scott was referring to the show on the 23rd then the 24th show which devoted a total of 5 seconds or so to meringue. His attorney did try to make hay of this, though.Ha Ha.

      Scott did not chop up his wife, the body was sunken whole to the bottom of the sea. The dinner on the 23rd makes no difference.

      The lack of forensic evidence is a serious issue. But it is not impossible, and Scott was a very thorough planner and cleaner.

      I don’t agree that the death sentence should be used, but in California, a parent killing a child is treated as a capital case more than most.

      Someone also stated that the boat had no scratches from the anchors which is significant, but not to me.

      What more do you know about the dust impressions of the anchors, as that was a major part of my calculation of guilt.

      In many cases, no evidence of a crime scene and even no body has not stopped a conviction;

      Given full presumption of evidence, Scott’s behavior and actions are not reasonable for a person who believed that his pregnant wife was MISSING and could be found.

      Excellent analysis Martina. Thank-You. I expected and hoped for debate from readers, but not too many people comment.

      If you get the chance, please read this some time http://americancultureshock.wordpress.com/dp-needs-a-lethal-injection/

  2. I will and I’ll get back to your comment on Peterson as well, so don’t think you’re off the hook. Gotta have a chianti now to clear my head (as Rob Ford would say) lol

  3. ps. just for the record, I’m in Europe right now so no it’s not a breakfast chianti, as Ford would have it, it’s cocktail hour here now

  4. Ummm is it coincidence that i share the same birthday as Jodi Arias and my husband is the same as Scott?

    Match made in hell? LOL.

    1. Yes, Natasha, so you should avoid small boats and your husband should avoid blonde waitresses.

      I think OJ Simpson and Jodi Arias also share a birthday. This is no “dream team” LOL!!

    1. Italy is worse than America with these trials that never end. Everyone can’t be innocent, I mean, come on!

      Italy has rule # 43, the old “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again rule.

  5. You share interesting things here. I think that your page can go viral easily, but you must give it initial boost and i know
    how to do it, just search in google for – mundillo traffic increase
    go viral

    1. Thank-You. We have never pushed the blog or really tried to promote readership other than some tweeting. We do wish we could get more feedback and people would share their opinions! Thanks again, Mose.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s