Laci and Conner Peterson
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Laci Rocha Peterson, 27, a popular, vivacious substitute teacher, was nearly eight months pregnant when she vanished from her home on Christmas Eve 2002, while her husband, Scott Peterson, a fertilizer salesman, was fishing for sturgeon. Peterson had bought a two-day ocean-fishing license days before, yet claimed his fishing trip was a last-minute idea. He had receipts from the marina showing he had been there at some point during that day. Everybody described the couple has in love and excited about the upcoming birth of their first child, a son.

Peterson's lack of emotion raised suspicions. Modesto Detective Al Brocchini said, "His major concerns weren't Laci at the beginning of this case. He is very calm, cool, nonchalant, polite, arrogant. He thinks he's smarter than everybody."

Anne Bird, Peterson's half sister, felt his behavior was strange when he lived with her during the investigation. She recalled his trip from the Modesto jail to Redwood City for his trial:

"There were blocked off streets, lights were going, it was really intense. He actually seemed excited about it. ... He is the most empty person. Everything he does seems to have been copied from someone else ... I was wondering if he really understood the extremity of the whole thing. I think he's very bright, but he's kind of soulless. He's very empty. Somehow he's been lost."

Four months later, Laci's remains and a male fetus washed ashore near where Scott said he was fishing when she disappeared, 90 miles from their Modesto home. Police never established how, when, or where Laci died.

Prosecutor Rick Distaso said Peterson strangled or smothered Laci before throwing her body, weighted with concrete anchors Scott made himself, from his small boat in the the San Francisco Bay.

The day his wife's remains were positively identified; Peterson was arrested for Laci's murder near Torrey Pines Golf Course, in the San Diego area near where his family resides. Driving a Mercedes he bought under his mother's name. He had a grown a beard, and bleached hair and was carrying numerous credit cards, $15,000 in cash and camping gear in the car.

Experts say he is the a psychopath.

According to forensic psychologist Reid Meloy, psychopath have an inability to form intimate bonds and need greater stimulation to feel anything:

"They don't have the internal psychological structure to feel and relate to other people. ... Sometimes they can imitate it, so they can fool other people, but there will come a point when they can't maintain it. It gives the psychopath the ability at times to kill without remorse and to kill for reasons filled with banality. Others' emotions of grief and rage and fury are like water off a duck's back."

Juror Mike Belmessieri said Peterson came into the court laughing. For six-months, he smiled and visited animatedly with his lawyers. Angry outbursts from Laci's family members didn't faze him. But Peterson wouldn't take the stand in his own defense.

At the trial, prosecutors presented videotaped police interrogations revealing Peterson as a liar. His phone calls to his lover, Amber Frey, a massage therapist and single parent were taped for the prosecutions case. Frey testified that Peterson told her he lost his wife two weeks before Laci vanished.

The defense contended Laci was abducted while she walked her dog but the fetus lived beyond that time, and that Peterson was framed after the news announced his fishing-trip alibi. Defense attorney, Mark Geragos, pleaded with the jury not to convict Peterson because he a "jerk and a liar" explaining his lies, inconsistencies, and activities showed a man suffering from grief.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Alfred A. Delucchi, replaced three jurors with alternates. The first was Justin Falconer who was replaced in June for exchanging pleasantries with Laci's brother. After the jury had begun deliberating Fran Gorman was dismissed for doing her own research on the case. The next day Judge Delucchi replaced foreperson, Greg Jackson. (In a strange coincidence, Jackson, originally an alternate, was Falconer's replacement. Jackson, a doctor and a lawyer filled 12 spiral-bound memo pads of notes. The New York Post reported Jackson angered jurors when he demanded they review all witness testimony and exhibits before taking a preliminary vote. Jackson complained to Delucchi he was being threatened by other jurors. His replacement was a firefighter in his early 30s.

Friday, November 12, 2004, after seven hours of deliberation, the six-man, six-woman jury found Peterson guilty of the 1st-degree murder of his pregnant wife, and second-degree murder of his unborn son and dumping Laci's body in the San Francisco Bay. As the verdict was read, Peterson stared straight ahead then watched each juror as they were polled. All the parties in the case remained under a gag order until Peterson's sentence was determined.

The "special circumstance" of Peterson killing a person while committing a felony made him eligible for capital punishment. He will receive a lethal injection in California's San Quentin Prison.

January 26, 2005, Amber Frey, Peterson's former lover and the unwed mother of two children, went to court concerning custodial visits of her infant son, Justin Dean Markovich, with his father, Fresno chiropractor, David Markovich.

December 2005, Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Roger Beauchesne awarded Sharon Rocha, Laci's mother, the proceeds from Laci's $250,000 life insurance policy after a legal dispute with Peterson. Pat Harris, Peterson's attorney, claimed insurance proceeds should not be transferred while his death penalty case is on appeal. The Petersons had taken out life insurance policies on each other on June 25, 2001.

Automatic death penalty appeals have two parts: a direct appeal is based on trial errors; and habeas corpus, based on new evidence, evidence that should have been heard, or errors by the defense attorney.

Since the state can take four to five years to appoint a post-conviction attorney, Scott's parents, Lee and Jackie Peterson, hired attorneys Cliff Gardner of Oakland and Lawrence Gibbs of Berkeley to begin appeals they hope will overturn his conviction. Gardner said the Petersons hired him privately and the financial arrangements are between him and the Petersons.

Gardner has worked on death penalty cases for 25 years. He has had three death penalty reversals in the past two years. Gibbs, has 24 years' post-conviction experience in work. Gardner also represents Lyle Menendez, while Gibbs represents Erik Menendez.

Mark Geragos said that the more than 10,000 tips he received, gives Gardner and Gibbs the potential for new evidence. Geragos will review court transcripts and preserve documents for the direct appeal. Gardner said Geragos is a good lawyer, reducing the chances of finding attorney error.

Gardner said Scott is doing fine at San Quentin.

The Peterson's and the Rochas squabbled over the possesions that were in Scott and Laci's home. Many were surprised to a vibrant Jackie Peterson moving furniture without the oxygen mask that she wore during the trial and television appearances.

Sharon Rocha, and her ex-husband a $25 million wrongful death suit against Scott in March 2006. to make sure Scott never receives any financial gain from his crime.

Jackie Peterson filed court papers on March 27 2006, seeking $35,000 from Laci's estate for the mortgage payments, property taxes, utility bills, home repairs, and other costs incurred since Scott's arrest in April 2003 and February 2005. When the house sold in July 2006 and the Peterson's received proceeds from the sale. A hearing on the reimbursement request was scheduled April 13, 2006 in Stanislaus County Superior Court.

March 31, 2006, the Peterson's offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to his exoneration and are requesting the public turn over photos, surveillance videos or satellite photos of Modesto, the San Francisco Bay and the route between taken Christmas Eve 2002 to April 14, 2003.

The Trial

Police: Laci's mom lashed out at Peterson
Rocha left court while jurors heard Peterson- Frey tapes.

Scott Peterson's Trial by Media

Controversial issue of fetal homicide arises

Keeler v. Superior Court


March 29, 2006 Ron Grantski, Laci's Step-Father
March 16, 2005
Death Sentence
December 14, 2004
Interview With Peterson Jurors
December 13, 2004 Analysis of Death Sentence
December 10, 2004
Analysis of Murder Trial Developments
December 01, 2004 Panel Discusses Trial
November 12, 2004 Guilty
November 10, 2004 Trial Discussion
November 09, 2004 Trial Developments
November 08, 2004 Trial Developments
November 05, 2004 Developments in Trial
November 04, 2004 Developments in Trial
October 27, 2004 Panel Discusses Trial
October 19, 2004 Will Geragos Put Peterson on the Stand?
October 06, 2004 Prosecution Rests
September 28, 2004 Latest Developments
August 23, 2004 Panel discusses trial
August 16, 2004 Analysis of Case Developments
August 11, 2004 Frey Testifies: Day 2
August 10, 2004 Panel discusses Amber Frey's testimony
August 05, 2004 Analysis of Case
August 04, 2004 Updates On Hacking Case And Peterson Trial
July 20, 2004 Scott Peterson trial panel
July 06, 2004 Trial Developments
July 14, 2004 Panel Discussion
June 30, 2004 Panel Discusses Case
June 21, 2004 Legal Analysis of Trial
June 01, 2004 Legal Analysis of Trial Day One
March 09, 2004 Panel Discusses the Trial
January 08, 2004 Analysis of Developments in Case
November 17, 2003 Day 11 of Preliminary Hearing
November 14, 2003 Day 10 Preliminary Hearing
November 13, 2003 Preliminary Hearing
November 12, 2003 Day 8 of preliminary Hearing
November 06, 2003 Day 7 of Preliminary Hearing
November 04, 2003 Day 5 of Preliminary Hearing
November 03, 2003 Day 4 of Preliminary Hearing
October 31, 2003 Day 3 Preliminary Hearing
October 30, 2003 Day 2 Preliminary Hearing
October 29, 2003 Preliminary Hearing Developments
August 15, 2003 Panel Discusses Laci
August 12, 2003 Panel Discusses Case
July 09, 2003 Legal Analysis of Case Developments
June 26, 2003 Panel Discusses Case
June 18, 2003 Legal Analysis of Case Developments
June 17, 2003 Panel Discusses Scott's Defense
June 09, 2003 Panel Discusses New Updates in Case
June 06, 2003 Analysis of Case
June 03, 2003 Panel Discusses Case
May 30, 2003 Panel Discusses Case
May 29, 2003 Panel Discusses Legal Developments
May 27, 2003 Analysis of Case
May 19, 2003 Analysis of Murder Case
May 09, 2003 Panel Discusses Developments in Case
April 30, 2003 Geragos New Defense Attorney?
April 29, 2003 Analysis of Murder Case
April 28, 2003 Panel Discusses the Case
April 22, 2003 Latest in Case
April 21, 2003 Arraignment, Rocha Family Reaction
April 20, 2003 Press Conferences; Panel Discusses the Crime
April 18, 2003 Peterson's Family discusses Laci's Disappearance
February 25, 2003 Janey Peterson & Justice League
February 19, 2003
New Developments in Case
February 18, 2003 Alibi On Shaky Ground

February 13, 2003
Still Missing On Baby's Due Date
February 10, 2003 Panel Discusses Case
January 24, 2003 Search Hits One-Month Mark
January 29, 2003 Search Continues
January 20, 2003 Where is Laci?

Other Information

Laci Peterson Murder News

Modesto Police Department Press Releases Sources: MSNBC, Fox, CNN, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, the Associated Press, the Modesto Bee, KGO, KCBS and Court TV


Blood Highway by Sheila Johnson -- Hayward Bissell, a murderous madman who led a bloody rampage down an Alabama highway , accompanied by the mutilated body of Patricia Booher, his pregnant girlfriend. Bissell told investigators he killed her because she was a double agent. photos. Original.

Handbook of Domestic Violence Intervention Strategies: Policies, Programs, and Legal Remedies by Albert R. Roberts National estimates indicate that every year, approximately eight million women are abused, battered, stalked, or killed by their husbands, boyfriends, and other intimate partners. The Handbook prepares professionals to meet the needs of women and children suffering from domestic violence by focusing on the advances in legal remedies, program developments, treatment protocols, and multidisciplinary perspectives. It is a guide to the latest research, public policies, and legal and criminal justice responses, covering federal and state legislation and trends in police and court responses to domestic violence. It includes court-based technology developments and new research related to the duration and intensity of woman battering. Highlighting actual cases and promising programs, the handbook addresses social work issues, including risk assessment protocols, a five level continuum of woman battering, intervention methods, and treatment models. This book is recommended for students, clinicians, policy makers, social work researchers, victim services, criminal justice, hospital administration, mental health counseling, public health, pastoral counseling, and law enforcement.

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