Authorities Free to Talk About Peterson Case

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(Modesto, CA)
Thursday, March 17, 2005

Scott Peterson was a suspect in his wife Laci’s disappearance from the very start. The reason?  He didn’t appear very knowledgeable about fishing. Peterson’s alibi was that he had gone to the Bay-Area to fish on December 24th, 2002 – the day his wife supposedly vanished.  But Stanislaus County District Attorney James Brazelton says the story didn’t make sense.  “When asked what he was fishing for, he couldn’t really respond to that,” says Brazelton. “And the fishing gear that he had wasn’t consistent with the story that he gave.” 

Dozens of reporters from around the country gathered at Modesto Police headquarters yesterday to hear detectives and prosecutors reflect on the two and a half year saga. Some of Laci’s family members were scheduled to attend, but officials said they were too emotionally drained from the previous day’s sentencing .  Laci’s family had stood by Scott Peterson for quite a while.  But Detective Jon Buehler says that all changed when he presented evidence to Laci’s mother and step-father that Peterson was having an affair with Amber Frey.  “Sliding that picture across the table to Sharon and Ron and Sharon’s immediate reaction of covering her face and her quote that I still remember ‘why did he have to kill her’ pretty much told her without having to say it in words that you know your daughter’s not coming back.”     

There had been speculation as to whether Peterson killed his wife on the spur of the moment or had planned it.  Prosecutor Rick Distaso believes Peterson planned to kill Laci on the night of December 23rd, 2002.  “I think Scott Peterson was a cold, calculating person. I think he intended to kill Laci later in the evening. I think he was trying to think of a way to set up his alibi.”

District Attorney Brazelton says even if the bodies of Laci and the couple’s unborn child hadn’t been discovered, there would still have been enough evidence to convict Peterson of murder. Brazelton says they may never know the full story of how Laci died, but he’s not holding out hope that Peterson will ever talk about it. The one-time fertilizer salesman now sits on Death Row at San Quentin State Prison.