Scott and Laci Peterson home sells at a big discount

November 28, 2007 

  • Peterson Home Timeline

    • OCTOBER 2000: Scott and Laci Peterson pay $177,000 for a 1,770-square-foot three-bedroom home built in 1949 at 523 Covena Ave. They later install a swimming pool.
    • DECEMBER 2002: Scott Peterson returns from a Christmas Eve solo fishing trip to an empty home, he tells police, touching off a massive search for his wife, who is nearly eight months pregnant.
    • NOVEMBER 2004: After a highly publicized trial, jurors in Redwood City convict Peterson of double murder, while people in Modesto turn the front lawn of his home into a shrine for the victims, leaving candles, flowers and stuffed animals. The next month, jurors say he should be executed and he arrives on death row in March 2005.
    • JULY 2005: Gerry Roberts pays $390,000 for the Peterson home - $10,000 more than the asking price - and says he'll live there himself. Six days later, Roberts announces the discovery of a red-stained knife in a back patio cabinet. He loses his real estate job the next week and denies having sold photographs of the knife to the National Enquirer.
    • AUGUST 2005: Laboratory analysis of the 10-inch knife shows no blood or human tissue, police say.
    • JULY 2006: Saying "I've had nothing but bad luck since I've owned that thing," Roberts lists the home for $479,900. He drops the price several times in following months and tries without success to sell it through an eBay online auction.
    • DECEMBER: An unidentified couple agrees to buy the home for about $350,000 as a residence for their college-age daughter and her roommates, but back out of escrow 35 days later.
    • FEBRUARY: Roberts files for bankruptcy protection.
    • JUNE: No one offers the $308,250 minimum bid at foreclosure auction. A bank assumes ownership.
    • AUGUST: PMZ Real Estate lists the house at $321,900.
    • NOVEMBER: Escrow closes for unnamed buyers paying $280,000.

Unidentified new owners of a home once owned by Scott and Laci Peterson aren't talking about buying Modesto's most notorious abode, and neither will their real estate agent.

"I respect the confidentiality of my clients," Chris Shaw, a broker with PMZ Real Estate, said Tuesday.

Authorities speculated that Peterson strangled his pregnant wife in the house on or just before Christmas Eve 2002 before slipping her weighted body into San Francisco Bay.

Remains of mother and unborn son were recovered nearly four months later along the eastern shore. Peterson was convicted of double murder and arrived on death row in March 2005, where he awaits appeals.

The 1,770-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath cottage-bungalow at 523 Covena Ave., sold for $280,000, said listing agent Joseph Bondi, also of PMZ.

That's $110,000 less than the parents of Scott and Laci Peterson received when they sold it in July 2005 to Gerry Roberts, a real estate agent who bought the home amid hoopla and lived in it before declaring bankruptcy. He was unable to sell the home and lost it to foreclosure. A bank hired Bondi to unload it.

He said he showed the home to a potential buyer only once in more than three months and never met the new owners.

Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at or 578-2390.

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