Laci Peterson's mother doesn't have much interest in a new book with stories about Scott Peterson's advances on his half-sister's baby sitter when his pregnant wife was missing, his sexual encounters in airline bathrooms and a trip to a gay bar.
"To be honest, I don't think Sharon (Rocha) or I will read it," Ron Grantski said on Tuesday, when "Blood Brother: 33 Reasons My Brother Scott Peterson is Guilty" hit bookshelves.
Grantski, who had raised Laci Peterson in Modesto as his daughter since she was a toddler, and his longtime companion, Rocha, have never met the author, Anne Bird. She and Scott Peterson have the same mother.
Peterson killed his wife just before Christmas 2002 and dumped her body in San Francisco Bay, which is visible from the loft Bird let her half-brother sleep in as thousands searched for Laci Peterson. The book provides an inside look at Peterson's private words and actions during those critical months leading to his arrest in April 2003.
After a six-month trial, jurors in December recommended his execution. A judge is to rule March 16 whether to uphold that recommendation.
According to "Blood Brother," Jackie Peterson gave up Bird and another child she had before her marriage to Lee Peterson.
The book appears to be a product of Bird's attempt to work through complex emotional issues connected to a family she had become reacquainted with only five years before her sister-in-law disappeared. Bird at first fiercely defended her brother and even took him into her Berk-eley home for extended stays when he became a hounded pariah.
But Bird, now 39, struggles with thoughts of being a discarded child while repeatedly referring to Scott Peterson as their mother's "golden boy" — the one "she had kept." The book says Jackie Peterson once demanded that Bird lie to protect Scott Peterson after he made a pass at her baby sitter less than a month after Laci Peterson had disappeared.
"(Bird) was given away," said New York City psychotherapist Robi Ludwig. "That's a psychic wound that's very hard to heal, if ever, for kids who are adopted. They carry this wound of not being wanted.
"On top of that, Scott Peterson is the favored child and you have a case of sibling rivalry in a dysfunctional family. Not only is he the child who got kept, he is the child who got protected."
Bird dedicated "Blood Brother" to the therapist who "helped me find my way" before she wrote the book.
Scott Peterson's father, contacted by telephone Tuesday, refused to comment on Bird's standing with his family.
"Forget being neutral," Lee Peterson said, echoing the family's frequent criticism of media during the trial. "You're just a house organ for the cops."
A series of vignettes
In her book, Bird seemed puzzled by her mother's thinly veiled dislike for Scott Peterson's bubbly wife.
Bird churned out vignettes in proof: Jackie Peterson critiquing her daughter-in-law's thank-you cards, nastily objecting to Laci Peterson's wish to name her son Logan, and turning her nose up at her daughter-in-law's hometown — Modesto.
"I was beginning to understand why Jackie was so critical of Laci," Bird wrote. "No one was good enough for her golden boy."
Her mother, Bird wrote, also referred to Amber Frey as a "bimbo" after the Fresno woman, who was romanced by Scott Peterson before and after his wife vanished, testified for the prosecution in his doublemurder trial.
If Frey provided the bombshell that sealed Scott Peterson's fate — inside the courtroom and out — she apparently was one of many skeletons in Peterson's closet, Bird wrote.
When she confronted her brother about Frey, he angrily admitted to bedding a San Luis Obispo woman early in his marriage, plus two women in rest-rooms on a "long flight."
Scott Peterson flirted with Bird's attractive baby sitter in January 2003, she wrote. About three months later — the same day a woman's badly decomposed remains were discovered along the bay shore — Scott Peterson hit on a young woman watching the home of Bird's adoptive parents, she wrote.
The remains soon after were identified: Laci Peterson.
Bird's 214-page tale also has her brother frolicking in a gay bar with some of Bird's friends, then acting downcast when homosexuals didn't find him attractive.
Same attorney as Frey
Bird and Frey are represented by the same Los Angeles attorney, Gloria Allred. The attorney would not answer questions Tuesday in deference to Bird's publicists, who are launching a book tour.
"Blood Brother" contains a few minor inaccuracies, including:
Prosecutor Rick Distaso's name is misspelled.
Scott Peterson gave a ride to a 52-year-old neighbor whose car had a flat tire, the neighbor testified. The book says he changed the tire for "an old lady."
Scott and Laci Peterson didn't move into a Modesto home with a swimming pool — they had it installed later.
Bird revealed that her brother at one point became obsessive with cleaning the pool, leading her to wonder if it was the true crime scene. Laci Peterson had confided in Bird that she enjoyed relaxing in the pool; buoyancy helped relieve back pain during her pregnancy, she said.
"I would find myself wondering whether Scott had drowned Laci in the pool, which would have been effortless and soundless and would have left no evidence of a struggle," Bird wrote.
Detectives believe her husband smothered her or strangled her.
Bird also wrote that her brother once told her an eerie story about having stumbled on a children's cemetery while exploring Mendocino with Laci Peterson. His wife, who had a degree in ornamental horticulture, became emotional and pulled weeds, he said.
Bird didn't know whether to believe the story, she wrote.
Grantski doesn't know, either. Laci Peterson never mentioned anything like that to him or her mother, he said.
"I don't believe anything he said he told anybody," Grantski said.
As for Bird, he questioned whether she wrote the book for cathartic or monetary reasons.
"This," he said, "is her claim to fame."
Anne Bird is scheduled to appear at 8 p.m. today on KCRA Channel 3 and at 4 p.m. Thursday on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," same station.
Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at 578-2390 or firstname.lastname@example.org.