Laci Peterson's mother is writing about both of their lives in a book scheduled for publication in December.
"A lot of truths haven't been told, and I kind of think they should be," said Modesto's Ron Grantski, a family spokesman who raised Peterson as his daughter.
He's lending a hand to his longtime companion, Sharon Rocha, as she pens "For Laci."
Crown Publishing, a division of Random House Inc., listed the book Monday on its Web site with a December release date and a brief description: "Biography & Autobiography — Personal Memoirs."
A Crown spokesman confirmed that his company contracted with Rocha, 53, whose anguished testimony was a hallmark of her son-in-law's murder trial last year.
Rocha was preparing for a family get-together on Christmas Eve 2002 when her son-in-law, Scott Peterson, called and said her 27-year-old daughter was "missing." Rocha's world fell apart in a lengthy, fruitless search for her daughter, Laci, and unborn grandson, Conner.
Their badly decomposed remains washed ashore in San Francisco Bay nearly four months later. Scott Peterson's trial stretched through much of last year before jurors in November found him guilty of double murder.
Three weeks later, Rocha took the stand in a subsequent trial phase to determine whether her former son-in-law should be executed for his crimes.
"I knew she was in the casket," Rocha sobbed, recalling the joint funeral. "I knew her baby was there, but I knew she didn't have arms to hold him."
Several jurors and dozens of people in the gallery wept. A few days later, jurors handed down a death sentence.
In March, the trial convened for a final session as a judge weighed whether to uphold the sentence. Rocha again took the stand — and tears flowed once more from all corners of the courtroom.
"Daddy, why are you killing Mommy and me?" said Rocha, wracked with sobs, role-playing her grandson at a particularly poignant moment. "If you let us live long enough for you to meet me, I know you'll love me. Mommy has enough love for both of us. I promise I won't take her away from you. Please, please stop. We don't want to die."
Gathering her composure, Rocha added, "Scott Peterson, I'm saying this to you: You deserve to burn in hell for all eternity."
The judge affirmed the death sentence.
Two authors wrote books on the high-interest case before the trial. Three more were published soon after, written by Scott Peterson's girlfriend, his half-sister and a TV pundit. The case also inspired two madefor-TV movies.
Rocha, who works for a Modesto title company, is finding writing "good therapy," Grant-ski said.
"Everyone has written little bits and pieces," he added. "This story is going to be a good one."
Random House expects "For Laci" to be about 300 pages and lists a hardcover version at $25.95. A compact disc version will sell for $27.50, a cassette for $25 and an audio download for $12.50.
On the Net: www.randomhouse.com/crown/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307338280.
Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at 578-2390 or firstname.lastname@example.org.