Where are they now?
12/23/2007 2:54 AM
06/09/2013 7:07 AM
There were many people who played roles big and small in the Peterson case. Some spoke to The Bee recently.
ROLE: Laci Peterson's mother. Created trial's most poignant moment by role-playing for jurors, while sobbing, what her daughter and grandson might have been thinking when Laci Peterson was murdered.
AFTER TRIAL: Lobbied for a federal fetal- protection law, signed by President Bush in April 2004. Wrote "For Laci," a national best seller published in early 2006, using some proceeds to found the Laci and Conner Search and Rescue Fund. Continues to speak at gatherings of law enforcement and crime victims groups across the United States.
QUOTE: "I do believe that (her spirit) is here. It brings peace, because she seems to come at the right moments."
ROLE: Rocha's companion for 30 years, helping raise Laci Rocha from age 2. Accompanied Sharon Rocha at trial. Testified that Scott Peterson's solo fishing alibi was "fishy" and said family support for him eroded when detectives showed them photos of Peterson with Amber Frey.
AFTER TRIAL: Continues to provide broadcast commentary from victim's family perspective, including on CNN last month and "Larry King Live" in July. Recently moved with Rocha to another house in Modesto.
QUOTE: "(A new home) does help. You're not walking back into rooms that bring up memories. It gives you a little chance for peace."
ROLE: Laci Peterson's father. Did not testify, but told Scott Peterson at sentencing, "You're going to burn in hell."
AFTER TRIAL: Continues to live on ranch near Escalon
QUOTE: "Once in a while I'll ride my bike out there to the cemetery and take some roses to her from my yard. I can't believe it's been five years already. Time does heal somewhat. I'm not so angry about some things. But especially this time of year, it seems like the wound opens up a little bit. She's in my mind every day."
ROLE: Laci Peterson's brother. Testified that he bought a gun and contemplated killing Scott Peterson while police conducted investigation.
AFTER TRIAL: Fourth child -- and first daughter -- born this year
ROLE: Laci Peterson's half sister. Gave Scott Peterson a haircut in a Modesto salon hours before his wife disappeared. Scott Peterson did not answer Amy Rocha's calls as he returned from the Berkeley Marina.
AFTER TRIAL: Continues to style hair at Modesto's Salon Salon
QUOTE: Dennis Rocha: "She's done real good for herself."
Lee Peterson and Jackie Peterson
ROLE: Scott Peterson's parents
AFTER TRIAL: Hired noted appellate attorneys Cliff Gardner of Oakland and Lawrence Gibbs of Berkeley to represent their son in state and federal habeas corpus proceedings. Jackie, who has needed oxygen for the past 11 years, recently spent 1½ months in a hospital because of her respiratory condition.
QUOTE: Lee Peterson faxed a prepared statement Saturday, stating that "our son is innocent. The (Modesto Police Department) did a pathetic job of trying to find Laci's abductors." The page- long letter in small type went on to challenge the prosecution's case. It ended saying "the people who perpetrated this injustice have their maker to face somewhere down the road."
ROLE: Scott and Laci's dog, found in street with leash attached after Scott left for solo fishing trip, helping prosecution establish crime chronology.
AFTER TRIAL: Scott Peterson's mother declined to say where McKenzie is living.
QUOTE: Jackie Peterson: "The dog is well and being taken care of and is very happy."
ROLE: Fresno massage therapist dating Scott Peterson when his wife vanished. Frey cooperated with police, taping phone conversations with Peterson before his arrest. The trial's star witness.
AFTER TRIAL: Wrote "Witness: For the Prosecution of Scott Peterson," published a few weeks after his conviction and three months before a judge affirmed his death sentence. She opened Escape Day Spa in Clovis in July, the same month she married a correctional officer.
QUOTE: "It (her role in the case) wasn't an easy road to go down. People are part of something for a reason. One woman told me she would have said, 'Not my boyfriend,' and defended him to the end instead of standing by the truth. I don't wish it upon anyone. It was a difficult ordeal to go through."
ROLE: Established prosecution timeline by testifying having found the Petersons' dog in roadway, leash dragging, shortly after Scott Peterson claimed seeing his wife alive and well.
AFTER TRIAL: Continues to live in Modesto's La Loma neighborhood
QUOTE: "The thing that's most disturbing to me is the fact that he chose not to take the (witness) stand. If he was innocent, I would like to have heard it. I would have liked for him to have said under oath, 'I didn't do this.' "
ROLE: Modesto Bee's courts reporter when Laci Peterson vanished. Teamed with Bee reporter Garth Stapley on the case full time after Scott Peterson's arrest, including trial coverage from Redwood City in 2004.
AFTER TRIAL: Left Modesto three weeks after jurors' death sentence for a larger newspaper in Florida. Hired by the San Francisco Chronicle a year later and assigned to bureau office in the same Redwood City courthouse that hosted the Peterson trial.
QUOTE: "(I'm) back where I started, so to speak."
ROLE: Feisty pro-prosecution Court TV anchor who periodically broadcast from Redwood City during the trial
AFTER TRIAL: Left Court TV and hosts her own show on CNN's "Headline News." Gave birth to twins Lucy and John in November at age 48 and survived blood clots in her lungs. Expects to return to work Jan. 7.
QUOTE (on CNN in June): "A lot of people think they can outsmart the cops. Talking about Scott Peterson and many, many others."
Greta Van Susteren
ROLE: Former lawyer. Parlayed legal commentary for O.J. Simpson's trial into cable talk show jobs. Regularly featured Peterson case on her Fox News show.
AFTER TRIAL: Continues anchoring Fox's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren," with the focus lately on the disappearance of an Illinois woman named Stacey Peterson, whose husband has been named a suspect in what police have labeled a potential homicide.
ROLE: While reporting for Fox News affiliate in San Francisco, he landed one of four TV interviews with Scott Peterson, in January 2003. Hired by CNN in March 2004 and covered the trial for that company, regularly appearing for commentary on "Larry King Live."
AFTER TRIAL: Based in San Francisco, continues working for CNN
ROLE: Interviewed Scott Peterson in his home in January 2003 while working for Stockton bureau of Sacramento's KOVR-13. Covered the trial for that company.
AFTER TRIAL: Hired by Florida Fox affiliate in May 2005
ROLE: Former judge whose cable TV program often featured the Peterson case
AFTER TRIAL: Wrote "A Deadly Game," based on illegally leaked investigation documents, published days before sentence was affirmed. Her Court TV show was canceled in April after a nearly eight-year run.
ROLE: Famed Los Angeles attorney representing Amber Frey. Provided anti-defense media commentary outside courthouse after many court sessions.
AFTER TRIAL: Arranged separate book deals for Frey; Peterson's half sister, Anne Bird; and jurors. Her own book, anchored on her involvement in the Peterson case, was printed in 2006. Continues to provide TV legal commentary.
QUOTE: "I came for the grand opening of Amber's spa in Clovis and it was a joy to see her. Amber continues to live in the (Fresno) area, continues to be a good mother and now she's a good businesswoman as well. She deserves the best and then some. My guess is that Scott Peterson would love to go to an escape spa, or anywhere to escape death row."
Richelle "Strawberry Shortcake" Nice
ROLE: Most visible juror, with dyed neon crimson hair and nine tattoos. An alternate for six months, she replaced a juror dismissed for misconduct during deliberations.
AFTER TRIAL: Struggled with return to real life, turning to therapy and medication. Corresponded for a time with Peterson, who sent letters from death row.
QUOTE: "In our letters to each other, I would say stuff about Laci and Conner. He never referred to Conner as Conner. He would say, 'I want my family,' but he would never refer to the baby."
-- Jeff Jardine and Garth Stapley
MONDAY: Prosecutors, defense attorneys and the judge
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