CNN LARRY KING LIVE
CORRECTED COPY: Laci Peterson Still Missing On Baby's Due Date
Aired February 10, 2003 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, GUEST HOST: It was earmarked as the happiest day of Laci Peterson's life. But instead, it's leaving a bitter taste in the mouths and an empty feeling in the hearts. February 10, Laci's due date. And tonight, no mother, no baby, and a family rocked by recent developments.
We go live to a special vigil in Modesto. With us tonight on Scott Peterson's behalf, his sister-in-law, Janey Peterson. In L.A., high profile defense attorney Mark Geragos. In Boston, Former Prosecutor Wendy Murphy. With us here in D.C., Marc Klaas, his daughter Polly abducted and murdered in '93. And in New York, forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Welner. In the Peterson's hometown of Modesto, California, Ted Rowlands covering the story for KTVU-TV.
It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Welcome. I'm Nancy Grace in for Larry King tonight. Thank you for being with us.
Let's go straight out to Scott Peterson's sister-in-law speaking on his behalf. Janey Peterson is with us tonight. Thank you for being with us, Janey.
JANEY PETERSON, SCOTT PETERSON'S SISTER-IN-LAW: Thank you, Nancy.
GRACE: Janey, first of all, tonight a vigil is taking place of Laci's friends and acquaintances. The families, however, are remembering tonight, Laci's due date, in their own way.
J. PETERSON: Well, I think as we have gone through this crisis, we've, you know, many times been on our knees in prayer. And tonight is a night that her friends are gathering together to do that. Together.
GRACE: Where is Scott Peterson tonight?
J. PETERSON: He's in Modesto.
GRACE: You know, we have heard so much talk just recently about Scott going on a business trip to Mexico. When he did that, did he miss one of the searches for Laci? J. PETERSON: No. Scott was back, back by -- I'm assuming you're talking about Saturday, the search on Saturday. And, you know, searching for Laci is an everyday thing for every one of us, no matter where we're at. We're -- you know, every day sending out more e-mails and, you know, today driving around to sheriffs' stations and fire departments and it's surprising to us how some people still don't know, even people in law enforcement.
And so we, every day, we do something to look for Laci.
GRACE: Janey, you said that Scott is in Modesto tonight. Is he with his family?
J. PETERSON: Well, most of us are down here. So, you know, I left Scott a message today. He called me back. I did miss his call so I'm not sure who he's with tonight, but it is a difficult time this week for us.
GRACE: What is his frame of mind tonight? Tonight would have been Conner's due date.
J. PETERSON: Yes, you know, it's a very difficult time. You know, we just -- we continue to, you know, seek the Lord and ask for him to sustain us in this. It's one of those thing you can't get through on your own.
GRACE: Janey Peterson, some tough questions. Why won't Scott take a polygraph test and put everyone's mind to rest?
J. PETERSON: You know, that's a decision that he's had to make in seeking the counsel of family and friends and, you know, that's a decision that he's made and I'm not going to second guess that decision, so...
GRACE: Have any of you, his family, asked him why he won't take a polygraph?
J. PETERSON: I don't know that I've specifically asked him why he won't take a polygraph. But I know that it's not -- it is not an option based on what he's being counseled to do.
GRACE: From his lawyer, from his lawyer. Did very to go on that business trip? I mean, the timing is very disturbing to a lot of people as searches are still being conducted for Laci, for him to go to Mexico, go to Guadalajara Hilton. Did he have to go? Is he back to work?
J. PETERSON: Well, like all -- like, you know, every one of us in this family, we have our lives. And it's, you know, -- we're in the midst of this crisis and we each are doing our best to maintain what we need to in our lives.
And, you know, Scott has to do that as well. He has a job and responsibilities and it's a very difficult for all of us to, you know, do everyday tasks from, you know, preparing dinner sometimes and, you know, doing the laundry. are all things that are much more difficult but they're things that we have to do.
GRACE: Well, Janey, believe it or not, I know exactly what you mean at a time of grief, i's very hard to just go through the daily exercise of living. So I'm taking from what you're telling me that Scott is back to work and making calls, trying to sell his Trade Corp product. Is that true? He's back out there as a sales rep?
J. PETERSON: Well, I don't think that Scott's back to work at the capacity that he was before this. Not at all. He's...
GRACE: Then why the trip to Mexico?
J. PETERSON: He's doing the minimum and that definitely was just one of the minimums. You know, it was a very important convention or -- you know, I'm not sure what the title of it was...
J. PETERSON: ...but it was just a very important part of what he does and many other things have slipped to the way side and not been done, but that was one thing that needed to be done.
GRACE: Janey, I've been reading, just like everybody else in this country, all the wires, all the stories. And the most recent development is the sale or the trade-in of Laci's vehicle and the news that Scott tried to put the home up for sale the week that Laci went missing. Why?
J. PETERSON: Well, when Scott himself said that he sold the vehicle because he needed a truck for work. And he's been having to rent a vehicle since the day that this started and that's a financial hardship.
J. PETERSON: And I don't know that he talked to a realtor the week that Laci disappeared, but that has been -- and actually, I don't know that he's talked to a realtor, period. That's not a conversation that I've had with him. But I know that the thought of selling the house has been discussed. And he just does not feel that it's safe. His wife and child were taken from him in front of that home. And the home has been burglarized and the neighbor's home was burglarized. And it's really given him pause to where they had chosen to build their home.
GRACE: So at this juncture, though, with the thought that if, just if Laci is out there, just maybe she was kidnapped instead of killed, wouldn't he want to stay in the home in case the kidnapper tried to contact him?
J. PETERSON: Well, Scott hasn't gone anywhere. He's still there. And...
GRACE: Well, I mean, Janey, it's not like they're going to look him up in the phone book. To change locations at a time like this, I just find it confounding. J. PETERSON: Well, I think anybody who has taken Laci for those purposes, if they really wanted to get a hold of Scott, it would not be that difficult. You know, her picture is everywhere. The Web site, the Modesto police. You know, to simply think that him being in that home would be the key to bringing her home is, you know...
GRACE: Well, Janey Peterson, tonight I know that you have a message you want to send out on the airwaves. What's your message?
J. PETERSON: Well, there is two things that our families are asking for. And first and most important, of course, we always ask for your prayers. And tomorrow, if anyone feels that we're asking people to pray and fast with us and pray for Laci and just maybe instead of when you would eat breakfast or lunch, you would set that time aside to pray for Laci and Conner. And also to just help us in looking for Laci, both, you know, people don't realize what they can do from their homes all across the country, but, you know, she could be anywhere. And just your help in e-mailing or faxing law enforcement agencies and fire stations and birthing centers and nurse hot lines and anything along those lines that could keep and get her picture out there.
J. PETERSON: We're still surprised by the number of people who aren't aware of this situation.
GRACE: Janey Peterson is with us tonight on behalf of Laci's husband Scott Peterson, under heavy fire. And Janey, as I promised you, that tip line number, everyone, 209-342-6166. or visit the Web site at lacipeterson.com.
Janey, thank you for being with us.
J. PETERSON: Thank you, Nancy.
GRACE: Everyone, as we speak, a vigil is taking place in memory and in honor and in the hopes of Laci Peterson coming home. A prayers is being said on her behalf right now in Modesto.
GRACE: As you see in Modesto tonight, friends and acquaintances of Laci Peterson have gathered together in a desperate attempt to remind the public the search is on for the 27-year-old mother. Today, her due date.
Today had been set aside as a once-in-a-lifetime event, the birth of their first child. Instead, bitterness, emptiness, acrimony pervades both households.
Families missing noticeably from the vigil tonight, each are cloaked in privacy as they welcome this day in their own ways. Welcome back. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry King tonight. Thank you for being with us. Today was set for the delivery of Conner Peterson, the baby boy of Laci and Scott Peterson. That was not meant to be. December 24, Laci went missing. Vanished, seemingly without a trace. We just heard from Scott Peterson's sister-in-law, Janey Peterson, speaking on his behalf. As of tonight, no one seems to know exactly where Scott Peterson is.
Joining us tonight in L.A., high profile defense attorney Mark Geragos. In Boston, former prosecutor Wendy Murphy. Here in D.C. with me, Marc Klaas, victims rights advocate. And in New York, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner.
But let's go to the Petersons' hometown of Modesto, California. Ted Rowlands with KTVU-TV is with us. Ted, what is the latest?
TED ROWLANDS, KTVU-TV CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you see -- as you just saw in that video, it is a very emotional scene here at this park. Friends of Laci had gathered here to remember this day, to acknowledge that this is the day that Conner was to be born. Missing, as you said, family members. Laci's family is in seclusion tonight. They have decided to keep this day to themselves. They say it's just too painful for them, really, to have this be a public event for them. So they are secluded, they are with close family members only, and having their own private ceremony.
Scott Peterson is in Modesto, but he is not here, which speaks volumes as to the rift which has developed between these two families. Quite frankly, I don't know how welcome Scott would be at this point here.
GRACE: Now, this is a grouping of Laci's friends and acquaintances, correct?
ROWLANDS: Yes, exactly. These are close friends, co-workers, people that really staffed the volunteer center during first few weeks after Laci was missing while the volunteer center was open. All of those folks are here. Good friends that really wanted to do something and do something publicly to acknowledge the day that Conner was to be born.
GRACE: Well, Ted Rowlands, no one really seems to know where exactly Scott Peterson is tonight. I asked his sister-in-law, is with his family? She doesn't know. Is he at a hotel, is he at home? No one really seems to know where he is, but you have talked to him today by phone. What is his state of mind as of tonight?
ROWLANDS: Well, actually I did have a chance to talk to him in person a little bit this morning. He came home and went into his house. We had a short conversation. He said that today is a very emotional day for him. He did acknowledge he was in Mexico for a business trip that he couldn't miss, and he, again, expressed his desire for people to keep their eyes open for Laci, and to keep her in their thoughts and their prayers. But he didn't have too much to say. He went in his house, and from what I understand he left a few hours later. GRACE: You know, a lot has been made just recently of the fact that it has come out that within the first week that Laci, his wife, his pregnant wife went missing, he spoke with a realtor about putting the house up for sale. Any explanation from him as to why he wanted the house sold?
ROWLANDS: Well, he told me that in a very short conversation, he called me one day, presumably from Mexico and said, Ted, I have some answers for a couple of your questions. He said, yes, I tried to sell my house. He said, quote, "who the hell would want to live in a house that's unsafe, where your wife was kidnapped from," and then he went on to also say that he did indeed trade in the car, and as his sister said, he said that he needed a vehicle for work. And he also added that he and Laci had plans to trade in that Landrover anyway when Conner was born. So he was just doing it now, and he needed a work vehicle because police still have his truck.
GRACE: Well, Marc Klaas, that rings unusual to me because why would he say she was kidnapped from the home? How would he know that? I thought she was kidnapped when she was out walking the dog in the park?
MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, I think that that's exactly right, and that just goes to this guy Scott Peterson and his ability to come up with an answer for every relevant question that's asked of him. Why does he want to sell the house? Because Laci was kidnapped in the house? That's what he told Ted. He's never said that before. That's a whole new theory. Why is he getting rid of her SUV so that he can get another truck? Well, why is law enforcement keeping the truck that he had in the first place?
GRACE: Well, let me go to you, Mark Geragos. If you were his defense attorney, I'm sure you would be spinning like a top. The more he talks, the worse it gets. This interview with Diane Sawyer, one conflicting comment after the next. And now he knows where Laci was kidnapped? Mark?
MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, except, before we condemn this guy completely and go out and publicly hang him, you know, there are seemingly pretty good explanation for what he's been saying here. I mean, he's got a truck. The police have impounded it. Obviously, as we have kind of batted around endlessly, they're looking for evidence in that truck. He's got to go to work. I don't think this guy is independently wealthy. Remember when this first started, everybody was speculating that he was so in debt that that was the motivation for him taking out the insurance policy. So he's got to work, he's got to get a truck to work. And he needs to go to Mexico for all of those things.
GRACE: Mark, I'm OK with the vehicle. I'm OK with that. I'm asking you about why sell the house in the first -- try to sell the house the first five days she goes missing?
GERAGOS: Well, I don't know about the first five days. I would suggest to you that that has not been confirmed by anybody. But selling the house, his sister-in-law did say something that I thought struck home -- remember, the neighbors were burglarized, this house is presumably the last place he saw his pregnant wife. The house was burglarized also, although there was speculation that it was by a family member. This is not exactly some place that I would want to go to. And, Nancy, when you were suggesting before that he's got to be home to wait by the phone, you know, that just strikes me as ludicrous. After six weeks, I don't think anybody thinks that this is a kidnapping for ransom.
GRACE: Well, I don't think it is either, but he's the one that keeps saying on air, Wendy Murphy, what do you think about that, he is the one that keeps saying on air, when she comes home, but when she does come home, I guess she's going to have to walk everywhere, because she doesn't have a car anymore, and I guess she's going to have to set up a pup tent in the backyard because the house is going to be sold.
GERAGOS: Well, either that, but there's going to be a lot of pundits, there is going to be a lot of pundits who are going to have to apologize for convicting this guy.
GRACE: I'll be the first one in line, Mark. I'll be the first one in line.
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I'm in line, too.
GERAGOS: I don't remember seeing a lot of pundits going and apologizing to previous people that we have hung on this show on previous missing persons cases. It's just not something we do. We don't do a show where we say, hey, I want to apologize to you for ransacking you.
MURPHY: Mark, let's at least put the apology show off until we get the need to do that show. Look, you know, I'm so tired of hearing his excuse for why he needed to sell the car that he needed it for work, because what's really important about his state of mind is that if he's truly innocent, he waited a little bit, a while, while the truck was impounded so the police could do their tests and so on -- if he was truly innocent, he'd be expecting to get it back very soon. It's the fact that he had to go and get another one that tells us what his state of mind is. They're not letting that truck go for a reason.
GERAGOS: Can you imagine, Wendy, if he had his lawyer go in and do a motion to return that vehicle would be you saying -- you'd be saying he wants to get the vehicle back before they got chance to do the evidence.
MURPHY: He wouldn't be first suspect to get his car back, whose car was tested and he was cleared and then you get your car back. He hasn't been cleared.
(CROSSTALK) GRACE: Guys, hold on one moment. Hold those thoughts. We have to go to a quick break. And We're waiting for Dr. Michael Welner to weigh in, he's a forensic psychiatrist joining us from New York.
But right now, as we go to a break, let's look at the vigil taking place right now in Modesto, California. A vigil for Laci Peterson, today her due date, February 10. Conner Peterson was to be born today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT PETERSON, LACI'S HUSBAND: I had nothing to do with Laci's disappearance. Even if you think I did, think about Laci. And I know that there is a nation that wants to bring her home to our families. OK. So you can think what you want of me, question my moral character, question how I've acted, if it has been smart, if it hasn't been. Obviously I'm not media savvy, so if I made some mistakes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Today is February 10, the due date for Laci. She was to give birth to Conner Peterson today, a baby boy. His name already picked out.
Welcome back. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry King tonight.
Let me go to you, Dr. Michael Welner.
Everyone, Michael is a forensic psychiatrist joining us from New York. A lot has been made about his demeanor. He is grieving? He is not grieving? But do spouses react differently at a time of mourning or grief or loss as opposed to siblings or parents?
DR. MICHAEL WELNER, M.D. FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: I'm reminded of the research many years ago conducted by behavioral scientists, Holmes (ph) and Rahey (ph). Looking at events of social readjustment and the most significant life event was the loss of a spouse. Now, looking at Scott Peterson, were he to lose a spouse, the burden for his readjustment would be far greater than were he to be waiting for her to come home. So for him to be making plans and for him to be making adjustments that reflect accepting her as gone should be that much more stressful for him than were he to be waiting, waiting, waiting, expecting as we have seen in other missing persons cases for her and for Conner to come home.
GRACE: So are you telling me that he is grieving her loss or expecting her to come home?
WELNER: What I'm saying is it is unusual to see signs, obviously, of him making an adjustment to life without her, to a life permanently without her, because that would be that much more stressful to him were he to be meaningfully attached to her. And I'm just not seeing it. I'm just not seeing it. We're not seeing it. That's why this is all very uncomfortable for us. We're seeing someone who is detached. Does that make him a killer? No it doesn't but may reflect on the weakness of the bond of that marriage, which may also explain the significance of his...
GRACE: Hold on, hold on. The family, both of them have said they had a very wonderful marriage. Yes, we know about another woman. But according to the families they were very much in love. Hold that thought.
Marc Klaas, response?
KLAAS: Listen, I have dealt with hundreds of families who have been in similar situations and not only do they not sell the family home they don't let go. Particularly when you don't know when you're stuck in that limbo it is knight limbo of grief, but a limbo of fear and it's a limbo of anger. The fear is absolutely paralyzing sometimes. The anger take you over the top. But the grieving process doesn't start until the very end, until they have proven to you one way or the other your loved one is no longer in this realm, no longer with us. This guy should be...
MURPHY: Nancy, you know, it is interesting because he's trying to convey to the public that he very much expects her to come home because he these will make the public think, oh, he thinks she's still alive which means I guess he didn't kill her. But the fact he's acting as if she's already gone and, the fact that he sold a car that everyone acknowledges she loved and he sold it, the very week he said repeatedly on national television, I am not ready to accept the fact that she is dead I'm expecting her to come home, it is not only illogical, inconsistent -- consistently inconsistent, you know it just shows this incredible self-serving, really selfish narcissistic guy who only cares about what we think of him and not what the truth is.
WELNER: Marc made an excellent point. Very important to remember, that the reason people hold on is it is actually successful coping. It would be devastating to orient one's thinking to loss at a time like this. Coping is a matter of emotional survival by holding on to hope that she would come home.
GRACE: Ted Rowlands, let me go you to real quickly.
Ted, are you with me?
GRACE: Ted, you're are speaking to Scott on a routine basis. And from my own experience and with, Marc Klaas on the set who lost his daughter, it is very rare to see victims' families part with the victims' possessions. It is basically overnight dead body. All right, give me some insight.
Where is Scott Peterson coming from? Trading in the car, trying to get rid of the house. And let me remind you of something, Ted, it is my understanding he spoke to a realtor to unload the home within the week Laci went missing, the burglary did not take place until many, many weeks later.
ROWLANDS: He told me that he checked into selling the house three weeks after Laci was reported missing. That's what he told me. And I've heard that there has been one week. But he said three weeks. As far as his mind set, he told me at one point during one of our conversations that he consciously is keeping himself from getting to a point of grieving, that he doesn't want to go to.
He says if he lets himself get to that point, that he'll be useless, he won't be able to work, he won't be able to keep working to find Laci. So he says that consciously he's just sort of blocking that out. And preventing himself to get to that point. Maybe Dr. Welner can provide some insight or Marc, if that ease even possible.
GRACE: I think I'm losing Ted Rowland.
Let me go to you on this issue, Marc Klaas. So difficult for most victims to even consider giving away, losing, selling, parting with possessions of their loved one.
KLAAS: You do it after. You do it after the fact. You don't do it before the fact. And in fact, it took us five years to go into Polly's bedroom and make the changes that were necessary in Polly's bedroom to turn it in a viable room in our house for other purposes. And, in fact, when what we did was set up our company office in there as a partial tribute to what happened to Polly.
GRACE: And I noticed in the Danielle van Dam's case, Danielle's room is still a tribute to her, being integrated into the home.
Everybody, we have to take a quick break. Stay with us.
GRACE: Ted Rowlands, there in Modesto with KTVU-TV covering the Peterson case. Ted, I understand that Scott Peterson's truck and boat are still in police custody, correct? As of tonight?
ROWLANDS: Yes, that's right. They still have both of those items and presumably a couple computers that they pulled out of his house when they served a search warrant on the premises the second day after Laci was missing.
One thing that Mark was talking about earlier is that, you know, he hasn't been convicted yet, and the bottom line here is that according -- when you look at the Modesto Police Department, they've got 80 to 90 percent of the forensics back.
They're still looking at videotapes of this interview. You get the impression where -- a few weeks ago, I had the impression they had a quiet confidence and they were ready to serve an arrest warrant. Now it's almost as if this could be a long drawn out situation unless they do find a body.
GRACE: Wendy Murphy, what do you make of it? MURPHY: Well, it's interesting, Nancy, because you and I have talked about this issue before. But you would expect the forensic tests to come back fairly quickly. They can do DNA in a matter of days these days.
I thought as well that if they found something important in the truck it would probably lead to a quick arrest. But you notice what happened, Right around the time some of the tests were starting to come back is when Scott Peterson started to do his dog and pony show on national television. And what sort of things did he say? I mean it was almost revealing of what his state of mind was in terms of what they probably found in the car.
He said, Oh, yes, blood in the truck. I bleed all the time. I'm a farm salesman. I've got blood dripping all over the place. So that sort of that deflates the impact of what the police probably found and it certainly suggests Scott's awareness there was something suspicious in the form of blood in the car.
And I think he also answered other questions like the drapes. We started to feel suspicious because the drapes were closed and Laci had a habit of opening the drapes up every morning when she got up. And Scott said what on national television? Let me explain that one, too. Those drapes were closed because it was cold outside. Now mind you, they don't live in Alaska.
But if it was too cold to open the drapes to keep the heat in, wasn't it too cold to go fishing on a 14 foot open boat on the ocean? The point is...
GERAGOS: He wants to leave the heat in the house so it is too cold to go fishing? Haven't you ever left the house and put a sweater on?
MURPHY: To go fishing 100 miles north where it was even colder?
GERAGOS: He wants to conserve heat in his house with his pregnant wife so can't go outside and put a sweater on? What kind of nonsense is this?
GRACE: Mark Geragos, I think you're carrying it a little further. He just said that Laci probably thought it was too chilly to open the drapes. Now you've got him on a conservation kick. I give you A-plus as a defense lawyer but I got a question for you...
GERAGOS: I have a question for the panel. Apparently I'm the only guy that has not convicted him yet.
GRACE: I'm not convicting him.
GERAGOS: Most people...
GRACE: I've just got a lot of questions that he refuses to answer. GERAGOS: I have just one question. Can you tell me one thing that we've heard on this show tonight that is admissible in a court of law? Because I haven't heard one thing you can get into a courtroom. There's no such thing as drape evidence in here California.
GRACE: Here's the question, Mark. We know the boat and the car still in police custody...
GERAGOS: As they should be. Until they make an arrest, until they find Laci, there's no reason in the world for them to release it. What do you expect him to do? Go in there and start asking for it to get it back?
MURPHY: If he were innocent, he would have his truck back by now. The fact that he doesn't is evidence against him.
KLAAS: We're commenting on this guy's state of mind. We're commenting on the kinds of -- we're commenting on the comments that he has made in public. We're saying on this show -- we are saying on this show what people are talking about around water coolers all over America.
Why is this guy inappropriate? Why does this guy suddenly need two trucks? I would like to know, Mark, is this guy -- he's bought this truck. Is hauling manure in this truck? Because that was the purpose of getting it. He bought the truck and he immediately went to Mexico. Is he hauling manure?
GERAGOS: I'd like to ask you something, Marc. Wouldn't you feel horrible, because I know I would, if we got to a point along this investigation and all of this supposition and all this armchair quarterbacking that we're doing and basically convicting him on if you did this or said this and this punditry, how are we going to feel if it turns out this gentleman is truly the -- has a son that was supposed to be born today, has a wife that is missing and because he didn't act the way we want him to act...
KLAAS: I'll tell you why. Because he has not put her self- interest ahead of his own self-interest. He's refusing to eliminate himself. He's refusing to eliminate himself as a suspect which means law enforcement can't put their full resource towards the ultimate answer. You asked me a question and I'm trying to answer it.
GERAGOS: I'm telling you, condemn him as a narcissist. Condemn his character flaws but that does not make him a murderer.
(CROSSTALK) GRACE: Wendy, hold on. Got it, Mark Geragos. I understand where you're coming from. You're a defense attorney, you're taking his side.
Let's get back to the facts. Let's go back to Ted Rowlands there in Modesto. Ted Rowlands, tonight, another vigil for Laci. No Scott Peterson. Where is he tonight? Why isn't he at the vigil? And why did he not show up for the search for Laci this past weekend?
ROWLANDS: Well, he's in Modesto tonight. He's most likely with what friends he does have left in this city. And the reason he wasn't here and the reason he wasn't at that search was because they were both put on by friends and/or family members of Laci Peterson.
And the divide between these two families is huge and it goes back to the conversation that the Modesto Police had with Laci's family at their home. That not only told the family about the Amber Frye affair and the life insurance policy, but they also said we have other evidence as well against Scott.
And I believe, don't know for sure, that that is what has really created this divide that Laci's family is convinced that Scott had something to do with this. Since then, every time they have addressed Scott, they have said, please, go to the Modesto Police and tell them everything. That's why Scott Peterson isn't here.
GRACE: Ted Rowlands, when you say other evidence, what other evidence do you anticipate?
ROWLANDS: Well, you know if we knew that, that's what we would be talking about an this show, I'm sure. Modesto Police, the department has to have something else because from the beginning they have focused all of their attention on Scott Peterson.
If they don't have anything more than we know, then they have really been acting inappropriately in pursuing this case. Which, by the way is really what the Peterson family believes is the case, that they have been -- they had a one-tract mind, innappropriately and have ignored all other leads.
GRACE: Let me go to you, Dr. Welner, before we go to break.
You were discussing earlier, off camera, what a forensic psychiatrist would be looking for in Scott Peterson's behavior as far as circumstantial evidence goes.
WELNER: Well, there's no violence. There's no history of violence here. There isn't an upset crime scene. And so, whatever happened to her, if it happened in the home, if he was involved, it happened cleanly. It happened in a calculated way. It happened in a premeditated way. So, in a forensic psychiatric investigation, if it was done in this case, the most meaningful piece of evidence is nothing that's been discussed to this point, but would be signs that he was already beginning his readjustment before she disappeared.
GRACE: Excellent point. WELNER: And that means -- and that means that he was not planning for life with her, in his actions before she died, and signs could be picked up with tracing every step that he takes and he is a guy who gets around.
GRACE: Guys, we've got to take a break. Everyone, stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON GRANTSKI, LACI PETERSON'S STEPFATHER: The house is in both names, Laci and Scott's. I find it hard to believe that he thought could sell it without Laci's signature. Of course, I find it hard to believe a lot of the things Scott has done. So why should this be anything different?
He said the first night he wanted the focus to be on finding Laci, not on him. Well, with things he's been doing and saying, the focus is all on him. You want to change the focus, Scott, talk to the Modesto police. End this circus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: February 10 was a day that was long anticipated in the Peterson home, Conner Peterson's due date. Instead, February 10 became a dreaded date, no mother, no baby. Today, Conner Peterson would have been born.
Let me go to Ted Rowlands. Ted Rowlands, again, another vigil tonight. It was sponsored by Laci's friends, her acquaintances, her co-workers. What was the point? What was the purpose of tonight's vigil, Ted?
ROWLANDS: Well, because Laci's family didn't want do anything publicly, her friends thought that it would be appropriate to do something in the public eye to keep this date in every body in every body's mind and to keep the focus on Laci, because they understand that the media importance of this case.
Scott's family is also working sort of in their own camp down in San Diego. They've launched more of an Internet-based effort. They had a search effort on Saturday asking people to go out and search their own areas around the country, go look at the backyards and make sure that they don't see anything.
Meanwhile, Laci's family had the organized search outside Modesto. About 500 people showed up, very impressive showing. It's really bizarre, this divide between the two families. But both families are continuing to keep busy, trying to get Laci's picture out there and her story out there.
GRACE: Wendy Murphy, you and I have both worked with a lot of victims of violent crime. I was thinking about Laci's family. They don't -- and the Peterson family. They don't want to accept that she could be dead. Yet they don't know where to look anymore and hence the continued searches.
Can you imagine the frustration?
MURPHY: No, I mean and I think it's extremely important...
GRACE: Wendy, are you with me?
MURPHY: I'm -- can you hear me, Nancy? I think it's very, very important that people continue to look for her. I think the question is which family is looking for a live body and which family is looking for a dead body and which one of them is right?
I mean, there's no question that enough time has passed that I think Laci's immediate family is concerned and they're probably, and I think correctly so, looking in outlying areas where, unfortunately, at this point her body could be buried. And it's -- you know, there's only a fixed amount of land where she could be because the amount of time between when she went missing, which may have well been the night before, and not what Scott has told us, which is she went missing in the morning, but even from the night before until he reported her missing, that's not a lot of time. There's only a certain amount of space her body could be, and I hope and expect her family is looking somewhere in between Modesto and the area where he went fishing, maybe some of the farmland properties where Scott might have had some connection or he knew where these outlying areas might be.
And, you know, when that body is found, and it will be found, let's not forget Chandra Levy, it took a long time, but she was found. I think that will absolutely crack this case wide open.
GRACE: Marc Klaas?
KLAAS: Yes. Well, first of all, I'd like to know, Ted said that Scott's family is focusing on the Internet search. I'd like to know who is in charge of lacipeterson.com and I think America would like to know whether it's Ted's family that's controlling that -- I'm sorry, whether it's Scott's family controlling that or whether it's Laci's.
But beyond that, I'm very concerned about this volunteer effort. I think they should reopen the search center and I think that they should send searches out every week until they find this woman because she is out there some place. She's either under a body of water or she's 50 yards off a road somewhere.
GRACE: Well, that's an interesting point.
Ted Rowlands, I heard through one of the wires, I was reading that the dives -- the dive searches, underwater searches had resumed. Is that true? Have there been more underwater searches?
ROWLANDS: Yes, well the Modesto Police Department is continuing their search effort every day, presumably because they're well aware of the facts of this case, that there's only a certain amount of time and a certain distance that, you know, you draw a circle on the map, she's got to be somewhere. So they're exhausting their search. And Marc Klaas, to answer your question, their family, the Rochas, Laci's family, is very well aware of the criticism about closing this volunteer center and they are mobilizing this huge crew of people that really wants to do anything possible.
So from here on out, they're planning Saturday searches and they're doing it with the direction of the Modesto Police Department. The police are saying, Go look at these areas, go back and so the criticism has been heard by that family.
KLAAS: Now it's incumbent upon them Ted, and this is for her family, as much as anybody else -- they shouldn't be announcing the locations of the searches in advance. It's a viable part of an investigation and it's something that has to be kept under the vest.
GRACE: Guys, we've to got go to break quickly. But I wanted to go out with a shot of the vigil that's taking place right now in Modesto, a continued vigil.
Where is Laci?
GRACE: I want you to have the tip line and the number for any information on Laci Peterson. The phone number, 209-342-6166. And of course, the website is www.lacipeterson.com. There are updates, information, photos, information about the volunteer searches at that website. The website is fantastic. Lacipeterson.com.
Let me go to you, Mark Geragos. Before you launch into a defense of Scott Peterson who isn't indicted, who isn't accused, who is not a suspect, we all get that, what would your advice to be him at this point?
GERAGOS: To stop talking. I'd just tell him to stop talking. Certainly, he has not helped the cause in any way, shape or form that I can tell. All it does is increases what Marc Klaas calls the water cooler conversation. And No. 2, I would probably tell him that you're going to just take these body blows. There is not much you can do about it until she gets found. And I think he's accepted that. For all I hear...
GRACE: Wouldn't it send a chill down your bones as a defense attorney to see him, for instance, talking to Diane Sawyer. And telling Diane Sawyer, I told police about my other girlfriend the night Laci went missing and the Modesto police correct that and say, no, he did not.
GERAGOS: I think that that is probably the reason that his lawyer fired him. His lawyer did fire him by all reports. Maybe Ted can confirm that. And it was apparently because of the interviews. I mean, most lawyers are going to be betwixed and between in a situation like this because on the one hand if you have a client that you think is stone cold innocent and he want his wife back, you don't want the traditional criminal defense approach. But on the other hand here, from day two with search warrants being executed on his house, obviously the police and some magistrate felt there was probable cause to believe he was connected to a crime.
GRACE: Mark, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure that out because, you know, the police are out with divers, water dogs, sonar equipment, all points bulletin on his truck and his boat. Obviously they're focusing on him.
GERAGOS: In a search warrant of the house, obviously, which shows you that their focused on him, he didn't seem to have a problem early on with them being focused on him. The only thing I object to on this and I think it does a disservice to the volunteers and everything else, if you have this constant focus on Scott Peterson as opposed to one of the other possibilities, that I think is a probability, that it's a stranger abduction, I think tend you diminish the volunteer efforts. And I think that's a problem.
GRACE: Hold on. I want to go to Ted Rowland, Mark, on something you just mentioned
Is that true, Ted Rowland, does Scott Peterson's lawyer acquit the case?
ROWLANDS: Yes, that's what we're hearing that does he have a new lawyer. We haven't been able to completely establish the identity of that person. But we think we know who it is. And I think Mark's right. It is because he did those interviews. The only statement his other lawyer, Kirk McAllister, every made to the media is that I am advising Scott not to say a word. This was two days before he talked to Diane Sawyer and everybody else.
GERAGOS: Exactly right. He was quit at that the point if he talked to Diane Sawyer and he did the right -- I mean, the lawyer did what he had to do. Here you've got somebody who is the focus of a police investigation, he goes on Diane Sawyer and starts challenging police statements. That's not something you want to see happen.
GRACE: Ted Rowland, did you get back into the home? Were you in the Peterson home?
ROWLANDS: Yes, we did one of the interviews...
GRACE: Do you to take your shoes off again? Remember last time Scott Peterson made everybody take their shoes off?
ROWLANDS: Yes, we didn't get back into the home today. We were outside them home. It was very -- he kept walking and I was peppering him with questions but he by no means was he inviting us into the house.
GRACE: You know one thing I wanted to ask you, Ted, about the inside of the home. You remember the Christmas tree was up before. Was there a present under the tree from Scott to Laci?
ROWLANDS: The Christmas tree was down when we got there he said a friend took it down, thankfully, so he wouldn't have to do it. He said there were some presents in the corner. We didn't have the opportunity to see them. He kept us in one room. On the chalk board though you can see in the kitchen it still says Merry Christmas on it which I thought was a bit bizarre for a guy that seems to be moving on everywhere else in his own home I don't think he's touched much of anything.
GRACE: Michael Welner before we sign off quickly to you.
WELNER: Yes. You know, if anyone out there who is involved in this search is looking to Scott Peterson for answers, the best thing to do is to keep him from being isolated, because secrets and intimacy don't mix. The more he's isolated, the more he'll keep it to himself, the more he's embraced, the easier for him to talk and tell what he knows, whether he's involved or not.
GRACE: Well put. Well put. Before we sign off Wendy Murphy.
MURPHY: I agree. I think one of the best things about this case is the fact he's done these interviews. I mean, it is bad to do if you're guilty. And I think Mark Geragos is right, if you're a defense attorney you don't like to see that. It produced a lot of lies. And when you mix that with motive, opportunity, the fact that he hired a criminal defense attorney, the fact he won't take a polygraph plus his strange behavior, you a lot of reason to be suspicious of this guy.
GRACE: Guys, is we have got to sign off.
Marc Klaas, I didn't get to come back you to but thank you.
Thanks to everyone. Everyone, it is supposed to be a once in a lifetime moment, the birth of your first child. The Petersons will never know that.
Laci Peterson missing on her due date, their child Conner.
Tomorrow night, Larry is back with Priscilla Presley.
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