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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Laci Peterson's Family Discusses Coping With Difficult Search; Panel discusses Laci Peterson's Disappearance

Aired February 25, 2003 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, it's now been two months since Laci Peterson vanished. Still no suspects named, no polygraph tests for her husband, Scott. How's the family holding up?
We'll ask her mother, Sharon Rocha; Laci's stepfather, Ron Grantski; her brother, Brent Rocha; and her sister Amy Rocha, who was inside Laci's house for last week's police search.

Will investigators ever find Laci and the baby she was carrying? The debate heats up with former prosecutor Nancy Grace of Court TV, high profile defense attorney Mark Geragos, renowned chief's crime scene investigator Dr. Henry Lee with the latest, Marc Klaas, whose daughter Polly was abducted and murdered in 1993, and Ted Rowlands of KTVU, who's been on the Laci Peterson story since day one.

They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin first with Laci's family. We'll start with her mother, Sharon.

I understand that the search went on last weekend. How long do you intend to keep this up?

SHARON ROCHA, LACI PETERSON'S MOTHER: Right now, last weekend was probably -- will probably be the last one we'll have. At least, that's the last one we have planned right now.

KING: Ron, does that say that hope wanes?

RON GRANTSKI, LACI PETERSON'S STEPFATHER: We never lose hope. It's just that we want to have a chance to regroup as a family and decide what we're going to do later.

KING: Brent, what are your feelings with regards to -- does each day make it worse?

BRENT ROCHA, LACI PETERSON'S BROTHER: Well, each day the longer we go on, it gets a little more tiring. We use those searches to help keep us focused and stay with a positive focus to help find my sister. So we're going to have to think about a different strategy at this point.

KING: Now Laci, you were at the search last week. Police took away 100 items from the home, processed at a police department or the lab. In fact, some of the brown paper bags taken away were labeled phone books and photo albums. Can you tell us what you saw and what happened?

AMY ROCHA, LACI PETERSON'S SISTER: I'm not able to comment on any of that. I was just there to assist detectives. So that's part of Modesto Police Department's investigation, so I'm not able to comment.

KING: Meaning they asked you to show them things or point out things about the house that you knew?

A. ROCHA: Yes, just to assist detectives.

KING: Sharon, does futility set in here? I mean, when it seems to be spinning, you're not going anywhere?

S. ROCHA: Yes.

We get to a point that I want Laci home and I get tired of waiting for her to come home. We keep hope that she'll come home alive. We're hoping that somebody out there knows something, but we know there is someone who knows something and if that person would just come forward and let us know where she is so that we can bring her home. Each day gets -- it gets a lot harder. Every single day is harder.

KING: Ron, are there days you think of her as not being around anymore?

GRANTSKI: Yes. And we don't -- I don't get much -- I try not to think about that too much.

We all miss her and we'll keep on missing her until she's back, and -- we just have to keep having faith that somebody out there will come forward and give us Laci or give us information to find Laci.

KING: Laci's father, Dennis Rocha, is reported to have said that he believes Scott is the person responsible. Brent, do you believe that?

B. ROCHA: I wouldn't comment on that or make that kind of statement. I think it's premature and there's definitely questions that we need to have answered from him, but I wouldn't go that far.

KING: Are you surprised, Brent, that you haven't gotten those answers?

B. ROCHA: Yes, it's very disturbing. It makes us question why he's doing certain things and we're only left to wonder.

KING: Amy, to you, is his behavior unusual?

A. ROCHA: Yes. I believe his behavior is unusual.

KING: When was the last time you spoke with him? A. ROCHA: It's been a long time. Before the information about the affair came out. It's been a long time since I've spoke to Scott, but his actions...

S. ROCHA: Sharon, when was the last -- I'm sorry, go ahead, continue, Amy.

A. ROCHA: Just the actions that we've seen just don't seem like he's missing his wife. So, that's all.

KING: What do you make of them taking the car? Do you have any theories on that, Sharon?

S. ROCHA: No.

For some reason, he felt that it was necessary for him to sell the car. We weren't aware of it until after it was done.

KING: Have you run into a lot of false rumors? You know, people say they saw -- they spot her. Will they get a lot of calls with bad leads?

S. ROCHA: We get a lot of phone calls. I mean, it's amazing some of the messages that are left for us on our recorder, but yes, we get a lot of e-mails, phone calls. A lot of misinformation.

We get a lot of phone calls from people calling us to ask us if something may or may not be true. Trying to verify something they may have heard.

KING: Ron, what's your assessment of the police work to this minute?

GRANTSKI: I think they're doing one heck of a job, from the chief all of the way down to the guys in the field. They pretty much leveled with us with the questions we've asked and some things we are not going to talk about, but they've been up front with us and we appreciate that.

KING: The Web site is still in place, www.lacipeterson -- that's one word -- .com. If you have any information, the Modesto police hot line for tips is 209-342-6166 and rewards are involved. The Web site again, www.lacipeterson.com. Modesto police hot line for tips, 209- 342-6166.

We'll take a break and take some calls for Sharon Rocha, Ron Grantski, Brent Rocha and Amy Rocha and then our panel will assemble.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with the family of the still missing, over two months now, Laci Peterson. She disappeared on December 24.

Let's take some calls. Tyler, Texas, hello. CALLER: Yes, good evening.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: Does the family know who introduced Scott Peterson to Miss Frey?

KING: Does anyone know the answer to that? Sharon, do you know?

S. ROCHA: No, I don't.

KING: Does anyone know?

B. ROCHA: Nope.

A. ROCHA: No.

KING: Brent? Amy? Ron?

GRANTSKI: Nope.

KING: Nope, we don't have that answer for you.

Lawton, Oklahoma. I'm sorry, Edison, New Jersey, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I was wondering why Scott Peterson was selling the house?

KING: Does anyone know? Amy, do you know?

A. ROCHA: No, I don't know. I just had heard he was inquiring about selling the house, but I don't know anything about that.

KING: Brent, do you know?

S. ROCHA: He didn't discuss it with us.

KING: No.

B. ROCHA: Well, his response was he didn't want my sister coming back to an unsafe house.

KING: Do you buy that?

B. ROCHA: Nope. Not at all.

KING: Well, in your mind, is he a suspect of some kind, Brent, as you look at it?

B. ROCHA: No. From my perspective?

KING: Yes. B. ROCHA: Well, I wouldn't say he's a suspect. I think we've got to stick with the elements of the line and go with that, but there's definitely questions that we don't have answered from him.

KING: Answers to.

B. ROCHA: Yes.

KING: Lawton, Oklahoma. Hello?

CALLER: Yes. My question is was Scott very particular or narcissistic about his own belongings or about his own toys, men's toys such as his boat or his golfing habits or what he did in his own life?

KING: Why do you ask, ma'am, before they respond?

CALLER: Was he particular in controlling about his own life...

KING: I know, but why do you ask?

CALLER: I wondered that perhaps a child would interfere?

KING: Oh, I see. Do you buy at all, Sharon, that he didn't want this baby?

S. ROCHA: Well, I never noticed that he was a controlling person. I've known him for eight years and I wouldn't use the word controlling by any means, but...

KING: Indeed, Ron. I remember the first time you were on you liked Scott a lot and were very defensive of him.

GRANTSKI: Yes. I -- I'll revert back to Scott. The Scott I've known and I've seen has always been a gentleman. I've never heard him swear. He's always taken care of himself and taken care of the house. Now, yes, he's neat and clean, but I don't think that's a fault.

As far as about the baby, here again, I've never heard anything out of his mouth saying that he did or didn't want the baby.

KING: Would you say, Amy, that he'd be one of the last people he would harm anyone before all this?

A. ROCHA: Yes.

KING: Toronto, Canada. Hello?

CALLER: Hello. I was wondering if they'd consider using a psychic like Sylvia Browne.

KING: Anybody think of that? When you resort to lots of things, Ron?

GRANTSKI; We've had probably 300 psychics and about 20 dog psychics and all different types of psychics and I don't mean any disrespect. I'm sure these people work great for a lot of people, but we just have other avenues that we'd like to try. If they want to try that, they can do that on their own.

KING: Brent, do you know if the police are using -- sometimes police -- police in Boston with the Boston Strangler used Peter Hurkos, the late Peter Hurkos, the psychic. Do you know if the police are all interested?

B. ROCHA: I'm not aware of the Modesto Police Department using any psychics.

KING: What's life been like for you Sharon? Is anything normal about your life? You can't have a day go by without thinking about Laci.

S. ROCHA: Not a minute goes by that I don't think about Laci and as far as normalcy, absolutely not. There is just nothing normal about our lives now nor will there ever be again. Our lives have been change forever. Every day is -- it's just minute by minute. It's very, very difficult.

KING: Ron, do you go to work?

GRANTSKI: Yes. I've gone back to work. That helps me -- that helps my sanity and I have a good boss and people in the office and the people we work for, do work for they're all great. It's helped me a lot.

KING: And you're able to concentrate at work.

GRANTSKI: Pretty much. Here again, they understand that this isn't a normal thing. I mean, it's hard for any of us to understand what's normal anymore.

KING: Yes.

GRANTSKI: But they're understanding people.

KING: Brent, what have you been doing?

B. ROCHA: Well, I tried going back to work about a month after my sister's disappearance and then I wasn't quite ready to do that so I focused my efforts on organizing the last three searches during the month of February.

KING: And, Amy, what are you doing with your life?

A. ROCHA: I've gone back to work. It's helped me be around everyone I work with, but that doesn't mean that not all day long am I thinking about my sister and wondering where she's at. So...

KING: Fairfield, California, hello?

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Hi. CALLER: Hi. First I'd like to say my thoughts and prayers are with the family. I have a question about the biological father. Has he been questioned and how come he never speaks out?

KING: Sharon, your ex-husband.

S. ROCHA: He has spoken out on several occasions and as far as questioning, I'm not quite sure what...

KING: Whether he might be involved in harming his daughter.

S. ROCHA: Oh, absolutely not.

KING: In fact he's been very explicit about Scott, hasn't he?

S. ROCHA: From what I've heard.

KING: Don't you talk to him at all, Sharon?

S. ROCHA: I haven't talked to him for a couple of weeks, anyway, two or three weeks.

KING: Victoria, British Columbia, hello?

CALLER: Hi. Are Scott Peterson's movements being monitored at all? I wonder has he visited a priest or a therapist?

KING: Brent, do you know?

B. ROCHA: I don't know the answer to that.

GRANTSKI: Nope. Never heard about it.

KING: Do you know, Ron?

GRANTSKI: No. I'm sorry, Larry. I've never heard anything about that.

KING: Windber, Pennsylvania. Hello?

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Hi.

CALLER: Yes, hi. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I've seen the Levys at one of the candlelight vigils and I was wondering if they contacted them to get through this difficult time?

KING: Sharon, have you talked to the Levys who have lost their daughter.

S. ROCHA: Yes. I have talked to Mrs. levy, I've talk to Donna Rahliegh (ph), another member of their organization.

KING: Have they been helpful? S. ROCHA: Yes. I've talked to several people. Many people have called and offered their help and it has been helpful to talk to people who have been in similar situations.

KING: Tendestegue (ph), Maine, hello?

CALLER: I was just wondering if you could you tell me if you know anything about these large umbrellas that Scott had taken out wrapped up in tarps?

KING: Do you know anything about that, Brent?

B. ROCHA: Just what's been reported, that he was loading some umbrellas to take back to another location. Other than that, I don't have any details.

KING: Our thoughts are all with you. I hope tomorrow brings good news. Thank you all. Sharon Rocha, Ron Grantski, Brent Rocha and Amy Rocha, the family of the still missing Laci Peterson.

Our panel will assemble right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: By way our special guest tomorrow night will be Bill Maher. His new show on HBO got off to a rollicking start last Friday. Bill Maher, tomorrow night.

Let's meet our panel. Sunning herself in sunny San Juan is Nancy Grace, former prosecutor and Court TV anchor.

Here in Los Angeles is Mark Geragos, the famed defense attorney.

In New Haven is Dr. Henry Lee, our old friend, a renowned forensic expert at crime scene investigator, former Commissioner of Public Safety for the State of Connecticut, professor of forensic sciences.

In San Francisco is Marc Klaas, his 12-year-old daughter Polly abducted from her home and murdered in '93. He's the founder of the Klaas Kids Foundation and advocate for child protection and crime victims rights.

And also San Francisco visiting the family is Ted Rowlands, reporter for KTVU TV in Modesto who's covered the Laci Peterson case from the beginning.

Let's start with Ted, anything new?

TED ROWLANDS, KTVU-TV: Well, not really, Larry. The only sort of new thing that Scott Peterson is keeping a very low profile. Nobody's been -- nobody has seen him or talked to him except members of the media, myself included since Thursday of last week. Modesto police say there's nothing to that, though. But he hasn't been home and he hasn't been in Modesto. But he's done there before. We don't know where he is this time, though. KING: Is he being followed by authorities to your knowledge?

ROWLANDS: Yes it seems as though they're keeping tabs on him to some degree, whether or not they're following hip or they're using other means to track his movement or maybe they're in communication with him, I don't know, but they seem to know where he is on a regular basis.

KING: By the way, we'll be going to your calls at the bottom of the hour if why you want to get in early.

KING: Nancy Grace, does this seem to have hit a dead end?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, no. I don't think it's a dead end yet. This is not a cold case. In fact, police are still working the case. They are still interviewing people. As a matter of fact, they just recently interviewed a co-worker people that worked around Scott Peterson's warehouse. And interestingly, Larry, they asked those people had they observed ready to mix cement in any of the dumpsters surrounding Peterson's warehouse. In fact, those people state they saw the Modesto police crawl in the dumpsters looking for ready to mix cement. Where they're headed with that, I don't know, but they sense this is certainly not a cold case.

KING: Mark Geragos, this question is tough to ask, but it's has to ask.

Does it look to you like something terrible topped this lady?

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You never want to say that. You always want to hold out hope but I think that most people who have ever been around something like this would say at this point that it's not a real hopeful time for the family.

KING: What do you make of the cement thing that Nancy just mentioned?

GERAGOS: I don't know. You could speculate either way. You could say, obviously, I think some of the other people speculated before that that's one of the reasons the body hasn't been found is because there's been cement that's been applied in the old she's swimming with the fishes kind of routine whatever that may be. If it may be because they want to use the cement to match it up with something that they found somewhere else for all we know.

KING: We're blind to all of this.

GERAGOS: Absolutely. You never know. Ultimately at the end of day what it is that the investigators are actually looking for.

KING: Dr. Lee, what do you surmise from the cement aspect?

DR. HENRY LEE, FORENSIC EXPERT: The cement aspect, in the past I worked a couple of cases related to the body, put in an oil drum. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Basically, we look at the cement how much cement he bought. How much he used and where's the rest that's missing? Try to link to a possible theory. Try to -- of course, have to search every place, looking for that. Many times we have looking for cement, let's say put a new garage floor or patio floor, sometimes that's a hint for us. So a lot of times you just have to look at the situation and try to look at physical evidence and try to link it.

KING: Marc Klaas, from a layman's stand point does, it appear to you that they're going to have to find something to charge something of someone?

MARC KLAAS, DAUGHTER POLLY MURDERED: You know, I wish that Scott would continue doing interviews because every time he does he seems to hang himself a little bit. But I'll tell you what I'm reminded of, Larry. They're in day 64 and we were at 65 days before our case finally broke. And it got to a point with us where I was just so upset with law enforcement because every day they'd say we have nothing new to report. And I'm just -- I'm kind of in awe of the restraint that the family is showing during this incredibly difficult and taxing time.

KING: So, you're saying, Mark, news could break at any time.

KLAAS: Anything could happen. Certainly anything could happen, I would hope that they would reconsider this decision to shut down the searches, though. This is something that can be beneficial on an awful lot of levels. Not least of which is giving the media something to report on a regular basis which otherwise, quite frankly, there's nothing new in this story. There's nothing really going on.

KING: Ted, is it a dead end to you?

ROWLANDS: Not at all. This isn't a cold case at all of the Modesto police department know where they're going with it. They are trying to build a case slowly and methodically, without a body. Dr. Lee can attempt to it, it's very difficult. They've got to get the D.A. to sign off on. This they know where they're going with it. They're not waking up wondering what to do everyday. They're going slowly and they are getting it done. And they will take this case to the D.A. without a body.

KING: Nancy.

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: If you take a look, for instance at the Robert Blake case. I mean, that's going toward a preliminary hearing, finally, this week. That took about a year to break. So I'm not at all dismayed by the fact that a simple two months have passed. I don't see that as a problem at all.

KING: Do you, Mark?

GERAGOS: No. In fact, at least in the Blake case, they're obviously, was there a homicide. You knew it right then and there. They had a body that they were dealing with. They very shortly thereafter came up with a weapon and here they're behind the eight ball in terms of coming up with an investigation. They've got to at least make a determination that something has happened to her and that she's not going to be found. And they're going proceed forward that way or they'll decide to wait for a little while and try to come up with a discovery of what happened with her.

KING: Dr. Lee, under what circumstances could they proceed without a body.

LEE: Right now they collected about a hundred items from the home. The forensic scientists in the laboratory probably particularly goes through microscopic examination and all of those evidence, trace evidence, hopeful can find something directly linked to this case. And without a body in the past, I work about a dozen cases from Massachusetts, Hawaii, Delaware, secretary for the governor of Delaware disappear without body. Hawaii and of course, Connecticut will have a couple of cases. It's not impossible, like (UNINTELLIGIBLE) say. It is difficult and I have to put all of the dot the T -- bar -- and try to prove the case.

KING: Staten Island, New York. We're going to go to phone calls for our outstanding panel.

CALLER: Hi, I have a question. Does Scott Peterson go to Lamaze training in preparation for the birth of his baby this.

KING: Ted Rowlands, do you know?

ROWLANDS: I don't know. And, in fact, that the family doesn't seem to know a lot about Scott's mentality about this baby. They seem to be noncommittal one way or the other. Wasn't overly excited and never said anything disparaging but nothing about Lamaze as or anything about that.

GRACE: If you put common sense to it the man was telling his wife he was out on town on business trips all the time. I don't know when he could have worked in Lamaze training.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more and start including all of your phone calls. This is LARRY KING LIVE, don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're going to proceed with more of your phone calls.

For information on the Web site, it's www.lacipeterson -- one word, lacipeterson.com. And the Modesto police hot line is 209-342- 6166.

Winnemucca, Nevada -- back to the calls for the panel -- hello.

CALLER: Yes.

I was wondering why the Modesto police has not made Scott Peterson go in there and take a polygraph test? My cousin was murdered two years ago by her husband and they demanded that he went in there and try to clear himself and sure enough, three months later they arrested him and he was the one who did it.

KING: Let's -- all in. Mark Geragos, why?

GERAGOS: They cannot compel anybody to talk a lie detector test here in this jurisdiction, at least in California. The only thing that you can do is request it.

If somebody wants to, obviously, they can. They can either take a police administered polygraph or take their own.

KING: What does it mean when someone refuses? The opinion of the layman is it looks...

GERAGOS: Yes, the layman is always going to say and other people on your panel who are...

KING: Nancy Grace will say...

GERAGOS: Nancy will instantly say, if you've got nothing to hide -- or Marc would say the same thing because Marc took one in his situation.

The fact of the matter is that it actually has absolutely no relevance to a court proceeding.

GRACE: Now wait a minute. I thought your guy Condit took one. That's your client, right? Why did he take one if it meant nothing? Why did he take one if it meant nothing? Then why did he take it?

According to you there's no relevance to it. Why are you claiming he passed it?

KING: Let him answer!

GRACE: He passed. You know it means something.

GERAGOS: When you finish with the sporadic tap, tap, tap, I'll answer you. I have clients take it all of the time. I have clients take it and pass all of the time and I offer it to prosecutors.

Some prosecutors will accept it and will say, OK, I'm not going to either file a case or I'm going to dismiss a case. Other prosecutors will not.

GRACE: Well, according to you it means nothing.

GERAGOS: It does mean nothing because I can't get it into a courtroom. Nobody will ever accept the stipulation...

GRACE: But it does mean something.

GERAGOS: It doesn't -- it might mean something to a particular prosecutor, but legally it means nothing.

KING: Dr. Lee, does it mean anything forensically? LEE: Forensically, polygraph -- most of polygraph is not done under the laboratory. Early days, polygraph used is under our laboratory, but polygraph a good investigative lead and would not be able to use as a core evidence.

KING: Marc Klaas, you agreed to take it...

LEE: I do want to make one comment.

KING: Yes, I'm sorry. Go ahead, dr. Lee. Go ahead, finish.

LEE: Just now somebody call in and say the police doing? Police actually -- the laboratory people probably exam those evidence inch by inch. Some, for example, a piece of carpet may take a whole month to work on it to see whether or not it has bone fragment tissues, blood, those so-called microscopic evidence takes awhile.

KING: Yes. We expect everything in an hour. Of course, that's the way television shows wrap up.

Marc Klaas, you agreed to take the polygraph because you knew you had no problems, right?

KLAAS: Well, it was that, but I was putting the needs of my daughter head of my own needs. I mean, you listen -- you continually listen to the defense attorney saying that these polygraphs have no value in court, which I guess they don't and that they give false readings, but I think we have to remember that often times defense attorneys are dealing with guilty people and the last thing they want to know is what's going on come out in the polygraph.

So, you know, I put her needs ahead of my own. I took this incredibly intimidating polygraph exam and dealt with it as best I could and I wish that Scott would do that. I know that's what Laci's family would like to see him do.

KING: And if Scott did it, Marc, and passed would that then, in your mind clear him?

KLAAS: It would certainly help. It certainly send it in the long way in the right direction.

KING: Lancaster, California. OK. Hello? Making himself look guilty. Hello, Lancaster. Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes.

First of all, my prayers and blessings go to the family, but what I'd like to know is why is the family hesitant to straight out say we do believe that the husband had something to do with it? It's like they kind of avoid that. Is that for legal reasons because the rest of us have no problem saying it.

KING: Nancy, why -- I thought the family was very hesitant tonight. GRACE: Well, I think that the family is very closely aligned with the police, as I would be in their situation. And police are playing it very close to the vest, Larry, as you have observed and I think that they are giving the police line and also, as we have said on your program, Larry, you don't name somebody a suspect upfront. If it turns out someone else, then you have hand them a defense on a silver platter.

Plus, once you officially name someone as a suspect, a lot of constitutional rights then suddenly attach to them.

KLAAS: Larry....

GERAGOS: The problem with that, Nancy, is that the police went very early on, in fact two days after the family was here on this program and told the family, Look, he's having an affair. We've got the girlfriend, we think that there's an insurance policy. Those were not things that were designed to keep the families together in one big nice happy family.

GRACE: But it was the truth, Mark. That wasn't the police's fault. That was Scott Peterson's fault.

KING: One at a time.

GERAGOS: The police did that, Nancy, in order it over cause a fission there between the two. That's exactly why they did it so that they -- they thought they could break open this case that way.

GRACE: No, they did it because it was the truth.

KLAAS: Larry?

GERAGOS: There was no need to do it to play it so close to the vest.

KING: Yes, Marc Klaas? Marc Klaas, go ahead.

KLAAS: There was somebody we felt that was involved in Polly's case from very early on, yet since there was no proof he was involved, and it turns he wasn't, we kept it very, very close.

And I remembered, just over a year ago ,being with Brenda van Dam in her living room. she was totally beside herself saying that he knows where my daughter is and I don't and I want to be able to do something about it, in reference to David Westerfield. Yet she never came out and said Westerfield is the one.

GRACE: That's right.

KLAAS: You have to be very, very careful about these kinds of things until you do have proof unless you're setting yourself up for a big fall.

KING: Ted Rowlands, have you asked Scott why he wouldn't take a polygraph? ROWLANDS: Yes, and he won't say one way or another. He says, I won't tell you if I took a polygraph or not. It's part of the investigation. I've been asked not to discuss that. He says the Modesto police told him that. Modesto police have not corroborated that they've restricted Scott in any way and, in fact, it seems as though they would like him to talk.

Back to the family situation. I think that the Modesto Police Department has been up front with the Rocha family. In fact, Ron Grantski alluded to it a little bit earlier this hour, saying that they know more, but they won't discuss that.

And I think In return for that cooperation, they have been told please do not discuss it publicly and they're holding up their end of the bargain.

KING: Because hey certainly were reserved tonight.

New Port Richey, Florida, hello?

CALLER: Yes, this is for Nancy.

KING: Yes.

CALLER: And I'd like to find out -- do we know exactly where he was on the 23rd of December? And also, he just seems so unattached to this. No emotions whatsoever when you've lost someone.

GRACE: Right.

On the 23rd, we do know the last time he was observed visually was actually with Laci's sister, Amy Rocha. And I asked her about that the other night. Amy trimmed his hair and Laci was there with them. And after that he apparently took Laci home. So that was the last he was seen by anyone else on the 23rd.

KING: To Mayfield, Pennsylvania, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: Scott mentioned working on a farm.

Given that he's a fertilizer salesman, have the police looked into what farm is it that he was working on?

KING: Ted?

ROWLANDS: They have looked everywhere and they are keeping all of the options open. Obviously, his knowledge of the area, the rural areas of this region, being a fertilizer salesman, opens up all possibilities and they have a team that goes out every day and searches and they're continuing to do that.

KING: And Dr. Lee is right, isn't he, Mark Geragos? This could be painstaking? You could be looking for a fiber for a month.

GERAGOS: You could -- these criminalists and the forensic people have their work cut out for them, No. 1.

Marc Klaas had eluded to -- I mean, the search area or the areas that you can search are tremendously large. So this is not something that necessarily is going to happen overnight.

KING: San Diego, hello.

CALLER: Yes, this question is for Nancy.

KING: Yes.

CALLER: What I wanted to say, I believe she was murdered on the 23rd and not the 24th like everyone seems to believe because on your show you have discussed about Laci Peterson's sister was the last person besides Scott seeing her.

Does did someone ever identify the outfit when they went into the house with the sister to see was that outfit still there? Because if it wasn't, to me she was murdered probably in the outfit and now it's gone, along with her.

GRACE: Right. I remember -- I remember talking about that with Larry and Amy Rocha and as a matter of fact, right after that the police took Amy Rocha into the home. She wouldn't comment on it tonight when Larry asked, but I did find this out. It's my understanding that in that salon there are cameras, you know, like they have in a 7-Eleven so whatever she did have on Amy remembered it. But it's on that video as well. It's my understanding. I don't know if they found it in the home or not.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more phone calls. Bill Maher tomorrow night.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Back to the phone calls. Seneca, Missouri, hello?

CALLER: Hi, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: My question is have they checked with any hospitals like for babies? I'd like to think that that baby was still alive and that maybe she still had that baby. That if she was abducted or something that maybe they kept her long enough to have the child or some took the child. and have they checked anywhere in the United States where maybe a couple has received a child mysteriously? Even with...

(CROSSTALK)

CALLER: ... have they checked adoption that these people really did adopt a child?

ROWLANDS: Yes. In fact, that's one of the things that Scott's family has really done in the past few weeks. They've e-mailed registered nurses across the country looking for anything suspicious, any babies being born. That's one of the things that they've focused their attention on in the past few weeks, reaching out to the medical community and providing that information.

KING: And it's smart, isn't it, Mark, this...

GERAGOS: Absolutely. That's the most hopeful thing you can do. The greatest result of this would be is to find the baby alive and well somewhere and be able to then determine in reverse what happened.

KING: Kenduskeag, Maine, hello?

CALLER: Yes. This question is for Dr. Lee. I was wondering if there's a way to tell from the boat if it was put in a lake, from -- the difference between the water from one lake to another? And also did anyone notice in the Diane Sawyer interview that Scott said that the night that Laci disappeared?

LEE: Well, the water -- the lake basically the algae material from different lakes may be different. We have some cases we worked before, we can isolate and look at a person's clothing or a boat and boots and check for algae material. Which lake, what kind of water, the marine material, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) type-like material, mineral material.

I'm sure, you know, right now, definite, they're going to check the vehicles, clothing, shoes and try to look at the trace evidence. Try to reconstruct what...

GRACE: Larry, on the boat there is an issue on that. That area, the Berkeley Marina is totally tidal. It is saltwater and there have been some preliminary unconfirmed reports that his boat was tested and was negative for any traces of saltwater, but that is totally tidal saltwater.

KING: Irvine, California, hello?

CALLER: Yes, Larry. My question is this, in California, Mark would know about this case, it's the senator's daughter who was murdered by her husband. They never found the body and they're convicting the husband of the murder at this time. The trial (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and Mark would know about that.

KING: What's that story?

GERAGOS: The gentleman's on trial right now. I think Henry Salcietos (ph), his lawyer and it's his wife who's missing who is the daughter of the ex-state senator here, Senator Paul Carpenter.

KING: What do they have?

GERAGOS: They have a little bit of blood evidence, apparently. They've got what they believe is a financial motive and in addition to that, there are some other kinds of motive-type evidence, if you will.

KING: It's all circumstantial, naturally. How tough is it to prove a case without a corpus delicti?

GERAGOS: Well in California as in many other jurisdictions, in a circumstantial case, you get an instruction here that says if there are two reasonable interpretations of what happened, one that points towards guilt and one that points towards innocence, you must adopt the one that points towards innocence. That's what makes it such a tough burden for the prosecution in the case like this.

KING: Have you ever prosecuted a case without a body, Nancy?

GRACE: No. I investigated one where there was nothing left, but a glass eyeball. However the theory that Mark just gave left out a very important word. That is when the two theories are -- they must be equal and you must go with innocence. However, in most jury trials one theory of guilt is going to be stronger or weaker than the other.

GERAGOS: Actually, yes. That's not the law here, Nancy. The law here is if there are two reasonable interpretations. They don't have to be equal. So that unfortunately...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Ottawa, Canada. Hello?

CALLER: Yes, the dog and the muddy leash, have they ascertained what direction the dog came from, where it was mud they day and are they using that as a point of origin at all?

KING: Ted Rowlands, do you know.

ROWLANDS: Well, you know, after they brought the blood hounds in and determined that Laci left the home -- the vehicle going the other way, they've sort of, I believe, sort of discount the dog and the leash, but I'm sure they've looked at it to the extent from the neighbor that they found the dog wandering on the street.

KING: Pinehurst, Idaho, hello?

CALLER: Yes, h. That's my question. I was wondering what has happened to the dog? who has the dog? Because being an animal lover, that would be my first concern.

KING: Do we know where the dog is?

ROWLANDS: I can tell you that I asked that of Scott a couple of weeks ago and he said that Mackenzie, the dog is being taken care of.

KING: But he didn't tell you where or...

ROWLANDS: No. The dog was at the house and he would periodically come and go, but then when he started to not spend a lot of time at house, the dog was moved and presumably with a friend.

KING: Would you admit, Mark Garagos, that Scott's actions are a little unusual?

GERAGOS: Yes. Obviously. There wouldn't be so -- you can't walk into anybody -- I don't go into any courtroom or talk to anybody who doesn't immediately say I suspect he is guilty because of the way he acts. Or I suspect he's guilty because of one of the callers said his detachment.

KING: Maybe he ain't.

GERAGOS: The problem is, and I guess this is where Nancy and I part, I have seen around the system so many times people who are supposed to act one way or another and inevitably people don't act the way that you would expect them to. That's the kind of contrarian in me. I just do not see a whole lot of people in every situation who act the way people would expect them to.

KING: Nancy, quickly, I've got to take a break. But you want to respond?

GRACE: Yes. I've been there and I've seen a lot of grieving families there. Is no playbook. I do know this much, he's not cooperating with police. That's where I have a problem. I don't want care how he acts.

GERAGOS: I don't know about that. At a certain point when do you cooperate and when do you stop cooperating? When they start searching your house and start getting judges to sign warrants to say there's probable cause to say you committed a crime. There's a certain point, as you well know, Nancy, where there's a lot of innocent people in prison.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Let me get a break. We'll be back and Marc Klaas will pick up when we come back. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We've already told you Bill Maher will be with us. Thursday night Dan Rather will be with us, live taking your phone calls all about his interview with Saddam Hussein. Dan Rather, Thursday night live with your calls.

Marc Klaas, you wanted to say something before we take another call.

KLAAS: Yes. We were talking about cooperating with law enforcement. And it seem to me you fully cooperate with law enforcement and you fully cooperate with the media until the case is resolved one way or the other. And I'd really just like to say that this guy, Scott is just -- he's a miserable two-bit little creep who at best is guilty of further tormenting the Rocha family. Mrs. Rocha said at the very beginning that life will never be the same for them. There are scars and wounds that are being inflicted upon them right now that will never heal.

KING: He could be acting nicer.

GERAGOS: OK. I'm not going to dispute that. I mean, is he guilty of a felony breach of good taste?

I don't disagree with Marc.

KING: Keyport -- Keyport, New Jersey, hello.

CALLER: Yes.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Hello. First I want to say that I love the panel, and I've been listening to all these reports.

Have they brought in commercial boats where Scott Peterson says he was out fishing to drag the area?

KING: I think they've done, that haven't they -- Ted.

ROWLANDS: They used diver, mainly and sonar equipment to look at the area that Scott said he was fishing on Christmas Eve in the Berkeley Marina and they've searched that area extensively.

KING: St. Catherine, Ontario, hello.

CALLER: Hello, I was wondering, did they do the luminol test on Laci's car and all through the house and all that?

LEE: Yes. I'm sure they're going to do luminol or fennel saline or (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: What is that.

LEE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) chemical tests look for trace among the blood. If they found a large amount of blood, you already heard the news. We had a case where a young lady was missing and the body never found. When we went to the suspect's home the carpet complete cleaned, complete rewashed it clean and soap clean. We took some test and we cut the carpet up and we found a large amount of blood trapped underneath of the carpet. Those are standard tests. I'm sure they're going to conduct those tests.

GERAGOS: I would be shocked if they weren't in there especially the second time and didn't do those tests.

KING: Overland Park, Kansas.

CALLER: Larry, thanks for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Question is for Nancy Grace and a quick comment real fast.

It's obvious, Nancy, even though the police cannot call this man a suspect, it's obvious they suspect him in having some involvement, due to the fact that they're constantly going in and out of his house and what not.

My question real quick for you is at what point will they have enough evidence and what specific evidence are they looking for to bring charges against this man?

GRACE: Well, I think the evidence is they're looking for is either Laci's body or some type of DNA evidence to show that she is no longer with us and that will connect to him. One other reason I think they are taking so long is because once an indictment comes down from a grand jury as Mark Geragos will confirm, they're in California, the defense can immediately file what is called a demand for a speedy trial which means once the indictment occurs, the state may be forced to trial within a matter of month. So they've got to have everything ready before an indictment goes down.

GERAGOS: Except in California, they're the great majority of the time they'll go by way of a criminal complaint and not a grand jury indictment.

GRACE: Right.

KING: Florida, hello.

CALLER: Yes, what I would like to know is since Scott Peterson went fishing in rainstorm 90 miles away from home, how many time his he been fishing since Laci has disappeared.

KING: Do you know, Ted?

ROWLANDS: We haven't heard that he's been fishing at all. He did play golf during the time since Laci has disappeared, but no fishing.

KING: One more call. Las Vegas, hello. Last call. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry, thank you for talking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: I'd like to ask Dr. Lee, is there a type of chemical in the fertilizer industry that could possibly decompose bones?

KING: Thirty second, Dr. Lee.

LEE: OK. It's very difficult to completely dissolve the bone. The tissue may be hair and bone, they are characterized of a material difficult can immerse into acid, can (UNINTELLIGIBLE). But very difficult to completely dissolve it.

KING: Anything, this is for the whole panel, anything to make you optimistic.

Anybody?

GERAGOS: Not particularly.

GRACE: The second search.

GERAGOS: Maybe in terms of a prosecution, I would agree with Nancy, but not optimistic in terms of full recovery.

GRACE: I agree with Mark. As much as I hate to say it I don't think Laci is still amongst us, but the second search indicates to me they're honing in on Peterson.

KING: Ted, you still trying to get more with Scott?

ROWLANDS: Still trying to get a hold of him. He has not return good calls since Thursday hasn't answered his phone, but I did talk to him Thursday.

KING: Thank you, panel. Thank you all very much.

Nancy Grace, Mark Geragos, Dr. Henry Lee, Marc Klaas and Ted Rowlands.

Don't forget, Thursday night, Dan Rather live with your phone calls discussing his interview with Saddam Hussein. We'll tell you about tomorrow night right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Bill Maher tomorrow night, live with your phone calls. Thursday night Dan Rather live with your phone calls.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com



Search; Panel discusses Laci Peterson's Disappearance>


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