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Panel Discusses Latest Legal Developments in Peterson Murder Case

Aired May 29, 2003 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, shocking details emerge from the sealed autopsy on Laci Peterson's baby -- plastic tape looped around his neck and a tear in his chest. What does this mean for Scott Peterson's defense? Meanwhile, the prosecution now says it wants the autopsies unsealed. What will the defense say? What will the judge do?
The debate heats up, with Ted Rowlands of KTVU, on top of this story from the get-go; Court TV's Nancy Grace, former prosecutor; defense attorney Chris Pixley; Kim Peterson, spokeswoman for Laci's family, with their first reaction to this day's dramatic developments and with news on their efforts to get Laci's personal items back from her house. And to help us make sense of all this and the new details, the renowned forensic expert, Dr. Cyril Wecht. They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

All right. So we get the story straight,

ROWLANDS: Ted Rowlands, what was learned today?

TED ROWLANDS, KTVU-TV: Well, multiple folks are reporting today what you said at the top there, Larry, that the baby, according to an autopsy report or a portion of the autopsy report that was given to the defense on Tuesday -- basically says that on little Conner Peterson, there was a plastic band basically around the baby's neck, about two centimeters away from the skin. And it was tied off. It was a one-and-a-quarter loop. And then, as you mentioned, as well, a laceration of some sort from the shoulder through down to the chest.

Of course, the defense folks are pointing this out as proof that their theory that a Satanic cult would be more plausible than Scott Peterson, saying that Scott Peterson does not fit a profile of someone who would mutilate the body, even remove the body, the prosecution saying that it really doesn't say anything, And we're changing our stance. We want the entire report out now so that the media and everybody else can see that this was a strategic leak. And they filed a motion with the judge this afternoon, and they sent out a press release saying that the entire autopsy report should clear things up.

So now we wait and see what's the judge going to do, as you mentioned. Will he release these autopsy reports, and what will be contained in them?

KING: Dr. Cyril Wecht, what's your reading, as a leading pathologist, on what we learned today?

DR. CYRIL WECHT, CORONER, FORENSIC EXPERT: Larry, I believe the opening, coming down from the right shoulder, across the right chest into the top of the right abdomen, is going to prove to be a post- mortem artifact. I believe that it's going to prove to be an injury inflicted by a propeller or a part of a boat or a floating object that ripped through that part of the body. Insofar as the plastic loops around the neck one-and-a-half times, I'd like to know more about the plastic loops, their size, their shape, their consistency, and so on. The skin beneath is uninjured. The neck organs beneath the skin are uninjured. I would like to know more from the pictures and...

KING: What preliminarily does it tell you?

WECHT: Well, it raises a lot of doubt in my mind that this was a ligature of some kind that was applied to the baby at the time of the baby's death, or at the time that the baby would have been removed from the womb. I still lean toward this being an artifact. I think it is a pick-up in some way from the water. I do not think that it was something that was placed around the neck. I can see no purpose, no reason. And there is no evidence of injury, as I've said, to the skin or the underlying organs, the structures, the bones, and cartilaginous structures in the neck. So I think that it is not evidence of an ante-mortem kind of ligature.

KING: Meaning it is not a buoyed news for the defense?

WECHT: That's the way I read this as of this time, yes.

KING: OK. Kim Petersen, what has been the reaction? I know you represent the Rochas and speak for them. What's been the reaction of her family?

KIM PETERSEN, SPOKESWOMAN FOR LACI'S FAMILY: This, as you can imagine, Larry, has been a devastating day for them. You never want to hear these details released in front of the nation about somebody you love and care about. And it has been very painful, very difficult. It's been unbelievable to them that somebody would leak this information to the media, when the judge asked that those autopsy results be sealed. And it's been very painful for them.

KING: Has it changed their thinking at all?

PETERSEN: They didn't even get into thinking in that direction. All they could think about was that this is their grandson that they love, this is their nephew that they love. And to have these kinds of details reported in the media in front of the nation, as opposed to given to the family in private, is -- it's unbelievably painful.

KING: By the way, we mentioned it earlier. What are they waiting for from the state? What kind of remains are they waiting for, the family?

PETERSEN: The tests are still being done on the remains, and when everything is completed, they will be released to the family, for both Laci and Conner. But they, at this point, don't know when that will be.

KING: Chris Pixley, as a defense attorney, what was your reaction to what was learned today?

CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think, Larry, at this point in time, the prosecution may not only have to prove that Scott Peterson is a murderer, they may have to prove that he's a sociopath. I know that Dr. Wecht is one of the foremost experts in this area, but the idea that a knotted bit of tape wrapped around the neck is something that was picked up in the wash, the idea that this slice through the right shoulder and into the right lung is something that just happened while the body was floating around in the water, I think, from a defense standpoint and for a juror, is difficult to believe.

KING: And Nancy Grace, the reaction from the prosecution side is?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, I feel that this has been a defense stunt, to release a little bit of information, a little trickle of information. And the price has been devastation to the Rocha family. And in response, the state has said, All right, be careful what you ask, for you will surely get it. Now they are asking for the entire autopsy report to be released.

But in a nutshell, Larry, what speaks to me the most in this information is that after handling many, many asphyxiation or ligature deaths, I have never seen a strangulation, most importantly by ligature as opposed to manual strangulation by hand, that did not leave severe bruising and damaging around the neck, especially the neck of a baby, an infant, which is very sensitive.

As Cyril pointed out, there was no damage under the skin, either. That says to me this was not a strangulation or asphyxiation death by this piece of tape. I expect the tape to possibly yield fingerprints or hair that would still stick to the tape.

And also, let me remind everyone the umbilical cord was still attached, not cut, not tied. That really rules out a Satanic involvement. And the baby was in much better physical shape than the mother, Laci, which takes us back to coffin birth under water.

KING: Why, then, are so many people saying this was a good day for the defense?

GRACE: Because Mark Geragos is very wily. He is very clever. He needs a leg to stand on. And between a tan van parked at a gas station, a guy with a tattoo that says "666," and a piece of adhesive tape, he may build a defense out of that!

PIXLEY: Larry, if I could respond to that, too?

KING: Sure, Chris.

PIXLEY: The fact is, in this particular case at this point in time, the state has been saying that it's got a slam dunk. So why does it need to respond to anything the defense is doing? Two days ago, the prosecution stood in open court and stood side by side with the defense and said this autopsy report should remain sealed. They have done a complete reversal of field, and it says to me that they are just trying to maintain the upper hand with the public.


GRACE: That's not even true, Larry. The defense obviously leaked this information. What Chris is saying is a distortion of what has happened. The defense leaked, and now the state is responding. What's wrong with that?

PIXLEY: How do you know that the defense leaked that, Nancy? Do you have information that says that the defense leaked this? You know, any number of people can leak this information. And at this point in time, with all of the media attention, you know, somebody in the clerk's office, somebody in the coroner's office -- there are a lot of people, that may potentially have access to this information, having money dangled in their face by unscrupulous news organizations.

KING: Hold it. We've got lots to go, and we're going to take phone calls.

Ted, do you expect the defense to agree with the prosecution to have the whole thing released?

ROWLANDS: Boy, I don't know, Larry. They were -- as was said earlier, they were in court next to the prosecution saying, Let's keep it all under seal. Whether or not this will trigger them to release it all remains to be seen.

KING: Kim, do you...

ROWLANDS: We'll just have to wait and see.

KING: Kim, does the family want it released or not want it released?

PETERSEN: At this point, Larry, they are very supportive of what the prosecution is doing and trusts them completely. This is certainly not the way that they should have been notified. It was very irresponsible of whoever leaked this information. The family should be notified prior to the entire nation and prior to them turning on their TV and finding out.

KING: I'm going to take a break and come back with a lot more. We'll be including your phone calls, as well, on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. And we'll do more of the same tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: Dr. Wecht, can we draw anything from the implication that the baby's remains were apparently more intact than the mother's?

WECHT: Yes, Larry. I was going to comment on that, if I could, and also on this business of strangulation, and also on the report itself, if I may.

KING: Sure. Go ahead.

WECHT: Oh. We're on the air now?

KING: Yes, we're on.

WECHT: Oh, I'm sorry. First of all, I would...

KING: I'm work quick.

WECHT: ... say with regard to the report, the report that I have looks to me to be complete. So I don't know what they're talking about insofar as the release of more of the report. With regard to the strangulation...

KING: Wait a minute. You have the report?

WECHT: Yes. I have a copy of the one-sheet report that was sent to...

KING: Oh, the one sheet report. OK. Go ahead.

WECHT: With regard to strangulation, once the baby is detached from the mother's placenta, you don't have to strangle. The baby is dead. The baby's going to die -- the fetus is going to die in a matter of a couple minutes.

And with regard to the condition of the baby, this to me remains a major point. I said seven weeks ago, and I remain with that thought, that this baby, small body mass, could not have been floating free in that water for these three-and-a-half months and have remained intact to the point that it was. The sex was immediately determined, I think even by a non-physician when the baby was discovered on a Sunday night. If that baby had been lying out for all that time, the external genitalia would have sloughed off, would have been decomposed.

I believe that this baby was sequestered within the mother's uterus and did not come out as a free-floating object for several weeks, until the mother had already been in the water for a period of time.

KING: So you discount the thought of a Satanic cult and some sort of ritualistic killing?

WECHT: Yes. I do not believe that this baby was forcibly removed from the mother's womb. We'll see, when we get Laci's autopsy report, if there is a slash through her anterior abdominal wall and through the uterus. I doubt that there will be such an injury.

KING: Chris, isn't the prosecution forcing the defense's hand by saying, Let's release it?

PIXLEY: In a way, they are, Larry. You know, you want to -- as the defense team, you want to be able to get the information first, go over it, put it in front of your experts and analyze it well before it's ever released to the public and the press. Here, you know, Mark Geragos said on Tuesday, at Tuesday's hearing, you know, one of the reasons, in addition to the fact that the 5th District Court of Appeals didn't think it was proper to unseal these documents -- one of the reasons that the defense didn't want them unsealed was they hadn't seen the entire autopsy report themselves.

So I think it's unfair for the prosecution to turn around now and say, Well, we're going to reverse field. And I think it's utter speculation for Nancy to suggest that the defense was leaking this information. They just got their hands on it. I don't think they want it out there. They've argued to keep it sealed.

KING: All right, Nancy, do you think the defense will agree to have it unsealed?

GRACE: I doubt very seriously that the defense wants the entire story out in the public. And I certainly don't blame them. Even after the release, the leak, which I attribute to the defense camp, of this information, the state is still firm in its prosecution of Scott Peterson, in fact, wants the public to see the entire autopsy report.

And again, it's my understanding that Laci does not have a wound across her abdomen, which again supports coffin birth. And as far as the lateral cut on Conner's chest -- Larry, you've showed us many times the video of the rocks on which baby Conner washed up. I have no problem with the theory that that is where he sustained that wound.

KING: Ted Rowlands, you're the journalist among us. Do you know who afforded this leak?

ROWLANDS: Well, I tried to get to the bottom of that today, and I was told that it wasn't from Mark himself. So take that for what it's worth. And the defense is not really commenting on it. They won't 'fess up to it. So a lot of people do have access to this. It's another county that performed the autopsy. So you have to keep that in mind, as well.

KING: Well, a secretary has access right? Somebody has to type it up.

ROWLANDS: Yes. And it goes through a lot of hands, especially when you're talking about a county up in northern -- you know, in the Bay area, who worked with folks down in Stanislaus County. So a lot of people have seen this. Obviously, it behooves the defense, the portion that was released. So I think we'll know more when the entire report is released, whether it's in the coming days or at the preliminary hearing stage.

KING: Kim Petersen, through all of this ordeal, have the Rochas ever wavered thinking that Scott maybe didn't do it? Have they gone back and forth, as this seems to go back and forth every day?

PETERSEN: They have not commented on anything regarding Scott or the case. They really want to leave this investigation and the judicial system to do their jobs and not do anything to hinder that. So they have not commented on their feelings on either side.

KING: So can you say they just want it solved?

PETERSEN: They want the person responsible for this to be put to justice, for the justice to prevail. Yes.

KING: Chris, are you going -- we're going to go to calls shortly. Chris, are you contending that there are enough -- I don't want to use the word smokescreens -- questions now in the mix to make this a tough-call case for the prosecution?

PIXLEY: Yes, they're going to have to go to preliminary hearing on July 16 -- you know, we're talking a month-and-a-half from now -- and be able to prove their case. And Larry, they don't have a murder weapon. They don't have a witness. We're talking about this autopsy report as though it's very revealing, but we already know from earlier leaks, it doesn't give a cause of death.

And I don't think there's any good forensic evidence from the home. They went through the home. They went through all of Scott's possessions, his cars, his boat, his storage unit back in February, but didn't arrest him until April 18. That says there's no good blood and DNA evidence, to my way of thinking, in any of these places that they've searched. So they're going to have a hard time.

KING: Nancy, are they still looking for evidence?

GRACE: They definitely are still looking for evidence, as any prosecutor would be, just as the defense is continuing to look for defense witnesses. And Larry, we have heard reports, which have been confirmed, that the district attorney's office is following up on defense witnesses. When they discover a defense witness, they follow along behind and question them. That is not unusual. In court, you not only want to have your case together, but you want to be ready to rise and meet the defense case, as well.

And as to who released this autopsy report -- who cares, Larry? It's out there. But a telltale sign is who had something to gain? Who gained by the release? The defense did. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter who released it. All that matters is who's responsible for this act.

KING: Dr. Wecht, is forensics going to play a big part in this trial?

WECHT: Absolutely. And there will be different opinions rendered, in terms of the conjectured cause of death...

KING: In other words, there will be pathologists disagreeing?

WECHT: You can bet on that.

KING: And that helps the defense, doesn't it?

WECHT: Oh, yes. Absolutely. And I'm not impressed by this report. Setting aside the question of who released it, or so on, I've got here about two thirds of a page, representing what looks to be the complete external...

GRACE: It's 25 pages.

PETERSEN: ... and internal description -- pardon me?

GRACE: The autopsy report, my understanding, is over 25 pages. So I think you have a portion, Cyril.

WECHT: Well, it concludes -- you may be right, Nancy. We'll see. In any event, based upon this report and the paucity or absence of...

KING: It's not conclusive to you?

WECHT: ... of forensic scientific evidence, there's no question in my mind that this is going to be a real hotly contested case among forensic pathologists and criminalists in the courtroom.

KING: We'll take a break and come back. Your phone calls will be included. We'll be back with our panel.

Oh, by the way, we were supposed to do the show with the whole Bob Hope family tonight, but Dolores -- who, by the way, turned 94, Dolores Hope, on Tuesday, Bob turned 100 today -- Dolores is under the weather, couldn't appear. So we're going to do a special Sunday night on "LARRY KING WEEKEND," a compilation of interviews I've done with Mr. Hope over the years and lots of scenes from lots of movies and television shows. That's Sunday night on "LARRY KING WEEKEND." Back with your calls on this topic right after this.


KING: Rochester, New York, as we go to calls for the panel. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: Nancy, I think you're absolutely brilliant. My question to you or to anybody on the panel is -- they were going to rule this case a homicide before they found Laci and Conner's body, and they were going to arrest Scott Peterson for that murder. My question to you is, don't they have to have a substantial amount of evidence to do so? And I know that question was posed to you earlier last week, and they just went on a body being in the water. And to me, that's nothing.

KING: Nancy?

GRACE: I agree with the caller from Rochester, Larry. According to police -- and we will be able to see that when we see when their documents were prepared, that will come out in court -- that they were prepared to arrest Peterson prior to finding Laci and Conner. And therefore, to me, whatever they find here is icing on the prosecutorial cake. They had their case before this autopsy. KING: Would you agree, Nancy, with Dr. Wecht, though, if there are conflicting pathologists, that helps the defense?

GRACE: Larry, I've never seen a single murder case where there weren't conflicting experts. They all conflict with each other. Many of them are paid for their response. That doesn't mean they are lying. But in my mind, the jury cancels out conflicting experts, and they go on their gut. And their gut is going to tell them, I predict, that this is not a Satanic killing, OK?

KING: Chris, you want to respond before I take the next call?

PIXLEY: Well, Larry, I think the whole Satanic cult theory or cult theory or transient theory, whatever you want to call it, is a little unnerving when you first step back and take a look at it. But when you do the research, it's really very eye-opening. You know, the largest Satanic cult in the country is headquartered, located where else but San Francisco. And the founder of that cult, Anton Lavay (ph), he wrote a bible called "The Satanic Bible," and over a million copies of it have sold. So we're not talking about an urban legend, Larry. We're talking, unfortunately, about a following -- you know, a movement that has a strong following.

KING: Cincinnati, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Thanks, Larry. And I want to say Nancy Grace is awesome! But my question is to the defense. With all the information released to the media and everything, do you really think they can find a jury with an open mind at all?

KING: Chris, can they?

PIXLEY: Well, that's the challenge. And I don't know, Larry, if we've really ever seen it on this scale. You know, one of the problems in moving this case -- and I know that there will be a very vigorous motion to transfer venue -- we're hearing, you know, day in and day out that the polls show that over 80 percent of the people of Stanislaus County in the Modesto area believe that Scott Peterson's guilty. You know, there's going to be a good reason to move this case, but where in the world? And more importantly, where in California can you move it to get a fair trial? We've all heard -- we're all inundated with the press, so I think the caller makes a great point. It's going to be very difficult to get a jury to hear this impartially.

And that's one of the reasons that the gag order, and this idea of the gag order that's going to come up next Friday, is such a problem for the defense. For four-and-a half months, the prosecution has had complete control of the press, has been telling them whatever they wanted, and only now did the defense team get assembled and start getting their story out there. And of course, at that point in time, the judge said, Well, now I'm considering a gag order.

KING: Brandon, Manitoba, hello.

CALLER: Hello. My question is, with all the media coverage day in, day out. Are you all not afraid or concerned that this is really going to turn into another O.J. Simpson mistrial and, you know, all the hullabaloo that's going on with it?

KING: Let's ask everybody that. Ted, going to be a circus?

ROWLANDS: Oh, I think so. It seems to keeps building. Every time we think it's going to die down it, just keeps going and going. It hasn't shown any signs of dropping. What effect that'll have on the actual case, it's tough to say. But the caller makes a point. Seems like it had an effect on the O.J. case.

KING: Dr. Wecht, do you think so?

WECHT: Well, yes. But you know, while there is a great deal of attention being focused and it is an extremely tumultuous 24, 48-hour period, the jury is not being selected tomorrow. It won't be for a considerable amount of time. Hence, all of this discussion, while fascinating, is not really relevant to the question of the ultimate psychological impact on the jury. So I think that this, in a way, is much hullabaloo about nothing.

I would like to make a comment on the business of the Satanic cult. And I'd like to ask Chris -- it's interesting to point out about a cult here and a cult there. But aside from the spurious, totally unfounded allegations in the McMartin school case and the Amerault case in Massachusetts, what people have been killed by the Satanic culters? Where are these victims? Where do these cultists perform these ritualistic acts that result in actual deaths?

PIXLEY: Well, Dr. Wecht, we know that...

WECHT: And...

KING: Let him answer.

PIXLEY: ... four murders occurred in Modesto on the same street that the Petersons live on 10, 13 years ago, in 1990. So we know that it goes on. And you know, the FBI's done a report on ritualistic murder, Larry, and it says that, you know, some of the tell-tale signs of ritual murders are amputations and body mutilation and that they tend to occur on days that have cult significance, like December...


KING: I've got to take a break. But before Kim Petersen leaves us -- she's leaving us at the half way mark -- we've already asked her this, but are there other aspects that the Rochas are waiting to get, clothing and the like? Any other things that they're waiting to get from Laci?

PETERSEN: They would like to have Laci's things, yes. That's all they have left of her. And a families under circumstances...

KING: Yes. I just wanted to repeat that.

PETERSEN: This means everything to her -- this means everything to the family. This is what they have.

KING: I wanted to repeat that, in case somebody missed it. Thanks for joining us, Kim.

PETERSEN: Thank you.

KING: We appreciate you staying with us. And we'll be back and introduce the rest of the panel and more phone calls right after this.


KING: Welcome back to more of LARRY KING LIVE. Let's reintroduce our panel. In San Francisco is Ted Rowlands, reporter for KTVU. He's been covering the Peterson case since the start. Our regular panelist in New York, Nancy Grace anchor for "Trial Heat" on Court TV. Our other regular panelist, defense attorney Chris Pixley in Atlanta. And in Pittsburgh, the famed Dr. Cyril Wecht, coroner of Allegheny County, famed forensic pathologist. He's also an attorney, by the way.

Before we take the next call, Nancy wanted to comment, since everyone else did about the chance of a fair trial.

GRACE: Right. That was a great caller question. But, Larry, we keep comparing this to the O.J. Simpson trial. After having a couple of my trials -- murder and serial rape televised with a camera in the courtroom, it's my firm belief, Larry, that the camera doesn't create the circus. The camera in the Simpson case exposed the circus and I say there is no disinfectant like sunshine in a courtroom.

KING: Albany, New York. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, my question is sort of twofold. First, if indeed the satanic cult does exist, in order to rise it to the level of creating reasonable doubt wouldn't you first have to show a propensity on the part of the members of this cult to commit these kinds of crimes, number one?

And number two, in order to show propensity, I would think, that the best way to do that would be arrests or, you know, previous kinds of offenses and I'm not hearing anything about that. So I'm wondering how they would really plan on using this theory.

KING: Chris, that a good point?

PIXLEY: Well, if any of these people were previously arrested for murder, Larry, we know they wouldn't be out on the street.

As far as propensity, Texas A&M did a study in 1991, they interviewed over 150 homicide detectives from around the country. And the consensus among the detectives was that satanic cults are involved in 1 out of 10 homicides and 1 out of 3 suicides.

Now, that's not the final word on the issue. But I think that they will be able to show that this is a real movement, a real issue. But I don't -- I don't at all dispute the fact that if this is the defense's theory, you know, they have to get past the jurors' incredulity in the very beginning of the case.

But the fact remains it just may be the truth. I don't think Mark Geragos would pick this theory out of thin air. There are so many others that would sound better if he was making something up.

WECHT: Larry, may I comment on other statistics?

I don't know where those homicide detectives came from. That is the most absurd statement -- I don't mean from Chris, I mean what was reported in that study. One out of 10 homicides, 3 out of 10 suicides, whatever the number was.

There may be people who are satanically motivated in a theological, philosophical sense. Are they cultists who bond together in an organized fashion? No. And do amputations sometimes occur? Oh, yes. I've seen people cut up their loved ones after death and so on. But were they part of a cult? No. So I don't know where those statistics come from.

KING: Let me take a call.

PIXLEY: Larry, if I can respond, though, to Dr. Wecht. What this means now then, Dr. Wecht, is either Scott Peterson is a sociopath or somehow the prosecution's going to have to explain how a baby was born through a coffin birth with tape around its neck.

Now, it may be innocuous. And everybody said well, here maybe the tape just washed up around the baby's neck. But if that baby does in fact have a noose around its neck, you're going to have to show that this guy's a sociopath. And you're also going to have to prove that the timeline here, less than 24 hours to commit this murder, an awful lot of gruesome stuff was done by a guy with no criminal record and no history of violence.

KING: LeMoore, California. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. My question is a two-parter. First I'd like to know what the panel thinks about Gloria Allred coming on saying that -- well, not confirming the fact that Scott Peterson is still trying to contact Amber Frey while he's in jail.

And second of all, I'd like to ask the panel, do they not think that the obsession that he has with Amber Frey is sufficient in being a motive for the murder?

KING: You're assuming the obsession, right, caller?


KING: OK. Ted, you want to comment?

ROWLANDS: Well, yes. The defense will be quick to point out that a month-long relationship with a massage therapist in Fresno isn't an obsession, that he may have called her a lot and he may have made some mistakes in some of the things he said. But they feel fairly confident that they're going to be able to discount that as a motive for killing your wife who is 8 1/2 months pregnant.

KING: Nancy, you want to comment?

GRACE: Well, yes. I understand the caller's question. But in addition to Amber, there were apparently three other girlfriends and a stripper. OK?

So I don't think it's an obsession with Amber in particular. I think he had an obsession with women other than his wife and not wanting to be married and not wanting to have a baby, as harsh as that is to all of us who would love to have a baby. It's hard for a jury to get their arms around this concept.

But Amber herself may not be the motive the state asserts.

KING: New York City. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. I know this is relative to what you're talking about tonight. But I was wondering about the report that Amber Frey had another boyfriend whose wife was also pregnant and she accused Amber of breaking up their marriage. And also that she did contact an investigator and found out that he was married before this whole thing happened.


CALLER: ... I wanted to ask Ted.

KING: All right, Ted Rowlands, by the way, do you know if that's true, and if it's true, doesn't it dampen somewhat her credibility?

ROWLANDS: Yes, you know, I don't know for sure that it's true. I've obviously read that same report. and I know that her father, Amber's father, Ron Frey stands by his daughter 100 percent. And in the conversations I've had with him he doesn't indicate that that would be true. But I guess we'll have to wait and see.

And one thing that does seem true is that she's cooperated completely from the beginning with investigators. So whatever the truth is, I do think that the state has a pretty good idea of it, just given from all accounts everybody says that she really has cooperated.

KING: Nancy?

GRACE: Larry, I read that report as well the lady caller discussed. And what was so interesting is that, yes, that is going to be brought up at trial, I anticipate, as part of the reputation attack on Amber Frey. Anything to take the focus off what is in those tapes.

But what's so interesting, Larry -- what we think is in the tapes, Larry. But what's so interesting is after this allegedly dating a married man she went to someone and said, you know what, I had a horrible experience with a married man, I want to date a single guy. And she was introduced to Scott Peterson. So this could be a double-edged sword. KING: By the way, if the defense has it right, if the prosecution introduces her, the defense has a right to question her credibility, right?

GRACE: Yes, and they would be derelict if they didn't. And Geragos has a great reputation for cross-exams.

WECHT: Larry, I'd like to make a comment. There are about 50,000 murders in America, let's say about half are women. And I'll bet you of those 20, 25,000 women who are married probably 75 percent, 80 percent of their husbands have engaged in adultery, and I doubt that that means that they murdered their wives. So you know, the business of trying Scott Peterson based upon adultery I think is very, very unethical, improper, and unjust.

And with regard to Chris's comment before about saying that Scott Peterson, or implying that he's a sociopath. I'm not saying that. I want to make that very, very clear. As a matter of fact, I think that the evidence leans away from Scott Peterson to suggest that a father is going to do this not only then to his wife, that's one thing, but then to take the baby and to cut up the baby and tie it around the neck.

So I just want to make it clear, I'm not suggesting that this dumps on Scott Peterson, but I do not buy the satanic cult.

KING: I got it.

WECHT: And one more thing I on the satanic cult, too. People keep talking about Geragos and the satanic cult. Remember that everybody on the panel understands clearly -- but I think maybe your viewers and listeners should be told about, Larry, is that the defense doesn't have to prove anything. It's the prosecution that has to prove something.

KING: I've got to get a break.

WECHT: The defense doesn't have to prove a single thing.

KING: We've got to get a break, and we'll come back with more. Don't go away.


KING: Birmingham, Alabama, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Nancy, I think you're great.

GRACE: Thank you.

CALLER: And also, I have two questions. When do you think there will be a bail hearing. Do you think Scott will get out on bail?

GRACE: I've got the answer for you. In California once special circumstances, as they call it, to us simply put, death penalty is announced, they do not qualify for bail in the state of California. He will not have bail.

KING: Arlington, Virginia, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Can you hear me?

KING: Yes. Go ahead.

CALLER: My question is I thought there was some testing done on Scott's hair.

Is that correct, and if so what are the results on that?

Was it a natural dye?

KING: Ted.

ROWLANDS: Well, it appears as though there was some testing. There was a warrant issued for Scott Peterson while he was in jail to take a hair sample and a full body photograph. The results of that we don't know. They have not been released, and they have not been leaked out to this point.

KING: Staten Island, New York, hello.

CALLER: Yes. I'd like to say, first of all, that I think your whole team is great.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is her body and Connor's body came up from the water in the shallow area, but the synopsis is, or the feeling is that it went into deep water.

And why aren't they checking into deeper water to see if there was anything that was down there that possibly weighted her down?


KING: Dr. Wecht.

WECHT: Well, I do not know, Larry, where they have been looking, but I'm under the impression...

KING: Form both Chris and Nancy say they are checking in deep water.

WECHT: Yes, they've been scouring other areas. I would just like to comment on that, because in the face of what we're dealing with this evening we've lost sight of something that I think is extremely important, and that is the critical need for the prosecution investigatively to find the weight or weights to which I believe the body was attached. Because I think that that could possibly be dispositive of this entire case. Possibly.

KING: Cleveland, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: My condolences to the Rocha family. First of all, there were reports that said in the beginning that someone saw Laci when she disappeared that day, looked like she was being forced into a brown van. If that was the case how come this person who saw her being forced didn't call the cops or didn't go out to offer any kind of help.

KING: Chris.

PIXLEY: He did, actually. And the "Modesto Bee" on May 24, and Nancy's I'm sure seen this reported, that Homer Maldonado, says that he contacted the police on January 1, and that they have yet to contact him. So you know, the police talked about all these leads that they followed up on and all the work that they did before they zeroed in on Scott Peterson. The fact of the matter is they had divers in the bay within seven days...

GRACE: I'd like to respond.

PIXLEY: ... within seven days, Nancy, of her disappearance. And they have people like Homer Maldonado who says I saw her between 9:45 and 10:00 a.m. That Morning walking her golden retriever and she was pregnant, eight months' pregnant. And Nancy, that same report, that same "Modesto Bee" report also debunks one of your other theories that there was another dark haired woman walking her golden retriever that day.

That woman who happens to be a prosecutor has now came forward and said not only did I have my baby in October, I was no longer pregnant in December, but I wasn't walking my dog that day, I'm 99 percent certain of that because I was with my husband and his two sons getting ready to go shopping.

GRACE: Yes. And the answer is...

PIXLEY: There were other pregnant women? Is that the answer?

GRACE: If you carefully read the article, Chris Pixley, you will see that there were several pregnant women in the neighborhood, and they are not referring in that article to the pregnant assistant prosecutor who moved away and actually had her baby in October. As far as the brown van, the police have already investigated the brown van in the neighborhood, and have determined that it was doing landscape work in the neighborhood. Now the defense is onto a tan van that was parked at a gas station with an usual character with a 666 tattoo on his arm, OK.

PIXLEY: Yes, well, a couple of things, Nancy. First of all, I assume that you are trying to say that there are three or four or five or 10 dark hair, five foot...


GRACE: No, I said there were two others in addition to Laci just like the article said.

PIXLEY: ... pregnant women -- 8 months pregnant walking their dogs that day. And the other thing about the tan van is you're right, the police ruled it out as a landscaper's van, but now the defense has gone and interviewed all of the neighbors, and nobody uses a landscaping company with a tan van. It's interesting.

GRACE: I'm sure the defense believes that. But the state disagrees. That's why we're having a trial, Chris.

PIXLEY: The state's not talking to people like Homer Maldonado and Vivian Mitchell, the that people that saw Laci in the alone in the park walking her dog that day, which is really outrageous.

KING: This is going to be some trial. This is going to be some trial.

We'll be right back with more moments and more phone calls. Don't go away.


KING: Columbia, South Carolina. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: My question is for, Nancy, I think you're great. And if the defense says there's no evidence in this case, my question is does the state just arrest people and charge them with first-degree murder and the death penalty if they have no evidence in this case, my question is -- "Does the state just arrest people and charge them with first degree murder and the death penalty if they have ...

KING: Well, that's unfair because then you're assuming every person arrested is guilty. Is that right, ma'am? Is that what you're assuming -- that every person charged with a crime is guilty?

CALLER: Well, they said there's no evidence at all in this case.

KING: Well, there's evidence in every case, but a lot of people are not guilty. Go ahead, Nancy.

GRACE: Right. In response to the viewer's question, you are so right on. You think the prosecutors are going to go out on a limb and not only arrest Scott Peterson in a high-profile disappearance and murder and then seek the death penalty ...

KING: Nancy, are you saying, therefore, if prosecutors seek the death penalty, the guy is guilty?

GRACE: No, that's not even remotely similar to what I said. The lady caller said -- would police, would these police, because Chris Pixley and others continue to say the state has no evidence -- those words. And I personally find it very difficult to believe -- from a practical point of view, having been there myself -- that police would go arrest this man in a high-profile case and seek the death penalty without any evidence.

KING: So you're saying they have evidence, not necessarily that the guy did it, just that they have evidence that would lend them to think he did it.

GRACE: I'm saying two things. I'm saying yes, I believe they have evidence based on not only what they have leaked but what Peterson himself said on national TV. And number two, from what I see at this point, they've got a darn good case.

KING: OK, Chris.

PIXLEY: I disagree. I don't think they have a good case at all. And in response to the caller, I think Nancy mentioned it several times. It is a high profile case. And Larry, that increases the pressure dramatically on the prosecution. The state needs to do something. You don't want to be the Boulder Police Department. You don't want to be the Boulder ...

GRACE: Have you ever been a prosecutor?

PIXLEY: No, Nancy, I haven't been.

GRACE: Or handled a murder case?

PIXLEY: And thank goodness for that because there are people like Scott Peterson, who are accused of these crimes -- where the prosecution comes right out of the gate and says we're going for the death penalty. They spin the case out of control in the public. Dr. Wecht said a moment ago that you're innocent until proven guilty and that the defense doesn't have to spin a theory here, Larry. But the defense in a high-profile case like this absolutely needs to get out there and be able to talk about their side of the case. And they actually are often times required to really prove innocence.

And one of the reasons -- and any good trial consultant will tell you -- jurors, by the time they get through with a lengthy trial in a high-profile case, often have difficulty differentiating between what they heard inside the courtroom and what they heard outside.

KING: Another call. Rainier, Washington. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.

KING: Hello.

CALLER: To Nancy Grace, what did Scott have for Laci under the Christmas tree? And what did he give Amber that would show mindset and premeditation?

GRACE: OK. Do you have on your seat belts? I asked that very question, Larry. And as it turned out, because there was no visible present for her. This is a woman's thinking, Larry. There was no visible present for her under the tree according to some sources.

And when he was asked -- not only did I ask sources but Diane Sawyer asked him. He said, "A wallet. I got her a wallet."

"What he got Amber, we've heard rumors. That we'll find out in court, that not only is some of Laci's jewelry missing from the home but Amber got some very unusual pieces of very nice jewelry. We'll find out if that's true."

KING: OK. You're building a good case, Nancy. New York City, hello.

CALLER: Yes. I have a two-part question. Is there any more information on the person who introduced Scott and Amber? And also, did that person purposely deceive Amber, or did the person also think Scott was unmarried?

Larry: Good question. Ted, do we know?

ROWLANDS: Yes. That person thought that Scott was unmarried. That's pretty much been established by members of Amber's family and has not really been disputed at all by the defense. So this was someone who was convinced that this -- a female who worked with Scott in some capacity, you know, he's in outside sales thought that this -- was a single person and she was doing her friend, a single person, a favor.

KING: Germantown, Maryland. Hello. Germantown, Maryland. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Good evening.


CALLER: My question is about the neighbor who reported that the Petersons' curtains were closed the morning of the disappearance. That seems a bit suspicious to me. Have they investigated this person at all, and has Scott Peterson requested the lie detector test to show his innocence?

KING: Chris.

PIXLEY: I'm having a little audio problem, Larry. But if I understand correctly about the curtains, there are pieces of evidence here and there like that you're going to confront in every case. I think it is a problem for the defense if the neighbor can say, "I actually was nosy enough to look out my window every day, and I watched Laci Peterson at about the same time every morning open the curtains. But the fact of the matter is she could have come back that day from her walk. It might have been her normal routine to come back from the walk and open the curtains. We have a tendency to think that we have a perfect memory for things, and often times we find we don't.

KING: Nancy, you want to respond?

GRACE: That's not fair to trash the neighbor. I look at my neighbor every morning when I hit the coffee button. I know what I see. I've been looking at the same thing for years. And if this neighbor noticed that her habit was to let up her shades, her father -- stepfather -- told me they didn't have drapes, had shades, her routine was to let them up, according to the neighbor, that's not being nosy. That's simply looking out the window. But I'm sure the defense will try to cross that neighbor as if they were a convicted felon.

KING: Kalabash, North Carolina. Last call. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. This is for Nancy Grace. Nancy, I think you're wonderful.

KING: We've only got a minute.

Caller: OK look, the lady that broke into the house and tried on the wedding dress -- I wonder if maybe -- he seemed to think that, I don't know, he didn't want to be, you know, linked to her at all and, you know, he said that -- to amber Frey that -- he didn't do it but he knew who did. And I wondered if maybe this lady didn't have something to do maybe ...

KING: Nancy, what do we know about that?

GRACE: I remember when that happened. It was during the search for Laci. Some personal items taken, recovered, no charges, family. Someone that knew the family. I don't think that woman was connected. Police have not indicated that. But she did say something important, Larry. If he did say to Amber, "I didn't do it but I know who did," Larry, you know if you knew who took your wife and child, you would call police. He did not do that.

KING: And Ted Rowlands will be right on the scene. There's another thing coming up Tuesday, but we're going to do another show on this tomorrow night. What's on Tuesday?

ROWLANDS: Tuesday, they're going to talk about whether or not the media should get a chance to listen in to the phone conversations and all of that.

KING: Thank you all very much. Ted Rowlands, Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, and Dr. Cyril Wecht. And we'll do more on it tomorrow night.

And I'll be back as well to tell you more about what's upcoming. Don't go away.


KING: More on the Peterson case tomorrow night.

And again, we apologize that we weren't able to do that tribute to Bob Hope. Dolores is under the weather. We are going to have a special program dealing with it Sunday night on "LARRY KING WEEKEND," including past interviews with Mr. Hope that yours truly conducted.



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