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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Analysis of Day 8 of Scott Peterson Preliminary Hearing
Aired November 12, 2003 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, more drama inside day 8 of Scott Peterson's preliminary hearing. Did Scott's other woman, Amber Frey, begin taping his calls a week before Laci disappeared? Meanwhile, Scott's defense hammers an FBI expert over that human hair found in Scott's boat and accuses prosecutors of playing games with surveillance tapes of Scott's house.
We're going to get firsthand details from Ted Rowlands of KTVU, inside the hearing all day; plus Court TV's Nancy Grace, former prosecutor; high-profile defense attorney Chris Pixley; Judge Jeanine Ferris Pirro, district attorney of Westchester County, New York; the renowned defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, part of O.J. Simpson's "dream team"; consulting with Scott Peterson's defense, the renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht; psychologist and frequent Court TV commentator Dr. Robi Ludwig; and Gloria Allred, attorney for Scott's other woman, Amber Frey. They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Kobe's first hearing is tomorrow morning, and we'll cover that tomorrow night. Let's get to the matters at hand. Ted Rowlands in Modesto, what happened today?
TED ROWLANDS, KTVU-TV: Well, the bulk of today's hearing was more DNA. The most interesting portions of the hearing was during the other portions of the hearing, and we learned a lot about the way the Modesto police investigated this surveillance tape -- or all the surveillance of Scott Peterson. They not only used Amber Frey, using her recording Scott Peterson's conversations, but they also used Rocha family members, Sharon Rocha and Brent Rocha. Apparently, they possibly recorded some conversations, as well.
This all came during cross-examination of the lead detective, Al Brocchini. We also learned that Scott's friends were used. They asked Scott's friends to make certain calls to him and pump him for information, basically.
We also, as you mentioned at the top there, learned that possibly Amber Frey was recording conversations between her and Scott Peterson on her own before she even came across the Modesto Police Department. However, Brocchini said he had no knowledge of that at all during the cross-examination. And then Mark Geragos was furious about what he says is a shell game that's being played in a capital murder case concerning a surveillance videocamera apparently put up by the feds right across the street from Scott...
KING: We're losing some of Ted Rowlands's audio. And when we get it back, we'll go back to him.
Johnnie Cochran, is this OK? Is this standard procedure?
JOHNNIE COCHRAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know, it's difficult to get these tapes or anything from the FBI. Even the local prosecutors will tell you they have trouble dealing with the FBI. But I think it's appropriate tack for Geragos to pursue this. He told the judge that they were telling him, in essence, to go pound sand. It's very important. It's part of his evidence theory that burglars were involved, and it creates another issue, not just a smokescreen, but a real issue of why he can't get these documents, which he's really entitled to. The prosecutor's going to have to respond to that also, I think, at some point.
KING: Nancy, you agree?
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Absolutely not. There was one thing I agree with Johnnie, and that is -- you know, I was a fed for several years, and I'm no fan of the feds. They give you no information when you yourself are a local prosecutor. It's like pulling a tooth. That much I'll give to Johnnie Cochran.
But regarding this FBI surveillance, the BS-o-meter is way off the chart. The surveillance didn't start until January. Let's just check our calendars. Laci went missing, according to Scott himself, December 24. So whatever this may show has nothing to do with her disappearance.
KING: Chris Pixley?
COCHRAN: We won't know if we don't get it, though, Larry. We should get it and see and try to determine that.
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That's exactly right, Larry. We don't know. And the fact is that the defense believes that there -- we know that there was, in fact, a burglary at the Peterson home after Laci went missing. What we don't know necessarily was what was taken from the home. There have been various stories given to the police, even when they found the culprit, as to what was taken out of the home. The defense has every right to know. Was there evidence taken from the home that would have had an effect back in January on their investigation?
You know, there is so much potential exculpatory evidence in this case, and it's one thing to be in Johnnie Cochran's situation with O.J. Simpson and not be given certain documents when you go to a preliminary hearing 17 days after the crime. But this preliminary hearing is occurring 10 months after Laci disappeared, and Mark Geragos is pointing out we still don't know, on the defense side, if we have all the evidence.
KING: Judge Pirro, doesn't he have a good point?
JEANINE PIRRO, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK: Well, you know, the question really is, are we suggesting that something that may have happened beginning on January the 3rd will give us insight into what happened when Laci disappeared on December 23 or 24? I mean, I don't know that you can jump back and assume from something that happened weeks later as to what happened earlier.
But the big issue here is this. No. 1, we don't know if it was the FBI. But as a local prosecutor, I can tell you this. There is a supremacy clause, and the FBI does not have to respond to a state subpoena. That's No. 1. No. 2 is this apparently is a DEA -- which is Drug Enforcement Agency -- and local police task force. What is that telling us? Are they interested in finding out about whether -- you know, information on Laci's case, or is there some involvement with drugs here?
You know, we know that Scott bought a lot of things with cash. He bought a Mercedes with cash. He bought a boat with cash. He belonged to a country club. He owned a house. And you know, he's a fertilizer salesman. I don't know what's going on here, but the bottom line is this. Sooner or later those tapes have to be turned over. Geragos is entitled to them.
KING: Ted Rowlands, we lost you for a moment. What is this about Amber Frey taping him before the fact?
ROWLANDS: Well, basically, during the cross-examination, Kirk McAllister said, Were you aware that Miss Frey was taping conversations between herself and Scott Peterson starting in mid- December? And Al Brocchini, the detective on the stand, said, No. And McAllister went on to say, Well, you're telling me this is the first you're hearing about it -- getting it out there, making it sound as though they have evidence that that, indeed, took place. But on the stand and in court, this detective said that he had absolutely no knowledge of any conversations being taped beforehand. So it sounds as though the defense does have something, and it'll come out eventually.
KING: Johnnie Cochran, is that kind of weird to you, why she'd be taping him before the wife went missing?
COCHRAN: Absolutely. It's also probably illegal, unless he knew about it. I don't think it's legal for her to tape that kind of conversation. And I think that'll be some grist for cross- examination. They're setting the stage. And perhaps later on in the program, we can ask Gloria. Did her client illegally tape Scott Peterson, you know, at a time early in December.
GRACE: Hold on! Hold on! Hold on! Just a moment! You know, in a lot of jurisdictions, Johnnie Cochran, there's something called the one-party consent rule...
COCHRAN: No, no, no.
GRACE: ... which means if one party wants to tape phone conversations...
KING: No. The question, though...
GRACE: ... they can do so!
KING: Now, the question, though, is -- do you question, Nancy, why she would be taping him...
GRACE: You know...
KING: ... before the fact?
GRACE: My question is -- and I'll put it to you like this, Larry. Why are we concerned about her being suspicious of Scott being married? Hello? He was married! So she's trying to find out. She's taping him. She's trying to find out from friends, whoever she can find that information from. What I think is weird is that Laci goes missing, and he says he's fishing and not golfing. That's what I think is weird. So the focus on Amber is a typical ploy by the defense to take the eye off the ball, what happened to Laci.
COCHRAN: No, no, no. Nancy, Nancy, the fact this lady's taping this man some time before, surreptitiously, I think points to something about her character.
GRACE: She was suspicious!
COCHRAN: Yes. I mean, she didn't...
PIRRO: But Johnnie...
COCHRAN: Yes? Jeanine?
GRACE: What does that -- what does that tell you? So she's taping him.
COCHRAN: Well, I think...
PIRRO: What does that -- what does that mean?
COCHRAN: Well, I don't know why she's doing it. She may have an ulterior motive. I don't know. But we have a right to find that out, though, don't we?
PIXLEY: It means that the relationship...
PIXLEY: ... is not so strong that the two of them were planning on getting married any time soon. Remember, the theory is that Scott Peterson killed his wife to be with Amber Frey. It doesn't sound Amber Frey was close enough to him or cared enough about him...
GRACE: But Larry...
KING: Let me get a break, guys. When we come back, Dr. Cyril Wecht will spend a few moments to discuss the DNA thing, and then back to the panel. And as we go to break, here's comments made by Mark Geragos late today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARK GERAGOS, ATTORNEY FOR SCOTT PETERSON: We want to know where the tapes are. We want to know why the tapes weren't mentioned before and why they're not in there. And we'd like to know why it is that, at least so far, apparently, a number of the lead investigators don't know about it. They've not -- the only questions we're asking. We've issued several subpoena duces tacums (ph), which are the -- a subpoena for the documents, so that we can get the documents into the court. And then we'll sort it out once we get them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GERAGOS: At some point, somebody's going to have to get up on that stand and detail when that went up, whether or not it was taped or whether or not they maintained those tapes. And somebody's got to explain how is it that, all of a sudden, on some guy's desk, tapes start appearing and they sit there for three months and nobody bothers to look at them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We'll get back to that in a little while. I want to spend a few moments with Dr. Cyril Wecht. He's the famed forensic pathologist. He's in Pittsburgh. He's consulting with the defense, and he's examined the bodies of Laci and Conner Peterson. He's the author of the book "Mortal Evidence."
What do you make over this debate about mitochondrial DNA, Doctor?
DR. CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, CONSULTING WITH DEFENSE: Well, Larry, as you know, I can't talk about the Peterson case, but I can talk about mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA, also known a matrilineal DNA, comes only from the mother's side, and hence, it is nowhere near as specific as regular DNA, such as was discussed in the O.J. Simpson case.
Mitochondrial DNA has been used by the FBI since the late '80s. It's used in medical science and some other areas, too. There are only about seven or eight labs in the United States that are set up for mitochondrial DNA, which is the most arduous, the most rigorous, most time-consuming form of DNA analysis. And there are only about 15 states which have formally and officially recognized the introduction of mitochondrial DNA and...
KING: What do you think of it?
WECHT: Well, mitochondrial DNA is a scientifically constituted principle, and if performed by a qualified laboratory, and if the testing is meticulously, scrupulously performed and if there's no question about contamination, and so on, then it has been used, as I say, in medical science. And of course, I would not argue that there is no scientific basis for mitochondrial DNA testing.
I want to point out there are some complications. For example, there's a principle known as heteroplasmic (ph), and that simply means that you can get different kinds of mitochondrial DNA test results even from the same hair, depending on what locus, what site and how -- so I'm just saying, it's not as simple and as clear-cut...
KING: I got you.
WECHT: ... an unequivocal as some people might think it to be.
KING: Dr. Wecht, I know you're hired by the defense. Do we know yet, do you know yet if you're going to testify?
WECHT: As of this time, no. There's nothing in place. Dr. Henry Lee and I have been consulted. We were there, did examinations on the bodies, and so on. Obviously, it's premature because we first have to see if Scott Peterson is held over at the preliminary hearing. And then, when the court date is set, there's an awful lot of evidence still to be reviewed. And Henry and I, you know, we're in a state of limbo at this time.
KING: Thank you so much, Dr. Wecht. We'll be calling on you again.
WECHT: All right. Thank you.
KING: Always good seeing you.
WECHT: Thank you, Larry.
KING: Dr. Cyril Wecht.
Back to our panel. Nancy Grace, back to this question of tapes and surveillance and the like. Where do you think it's going?
GRACE: Well, I think this is where it's going, regarding the feds. Geragos is going to get the tapes. It just takes a long time. It takes a long time for even local law enforcement to get anything from the feds. But he'll get it, and what he'll get is a picture of Scott Peterson's home sitting there following Laci's disappearance.
And I can guarantee you why they want the tape. They want to make sure their defense, their story, jives with what is on that tape. That's why they want the tape. They're not trying to find out about any burglary, where one of the next-door neighbors came in to take Laci's wedding dress. That's old news, OK? We know about that. That's why they want the tape. They want to see that their story conforms to what the feds have!
KING: Johnnie, you agree?
COCHRAN: No. Absolutely not.
(LAUGHTER) COCHRAN: If you're trying a death penalty murder case, you've got to get everything that's relevant for your client. I mean, you can't speculate regarding that. They're entitled to those tapes, and they're going to get them. And hopefully, they'll be -- they'll be probative. I mean, that's the real issue, Nancy.
COCHRAN: You want to get all the evidence, don't you? Why speculate, huh?
GRACE: Probative of him coming out, talking on the cell phone while he's emptying the trash! Gee...
GRACE: ... who can he have been talking to!
COCHRAN: Oh, I don't know about that, Nancy. I think it's very...
GRACE: I think we do know...
COCHRAN: ... relevant. I think...
GRACE: ... about that! And we know those...
COCHRAN: Why would they stonewall...
GRACE: ... are coming in
KING: One at a time!
COCHRAN: Why would they stonewall real evidence? Why would they stonewall real evidence? They're entitled to it, and they should give them up as soon as possible.
KING: Judge Pirro...
GRACE: I think...
KING: ... you agree with that, right? They're entitled to it.
PIRRO: Yes, they have to give the tapes up. But Johnnie is right about the fact that it takes a while for them to hand it over with the feds. I mean, there is a sense that they don't have to respond to the state, but this is a capital murder case. The defense is entitled to get these tapes.
The question, Johnnie, is, though, when do they get it? And you know, Brady material, which has to do with exculpatory evidence, is generally handed over at the time of trial or just before trial. It's very early on. Don't you agree, Johnnie?
COCHRAN: It is early on, but I think Geragos does a good job for asking for it because you know what? They're going to still stall it. But he'll get it ultimately, Larry. It's out on the front burner now. And it puts them really, you know, on the defensive. And I think that's a real good thing that he's done in that regard.
KING: How long do you think, Chris?
PIXLEY: Before you get that kind of evidence? I think that they're actually going to get it very quickly. And the reason is that, again, the Modesto police were part of that task force that was examining the evidence that set up the cameras in the first place. So the Modesto police force has access to it. What's interesting and also disturbing a bit to me is the fact that the prosecutor today said, Hey, I didn't even know about the tapes. I didn't know about the surveillance equipment. It begs the question...
PIXLEY: ... what other potentially exculpatory evidence...
PIXLEY: ... is out there that the DA didn't even know about?
PIRRO: Yes, but Chris, as a sitting DA, I can tell you that there are times when a drug enforcement task force can come in and put up a camera, we won't know about it. Or they may have done it at the request of the local police, and the DA may not know about it. I'm not saying there's anything surreptitious here. I'm just saying that it's not unusual for...
KING: All right. Ted...
PIRRO: ... us not to know.
PIXLEY: If it's a drug issue, though, Judge -- and you mentioned earlier you think it's a drug issue -- I think the DA...
PIRRO: I don't know.
PIXLEY: ... the DEA was involved simply because they have more expertise when it comes to video surveillance of that kind of...
PIRRO: That may be possible.
PIXLEY: That's why they got together with...
KING: Ted Rowlands...
(CROSSTALK) KING: Ted Rowlands, do we know when Amber Frey -- if and when she's going to testify?
ROWLANDS: No. But with the mitochondrial DNA testimony over, it would seem that the thing -- that the pace is going to pick up considerably. We have another detective coming up after the cross is over with Brocchini, and then the medical examiner from Contra Costa County and a couple of neighbors and then Amber Frey as the only potential witnesses here. So where Frey sets up in that order remains to be seen. It has not been announced. Typically, the judge asks who is coming up next for the prosecution at the end of each day. That was not done today. Brocchini will be on the stand when they resume, however, tomorrow at 9:30.
KING: And tomorrow, we'll be discussing that, of course, but a lot more tomorrow about Kobe Bryant's first appearance before the judge who will be the judge at his trial.
We'll come back and include some phone calls. Still to come, Gloria Allred will join us with some thoughts about Amber Frey. And later, Dr. Robi Ludwig, the psychologist, frequent Court TV commentator, looking at this psychologically. Back with our outstanding panel right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GERAGOS: I consider it to be a problem because, obviously, if there are tapes of things that were happening at the time, during a time of a burglary, that is relevant evidence. Obviously, there were -- we indicated in court -- I'm not telling you anything that wasn't said in court. In court, there was a specific -- or I made the specific indication that there was a burglary of that house. A burglary took place between the time -- or after the time that the camera was set up and before the time that the second search warrant was issued. So obviously, if you are going into the house on a search warrant or any other time and somebody's either carrying stuff into the house or carrying stuff out of the house, one would think that you would want to take a look at that, see what it is, what's being carried in, what's being carried out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's take some calls. Eddyville, Kentucky. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. I have two questions for Nancy. Nancy, I wanted to know, have they ever been able to find out how she died? And if not, will they ever be able to? And also, if she was dead, when she was put in the water -- I mean, before she was put in the water.
GRACE: They do not know the cause of death, largely because the head is missing and all of her body tissue had decayed up to that point of time. It's mostly just bones that surfaced, unlike Conner, who was actually -- he looked like a little baby doll. He was actually still intact. And no, I don't think they'll ever know exactly how Laci was killed.
KING: Portland, Oregon. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. This question is for Nancy. I'm wondering if Scott has had any psychological testing to show if his mental state is of the same ilk as other men who have murdered their pregnant wives.
KING: Well, you don't know if he did it, ma'am.
GRACE: That is a darn good question! But a quick answer -- no, I don't know. I'm much more interested in whether he had a polygraph!
KING: By the way, Johnnie, is that important...
COCHRAN: It's not admissible.
KING: ... that he -- that he -- that a polygraph...
COCHRAN: No. I don't think so at all. I mean, I think most lawyers will tell their clients not to -- you know, it's not admissible, Larry.
COCHRAN: It's not admissible. Primarily because it's not admissible. It leads to all kind of speculation. It doesn't really solve the problem, even if your client passes the polygraph. You can show it to the DA, they're going to say, Look, this isn't really admissible. They want to go forward, they're going to go forward. So it's a lose-lose for the defense. So generally, you don't even speculate with that.
KING: Anaheim. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. Yes. Thank you for taking my call. This question's for Nancy. The day before Laci went missing, they went and had their hair done at her sister's salon. He was supposed to pick up a gift basket the next day, coming home from golf. Did anyone ever find that gift basket, and if he had any intention of picking it up?
GRACE: Yes. And in fact...
CALLER: Thank you.
GRACE: ... very interesting evidence came out today. And Ted Rowlands could really put the -- hit the nail on the head with this. It's my understanding that around 2:15 PM, December 24, Peterson calls Laci on her cell and says, Hi, beautiful. I'm on my way home from Berkeley. And to me, that does not fit in with the timeline he has also given police, that he was at the home at 9:35, still at his warehouse at 11:30 to get that fax, 90 miles away from Berkeley marina, an hour to the buoy, an hour back doesn't fit!
ROWLANDS: Well -- well...
KING: Ted? ROWLANDS: You know, according to Peterson's story, it does fit, in that he only spent a very short amount of time in the water because it was raining and because it was cold, he was getting wet. So he said he came back, and at that point, made the call to Laci and said that he couldn't pick up the gift basket because he was in Berkeley and wouldn't be able to do it and was asking if she could do it.
GRACE: But what about the paint on the boat? That's my question. If it came off buoy No. 2...
GRACE: ... it's an hour go get to buoy No. 2 and an hour back!
ROWLANDS: The paint on the boat has not been established. It is one of the many things that has come out on the rumor mill side of things, but it hasn't been established in court. As far as Scott Peterson's story, he says that he was done fishing, and that's the time that he called his wife. And he believes his timeline will fit. It's just contingent on him spending a very short amount of time in the water because of the elements.
KING: New York City. Hello.
CALLER: Thanks for taking my call, Larry. Nancy, you're brilliant. My question to the panel is if you think Scott will take the stand at trial. Thank you.
KING: We'll start with Johnnie Cochran. Johnnie, you think so?
COCHRAN: Well, I think that there's a good likelihood he will. There are some things he probably will have to explain. You know, if Amber Frey testifies, there are statements made that he said that his wife was lost or dead or missing two weeks before she was actually, you know, missing. There's some things that probably need to be explained, that can't be explained otherwise. He probably will have to.
Also, you know, there's some other things, you know. His lawyers have let him speak to the media a lot, Larry, so he may have to do that. The only time he should really speak is to that jury. And knowing Geragos, I would be surprised if -- in the trial, if he does not get up there and, you know, deny it and go through a full litany of what took place.
KING: Jeanine, what do you expect?
PIRRO: You know, I disagree with Johnnie on this one. I don't think that Scott needs to take the stand here. You've got a circumstantial case, and I think if Scott takes the stand, he's going to have to admit to all of the lies. And if I were a prosecutor trying this case, I would establish that he is not just a liar but a deliberate liar.
Go from point one. You know, You said that you were going golfing and you went fishing. You said you were going fishing, but you didn't know what you were fishing for. You said you were going to pick up the basket, and you didn't even remember to pick up the gift basket. You know, You said your wife was dead two weeks before. You were lying about that, too. You said you're going to be alone with Amber for the -- I mean, you go on and on.
There so many lies here he's going to have to get out of. What benefit can he have? It's not like he is admitting or someone found him at the crime scene that he has to get himself out of. So Johnnie, I don't think he's going to testify.
COCHRAN: I mean, you know...
KING: Chris, what do you think of? Johnnie, go ahead. And then Chris. Johnnie?
COCHRAN: I was just going to say you know what? Jeanine makes some really good points. But you know what? A lot of people would have said this fellow Durst shouldn't testify, either. And you know, you saw what happened. I mean, I got to remind you of that case.
COCHRAN: I mean, it's amazing. This guy gets up there and testifies. And you know, and sometimes it carries the day. I mean, you know, it's unbelievable. And sometimes, if a guy is -- if a jury finds him credible, you know, that can sometimes carry the day.
KING: And what do you think, Chris Pixley?
PIXLEY: Well, I think the only thing that's certain right now, Larry, is that they are preparing him to testify. You know, you have your case ready to go as the defense counsel 90 percent of the way, long before you ever go to trial. But one of the things that you've got to be ready for is the possibility that the case against your client becomes so bad that the only way to win an acquittal is to put your client on the stand.
So the answer is, right now, they only thing that I would be certain of is they are preparing him. They're preparing him thoroughly. I tend to think that he won't get on the stand, but that's because I don't believe right now the evidence against him is very strong.
KING: All right, we'll take a break and come back. And Gloria Allred will check in with us, and we'll also ask Ted Rowlands about strange information that came about today. We'll talk about that, too. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GERAGOS: Did I did say in court that I believe that this stuff is dribbling out, and it should not be dribbling out. This is a capital case. And a capital case means they're trying to put my client to death. And in a...
(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KING: We're going to spend a few moments with Gloria Allred, the attorney representing Amber Frey, the other woman in all of this. Amber Frey is on the front cover of "People" magazine this week. It will be out Friday. There you see its cover.
Have you read the story, Gloria?
GLORIA ALLRED, AMBER FREY'S ATTORNEY: No, I have not yet read it.
KING: Did she cooperate in the story? Does she get interviewed by "People"?
ALLRED: No, she did not, Larry. She is not doing interviews with anyone and she did not do an interview with "People" magazine.
KING: All right. Everyone is saying she is going to appear either tomorrow or Friday. I know you haven't said definitely, but does it look that way?
ALLRED: She is definitely not going to testify tomorrow. And at this point, I can't say whether or not she will testify.
KING: Is she in Modesto?
ALLRED: She's not in Modesto.
KING: OK. If she's all called upon, do they give enough notice that she can get there in time?
ALLRED: She certainly would have sufficient notice if she's called to testify.
KING: In the article, there's more about her background. She dated a male stripper who was married previously. Despite knowing about his domestic life, she began living together with the male stripper.
Do you think they're going to attack the credibility factor about someone you have defended so strongly in these past many nights?
ALLRED: All I can say is there are many stories about Amber that are out there that are not true or are taken out of context. And obviously, there are those who would like to try to discredit her. But the truth is that she's a very brave young woman that if, as and when she testifies, I think she's going to come across very credibly. Much of what she has to say will be corroborated. And I think the defense knows that, and perhaps that may be why there are attempts to discredit her and it may be why they fear her.
KING: What about her recording conversations before the disappearance?
ALLRED: That was asked today as a question by the defense. And they did not present any evidence that, in fact, that that had occurred. So at this time, I am not going to comment on whether or not it did occur. But I just want to say that a question by an attorney does not -- is not an answer and certainly, does not constitute any evidence.
KING: And you -- the article quotes a friend as saying that she said to the friend, I have to always be in disguise. It is overwhelming. Is that true?
ALLRED: Well, Amber is not always in disguise. And, I don't know whether or not she ever said that. But certainly, she is a public figure now in the sense that a lot of people know who she is. She's not chosen to be. And all she wants to do is lead her life and take care of her child and go to work every day and go to church. And that's what she's doing.
Sometimes -- most people are very nice and respectful to her. Sometimes there are people who don't respect her boundaries.
KING: And "People" magazine says she refuses to identify the father of her child. Is that true?
ALLRED: You know, I think that Amber has a right to a zone of privacy and I think that she's not comfortable talking about her private life, and therefore, I'm going to respect her privacy and I'm not going to talk about her private life either. But all I can say is that she is a wonderful mother. I've observed that myself. And I think her child is lucky to have her as a mother.
And, of course, she's a single parent, and that's always a challenge. And millions of single parents who are listening to your show tonight, Larry, know what a challenge that is. And I'm sure they know that she deserves a lot of credit for the responsibility she takes for her child.
KING: Thank you, Gloria. Gloria Allred in Modesto, the attorney for Amber Frey. It's always good talking with you.
Nancy, are they going to paint the bleak picture here?
GRACE: Oh, they certainly are. Amber Frey will be dragged through the mud and ...
KING: Would you do that if you were a defense attorney? Wouldn't you do that if, if that's a strong witness against your client?
GRACE: Larry, I made a conscious decision many, many years ago to never to be a defense attorney because I don't want to do things like that. I don't want money earned from doing that kind of a tactic in a courtroom. So, no. I would not consider it.
However, when Amber takes the stand, she knows this is going to happen. We've heard Gloria Allred over and over say how courageous Amber is. A lot of people toss that aside. But when you are about to go into a court of law against somebody like Johnnie or like Mark Geragos, who you know is a master in the courtroom, she's going to be carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey. There's no two ways about it.
But all that matters is what Scott said to her regarding Laci and Conner, the search effort and whether he knew anything about the disappearance.
KING: Johnnie -- her background, Johnnie, doesn't matter?.
COCHRAN: It does matter an awful lot, Larry. That's how you determine -- you know -- you know, as good as Nancy is, she can't tell when somebody is telling the truth. You test them. You test their recollection. You look at their background...
GRACE: Like Scott Peterson?
COCHRAN: You look at whether she's taping anything. You tape these people. What you do is you test everything about them. And she knows that.
And by the way, you know, one of the great things in America is the fact that we have people who defend the liberties of all Americans. You know, some of those charged with crimes.
GRACE: And I want you to.
COCHRAN: And you know what? And I want you to do that sometime, too, Nancy. It's a very, very healthy and learning experience.
No, but, Larry, -- no, it really is important. You don't have to be -- you don't have to be nasty about it. But I think he has to do a job for his client to find out. You don't just accept what a witness says. You test it to see if it makes any sense, because that's ultimately going to the test. And this may be the time to do that, Larry, because at the time of trial, you may be more gentle. Here there's only a judge. He's probably going to be bound over anyway. So you go after and find out what took place.
KING: Jeanine Pirro, you have an interesting comment, and I want Chris to comment on it, which is -- I thought Geragos had a gag order, right?
PIRRO: Yes. You know what? (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I hear him every time going to break. I mean, last I heard, there was a gag order in this case. Why is Geragos so free in talking to the press every time he sees a microphone? He walks up to it and talks about this case.
There is a sanction. I mean, he tried to gag Gloria Allred. She's not even an attorney in the case and the judge said Gloria wasn't covered. So why is he doing what he wanted to stop someone else from doing?
KING: Chris Pixley?
PIXLEY: Simple. Simple. The gag order says that he can make reference to matters of public record in this case. This court proceeding is a matter of public record. What he can't speak to is the weight of the evidence, and he has not spoken to the weight of the evidence.
PIRRO: Then why isn't the prosecutor speaking here?
PIXLEY: Well, I think that they've done so much speaking through the press with all of these leaks about blood and vomit on a mop that was actually never found in the home, and all of the stories that have come out for the last six, eight, 10 months...
PIRRO: I don't think there's proof of that, Chris.
PIXLEY: ...that aren't out there.
Well, that story came from somewhere. And again, it didn't come from the defense.
KING: Well, let me ask Ted Rowlands. What about that strange story about the person breaking into the house and putting on Laci's wedding dress? What is that?
ROWLANDS: Well, the surveillance camera of course, possibly recorded that burglary which happened in January, and the defense really wants to see whether or not that was recorded on any of these tapes, because it was such a bizarre incident, which, most likely has absolutely nothing to do with this case, but because it is so bizarre, they want to get as much information as they can.
Apparently, this woman, who was a neighbor of the Petersons, was to just watch the dog, Mckenzie, while Scott was out of town. Well, she ended up breaking some glass, going into the house. She stole some photographs, a video camera, some Christmas presents, a couple of Laci's sweaters. And then, the most bizarre thing, according to people who are familiar with her testimony to police, she draped herself in Laci's wedding dress and was on the bed -- Laci and Scott's bed for whatever reason. The defense wants. obviously, some more information about this and whether or not this will play to a jury as more than confusion. Who knows? i
But it's another bizarre, bizarre part of this bizarre case.
KING: When we come back, we'll ask Dr. Robi Ludwig, the psychologist who analyzed some of the things we've heard about this, and then go back to calls for our panel.
Don't go away.
KING: Let's spend a few moments with Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychologist and frequent Court TV commentator. Just analyze some things. Assuming that Scott's -- the remarks that Scott told Amber on December 9 that his wife was dead and Christmas is going to be the first major holiday without her...
KING: If that's true -- and again, this is if, because all this is spec, what does that say to you psychologically?
LUDWIG: This is not a good thing for him, because at the very least, he's saying he very much likes the idea of being a widower and at the very least, likes the idea -- and of course you can't convict a man if his wish comes true -- but it raise the question if I were on the jury, I would want to know, was this premeditated in some way? Was he so intrigued of being free from hid marriage that he would go to the extent of murdering his wife?
KING: And what about continuing to call her after the -- call Amber Frey after the disappearance?
LUDWIG: And also, that says something about his character. There is a missing piece. Clearly, this guy is not grieving. He's not behaving the way somebody who potentially lost his wife would behave. I mean, very often, they is sadness and grief and wanting to hang on to your wife's clothes or some type of object to link you to them. This guy seemed quite happy. He was very happy to call his girlfriend. He doesn't seem disturbed by the idea at all.
KING: All right. Now, could it be possible, just possible that he is bipolar, that he has some sort of a mental difficulty that causes him not to do things that you would say someone should do?
LUDWIG: Well, first of all, bipolar disorder is a mood disorder. If you have bipolar disorder, it doesn't mean you would do things that are illegal or murderous. I just means you have very high, highs and a low, lows.
KING: Could there be something that -- he just doesn't do things that other do them, it doesn't make him a murderer?
LUDWIG: I suppose that is possible.
KING: It makes him a cad but not a murderer?
LUDWIG: OK, right. But it says something about his character, Larry. Like, what is up with this guy? And what we do know about husbands who murder their wives is that they fantasize a lot about it a head of time and they really love the idea. And the difference between somebody who kills and doesn't kill is that they're impulsive and don't have the ability to have a lot of self control.
KING: Thank you, Dr. Robi Ludwig. We'll be calling on you again. The psychologist and frequent commentator for Court TV.
Is that true, Johnnie? Doesn't his character count, assuming these things are true?
COCHRAN: I think, you know, his character, it's a two-edged sword, Larry. You have to be careful. You introduce evidence of good character, the prosecutor may be able to counter balance that. I mean, I think you have to address these issues. You know, as we said many times, this is a circumstantial evidence case, Larry. And unless these proved circumstances point inextricably only to guilt, you know, a defendant would be entitled to an acquittal if they point equally to guilt and innocence.
So, we've got to look at this from the standpoint of addressing the case from that standpoint. There may not be any direct evidence. There is no one pointing and saying I saw Scott Peterson do this. So, with regard to character, you have to be very careful. Certainly, inferentially, his family can testify about certain things and answer certain questions. But, you do have to be careful because you may open the door and don't want to do that to bad character.
KING; Nancy, does bad character mean murder?
GRACE: Well, obviously not. And Johnnie is saying, well, there's no eyewitness. Hey, the state may not need an eyewitness, Johnnie Cochran. They may just use Scott Peterson's words alone.
For instance, he allegedly told Amber Frey on tape, on tape, on tape, when she said, listen, buddy, did you have anything to do with this disappearance or not? He says, no, but I know who did. If he did know that, Johnnie can you think of any explanation that's innocent as to why he wouldn't tell police who murdered and killed his little boy and why?
COCHRAN: That's speculation. I don't know if that happened or not. We'll have to wait and see.
PIRRO: Let's assume that she has a tape recording of that. And in his words, he says, I know and when I see you, I'll tell you. How do you defend that?
COCHRAN: With a lot of difficulty, I must say. A lot of difficulty. He says, when I see you, I'll tell you. That's will the of difficulty. That's not a normal response. I mean, the first to admit it. So the question is, is it taped or does she have to say that? Is there real proof of that. And that's going to be a very interesting point to see. I can't wait.
KING: Chris, is a lot of this stuff we know only through innuendo? We don't know, know?
PIXLEY: Absolutely. We don't know about that and that's why Johnnie makes a great point. Listen, it's still got to come out. But let's say it does come out. Everyone's challenging the defense to come up with an explanation. There are so many explanations.
Remember, Kurt McAllister was hired and he had investigators on this case within two weeks of the disappearance. By the time Scott had the conversation, and we don't know the date of the conversation right now, it may very well be that the investigators believed that Laci was dead and they thought they had leads to who was responsible.
The other fact of the matter is, when your wife missing, after she's been for 30 days, you're well versed in what the statistics are on somebody coming back. That's why Elizabeth Smart's case is extraordinary, because it doesn't happen.
GRACE: 30 days?
PIXLEY: People don't come back after 30 days.
GRACE: Larry, within 24 hours after Laci's disappearance, Scott was already asking police were they using the cadaver dogs. All right? Less than 24 hours. That came out in court, sworn testimony.
Also coming out in court just recently is a secret mailbox that he rented the day his wife went missing so none of the mail, none of this correspondence to Amber or whoever coming to his home for someone to intercept. What I'm saying is brick by brick, the state is building a wall. Hey, guys, this is just the prelim. This is just a tiny tidbit of what's going to come at trial.
KING: Ted, when does this end, by the way?
ROWLANDS: Well, we asked Mark Geragos that at the end of his conversation today and he shrugged his shoulders and said that's up to the prosecution. Of course, this was supposed to be five days maximum and we're into day eight and still no clear sign of when this is going to wrap up. So, conventional wisdom is through the rest of this week and most likely into next week.
KING: We'll be back some more moments with this panel and more of the phone calls. Tomorrow night, Kobe takes front stage. As his prelims get set to go in Colorado.
KING: Next Monday night, her only live appearance, Jessica Lynch with your phone calls. Monday night.
Let's go to calls here. Coleman, Alabama, hello.
CALLER: Yes. Nancy, I was wondering if Laci...
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: If Laci was supposed to have brunch with her mother on the 24th, was she concerned when -- did she try to contact Laci in any way if she didn't show up, and why would Laci be walking the dog at 9:30, or between 9:30 and 10:30 if she was supposed to be having brunch with her mother?
GRACE: Well, what my understanding is is that they were all supposed to have dinner. I think on the stand, one of the detectives alluded to brunch or dinner. It was dinner that they were supposed to have with her family the night of the 24th. So the mom didn't realize anything was wrong until Scott Peterson called and said, Laci's missing. So, there was no brunch.
Back to 9:30 in the morning, here's what Steven Otter (ph), we now find out that the day Laci went missing, Scott Peterson tells police he left her around 9:30 in the morning, eight months pregnant, mopping the floor in her diamond necklace, diamond earrings, diamond bracelet and diamond ring. Go figure.
KING: Jefferson, Louisiana, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. I want to thank you for being the voice for all of us who are not defense attorneys. I heard reports several months ago that the feds were investigating the possibility that Scott Peterson's company was a front for a drug making ring. Because a lot of the same chemicals he used. Could this be the reason for the DEA surveillance?
GRACE: Could be. But I think the real reason for the DEA surveillance is they do have that surveillance equipment. It's very easy for them to prop it up. I heard the same rumors, the same rumors apply to Scott Peterson, but we have heard so little about it. I have got a feeling it would be out there if it were true.
KING: Johnny, in defense of defense attorneys, they get rapped a little, if someone gets charged with something, suddenly they like them.
COCHRAN: They certainly do. And you know, the question is, who are you going to call? And I think that under the Constitution, you know, you have a right, you know, to be defended by -- of course, the best lawyer you can get, obviously, but also there is something called the Constitution, which says, you know, in this country you're presumed to be innocent until the contrary is proven.
And I really -- you know, I very much appreciate Nancy's role, but I hope the people also appreciate the role of defense lawyers like Chris Pixley. They do an outstanding job of, you know, representing their clients to the best of the ability, you know, day in and day out, whether it's popular for not. That's what makes America great. That separates us from all the other countries you see, because you're entitled to a trial, you're entitled to cross-examination, you're entitled to all of these things, and I think it makes America so very great. Right, Nancy?
KING: Vancouver, British Columbia, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
CALLER: Thanks for taking my call.
CALLER: This is for Nancy. Nancy, was Amber Frey ever given a polygraph test, and if she has been, given one, why don't they let it come forward if she's telling the truth? Thank you.
GRACE: It's my understanding she has taken a polygraph and she passed the polygraph. And that was done before she ever made her first public appearance along with Modesto police. I guarantee you, if she would go along with it, police strapped her into a poly, step one.
KING: Would you all agree with that, would you agree with that, Chris?
PIXLEY: That Amber...
KING: The poly?
PIXLEY: ... if she's willing -- yes, oh, I do. And my understanding is just as Nancy stated, that she did, in fact, take a polygraph test. And I think that's appropriate. I mean, if she's the other woman, one of the first things the state wanted to check into was whether or not she had any role potentially in Laci's disappearance. The interesting thing is, she still has counsel, months and months later, when everyone including apparently the defense has ruled out any possible role that she had in Laci's disappearance.
GRACE: So then, Chris, then, Chris, you agree that there's an issue that makes sense in looking into whether or not she may have had something to do with Laci's disappearance? And if that is true, then it would seem that Scott Peterson, if he were truly interested in Laci and what happened to her, then he would have turned Amber in and said, you know what? I was having an affair with this woman, look at her, maybe she was involved in Laci's disappearance. He knew that she wasn't. He never mentioned her name, and he didn't care.
PIXLEY: Well, he was confronted with it within a few days of Laci's disappearance. And again, you have got to remember, when he was asked the question initially, the point that everyone's made is Scott lied to the police. He didn't tell them about it. If Scott had nothing to do with Laci's disappearance and he wants her back, he doesn't necessarily want to reveal to the police and the world the fact that he is involved in a hidden, secret affair.
PIRRO: But he would want the police to look into any potential suspects, and if Amber is interested in him, he should have turned her in and said, by the way, there's a woman I've been seeing and maybe she's responsible for Laci's disappearance.
PIXLEY: Don't you think it's more reasonable on the evening of December 24 that he thinks maybe his wife has passed out somewhere. She's eight months pregnant. Maybe she's just missing. Maybe she went off with a friend and they're going to find her and they're not -- and the police just don't need to know and he doesn't need to open up this whole can of worms. He was hiding it, too.
KING: We'll try to squeeze another call in. Morris, Illinois, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. Thank you for taking my call. This question is for Nancy. Thank you, Nancy, for representing victims, and for Chris Pixley. Is there anyone in your wildest imaginations, either one of you, who could be responsible for this crime, other than Scott Peterson?
GRACE: In my wildest imaginations? Well, mine are grounded in logic, and the evidence that I have seen so far. All that could change at the time of trial. We may find out evidence from the defense that could exonerate Peterson. Do I think so? No. From what I see, Peterson is the only logical choice.
PIXLEY: In my wildest imagination, yes. There's a possibility of that. But again, the situation that we have and the rules that we operate under are that the prosecution has to prove that Scott Peterson, in fact, committed this crime. The evidence, the physical evidence, we know, is not there. The how, when and where of Laci's death will never be there. they're riding -- it's all riding for the prosecution on the why of the murder, and that's the Amber motive right now, and I don't think it's enough to convict a man and send him to the gas chamber.
KING: Thank you all very much. Ted Rowlands, thanks. And Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Johnny Cochran, Judge Pirro, we'll see you tomorrow. Thanks as always as we looked at the Kobe Bryant matter. We'll tell you more about that when I come back. We thank Ted Rowlands, Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Johnny Cochran and Judge Jeanine Pirro for staying on top of this scene so well for us as they do so often. We'll be right back.
KING: First big hearing in the Kobe trial is tomorrow, and we'll discuss it tomorrow night. That's in Colorado, Kobe Bryant. And Monday night, live interview with your phone calls for Jessica Lynch.
Sitting in again for Aaron Brown tonight, the host of "NEWSNIGHT" is my old and dear friend, one of the most venerable reporters in the history of journalism and a man with whom no one can match his first name, my man, the Wolf man, Mr. B.
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