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Interview With Sharon Rocha

Aired January 9, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, Laci Peterson's mother Sharon Rocha on the daughter she lost and the man who's now on death row for killing her and her unborn son, Laci's husband Scott Peterson, an intense emotional hour with Laci Peterson's mom Sharon Rocha in her first live prime-time one-on-one. We'll take some phone calls too. It's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. There's an extraordinary new book out simply titled "For Laci." The subtitle is "A Mother's Story of Love, Loss and Justice." The author is the mother of the late Laci Peterson, Sharon Rocha. The book is published by Crown. Why did you write it?

SHARON ROCHA, LACI PETERSON'S MOTHER: I felt there was a need to talk about Laci. I think Laci's been a little forgotten and overlooked in all of this and also just to set the record straight. There's been a lot of misconceptions and misinformation, so this is an opportunity to set the record straight.

KING: Was it also good for you? Was it cathartic to get it out?

ROCHA: In a sense but it definitely wasn't therapeutic for me.


ROCHA: No. I didn't realize just how difficult it would be to write this. I thought I could do it when I started but as time went on it just became harder and harder, more difficult.

KING: What was this Christmas like? What was this the fourth Christmas?

ROCHA: This was the third Christmas.

KING: She was killed on Christmas right?

ROCHA: Christmas Eve.

KING: Yes, so this would -- and that was four Christmases ago.

ROCHA: Right, it was. The first Christmas obviously we didn't have a Christmas and this Christmas actually I thought it was more difficult than the past two years. Other family members felt the same.

KING: Because? ROCHA: I think because we had the preliminary hearing the first year and then the end of the trial last year and I think it was because we were always occupied, you know, something to distract us.

KING: Some people, Sharon, when tragedy happens like to let it go away. You attended the trial, why?

ROCHA: I felt I had to be there. I had to know what happened to Laci. I know many people think that we knew everything that had transpired. We didn't. We learned so much of it during the trial just like everybody else did.

KING: Wasn't it doubly painful to sit there?

ROCHA: It was -- it was painful. It was extremely difficult but that was the only way I was going to be able to find out to get the information was hearing it firsthand.

KING: So it was something you had to do?

ROCHA: I had to do it, yes.

KING: Let's talk about Laci growing up. What kind of -- her pictures are adorable and that smile was there from what birth?

ROCHA: Absolutely.

KING: What kind of kid was she?

ROCHA: Well, she was just like her pictures. She was all smiles. She was a lot of fun. She was giggly and bubbly and just always coming up with something. I mean she was just a funny person. I just really enjoyed being around her, being with her.

KING: She was raised a lot by her stepfather as well right?

ROCHA: Yes with Ron, yes that's correct.

KING: And is her biological father close to her too? Was he close to her?

ROCHA: yes, he was. He was.

KING: And you all know each other right?

ROCHA: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. It's like one big family.

KING: And she had a boyfriend once that also got into trouble right?

ROCHA: Yes, her high school boyfriend.

KING: He's in jail?

ROCHA: He's -- that's what I've read he's in jail. He's in prison now himself. KING: Boy, what a life you've had.

ROCHA: Actually we didn't even know about that until after Laci had disappeared so she hasn't, to my knowledge hadn't talked to him since they broke up.

KING: When Laci -- did she date a lot in high school? Was she one of the popular girls at school?

ROCHA: She didn't date so much. Actually, she had dated Kent. She met him when she was a sophomore in high school and dated him the remainder of her high school and she had another boyfriend before Kent. She had lots of boy friends but as far as dating a lot she had a steady boyfriend regularly like I said, the first one and then the second one.

KING: So, she didn't hop around?

ROCHA: No, she didn't.

KING: Tell me about first meeting Scott, how she first met him and how you met him.

ROCHA: She met him at the cafe that he worked at in Morro Bay and she had gone there with her neighbor who it was either her boyfriend or her husband worked there at the time and that's where Laci saw Scott, first saw him. And then the next time she went back she actually wrote her phone number down and had her friend give it to her boyfriend of husband.

KING: She liked him?

ROCHA: She liked him. She was impressed with him.

KING: And they started to date?

ROCHA: They started to date.

KING: And you liked him.

ROCHA: I liked him when I first met him. I absolutely liked him. She called me and said "Oh, mom, you have to meet this guy" you know and she's on and on and on, so I finally went to San Luis Obispo and we arrived a little early for our dinner reservation at the cafe.

So, we walked along Embarcadero and went in to some of the shops. Then when we came back to the cafe he greeted us outside with a huge grin on his face and Laci introduced us. And, prior to them getting married I was always Mrs. Rocha. He was very well mannered, very polite and then after they were married I was mom.

KING: Mom. And did you feel toward him like a son?

ROCHA: I did. Absolutely, I did.

KING: So, when she got -- it was a glorious marriage. It was happy. When she got pregnant this was joy?

ROCHA: For her it was, yes. I was a little concerned because in October of 2000 they had -- well they had moved to Modesto in June of 2000 and in October they bought their home and had a housewarming.

And, on the day of the housewarming her brother and his wife announced that they were going to have a baby. Well, Laci was really upset about it because she -- she and Rose had planned to have their babies at the same time, so she was really disappointed that she wasn't pregnant.

Later that evening after everyone had gone home, she called me and she was crying. She was really, really upset. And, I told her not to worry, you know, her time was going to come and that's when she told me that Scott had said that he didn't think he wanted to have children. Of course that concerned me because we'd had conversations before in his presence or they had had conversations in my presence about having children.

KING: So then it shocked you?

ROCHA: It did. It really surprised me.

KING: But then she got pregnant.

ROCHA: Well, then she went on to say that not only did she -- that he didn't think he wanted to have children, she also said that he didn't want to. So, I was -- I was really upset about that knowing that he knew how she felt about having children.

And then it was about a month or so later, it was around Thanksgiving time she and I were in the kitchen preparing dinner when she told me that she's going to stop taking birth control pills in December. Well, that surprised me because it had only been a month ago that Scott didn't want to have children.

So, we had a conversation about that and I said, "Are you sure? Are both of you absolutely sure because you can't put the baby back once he's here"? Well, it was an it at that time. It was nothing at that time. And she said, yes, that they had talked about it and they were ready that Scott was ready also.

KING: The book is "For Laci." The guest is Sharon Rocha. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be right back.


KING: Our guest is Sharon Rocha. The book is "For Laci." Laci gets pregnant. They check it out. It's going to be a boy. They prenamed it Conner. He's building a nursery in the house. Does he appear very happy?

ROCHA: He didn't seem to be unhappy except for on June 9th when she discovered that she was pregnant they were at our house and that's when Scott was sitting at one end of the table and Laci and I were standing up and Laci had mentioned that Scott was having a midlife crisis and I asked why?

I looked at Scott and he was, you know, obviously not very happy at the moment. And, Laci said, "Oh, he's having that crisis because he's turning 30 and becoming a father all in the same year."

Well, I looked over at him and I said, jokingly I said, "Oh, get over it." I said, "Thirty is not midlife and becoming a father is supposed to be a great time."

KING: When Laci went missing did you fear the worst?

ROCHA: I did.

KING: Because?

ROCHA: Hindsight always, you know, is much easier but as I look back at it I realize when he had called me and asked if Laci was at my house and told me that when he got home the car was in the driveway and McKenzie (ph), the dog, was in the backyard with is leash on and Laci was missing. I remember when he said missing I remember thinking to myself missing, what do you mean missing? You know that's not a word you use.

KING: You say usually not home.

ROCHA: Right or I can't find her. I don't know where she is. And, it's odd how you remember certain things but I can remember feeling a little irritated hearing him say that. But I thought, you know, she's not missing. She's at a friend's house or someplace around and that's what I told him, you know, check with her friends. I'm sure she's with somebody.

But looking back and I realize that I was the first person he called, the only person he called to begin with and he was already telling me that she was missing instead of checking with the hospital (INAUDIBLE).

KING: But still you stood up for him. Still you had faith.

ROCHA: I did. I did.

KING: Your public -- your early public statements were very supportive.

ROCHA: I did.

KING: I think you said you loved him.

ROCHA: I did. I absolutely did. I believed in him. It was really difficult as time went on when I did start having my suspicions.

KING: Was it the infidelities that changed you?

ROCHA: No, not at all. I didn't even know about the infidelities. KING: What changed you?

ROCHA: Scott did.


ROCHA: His actions or lack of, his behavior. I kept -- I would go back and forth all of the time. I was looking at the Scott I knew before December 24th and the Scott I'm looking at now. That's one of the reasons it was really difficult for me. I kept looking for -- of course I didn't want him to be responsible.

KING: Was there a day where you said...

ROCHA: I can't say that there was a specific day that made me feel that way. I can say there was a specific day that confirmed my suspicions...

KING: And that was?

ROCHA: ...and that was January 15th.

KING: Because?

ROCHA: When we met with the detectives.

KING: Did your husband share the same view immediately?

ROCHA: Actually, I found out later that Ron actually suspected Scott sooner.

KING: Sooner?


KING: The most puzzling thing in all of this is why? As they said there is divorce. What do you think happened? Do you think it was preplanned? Do you think he...

ROCHA: I do think it was premeditated. I do. I don't know why. I've read, I mean I've heard Scott described as being a sociopath and I've read that many sociopaths can go on for years and years and years undetected and then once they're backed in to a corner that's when they might do something.

And, I actually feel like he may have been backed in the corner on December 6th when John Sibley confronted him about being married and he wanted to tell Amber himself. She said if he didn't that she would. And, I've often wondered if that was his corner.

KING: Because a lot of people think was it an argument?

ROCHA: I don't believe it was.

KING: He had an accident and then he didn't know -- he panicked. ROCHA: I think so, not the panic part but I think that -- I think it was premeditated because on the 7th was when he started searching the Internet for the currents and the tides in the bay.

KING: So, he had to be a sociopath with no conscience.


KING: And when I do it, it isn't wrong because if it was an accident, let's take they were fighting and she hit her head, call the police.

ROCHA: Absolutely, absolutely, yes.

KING: What was it like for you the day you knew, when they found the body, the worst nightmare of a parent?

ROCHA: Actually, the day Laci was found I did -- I had been feeling very strange that day, you know, I knew -- I knew. When I heard the footsteps walking up to my front door I knew somebody was coming to tell me that Laci had been found, so I didn't answer the door. Then they went into the backyard and looked at me through the slider so I couldn't hide any longer but I -- I just knew. I knew (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Do you think a lot about what her final minutes might have been?

ROCHA: Yes, I do.

KING: It would drive me nuts.

ROCHA: I think about it all the time, all of the time. I just hope that -- that she wasn't aware.

KING: She loved him right?

ROCHA: She loved him with all of her heart. Scott was her world.

KING: Was he building a nursery?


KING: That was a mis-story?

ROCHA: Right. That was one of those. He put together the crib. There was nothing to build in the nursery. You know there were a couple of shelves in the wall and he was supposed to -- she had a dresser that he was going to convert into a dressing table but that never took place.

And the reason for that was because she had told me at one time that, you know, things were a little tight at that time so she wasn't going to buy a dressing table. KING: I'll ask you what it was like for you when you heard about Amber and sitting in the courtroom and listening to that and tapes and what you had to go through. The book is "For Laci." Sharon Rocha is the guest. We will be including your phone calls. We'll be right back.



ROCHA: I love my daughter so much. I miss her every minute of every day. My heart aches for her and Conner. I literally get sick to my stomach when I allow myself to think about what may have happened to them. No parent should ever have to think about the way their child was murdered.


KING: How did you deal with all that press stuff? It had to be totally new to you.

ROCHA: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. In the beginning I just kind of went along because we wanted to find Laci, you know, whatever it took for people to see her face and to look for her.

KING: Hum.

ROCHA: Actually it hasn't really been a big problem for me except for the times when things were just reported just completely inaccurately.

KING: And there was a lot of those huh?

ROCHA: There were many of those.

KING: Do you dislike Mr. Geragos or was he...

ROCHA: I can't say I dislike him.

KING: Was he just doing the job?

ROCHA: He was doing his job. I dislike the job he had to do.

KING: Yes. Are there times you almost think you see her?

ROCHA: Yes, yes.

KING: See a little girl walking down the street.

ROCHA: Yes. I saw her riding her bike when she was about nine years old one evening.

KING: You mean a recent evening.

ROCHA: That was -- that was probably about two or three months after she had gone missing. A month after she had gone missing I walked into her house one evening and I saw her on the sofa. She turned around and said "Hi, mom."

KING: Do you hate Scott Peterson?

ROCHA: I have no feelings at all for Scott Peterson for the Scott Peterson that's in prison. I feel that that Scott Peterson murdered my son-in-law also.

KING: Really?


KING: Do you want him to die?

ROCHA: I want him to feel the pain that he has inflicted on all of us. I want him to pay for what he has done.

KING: Do you think he does feel it?

ROCHA: No, I don't.

KING: Did he look at you in court?

ROCHA: Only when he had to.

KING: You mean for the jury.

ROCHA: The only time that he looked at me was when I testified during the penalty phase and that was only after I thought I said it normally but learned later I shouted it when I said divorce is always an option, not murder. After that he did look at me.

And the reason I was so angry with him is because he wouldn't look at me. I was sitting there, you know, talking about Laci, how much I missed her, what he had done to her and he would not even acknowledge that I was in the room.

KING: Was he always so stoic, I mean his face is hard to read?

ROCHA: No, I thought I knew Scott. I mean we got along great. I loved Scott. He was my son-in-law.

KING: Had a nice personality.

ROCHA: Yes. We had fun together. He and Laci and I would play games together. We did things together.

KING: Did you like his parents?

ROCHA: I had met Jackie and Lee a few times and, yes, I did like his parents. His brothers and their wives and his sister and her husband I met at their wedding, so I had only met them one time prior to this.

KING: When Amber testified and you heard all this, these conversations, what went through you?

ROCHA: Actually, it was more the tapes that we listened to, listening to Scott saying all of these lies, just outrageous lies.

KING: "I'm in Paris."

ROCHA: "I'm in Paris," you know, listening to the American music, the pop music when he was, in fact, standing right there in the park with the rest of us getting ready for candlelight vigil on New Year's Eve evening. It was just -- it was disgusting.

I think the one that literally took my breath away was when I heard him interpreting a poem that he had read to Amber and his interpretation of hands around your waist were like, you know, like anchors for people. When I heard the word anchors, I thought I was going to throw up. It just made me think of what he did to Laci.

KING: When the jury came in did you fear the worst?

ROCHA: When they came in with the verdict?

KING: Decision, did any part of you think, oh, it might be no guilty?

ROCHA: Oh, yes I did. My first thought was, as I was getting ready that morning, I had just gotten out of the shower when Burgett Flattiger called me to tell me the jury had reached a verdict and I think I started hyperventilating. I mean I was just so nervous at the time. I honestly felt that there would not be an acquittal. I thought possibly a hung jury but I really did not believe that jury was going to acquit him.

KING: Because of the one juror leaving?

ROCHA: No, no. I just felt that there was enough. I had watched the jury. I had watched the jury from day one and when Craig Grogan testified, who Craig as far as I'm concerned was the star witness of this trial, he brought everything together for the jury and you could see that on their faces.

They paid attention. It was like they were saying, oh, this is what we've been listening to all of this time. Now it's coming together. And once he had testified, I just knew there was not going to be an acquittal.

KING: When it was (INAUDIBLE) guilty was it a relief?

ROCHA: It was a tremendous relief. As far as I was concerned the trial was over. I didn't even care about the penalty phase. I cared about nothing else.

KING: If they'd had said life that would have been OK too?

ROCHA: Either way would have been fine. As far as I'm concerned life or death it's death in prison. He's received the death penalty.

KING: We'll be right back with Sharon Rocha, a very brave lady, author of an extraordinary book with a lot of terrific pictures. It's "For Laci, A Mother's Story of Love, Loss and Justice." It's available everywhere now. I saw it at Borders today, selling. We'll be right back with your calls for Sharon Rocha. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Sharon Rocha, Laci Peterson's mother, the author of the new memoir, "For Laci: A mother's story of love, loss and justice." We'll be taking your phone calls.

What do you make, by the way, of the Natalee Holloway thing?

ROCHA: Oh, that's just devastating. I can -- I feel for her. I mean, the months that Laci was missing they were just unbearable. So I feel for her.

KING: Now tell me about

ROCHA: Actually, is a web site that was set up for Laci for any information from the very beginning.

KING: So you can still go to that?

ROCHA: That's still up and running, yes.

KING: And then there's another. We have an e-mail thing, right?

ROCHA: That's correct. That's for the new Laci and Conner search and rescue fund.

KING: Called

ROCHA: That's correct. That's the email address for it.

KING: And the phone number is 209-527-laci. And what does that do?

ROCHA: My motivation for that was we were sitting in the courtroom, I was talking to Craig Grogan, and the dog handlers were testifying. And I had asked Craig if they were still looking for Laci. For the rest of Laci, I'll say.

And he told me at that time, no, because they were actually out of funds to pay the dog handlers. And they do this out of pocket or by donations. And that's when I decided to set up a search and rescue fund for law enforcement and other...

KING: For future?

ROCHA: That's correct. And for non-profit search and rescue organizations.

KING: That's The phone number 209- 527-Laci. Or you can go online, We'll include some phone calls for Sharon Rocha. The book is "For Laci."

Woodbridge, Virginia. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. KING: Hi.

CALLER: Sharon, I have a question for you.


CALLER: At any time did you get a chance to confront Scott face to face? If so, what did you say to him and what was his response?

ROCHA: Actually, are you asking after I realized that he was actually responsible?

KING: Yes.

ROCHA: No, there was no face-to-face confrontation. I would say the only time would have been in the courtroom when I gave my victim's impact statement.

KING: So you never bumped into each other walking out of the courtroom or him going out?

ROCHA: No. He was always taken out a different...

KING: What if he called you?

ROCHA: If he called me, I probably right now I could say I wouldn't want to talk to him. There's nothing I have to say to him because there's nothing I would believe he would have to say to me.

KING: Do you believe he's a pathological liar?

ROCHA: I learned he is.

KING: Vancouver, hello.

CALLER: Sharon, as horrible as this is to think about, how do you think Scott killed your daughter?

ROCHA: I really don't know. I don't know. I was told that there's a possibility that possibly he drugged her first, and then possibly suffocated her. But nobody really knows.

KING: You would hope that.

ROCHA: I would hope that, that she didn't know anything.

KING: Did you ever see any violence in him? Quick to anger in him? Did you ever see him act in a really like quickly hostile manner?

ROCHA: There's only two times -- well, really only one time, you know, quickly, like you spoke. And that was on January 7th when he and his parents were at our house for dinner. And...

KING: After she went missing? ROCHA: After she went missing. It was Ron and I and Jackie and Lee and Scott. And there was a program on television and the guest speaker had said something to the effect that it's usually the husband is the one who's usually responsible or has murdered the spouse.

And he became very angry at that, stood up and started pacing back and forth and shouting and ranting and saying, you know, I want the number, I want their number, I'm going to call them. Finally, his mom calmed him down and he sat back down, and that was the last I ever heard of it.

KING: What did you make of the couple of interviews that he did?

ROCHA: I thought they were very telling. I don't believe that he told Laci about Amber. I don't believe that for a minute. He said that he had told the police about Amber immediately. Of course we learned later that didn't happen.

KING: How do you think Amber would have handled that?

ROCHA: Which part?

KING: If she knew about--how would Laci have handled it if she knew about Amber?

ROCHA: Oh, I think she would have been devastated. I think any one of us would have known just by her personality, by her attitude. And nobody saw, you know, any significant change in her attitude or that there was ever any problem.

KING: Yes, it has to be asked. How do you ever really get over this?

ROCHA: You don't get over it.

KING: Think about her every day?

ROCHA: I think about her every day, every single day. I think you learn to live with it. But I can't say that I don't -- I'll never get over it.

KING: What do you think of the way the prosecution handled it and the police?

ROCHA: I think they did a terrific job. They were wonderful with us. They worked 24-seven trying to find the person who did this to Laci. And then trying to find Laci. We couldn't have asked for a better group of people.

KING: And you were happy with the way they conducted the trial?

ROCHA: Yes. Yes, I am.

KING: Were there days you ever felt it was going badly?

ROCHA: In the beginning there were some concerns. KING: They started roughly, right?

ROCHA: Yes, there were a few concerns. But they knew what they were doing. We didn't. We'd never experienced anything like this before, of course. But they had their plan and they stuck to their plan.

KING: Was your husband angrier than you, more publicly angry? It seemed that way just as a viewer. You seemed to be more settled.

ROCHA: I don't know. It's as though I kind of go someplace else there to kind of control that.

KING: You do, don't you?

ROCHA: I think so. I do.

KING: Ron doesn't?

ROCHA: No, he shows his feelings about it and understandably so. I don't know why I'm not -- well, I'm certainly not that way in private. That's my time to be able to let it out.

KING: We'll be right back with Sharon Rocha, and we'll go to more phone calls. The book is "For Laci: A Mother's Story of Love, Loss and Justice." Don't go away.



GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: His name is forever joined with that of his mom in this statue, which is also known as Laci and Conner's law. All who knew Laci Peterson have mourned two deaths. And the law cannot look away and pretend there was just one.


KING: That law says what?

ROCHA: That's a federal law. And anyone who murders a fetus intentionally -- I mean, in the course of a crime -- can be prosecuted for murder.

KING: By the way, Elizabeth Smart was found while they were looking for Laci, right?

ROCHA: That's correct.

KING: Did that build your hopes?

ROCHA: It did in the sense that even though in my heart I knew -- I knew that Scott was responsible. I knew that. But I remember calling Craig Crogan. Craig is the one I spent most of my time with. As far as the three detectives, the main detectives involved. I called him when I'd heard the news. I heard it on the radio. And I said to him, I know you expected this call. I had to call, I'm a mother. Is there any possibility there's a connection there? And they had already checked into it, and of course there wasn't.

KING: You spoke with Amber Frey?

ROCHA: Yes, I did.

KING: About?

ROCHA: Actually, we met twice. The first time was on January 25th. I spoke to her the night of January 24th after she had -- she did the press conference. I wanted to thank her for coming forward and doing that. I could tell she was scared to death. I talked to her on the phone that night. Then I met with her the next day.

KING: You didn't bear her any anger?

ROCHA: No. No. I believe that she didn't know that Scott was married at the time, when they met. I mean, it was obvious, listening to the lies that he told her.

KING: You confronted Scott on the phone, right?

ROCHA: Yes, I did.

KING: Is that the first time you said to him, I think you're responsible?

ROCHA: On January 16th, yes.

KING: How did you do that? Did you call him?

ROCHA: I called him. I just got to a point that I was just so angry. The night before and all that morning, I was just so devastated. That I finally reached a point, I was just angry.

And I wanted him to tell me where Laci was. I wanted to know where Laci was. I wanted her home. And I knew he knew where she was. Of course I did. He put her there.

KING: What did you say?

ROCHA: I asked him if he murdered Laci. And of course, he said no. A very unconvincing no. And I told him that I wanted to know where she was. Because I wanted to bring her home.

KING: Tampa, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Hi, how are you doing?

KING: Fine.

CALLER: Okay, the question is has anyone in the family heard from Scott via mail or has anyone visited him in jail? ROCHA: Not that I'm aware of.

KING: Nor do you expect to hear from him?

ROCHA: No, no.

KING: Reno, Nevada, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: Sharon, I would like to say that I think you are a real blessing. And a model for mothers. And my question is, are you taking care of yourself, and are you able to sleep at night?

ROCHA: Do I look like it? I try to. In the beginning, I don't think I slept the first month at all. Or ate. But as time has gone on, I've tried to get a little better at that. I haven't reached my goal yet by any means.

KING: You speak about the coverage. And the attention. And you say, I've never been able to fully understand why Laci's disappearance and murder captivated so many people. But I have my own theory. I believe that Laci wasn't going to allow Scott to get away with murder so she kept the spotlight shining down on him until he was convicted. Do you think it also had to do with that smile? And pregnant? And Christmas?

ROCHA: That's a possibility. I know we've received so many letters and cards from people. And so many people, men and women, have commented on how she just seemed like the person -- their daughter or their sister or their wife. And I think that may have had a lot to do with it.

KING: Do you have lots of memorabilia about her in the house?

ROCHA: I do. I do.

KING: That's important?

ROCHA: It is. It keeps her close to me.

KING: What about her room?

ROCHA: Well, we kind of did away with her room --

KING: When she got married?

ROCHA: After she went to college. And by the time she was married, yes.

KING: What college did she go to?

ROCHA: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. KING: We'll take a break. Before we take a break, let's check in with Anderson Cooper, the host of "AC 360." What's up tonight, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: At 10:00 eastern, we're keeping an eye on that developing story out of San Francisco about a possible bomb in a Starbucks bathroom. We're also going to take a look at a case out of South Carolina where a group of teens stand accused under state law of attempting to lynch another young man.

The accused are white, the defendant is black. You can imagine it has a lot of people up in arms. We'll bring you all the angles.

And Larry, new developments in the case against Andrea Yates, she is the woman convicted of drowning three of her children. She's getting a retrial. Today she entered a not guilty plea by reason of insanity. We'll have a conversation with her attorney about a possible plea deal they may be up for. You don't want to miss that at 10:00 eastern.

KING: That's an important story. The psychiatrist apparently testified without -- he discussed a "Law and Order" episode that never aired.

COOPER: Right.

KING: It will be a fascinating hour. Anderson Cooper, two hours. Anderson Cooper is yeoman-like. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" at the top of the hour. We'll be right back with Sharon Rocha. Don't go away.


BUSH: This act of Congress addresses tragic losses such as Sharon and Ron have known. They have laid to rest their daughter Laci, a beautiful young woman who was joyfully awaiting the arrival of a new son.

They have also laid to rest that child, a boy named Conner. Who was waiting to be born when his life too was taken. This little soul never saw light. But he was loved and he is remembered.


KING: We're back with Sharon Rocha. Psychics tried to help? Did you work with a psychic?

ROCHA: I didn't work with a psychic. What I wrote about was, we had an email address and they had received an email from someone who had read what a psychic had written. So I went online and I read what she had written.

KING: Telling you the location?

ROCHA: Yes. And she had written it on January 5th. That's why it was just really amazing to me. KING: She was right?

ROCHA: She was almost exactly where the doctors said that Laci would have been put into the water, or at least Conner would have been put into the water, for his body to have washed ashore where it did.

KING: How is Amy and Brent doing?

ROCHA: They're doing well, they're doing well. They're both back to work, working hard.

KING: Was this very rough for them?

ROCHA: It was very difficult. Very difficult for both of them.

KING: They're close siblings?

ROCHA: They are, they are. It was very difficult for Laci's dad.

KING: Oxford, Mississippi, hello.

CALLER: Hello. My question is, if Scott is indeed executed, would you like to be there to witness it?

ROCHA: Right now, I can honestly say no. I have no desire to be there. I don't know 20 years down the road, I might change my mind.

KING: There's no possibility of parole in this sentence, right?


KING: Williamsburg, Virginia, hello.

CALLER: Hi, my question is this -- how did you manage to uphold your dignity through this whole process that you shared through the whole ordeal?

ROCHA: Well, there were times I just didn't feel that way at all. But I guess I just needed to -- I did what I did for Laci. I wanted to make sure that she received her due justice.

KING: What was that like when you went to take items out of the house? And Scott's parents were there and there was a lot of hullabaloo in the media about that?

ROCHA: That actually happened, when his mom was there, that happened this year, actually. And of course, that was blown entirely way out of proportion as usual. But actually, that was probably the first time -- well, it was the first time that I actually confronted Jackie.

KING: You couldn't be mad at her, though, right? Or were you?

ROCHA: Well, yes, I could, because a lot of the things that she said and did over the last three years, or two and a half years at that time.

KING: She believed her son didn't do it, I guess it was.

ROCHA: Well, I can understand that. Nobody would certainly want to believe that. That really wasn't the problem that I had. It was other things that she had said and done.

KING: What's the hardest part every day?

ROCHA: Getting out of bed. And knowing that I'm never going to see Laci again.

KING: Do you think, and this would have to be a guess, do you think it's different because of the way she died, as opposed to if it had been a car accident? Still would have been your daughter, still would have been a death. This is only a guess.

ROCHA: Right, because I have nothing to compare it to. But maybe in one respect, but really, I mean, as far as being -- it's just as devastating. It would have been just as devastating for me. I think it is to any parent when you lose a child. It's just -- it's unbearable.

KING: You told me during a break that the No. 1 cause of the death of pregnant women is murder. And most of them by the father.

ROCHA: Right.

KING: More than gynecological reasons.

ROCHA: Right.

KING: Do we have any reason as to why? Any thoughts?

ROCHA: The article that I just told you about that I read yesterday had mentioned the same thing that I felt all along. And that is, the husband, boyfriend, father of the child, whatever, just doesn't want that child. They're not ready to have that child. Or they feel it's going to interrupt their lifestyle.

KING: Separate.

ROCHA: Get a divorce. Leave.

KING: That's legal.

ROCHA: That's legal, that's right.

KING: You ain't a prisoner.

ROCHA: There is no reason to murder our children. No reason for our daughters to be murdered.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Sharon Rocha. The book is "For Laci." Don't go away.


KING: The Web site is The phone number, 209- 527-LACI. Or you can go to Or to Sund/Carrington, that can post you too, right, for more information. You didn't know she kept a diary?

ROCHA: No, I didn't.

KING: Did you read it?

ROCHA: I did.

KING: What was that like for you?

ROCHA: It was very telling. I loved reading about how she felt about being pregnant. Her little experiences of when she first felt the baby kick.

KING: And you've brought a wrongful death suit, civil suit against Scott. What can that bring you?

ROCHA: Satisfaction. Actually, it was filed in December of 2003, because at that time, I think it was the previous year they had changed the laws and we weren't exactly sure how much time we had. Previously it had only been one year.

KING: As you know his personality, how do you think he's handling confinement?

ROCHA: I think he's probably withdrawn into himself. I mean, this is my own theory. I certainly don't know anything about it. But the way he has dealt with all of this, it's almost as though he's in another world.

He's just kind of withdrawn from reality. I mean, any -- I'm going to use the word normal person I would think would be -- have fear, if nothing else, of what's going to happen to them. But he seems to just live in a different world.

KING: So he's sort of like looking at it from outside the body, almost, in another place?

ROCHA: I think he's just built his own little world around him and that is his world, instead of reality.

KING: And he'll have proposals and somebody will want to marry him.

ROCHA: Oh, I'm sure.

KING: You're a tough lady. Thank you, Sharon.

ROCHA: Thank you very much.

KING: Sharon Rocha. The book is "For Laci." It's published by Crown. A mother's story of love, loss and justice. You can go to or 209-527-LACI. Or And we thank her very much. The book again is titled "For Laci." We'll be back again tomorrow night. Bill Maher is going to host on Friday night. And right now, we're going to take you across the hall, I think. Right down, around the corner. What floor are you on?

COOPER: I'm on the 7th floor.

KING: Yes, so am I.

COOPER: Are you?

KING: We're on the same -- it's Anderson Cooper and he's about to host "A.C. 360" and he's actually in the building. Anderson?


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