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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Ron Grantski, Step-Father of Laci Peterson

Aired March 29, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, exclusive, in his first sit-down interview since his son-in-law, Scott Peterson, was convicted of murdering Laci Peterson and her unborn son Conner, Laci's outspoken step-dad Ron Grantski on how he suspected Scott from the beginning and a lot more. We'll take your calls too. Ron Grantski is exclusive and he's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. One year ago this month, on March 16, 2005, a California judge sentenced Scott Peterson to be executed by lethal injection for murdering his pregnant wife Laci and their unborn child. In announcing the sentence, San Mateo Superior Court Judge Alfred Delucchi called the killings cruel, uncaring, heartless and careless. Scott is now on death row at San Quentin.

Ron was last on this show two years ago. His wife Sharon was recently on this program, appearing for her book "For Laci: A Mother's Story of Love, Loss and Justice". It was number one on many bestseller, nonfiction lists.

How are Laci's brother and sister doing?

RON GRANTSKI, LACI PETERSON'S STEPFATHER: They're doing great. We talk -- Sharon -- Amy does Sharon's hair, so you know she sees her quite often. And I saw her a few weeks ago. And she's working and she's doing well.

KING: How did you -- you met Sharon when Laci was how old?

GRANTSKI: Laci was 2 years old. Gwen and Harvey, a couple, introduced Sharon to me. At that time I worked for Harvey. Gwen is Sharon's cousin and that's how we met.

KING: She was divorced?

GRANTSKI: Yes. That was -- it will be 29 years in November.

KING: Is Laci's biological father still alive?

GRANTSKI: Yes. Yes, Dennis -- Dennis and I are friends. We know each other. And he's -- we've worked together. He's worked for me.

KING: Was Dennis as involved in all of this as you and Sharon?

GRANTSKI: I don't -- no. Dennis is a private man and he wears his emotions right on his sleeve. And it was a hard time and it should have been a hard time for him. He's -- so he wasn't as involved as Sharon and I.

KING: How are you doing in the getting over department?

GRANTSKI: You never get over it. That's number one. Actually, this Christmas was probably my hardest.

KING: Because?

GRANTSKI: It had calmed down. We weren't -- the courts and the interviews and -- we weren't getting phone calls. And you have time and it's quiet and you have time to reflect. And it was just -- it just -- it was hard. You just miss -- I missed her.

KING: How close were you?

GRANTSKI: We were fairly close. You know. When she was young, she was into cheerleading and gone a lot. And we became a lot closer actually the last four years. So -- but close, I was there from the day she was two until...

KING: Was she close with her dad too?

GRANTSKI: Yes. Yes. She'd go out and spend time with Dennis out at the ranch.

KING: Do you remember when she met Scott?

GRANTSKI: It was -- I -- you know Sharon is the greatest for remembering dates and times. So you know, you'll have to pardon me on that. I think it was in her second year at Cal Poly, which I'm not positive of the year. Probably '97 I would guess.

KING: Do you remember when you first met him?

GRANTSKI: It's -- when I first met him was probably 2001. They were living in a little place down in...

KING: You mean you didn't meet him until after they were married?

GRANTSKI: No, no. Actually, it would be -- it was before that. No, I met them -- when they lived in a little house right down off of -- in San Luis Obispo. I can't remember the address of the house. But -- so like I said, I'm not good with dates, so...

KING: Did they live together before they were married?


KING: You were at the marriage?

GRANTSKI: Yes. Oh, yes.

KING: Did you like Scott?

GRANTSKI: I liked Scott, yes. He has a very good personality. I don't know too many people that didn't like him. He was very personable and neat, clean.

KING: Did they seem to be very much in love?

GRANTSKI: Yes, they did. We all -- I thought -- we all thought. I know Laci was in love with him.

KING: And when she got pregnant, that must have been a very happy time.

GRANTSKI: It was. I -- as a matter of fact, I remember the time she called. Sharon and I were in bed. We get a phone call late and I answer the phone, and she said I'm pregnant. I'm thinking how can you be pregnant? I took the test. I took the test. And she knew right away. So let me talk to mom and I handed the phone to her. Oh yes, she was excited.

KING: What kind of kid was she?

GRANTSKI: She was so full of energy. I know why young people have kids when they're young. Because you have to, to take -- to put up -- not put up -- to keep up with what they do. And she would run everywhere. She was short. She was just two foot tall and you'd take one step and it was four steps for her. So and -- but she'd run everywhere.

KING: Good kid?

GRANTSKI: Yes, yes. She jabbered all the time. I gave her the nickname J.J. for jabber jaws...

KING: Was she as nice as that famous picture of her that ran all over the world seven million times? That Christmas picture I guess with that fantastic smile?

GRANTSKI: Well, you know. Naturally, we're -- I'm prejudiced. You ask her friends and I think that will pretty much give you the answer. As a matter of fact, her friend Stacy...

KING: There's that picture.

GRANTSKI: ... is getting married. Oh, yes. Yes. Well she couldn't believe it. I remember she would do that...


GRANTSKI: ... rub her belly and she couldn't believe it. It's like I could read her mind.

KING: Her friend Stacy is getting married now?

GRANTSKI: Yes, Stacy is getting married next weekend. Sorry, Stacy, I gave that away and Sharon and I are going to the wedding. And she misses Laci. Laci was supposed to be her maid of honor.

KING: All right, the day of her disappearance, where were you?

GRANTSKI: That was a Tuesday, Christmas Eve, and I was building a project in Los Banos.

KING: You're a builder, right?

GRANTSKI: Right. And I had -- our office was -- at the time was in Lodi. So I had gone to the office in Lodi to get paychecks and get a bottle of wine and wish everybody Merry Christmas and then went on the long way, which is about 75 miles, to Los Banos, check on the job. And you have to remember, that was a workday for a lot of people because it's a Tuesday. And then I came back, went from there and Oakdale is just on the way, so I make kind of like a loop.

It's about 120 miles, stopped in Oakdale and called Sharon. She was going to a show with her friend before dinner. And we were having dinner, so I figured well I'm going to stop. So I stopped and fished at this little pond that I fished at for many years and caught a couple of little bass and went on home and got ready for dinner.

KING: And...

GRANTSKI: Well, Sharon -- as a matter of fact, it was the last time I called Laci's house. Sharon makes a fantastic chocolate pie. And she always makes chocolate pies at Christmas time. She did. She didn't have any whipped cream and so she asked me to get on the phone and call Laci and have her bring some whipped cream. So I'm not sure the time, again.

KING: It's OK.

GRANTSKI: And -- but I called about 3:30, 4:00 and reminded Laci to bring some whipped cream, because your mom has made chocolate pies and you know not thinking...

KING: That was the last time you spoke to her?

GRANTSKI: I didn't speak to her. I got her answering machine. And I didn't even think it was strange that she wasn't there. I thought she might have been out shopping or something.

KING: We'll pick it up in a minute. My guest is Ron Grantski, Laci Peterson's stepfather. We'll be right back. Don't go away.



AMBER: Was Laci aware of the situation about me?


AMBER: She was?


AMBER: Really? How did she respond about it?

SCOTT: Fine. AMBER: Fine?


AMBER: An eight-month woman fine about another woman?

SCOTT: You don't know all the facts, Amber. You don't know all the facts.

AMBER: Oh. She was OK with it, but you continued to lie to me and couldn't be with me at the holidays, but she was OK, she was fine with knowing about me?


AMBER: Unbelievable.


KING: Whole story is unbelievable. OK, it's now Christmas Eve night. When do you start to worry something's wrong?

GRANTSKI: We're out looking, I guess, in the park and I remember helicopters and police and friends and family everywhere throughout the park, cold, drizzly.

KING: This is Christmas Eve night.

GRANTSKI: Christmas Eve night, this was like maybe 9:00. They ran us out of the park to do a heat search with the helicopter. And I'm walking up this hill, which was right by the house. And where Scott had said that Laci liked to -- you know she was -- went to walk the dog. And the dog came back with just the leash on. And I looked up at everybody standing at the top of the hill and I said there is no way Laci went to this park and walked that dog and came back up this hill.

KING: How did you know?

GRANTSKI: It was just too wet, too cold, too hard. And she was eight and a half months pregnant, so I just know.

KING: Where was Scott now?

GRANTSKI: I didn't see much of Scott until -- I went back up to the front of the house and there's people everywhere. And the police are -- I think they have Scott in the house and they're walking around. And so I'm standing out front, talking to a couple of police officers. And here again, I'm not thinking anything. If you want to know the truth, at that time I thought Laci had probably just gone to a friend's house and you know that this would all be -- would get better.

And Scott came walking up. And I'm -- I said so, how was your golf game today and thinking -- because I really did. I was wrong, but I thought he went to play golf. And he said oh, I didn't go play golf, I went fishing. I said fishing. Where did you go fishing? He said over the bay area. I said oh yes, when? And he said oh about 10:00 or something like that.

And I said well, that's when you come home from there fishing. That's not when you go fishing. Well the two police officers were there and they looked at each other. And then it started to hit me, oh, no. You know I think maybe I've said something that makes them him...


GRANTSKI: ... he turned around and walked away.

KING: Did you think then, something's wrong?

GRANTSKI: When he turned around and walked away, then I felt something's not right there. And what I meant by that -- because I'd been deep-sea fishing before. And we would go out on a party boat, which I thought he was talking about. He went out you know deep-sea fishing on a party boat. And you have to be there at 5:00 in the morning. You go out and fish until about noon, and then you're back in. And I didn't even know he had a boat, so you know.

KING: When did you know that chances were pretty bad that you'd ever see her again?

GRANTSKI: I never wanted to think about that and Sharon I think said it best. If we thought Scott had anything to do with it that meant we would never see Laci again.

KING: Correct. So you put it out of your mind?

GRANTSKI: So I would block it out of my mind. But you know I was going to find Laci. We were all going to find Laci one way or another. So luckily we had family and friends. And they -- Harvey and Gwen followed Scott a couple of times and...

KING: They did?

GRANTSKI: Yes. And we searched different areas. And we wanted Laci back. And I confronted him.

KING: What did you say to him?

GRANTSKI: I wanted to believe the young man. You know we liked -- everybody seems to think -- I mean he was a very personable, likeable young man. And the police didn't believe his story, and understandably. Because as time went on, I began to find out about the lures not being opened and what he was fishing for and what he was fishing with, for -- what -- and it just didn't make any sense. So I confronted him out in the driveway and said look, to be honest, your fish story is fishy. I said the police aren't buying it. I said do you have a girlfriend?

KING: Just like that?

GRANTSKI: Just like that. I said if you do, you might as well tell them. Because believe me they're going to find out. I don't have a girlfriend. Turned around and walked away. And that was probably the last time I talked to him for about four or five days. So he kind of avoided me.

KING: Four or five days later, what was the talk about?

GRANTSKI: Well it was -- you know you have to remember the chaotic times. We were trying...


GRANTSKI: ... searches and we're trying to keep you folks interested to help find her. Because, you know, I knew we only had so much time. It was Christmas time then New Year's and so we were doing anything and everything we could. Family and friends, you know...

KING: When you saw Scott...


KING: ... he wasn't arrested yet, right?

GRANTSKI: No, oh, no, this is early. This is -- I mean you know this is January. We had our vigil New Year's and he wasn't there and...

KING: Did you now suspect him completely?

GRANTSKI: Well -- no. Not totally. I didn't want to. You know, Sharon was right. If you're going to -- suspect -- if you're going to think he did something that meant Laci wasn't coming home. And I just wasn't -- none of us were ready to accept that.

KING: Ron Grantski is our guest. We'll be taking calls later. Here was his wife Sharon on our program recently. Watch.


SHARON ROCHA, LACI PETERSON'S MOTHER: 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 24 and the Scott I'm looking at now.

KING: Did your husband share the same view immediately?

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

KING: Sooner?

ROCHA: ... Scott sooner, yes.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of marriage was it?

SCOTT PETERSON, ON DEATH ROW: God, the first word that comes to mind is glorious. I mean we took care of each other very well. She was amazing - is amazing.



KING: What's it like when you see him like that?

GRANTSKI: Yes, pretty much -- you know he's so full of bull, but yes, she was amazing. Did you also hear that part? She was amazing -- is amazing. I mean...

KING: When she was found, where were you?

GRANTSKI: That was probably -- I look up at the Lord up there. I had finished like I said the shopping center in Los Banos and I had gone over. There was a problem. And they asked me if I could go check on something and this was April. And I went out to San Luis reservoir and was sitting on the bank. It was kind of a cloudy, blue-sky day. And I was worried that we were never going to see Laci again.

I'd already resolved the fact that she'd been murdered and -- but we had to have Laci. Because I didn't know if -- how Sharon would -- I didn't know how she would make it. She had to have a place to go and to mourn her daughter. And I remember sitting on the bank. And I didn't have a fishing pole. And I looked up. And I said, I don't ask you for much, but please let us have Laci back and sat there a little while longer and went back to the car and my phone was blinking and it was a friend of mine, Frank.

And I called him. And he was my fishing buddy too. And I figured he wanted something about fishing. But he said have you heard? They've found a woman's body. And that's when it happened. It was April.

KING: Was it a kind of relief?

GRANTSKI: I said thank you. I remember looking up, saying thank you.


GRANTSKI: Yes. But I drove back home and I was crying. Because I know...

KING: Subsequently, Scott is arrested. By the way, were you friendly with Scott's parents?


KING: Did you ever feel sorry for them?

GRANTSKI: I do feel sorry for them. But -- I don't know why they can't see the big picture. For some reason -- I mean, love is -- I understand loving your son. But I -- sometimes I get the feeling that they think I or Sharon or both of us or all of us had put their son where he is...


GRANTSKI: ... he put him where he is.

KING: What was the whole trial like for you? You went a lot, right?

GRANTSKI: Oh, yes. I think I missed four days out of the -- I left the courtroom a few times. But it was bittersweet, Larry. You have anger. You have revulsion. I would watch all the things that are being said about what he'd done, about the tapes that we heard and how he'd just look like he was in another world.


GRANTSKI: He was a lawyer -- I think he thought he was a lawyer.

KING: What did you think of Amber Frey?

GRANTSKI: I think -- I'm glad she did what she did. I think she was abused and used by Scott...

KING: What did you think of Mark Geragos?

GRANTSKI: I don't -- I know he's a defense attorney. But I'm not too happy with some of the -- the way he handled cases. One of my pet gripes was the jury deliberation. I guess he bought an office building downtown and decided he was going to park a boat similar to the one Scott had. And he put it a headless dummy in the boat.

And you know we knew that the jury went by that. I know defense attorneys get a lot more breaks than prosecution. But that was over the line. But the people of Redwood City and surrounding turned it into a shrine, so it backfired on him.

KING: What was it like when the jury came back? Did you have any doubt?

GRANTSKI: I didn't. When they came in, I just felt it. I just knew he was -- I guess you're talking about the guilty. When they first came in and pronounced him, I could just see it. I could just see it.

KING: Did you look at him?

GRANTSKI: Yes, I looked at him constantly because I wanted to see what -- no -- he didn't raise an eyebrow. He didn't -- showed no remorse. Showed nothing. He was very cold.

KING: Did you look at the -- what did you make of the death penalty?

GRANTSKI: In what respect?

KING: Do you agree with it?

GRANTSKI: I -- you know, there are certain -- that's a good question. There are certain times and things that I think you should have the death penalty. I don't think it should be 23 years down the road. And I'll be dead before Scott is. But there -- I don't totally believe in the death penalty, no. I don't and I have to say that. But there are certain crimes that are just senseless, useless, total disregard for human life.

KING: How, Ron -- and we'll be taking calls in a little while -- how do you -- and I want to read that letter that was given to you in court. How do you explain this? In other words, like -- which everyone asks -- why didn't he get divorced?

GRANTSKI: That's a question I wish you could get Scott to answer. I don't think he was -- I don't think he knew that it's not a sin to lose. I think he always felt he had to win at everything. I think he was taught that. And he believed that. And he always -- lying was the best policy.

KING: Why kill her?

GRANTSKI: I don't know. I think...


GRANTSKI: I think that -- you know this is strictly my opinion and I think Laci had probably found out about Amber and told him that this is it. This is -- I will go through Christmas and that's it. And why he would still going ahead I think is because he didn't want to lose.

KING: Did you ever during the court case talk to him?

GRANTSKI: No. No. KING: Did he look at you?

GRANTSKI: Yes, a couple of times. Yes, when I was on the stand. And the first few days, he did. But after that, I think his lawyers told him not to.

KING: Do you hate him?

GRANTSKI: I wish I could be alone with him for a little while. I wouldn't kill him, if that's what you're thinking, but I'd like to get inside his head. He should have had a spanking when he was little.

KING: Ron Grantski is our guest. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. And we'll go to your phone calls right after this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The State of California versus Scott Peterson. We the jury in the above entitled cause find the defendant Scott Lee Peterson guilty of the crime of murder of Laci Denise Peterson. In violation of penal code section 187-A, as alleged in count one of the information filed herein. Dated November 12, year 2004, foreperson number six.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury for the final degree of the murder to be that of the first degree. Dated November 12, 2004, foreperson number six.




GRANTSKI: What a nightmare. It hasn't changed. It's still a nightmare. It should never have happened. This hurts too many people for no reason. But justice was served. Our police department did their job. They had no reason to doubt that it was Scott who did what he did. And he got what he deserved.


KING: That was our guest, Ron Grantski, right after the verdict. Someone handed you a letter in the courtroom?

GRANTSKI: I'm not going to read the whole thing. But Larry, but yet -- at that time, there were all kinds of people that would run up to Sharon and I or Sharon and put little things in her hand or give her a hug. And I was always worried something might happen. But you know, great people. And this one time this lady came up and put this letter in my hand with a rosary. And I'm not going to give her name.

But the gist of the letter was that she was praying for us. She wanted us to have this rosary that she had made and blessed and that she had gone through 11 years of domestic violence and abuse. And she suffered in silence. And because of this trial, she left that violence and made life better for her children. And I've kept this for a long time and I'll keep it for a long time. Laci's -- Laci's not with us, but she's helped a lot of people.

KING: And what is this foundation?

GRANTSKI: You know, Sharon wrote the book "For Laci," which is about Laci and a mother's story. And from some of the proceeds from the book that Sharon and I have started, this Laci and Conner Search and Rescue Fund.

And it's to help police or search groups who don't have the proper dogs or sonars or boats or whatever to give them the proper equipment to help search for lost people.

KING: If you want more information on it, it's the post office box 4113, Modesto, California, 95352. Right?

GRANTSKI: Correct.

KING: Post office box 4113, Modesto, 95352. And there are initials for it?

GRANTSKI: It's called -- also the phone number is 209-527-Laci, or 527-5224, area code 209.

KING: And the name of the organization?

GRANTSKI: It's Laci and Conner Search and Rescue Fund.

KING: We're going to go to calls now for Ron Grantski. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, hello.

CALLER: Hello, how it going today.


CALLER: My question to him is just what would he say to Scott Peterson if he could talk to him now?

GRANTSKI: I would -- why you had to be so weak and ruin so many -- ruin so many lives, and the two lives that meant so much to so many people. And you could have got a divorce, and that's about it.

KING: Was he excited about Conner?

GRANTSKI: There's mixed feelings on that. I -- I never saw him excited. I don't -- I think -- you know, he didn't show anything for Conner, to be honest.

KING: Bedford, Pennsylvania, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Ron. I was just wondering, do you think the Petersons know deep down that Scott is guilty and they just won't admit it?

GRANTSKI: I think you're probably right. But how would you like to admit that your son could do such a horrible crime?

KING: It would be hard.

GRANTSKI: Yes, it would.

KING: Bigfork, Montana, hello.

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

KING: Sure.

CALLER: To Mr. Grantski, I'm so sorry about what happened to Laci.

GRANTSKI: Thank you.

CALLER: When people have gut feelings about other people, did you and Sharon ever have a gut feeling about something not right about Scott before this tragedy? And the second question is, do you ever talk with Amber Frey?

GRANTSKI: Well, the second one first, no, we don't. You know, when you ask if we ever noticed anything was wrong, I've -- I mean, you don't. I mean -- when you've been with somebody and you see them, you don't always look for the bad in people. We never do. We weren't taught that.

There is one instance when they were at our house more towards the end, which I thought it was because Laci was getting so pregnant, she wanted to be close to her mother. And Sharon told me, "No, Scott wanted to do this." And I thought that was strange because he never wanted to be over there. So I've always wondered if he was setting up something there.

KING: You'll always wonder.


KING: Kersey, Pennsylvania, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, hi, Mr. Grantski. All my sympathies to you and your family. My question is, has Scott tried to get in contact with you or anybody else in your family since his sentencing?

GRANTSKI: Not at all. I don't -- I think we probably would be one of the last he'd try to get a hold of.

KING: There were stories that Laci's pictures are in his cell.

GRANTSKI: I don't know a thing about that. I don't know.

KING: Do you worry about the appeal?

GRANTSKI: Not at all. No, not at all. Actually, I've -- no, I cannot. If he was in general population, I wouldn't have to worry about a thing. That's my opinion.

KING: Well put. We'll take a break and we'll be right back with Ron Grantski and more phone calls. Don't go away.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I met Scott Peterson November 20, 2002. I was introduced to him. I was told he was unmarried. Scott told me he was not married. We did have a romantic relationship. When I discovered he was involved in the disappearance -- or the -- Laci Peterson disappearance case, I immediately contacted the Modesto Police Department.


KING: What do you think of her, by the way, Ron?

GRANTSKI: I, you know, she's...

KING: Victim?

GRANTSKI: Yes, she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm glad she did what she did.

KING: By the way, is Christmas difficult for you?

GRANTSKI: It's -- I'm actually scared of Christmas. Because I know what's coming. The emotions. And, you know...

KING: Do you celebrate it?

GRANTSKI: We haven't yet. I know that sounds bad, but we haven't yet. We haven't bought a tree in four years.

KING: Exchange gifts?

GRANTSKI: Yes, we do. We have some grand boys.

KING: Yes, and you have a grown son from your first marriage, right?

GRANTSKI: Correct.

KING: Was he close to Laci?

GRANTSKI: He was when she was -- when he lived here -- he's 37 now. But when he was in his teens, he lived with us. And yes, Laci -- he was like a big brother.

KING: New York City for Ron Grantski, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry and Mr. Grantski. Do you think Scott had any help whatsoever?

GRANTSKI: You know, those are all questions -- believe me, I've sat and tried to think of how I'd love to be able to answer that. I really don't know. I know that -- I really firmly believe he was going to be playing golf. It took him too long over there. So because of that, I don't think he had any help. Because I know his plan was to be back on the golf course, because he was supposed to pick up some things for us, for his -- for Laci's grandfather that he forgot to pick up.

KING: We will never know why, right?

GRANTSKI: That's right, we won't.

KING: We'll never know why.


KING: Did he have a temper?

GRANTSKI: Even if he said it, I wouldn't believe him.

KING: Did he have a temper?

GRANTSKI: You know, that's a good question. I never saw him get upset. But yet I saw him on the verge of getting upset. So I think he could have a temper, yes.

KING: Laci ever complain about him?

GRANTSKI: Not to me.

KING: By the way, the Laci and Conner Search and Rescue Fund is Post Office Box 4113, Modesto, California, 95352. The phone number is 209-527-LACI or 209-527-5224.

Orange, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi. I just wanted to give my condolences. Your family is still in our prayers for healing.

GRANTSKI: Thank you.

CALLER: And I just -- the question that I had -- and I know you're probably sick of hearing his name -- but is Scott trying to appeal this? And if so, is Geragos still going to be his attorney?

KING: Geragos is not an appeals attorney. So there's another attorney handling it. But he is appealing?

GRANTSKI: Yes, he is. Yes. KING: Most defense attorneys are not appeal specialists. But it is going to take a long time, right?

GRANTSKI: I understand they went out and got their own -- some new attorneys, so that would, I believe, speed up the process.

KING: Were you happy with the prosecution?

GRANTSKI: Very happy. Being a civilian who just -- like I said, I work construction and Sharon is in real estate and mortgage lending. We have been in the trenches with the police and the district attorneys. We thank God they were open enough with us to fill us in. But I thought they did a great job.

They wouldn't -- they kept telling us that we have building blocks we're building and everything will come to a house and when it does, then you'll see the whole picture. And they were right. But it's pretty hard to wait for.

KING: It started slow.

GRANTSKI: Yes. It's pretty hard to get all those blocks together.

KING: Bridget Fladager is running for Stanislaus County D.A.


KING: Birgit. You're supporting her, right?

GRANTSKI: You bet. Yes. She was -- Rick Distaso, Dave Harris and Birgit -- Dave and Rick were working pretty hard. Thank goodness they got Birgit involved and became involved.

KING: Yes, she came on to the case, right?


KING: Menasha, Wisconsin, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Yes, I'd like to say that Mr. Grantski's stepdaughter is a beautiful person, and I read the book.

GRANTSKI: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is I know that you have several other children and grandchildren, how does your family ever trust or accept people into your family life again?

GRANTSKI: You know, you're naturally more cautious. But you cannot let this eat you up. You have to go on. We have three grandchildren. You know, they have to be raised to know right from wrong. And you have to survive. You have to go on. That's why we do it.

KING: Anderson Cooper is in Nogales, Arizona, tonight. It must deal with immigration. He will host "AC 360" at the top of the hour. Am I right?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You are absolutely right, Larry. In fact, this is one of the busiest illegal border crossings in the country for illegal immigrants. Now, there's that fence behind me. It looks a little beat up from the all the times that people have either cut through it or tunneled underneath it. That is when they're not throwing rocks at the border patrol officers patrolling here.

This is both a point of entry and a focal point. It is really ground zero in the debate over what to do about illegal immigration in this country. The president is talking about this week in Cancun. The Senate is debating legislation. And America is talking about it. Tonight we are covering the story from all the angles, a problem hiding in plain sight in every corner of the country.

We're going to trace an illegal immigrant's journey, starting at a kind of bus station for all points north. We will look at how undocumented workers drain the economy and how many contribute to it. You'll hear a fiery debate about what to do. And meet the people, some of whom are literally dying to come here. A special report two hours tonight at 10:00 Eastern -- Larry.

KING: Thanks Anderson. That's "ANDERSON COOPER 360" at the top of the hour. We'll be right back with Ron Grantski after this.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you had nothing to do with the disappearance, Scott, then why can't you tell me about it?

PETERSON: I can tell you everything about the disappearance.


PETERSON: I mean, I went fishing that morning. And we were supposed to meet up at 4:00.


PETERSON: Laci and I, to go to her parents' house for Christmas Eve. And I got to the house and she wasn't there. I called -- I thought she'd be at her parent's. And she wasn't there. So we immediately started searching.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Immediately? PETERSON: Yes. I checked with all the houses around there. And Ron, who is her stepfather, called the hospitals. And we went down into the park, where she normally walks, in case something happened to her there, searched that area. And Ron called the police, and they sent out helicopters and dogs and everything.


KING: What do you make of it when you hear that? What do you...

GRANTSKI: You know, what can you make? I mean -- you know, here it is, he's talking to his mistress. And his wife, he's murdered her, and only he knows that. It just doesn't compute.

KING: San Dimas, California, hello.

CALLER: Yes, first, Larry, thank you for taking my call. And I think you have the best show on CNN.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: And I just wanted to tell Mr. Grantski that I fell in love with Laci from the first time that I saw her picture. And our whole church started praying for her and your entire family. And the congregation is about 5,000. And I just wanted to let you know that we continue to pray for your family every day.

GRANTSKI: Thank you very much.

CALLER: And we have special prayers. And I just have two questions. How can anyone help -- I believe you filed a civil suit, so there's no way you could profit off this horrible thing that he's done. How can anybody help you with that? And the second question is I've been looking everywhere for the book that Mrs. -- that Sharon has written.

GRANTSKI: "For Laci," yes.

CALLER: And I can't find it anywhere.

KING: You should be able to get it. Paperback should be coming out.

GRANTSKI: Well, Crown Publishers, you should be able to find the book. Go to your local bookstore and tell them to get the book. It's a great book.

KING: Are you suing?

GRANTSKI: Scott? No.

KING: What can you collect?

GRANTSKI: Well, yes. He can't get anything. It's just -- this is another thing that Sharon and I are getting involved in victims' rights. Because victims really don't have too many rights. The lawyers can prolong this and drag this out. Sharon and Dennis will get Laci's insurance. But only after many, many delays by many different people.

KING: By the way, what do you make of him getting marriage proposals in prison?

GRANTSKI: I, you know -- it's what makes this world go round is the different people.

KING: It's a great country, isn't it?

GRANTSKI: Yes, it sure is.

KING: Atlanta, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry and Mr. Grantski.


CALLER: Very sorry about Laci and Conner. I was wondering how Laci's siblings are doing. And I guess how they're doing.


GRANTSKI: You know, Brett is a family man. I'm so proud of him. He's got three boys. One's just a couple of months old and 3 and 4 years old. And him and his lovely wife, Rose, have their hands full. And I'm very proud of him. And Amy -- they've become closer, and we've all become closer.

KING: Laci and Conner Search and Rescue Fund, Post Office Box 4113, Modesto, California, 95352. 209-527-LACI. Back with more after this.


KING: We're back with Ron Grantski and our remaining moments. Would you or any member of the family, if and when it occurred, want to attend the execution?

GRANTSKI: I still haven't decided. I think if it was today, I would. But I don't know. And I have a feeling that Dennis and...

KING: Dennis is the father, the biological father. They would?

GRANTSKI: Yes, I think so.

KING: Sharon would?

GRANTSKI: I don't know. I don't think Sharon -- I don't know. I can't speak for Sharon on that. That's something we've never talked about.

KING: It's going to be a difficult time for you though. Let say it does happen and you are alive. It's not going to be easy. GRANTSKI: No, it's not. You know, I have seen death in the service. It's not easy to see death. And I wish Scott had thought about that beforehand.

KING: She didn't get a fair shot at life, did she?

GRANTSKI: No. Neither did Conner. So, I mean, it's just a dirty shame.

KING: By the way, was everything healthy about Conner? Was he going to be a healthy baby?

GRANTSKI: Oh, yes. From what I understand, when they found the body on the shore they said it was a baby washed up on shore.

KING: And one other thing -- about 30 seconds -- what did you make of the media coverage?

GRANTSKI: Well, the media was good. I thank you. Because they -- if Laci was out there alive, we'd have found her. And thank you for your help. We need to do a lot more of that for a lot of people throughout the country.

KING: If you want to help, find out more, the Laci and Conner Search and Rescue Fund, Post Office Box 4113, Modesto, California, 95352. Phone number 209-527-LACI or 209-527-5224.

Thank you Ron.

GRANTSKI: Thank you, Larry, for having me.

KING: Ron Grantski, Laci Peterson's stepfather.

Bill Clinton will be one of our special guests on Friday night. Bill Clinton, you may have heard of him. Just to throw that in.

Right now let's go to Nogales, Arizona, where Anderson Cooper is standing by. He will host "AC 360" coming up right now.

Anderson, what's up?

COOPER: Larry, thanks very much.

We are really at ground zero for the battle on the U.S. Mexican border. This is the border right here. I am standing in Nogales, Arizona. A few feet in that direction is Mexico. All that stands between Mexico and the United States right here is this fence, corrugated steel...