Highly publicised stories of murder are often so explicable and cruel, that it sweeps through the nation as spells of fear and anger. Scott Peterson’s crimes and the evidence to convict him is no different.

Scott Peterson / Picture Credit: That Chapter on YouTube

Scott Peterson / Picture Credit: That Chapter on YouTube

Who is Scott Peterson?

Scott Peterson is well-known for the murder of his pregnant wife, Laci.

In a case that shocked and appalled America, Peterson was convicted of killing his eight-month pregnant wife in 2002.

With the help of a mistress, who hadn’t known her lover was married, the FBI were able to collect evidence against him.

Peterson was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 2004 for first-degree murder of his wife, and second-degree murder of the couple’s unborn son, which they had named Connor.

Early life and meeting Laci

Scott Lee Peterson was born in October 24th, 1972, in Fan Diego, California (CA). He was an only child to Lee and Jackie Peterson; both also had children from previous relationships.

Growing up, Peterson was an avid golfer and became a model student; he graduated from the University of San Diego high school and spent a semester at Arizona State University.

He then returned home to attend Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.

In 1994, Peterson transferred to CA Polytechnic State University, where he majored in agricultural business.

While a student at Polytechnic University, Peterson met Laci Rocha. The coupled moved in together an got married in 1997.

Soon after, they opened a burger joint called ‘The Shack’; they sold this business after making a decent profit, and moved to Modesto.

There, Peterson got a job selling fertilizer and Laci became a substitute teacher.

Murder and conviction

In December 2002 Laci went missing, and her disappearance caused a media commotion.

Peterson was arrested in April 2003, after the body of his pregnant wife washed up on the shores of San Francisco Bay.

According to prosecutors, Peterson was having an affair with a masseuse called Amber Frey, which was his supposed motivation for murdering his wife and unborn baby.

In November 2004, a jury convicted Peterson of first degree murder in the death of Laci, who was eight months pregnant, and second degree murder in the death of the foetus.

The same jury recommended that Peterson die by lethal injection. He was placed on death row at San Quentin State Prison in CA, pending an appeal and petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which was filed with the Supreme Court of the State of CA in 2015.

Appeal and evidence

In August 2017, authorities fought against Peterson’s appeal. In a 150 page document the Attorney General’s Office cited the “overwhelming evidence” that Peterson murdered his wife and unborn son, Connor, in 2002.

Evidence against Scott piled up...
Evidence against Scott piled up...

Some of the evidence mentioned in the document include: “his repressed wonder-lust and desire to be responsibility free, which he conveyed to his mistress as the birth f his son neared; buying a boat mere weeks before Laci’s disappearance; ‘fishing’ with the wrong gear on Christmas Eve morning in inclement weather; surreptitious trips to the marina in various rented vehicles after Laci’s disappearance; lies to friends and family concerning his whereabouts; the sale of Laci’s car and inquiry into selling their home, including furnishings; subscribing to pornography channels while the search was ongoing; Laci’s and Connor’s bodies washing ashore not far from (Scott) Peterson’s location on the bay; condition of the bodies correlat(ing) with the timing of Laci’s disappearance; and (Scott) Peterson’s disguised appearance and possession of survival gear and copious amounts of cash at the time of arrest”.

In August 2020, the CA Supreme Court reversed Peterson’s sentence and ordered a new sentencing. “Peterson contends his trial was flawed for multiple reasons, beginning with the unusual amount of pretrial publicity that surrounded the case,” the court declared in its ruling.

Peterson still resides in San Quentin prison.

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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