The Murder of Laci Peterson is a one hour documentary about the killing of Laci Peterson and her unborn son by her callous husband Scott Peterson.
December 24, 2002, and the family dog is found running wild around the neighborhood. When her husband Scott gets back from fishing later that night he calls Laci’s friend and says that she is missing.
By 6 p.m. her parents are worried enough to call the police and the local area is searched by the police, locals and friends. Given it is Christmas Eve and that Laci is eight months pregnant the cops take her disappearance very seriously and bring in helicopters, mountain police, dogs, water rescue and even use heat sensors to try and find her.
A huge reward of $500,000 is eventually offered and over 1000 people sign up to help in the search and to keep the case active.
However, it is not until April 13 the next year that a couple walking their dog on the San Francisco Bay shore find the remains of a male fetus. The child is late term and the next day the body of a woman is also found. She is found to have been recently pregnant and wearing maternity pants and bra.
DNA tests identify the woman as Laci and the baby as her unborn son. Her body is decapitated, missing forearms, a right foot and left leg from the knee down. The medical examiner was unable to determine the exact cause of death due to the advanced decomposition but he was able to say that injuries resulting in two cracked ribs were inflicted near the time of death.
Laci’s husband Scott had been very active in the search for her and had the full backing of her family. But when police uncovered photos of him with another woman at a time when he was supposed to be on a business trip the family became suspicious.
It emerged that he was a serial cheater and police arrested him after one of the woman he was seeing reported that he’d told her he was a widower. When police arrested him he had $15,000 in cash, camping gear, a gun, his brother’s driving license, 12 viagra and four different cell phones. He’d also dyed his hair and police were pretty sure he was about to try and flee to Mexico.
The trial ran for a year and in 2005 Scott was sentenced to death for what the judge called a “cruel, uncaring, heartless and callous” murder, he remains on death row at San Quentin State Prison.
This case shocked the whole of America and Scott Peterson became one of the most hated men in the country, with many disbelieving a man could do that to his wife and unborn child. It also directly led to the United States Congress putting through the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which is recognises the rights of unborn children to be named as victims and represented in criminal trials when they are killed or injured. It is better known as Laci and Conner’s Law.
The Murder of Laci Peterson airs at 10:00 P.M. ON A&E.