Laci Peterson Case:
Behind the Scene
Forensic Science 101, Section
Professor Beth Butin
November 22, 2005
Laci Peterson Case:
Behind the Scene
Almost every little girl dreams of having that fairy-tail life which includes: the perfect wedding, the perfect husband, and perfect house with the perfect family. Take for example, Laci and Scott Peterson. To the people who knew them they were the “perfect couple” with the “perfect lives”. They had a nice home, good circle of friends, great jobs and seemed to never fight (Fleeman, 2003). But unfortunately life isn’t a fairy-tale and things don’t always go perfectly. It become evident the day Laci’s husband killed her that their “perfect” marriage was no more. Because life isn’t a fairy-tale, it makes a person wonder, “Can you fully trust the people around you?” The Laci Peterson case is one that touched the heart of millions of people and opened the eyes of a nation. It all started on the evening of December 24, 2002, when Scott Peterson, husband to Laci Peterson, called his mother-in-law and asked if she had seen or talked to Laci. When Sharon Rocha replied she hadn’t, Scott said “Well she’s missing” (Fleeman, 2003). The words “she’s missing” struck Sharon as peculiar. She wondered to herself why not “out” or “gone” and then all of a sudden this terrible feeling ran through her and she knew immediately that something was terribly wrong (Fleeman, 2003). This was the beginning of what would be one of the most devastating days of Sharon Rocha’s life.
Laci Denise (Rocha) Peterson was born May 4, 1974 to Sharon and Dennis Rocha. Ever since Laci was a baby she was known for her big grinning smile and large dimples. People used to say that her smile hinted at a devilish side to her (Fleeman, 2003). As an adult she still had that beaming smile that people couldn’t resist wanting to get to know. Because of that smile, millions of people couldn’t resist wanting to help find her and bring her home. It was later known as the smile that touched millions of people around the nation.
At the time of Laci’s disappearance, she was 27 years old, about 5-foot-1, and weighted about 140-pounds. She had shoulder length brown hair, with dark brown eyes, a beaming smile, and a sunflower tattoo on her ankle. She was also, at the time, eight months pregnant with her and Scott’s son Connor. For the people who knew her, they found the whole “missing” thing suspicious. Laci was known for being outgoing and bubbly, not impetuous or irresponsible (Fleeman, 2003). Many of her friends classify her as being a “fun-loving girl” who was always smiling and laughing and to them this was completely out of character for her (Fleeman, 2003). When the police and detective finally arrived at the Peterson’s home, the first question they asked Scott was when he had last seen or spoken to Laci. Scott Explained that: “He had come home to an empty house and a missing wife. Her Land Rover was parked in the driveway. Her purse and phone were inside. He had last seen her at 9:30 that morning. She was working in the newly remodeled, Spanish-tiled kitchen, her sanctuary, with the TV on, the channel turned to one of her favorite shows, Martha Stewart Living. She was wearing a white oversized shirt and dark black stretch pants rolled up because she was mopping the floor. Once she was done she was suppose to take the dog for a walk and then head to the grocery store” (Fleeman, 2003).
They then asked him where he had been all day while his wife was left alone at home. Scott quickly told the police that he had left the house midmorning and went to his storage unit where he dropped off some of the patio umbrellas. He explained that the reason he had put them there was because a storm was due to hit and he wanted to protect them from getting damaged. After he was done unloading the umbrellas, he said he hitched his boat to his 2002 Ford F- 150 pickup...
References: Fleeman M. (2003). Laci: Inside the Laci Peterson Murder. New York; St. Martin’s Press
James, S. (2005). Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative
Techniques. New York; Taylor & Francis Group
Lee, H. (2006). Dr. Henry Lee’s Forensic Files. New York; Prometheus Books
Meloan, C. (2004). Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, New Jersey;
Pearson Prentice Hall
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