Tuesday, August 29, 2017

In which I defend an alleged wife-killer named Peterson

I'm just going to throw this out there, and it's not going to be popular. I don't think Scott Peterson killed Laci. Honestly, I never have.

Here's the thing. The state's theory was he killed her sometime overnight on the night of December 23. Never mind that multiple witnesses are sure they saw her walking her dog the morning of the 24th. Never mind that the house showed no signs of struggle or clean-up. Never mind that there is computer evidence from the morning of the 24th that shows she was web browsing. Never mind the burglary that happened right across the street the very morning she went missing. And why exactly was their dog found out wandering around alone, leash still on, if it hadn't been out with Laci that morning when Laci was taken? So he killed her overnight, but then waits until 1 pm on the 24th, broad daylight, to take her body into a standard aluminum boat, no hidden compartments or anything, everything just out in the open to be seen by any passers-by, to a busy marina? That makes no sense.

This isn't a boat with a cabin or hidden compartment. This boat doesn't have hidden smuggling bays a la the Millenium Falcon. This is the kind of boat that holds no secrets; anything that is in the boat is visible to anyone who walks past. This is NOT the kind of boat you use at 1 pm to dispose of a body. If you have accidentally or otherwise, killed your pregnant wife the night before, you do not go to the Berkeley Marina in broad daylight the next afternoon in this particular boat to dispose of her body. You either do that body disposal in the cover of darkness, and preferably not at a location where you have to get a receipt to show you were there (yeah, he had a receipt), or you go to the middle of nowhere. You don't casually drive the body to this populated marina in the middle of the day, knowing that anyone who happens by will be able to see what's in your boat. You don't just hope that no one will notice the body-shaped, tarp-covered bundle in your boat.

You know who would put Laci's body in that body of water? The actual killer who quickly realized that the entire world had its eyes on Scott Peterson and knew that he'd gone fishing the day his wife had disappeared. Her body wasn't discovered for months, after all. It doesn't take a genius to realize if you actually knew where Laci Peterson's body was, it would be in your best interests to move it so that if were found, it would fit perfectly with the set public theory that her husband had killed her. Why let it be found somewhere else when you can use confirmation bias to your benefit?

The world, thanks to folks like Nancy Grace, had decided Scott Peterson was a bad dude long, long before Laci's body was found. People just felt in their bones that he'd killed her. So he could play with his new girlfriend, so he could be free, etc., etc. This feeling was so strong, so overwhelming, that it made people forget to care that there was never any actual physical evidence against him. Or that there were eyewitness accounts that absolutely destroyed the prosecution's theory about the time of death which also basically made it impossible that Scott was responsible. He was believed to be guilty from the very beginning, for being a cheating bastard who didn't cry. But the problem is his cheating bastardness isn't actually evidence. The evidence, the actual evidence related solely to Laci's disappearance and death, doesn't quite point the way the public's gut believed it would. So people just ignored the evidence or found convoluted reasons for dismissing it. Facts are stubborn, though, and not that easily avoided.

I know I've been quiet for a long time and it may seem strange that this is the thing that gets me to post again. But, A&E is running a limited series about this case and I feel like finally people might be receptive to hearing the doubts I have always had. A man was sentenced to death because the public hated him, even though the prosecution's theory of the case makes no sense and requires us to ignore an awful lot of evidence and logic. I'm really not convinced Scott Peterson killed Laci and I don't think you should be, either.

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