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Laci Peterson case: What the jury didn't hear

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Editor's Note: As part of's new Crime section, we are archiving some of the most interesting content from This story was first published in 2004.

(Court TV) -- During Scott Peterson's 21-week trial, jurors heard from 184 witnesses and reviewed hundreds of exhibits. They saw a lot, but they didn't see everything.

Some evidence was deemed irrelevant or prejudicial; lawyers determined other items didn't fit with their trial strategy.

Here's a list of some of the evidence jurors didn't hear, based on Court TV sources and exclusive documents obtained by Court TV's Catherine Crier.

Peterson had 12 Viagra tablets in his car when he was arrested.
The judge allowed police officers to list the other contents of the overstuffed Mercedes, including survival gear and nearly $15,000 in cash, but not the erectile dysfunction cure.

Peterson refused to take a lie-detector test.
Even when polygraph tests are administered, the results are generally inadmissible in court.

Peterson bought four phony college diplomas totaling $267 from an Internet site Dec. 16, 2002 -- less than a week before his wife went missing.
When questioned about the framed fakes by lead investigator Craig Grogan, Peterson said they were not part of an effort to reinvent himself, but a gag gift from his wife, who liked to tease him about how long it took him to finish his degree. Detectives noted the diplomas were charged to his credit card and shipped to him.

Tracking dogs found Laci Peterson's scent in areas that suggested she left her home by car, not foot, and had been in her husband's boat.
Judge Alfred A. Delucchi barred this particular evidence as "iffy."

Jackie Peterson told her son to "deny everything" when talking to detectives, prompting one investigator to conclude his parents "know more about what really happened to Laci Peterson."
Investigator Steve Jacobson wrote this report after listening to a phone call Jan. 17, 2003, a few days after reports of Peterson's mistress surfaced in the press: "On January 17th Scott receives a voice mail from his mother. His mother tells him he should 'deny, deny, deny' and that she was told that years ago by an attorney. His mother tells him his sister Susan (Caudillo) needs to get a yes or no answer from him. His mother thinks that may not be a good idea. His mother said he must deny 'anything.'"

Peterson told police that marina workers saw him returning from the bay and asked him about his fishing trip.
Those men -- if they existed and were ever located -- never took the stand.

When Jackie Peterson heard police were searching the San Francisco Bay again, she told her son that no one  "not even you, Scott"  would be stupid enough to dump bodies in the very location of their alibi.
Modesto Police Department report on the wiretap: "On January 26, 2003, at 1828 hours, Scott called home and talked with his mother. Scott told his mother that Detective Grogan called him today and told him police were back searching again in the bay. Scott's mother asked if Det. Grogan was crazy and asked why he called him. Scott replied that he thought Det. Grogan was just trying to get a reaction from him. Scott's mother said, 'I can't imagine anyone being stupid enough to say they went fishing in the Berkeley Bay after having committed a crime there. I mean not even you Scott.'"

Peterson wrote ex-mistress Amber Frey a letter from jail the week after his arrest, apologizing to the massage therapist and promising he would use his brief time in custody to "do the work of the Lord."
Modesto police detective Jon Buehler wrote this report June 8, 2003: "Meeting with Amber she turned over to me a two-page letter dated April 25th, 2003, from Scott Peterson. It was a photocopy, and it appeared that the original had been written in pencil. It detailed that Scott believed that he would be exonerated for these charges, and that while he was in custody he would be using his position in custody to do the work of the Lord. He thanked Amber for her influence with this, and apologized to Amber for having been caught up in the intense media coverage surrounding this case. Scott also writes that he was hoping for a preliminary "trial" to occur so that the case will be dismissed. This would allow him to continue his work and his purpose, but he did not specify what that was. Scott further wrote that May 4th was Laci's birth date, and that he was asking friends to fly a kite in her memory. He ended the letter by stating words to the effect that children are miracles and gifts."

Peterson told another former mistress from early in his marriage that he had no intention of having children "because they would get in the way of his lifestyle."
From a police report of an interview with the woman, "Janet": "I asked [Janet] if her and Peterson talked about having a family. [Janet] said her and Peterson had gone to a rodeo on one of their dates and there were kids present at the rodeo. Peterson told [Janet] he did not want kids because they would get in the way of his lifestyle. [Janet] said Peterson made it clear that kids were not in his future."

The first mistress, "Janet," told police that Peterson behaved bizarrely after their relationship ended.
From a police report: "I asked [Janet] about their intimate relationship. [Janet] said, 'He had issues.' I asked what [Janet] was talking about, and [Janet] said Peterson did some weird things at a bar after they broke up. [Janet] said it was only second hand information from Peterson's roommates, however [Janet] heard Peterson got real drunk and began exposing his penis in the bar. [Janet] said Peterson was very self-conscious about the size of his penis, and whether he could please a woman."

A rape counselor told police that in mid-December a woman reported being sexually assaulted by satanists in a brown van who said they were going to kill someone on Christmas Day.

Sharon Rocha confronted her son-in-law after she learned of his affair with Amber Frey, calling him a "f---ing liar" and demanding he tell her where her daughter was.

Close friend Brian Argain cut off contact with Peterson because he found his alibi "fishy" and noticed he wasn't making eye contact when he talked about his wife's disappearance.

Police found pornography on Peterson's computer, including images of bestiality and bondage and an essay called "Raping the Teacher."
According to a Modesto Police Department report, "Investigator Kirk Stockham conducted a search of data contained in four computers seized during search warrants for his residence and worksite. Stockham said three of the computers were used exclusively by Scott Peterson and had been used to obtain information regarding Viagra, to obtain information regarding the Berkeley Marina and water currents, and contained extensive pornographic images and sexually explicit writings. Some of the primary themes depicted in the pornographic images were bestiality and bondage. The writings included essays entitled, "The Wife Confesses" and "Raping the Teacher." Investigators noted the Dell laptop computer that showed access by both Laci and Scott had no history of inquiries regarding pornography or Viagra."

On the day Peterson's lawyers pledged to find the real killers, a prosecution investigator approached defense attorney Kirk McAllister and asked him for any information that would clear his client. "Go f--- yourselves," the lawyer allegedly replied.
On May 5, 2003, prosecution investigator Kevin Bertalotto wrote this report: "On 5-5-2003 at approximately 0730 hours, I opened an email sent to me by Deputy District Attorney Rick Distaso, which requested that Kirk McAllister be contacted and asked if he had any information, which might clear Scott Peterson of the charges he is accused of. On 5-5 at approximately 0825 hours, in the Stanislaus County Court Building in the hallway near Department 8, I saw Kirk McAllister standing in the hallway. I know Kirk McAllister as a local criminal defense attorney and have had dealings with him in the past on criminal cases that I was working. I approached Kirk and said good morning and shook hands with him and he reciprocated. I asked Kirk if he wanted to share any information to clear Scott Peterson to the District Attorney's Office. Kirk responded, "Go f--- yourself." I responded by saying, "Don't shoot the messenger, we've always got along good." Kirk said, "Yeah I know," and reached out and touched my upper arm and then said, "Well take this message to whoever, go f--- yourselves."

Three weeks after his wife disappeared, Peterson mused to his father that he might be "pulling an O.J." by going to his country club to work out.
Investigator Steve Jacobson wrote this in his report: "On January 14th Scott receives a call from his dad, whom he refers to as Chief. His dad talks about sending him $5,000 to help out financially, then asks where he is. Scott states, 'I'm going to workout for a few minutes here at the club, relax a little bit. I don't know if I'm pulling an O.J. by being at the club or not, but...' Scott goes on to explain about 'you know, misperception.' It is very interesting that Peterson would compare himself to O.J. Simpson, who was charged with the murder of his wife but was later acquitted by a jury." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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