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Laci Peterson Case: Local Perspective

Aired May 30, 2003 - 20:03   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KAGAN: Now we're going to go to some local perspective on the story. Reporter Chris Filippi of radio station KFBK has been following the Peterson case for several months now, and he is joining us from Sacramento.
Good evening. Thanks for being with us.

CHRIS FILIPPI, REPORTER, KFBK RADIO: You bet.

KAGAN: My big question right now is, how did the Rocha family get in the house in the first place? Because didn't the Peterson family change all the alarms and the locks on the house?

FILIPPI: Well, that's right, Daryn. In fact, that happened on Sunday. They changed the locks, they actually changed the alarm code. My understanding is, some of the family members and the friends actually had to jump a fence to get to one of the doors. They broke the lock, and then they got in. So that's how I understand they got in.

They were not there very long. As you mentioned in your report, once the police arrived, they dispersed very quickly. But it's our understanding they had a list of 22 items that they wanted to take from the home, and they picked up all of those items.

KAGAN: And do we know what some of those items are?

FILIPPI: Yes, indeed. A wedding dress, Laci's wedding dress is one of the key items. Also her journal, diplomas, and a watering can that said "Laci's Garden" on it. All of them sentimental items that the family's wanted for some time.

KAGAN: Well, it is clear, if nothing else, that emotions are running very high in Modesto right now, I think especially given the information that came out yesterday, some of the autopsy information coming out about the condition of the baby's body having plastic wrapped around it, some cuts on the body. I think this is really getting to the family.

And the family then having to learn about that through the media.

FILIPPI: Yes, very much so. As I talk to people in Modesto, I'm really confronted with two emotions. One, there's a lot of sympathy for Laci's family. As you mentioned, they had to hear about this through the media, not from the authorities, but through the media. They were in no way prepared to hear those details yesterday.

So there's a lot of sympathy for what they're going through, as there has been throughout this case.

But also, there's a certain level of frustration, frustration that once again, key evidence, key information in this case, is handed out via a leak. There have been a lot of leaks in this case, some accurate, some inaccurate. And most of the people I talk to feel like they're not getting the complete story.

KAGAN: Well, when you talk about sympathy, any sympathy building out there for Scott Peterson? Because let's be honest, I think a lot of people have already convicted him from what they've learned in the media.

FILIPPI: Yes, very much so. And I really see not a lot of sympathy for Scott beyond people wanting him to have the opportunity for a fair trial. I think people understand that there's a lot of information out there that could potentially taint a jury pool. There's a lot of concern about that.

And I think there's a popular belief we could well see this case moved out of Modesto, possibly even to southern California. But as far as emotional sympathy for Scott, I'm really not seeing a lot of that.

KAGAN: Very good. Chris Filippi of radio station KFBK, thank you so much for the insight of Modesto. We appreciate that.

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