Scott Peterson May Have Discussed Using Boat to Hide Murder

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 29, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Scott Peterson May Have Discussed Using Boat to Hide Murder

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
June 29, 2004

Redwood City, CA ( — As testimony from the first investigator on the scene continued in the Scott Peterson double-murder trial this week, a revelation has brought forward new information about Scott Peterson saying someone who would murder someone could dump their body in the ocean — exactly what happened to Laci and Conner Peterson.

Although police have been criticized by the defense for not following up on tips that could have cleared Peterson, they also did not give significant weight to every tip that pointed at him, either.

Detective Allen Brocchini admitted that Modesto police received a tip a day after Peterson was arrested from a man claiming to be Peterson’s friend. The caller said Peterson had told him during a conversation in 1995 "how he would get rid of a body."

According to the caller, "He said he would tie a bag around the neck with duct tape," weight the body down and dump it in the ocean."

Then, "fish activity would eat away the neck and hands and the body would float up, no fingers, no teeth," making identification impossible. Such a method of disposing of the body was not unlike the way prosecutors say Laci Peterson was dumped into San Francisco bay. Four months after she disappeared, her body — only the torso — and that of her unborn baby washed ashore.

"I just didn’t put a lot of stock in it," Brocchini testified during cross-examination by Mark Geragos, Peterson’s defense attorney. Brocchini pointed out that the caller’s story was not credible, his timing was suspicious, and the story could not be confirmed.

Geragos has tried over the past four days to use Brocchini’s time on the stand to point out sloppy work on the part of the local police, and alleging that they ignored tips about Laci being abducted by "dark-skin" men in a tan van.

But Brocchini’s admission that hey also disregarded at least one lead that would have made a stronger case against Peterson is a boost for Brocchini’s credibility, and thus good news to the prosecution’s case. Brocchini testified that police received thousands of tips on the Peterson case from all over the world.

The prosecution has been attempting to put forth a case based on Scott Peterson’s erratic behavior, affair, and alleged secret purchase of a fishing boat that could have been used to dump Laci’s body into the San Francisco Bay.

Peterson’s defense attorney, Mark Geragos, has pointed out that the prosecution has no murder weapon, no eyewitnesses, and a case built entirely on circumstantial evidence. He has put forth explanations for Peterson’s strange behavior as well as theories that a satanic cult or men with a tan van abducted Laci on the morning of December 24.

Scott has pleaded innocent to charges that he murdered his wife on Christmas Eve 2002, when she was eight months pregnant, and dumped her body into San Francisco Bay. Her body and that of her son Conner washed up on the California coast in April.

The double murder charges against Peterson have received national attention and spurred the passage of numerous unborn victims laws.

The laws allow prosecutors to charge criminals with two crimes when they kill or injure an unborn child in addition to a pregnant woman.

Laci’s mother, Sharon Rocha, has become and outspoken advocate of Unborn Victims Laws, both for individual states and the entire nation.

President Bush signed a federal Unborn Victims of Violence Law in March. Rocha had voiced her support of the bill, and had criticized members of the Senate, including presidential hopeful John Kerry, who had stalled and opposed the bill.

According to the National Right to Life Committee, 30 states have unborn victims laws, most recently Kentucky and Virginia, and 18 cover mothers and their unborn children throughout pregnancy. None of those laws has ever been successfully challenged in Court.