Scott Peterson Jurors Shown Grisly Autopsy Photos of Laci’s Body

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 18, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Scott Peterson Jurors Shown Grisly Autopsy Photos of Laci’s Body Email this article
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by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
September 18, 2004

Redwood City, CA ( — While jurors were shown grisly autopsy photos of Laci Peterson, a pathologist explained why he believed Laci’s son was expelled after she died, contrary to theories posed by Scott Peterson’s defense team.

Brian Peterson, a prosecution witness unrelated to the couple, explained that while only Laci’s torso was recovered, the only intact organ was the uterus, which appeared to be "ripped open."

Peterson theorized that baby Conner was protected by his mother’s womb while in the San Francisco Bay, as the infant’s body was less decomposed than his mother’s. Had he been dumped separately into the water, Peterson claimed, his body would have been as decomposed or more so than Laci’s.

Peterson admitted that he could not determine a cause of death for Laci or Conner, due to the condition of the bodies.

On Tuesday, a forensics expert testified that a length of tape around Conner’s neck did not appear to be related to the murder, but was probably refuse that the infant’s body got tangled in as it was washed ashore.

Pin Kyo of the California Department of Justice pointed out that tape stuck to Laci’s garments had debris and barnacles on it, while the tape around Conner was relatively clean. Kyo also noted that the length of tape was only loosely wrapped around Conner.

On Monday, forensics experts testified that they found no evidence supporting prosecution theories that Peterson cleaned up evidence of his wife’s murder in the home. Kyo testified that if Peterson had mopped up blood with the mops in their home, some human biological material would have remained, however she found none.

The only spots of blood in the house were found not to be Laci’s. Spots on a pair of Scott’s socks turned out to be that of an animal, and spots on the comforter on the bed turned out to be Scott’s.

The prosecution has been putting 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.

Mark Geragos, Peterson’s defense attorney, claims 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, and attacked investigators for doing sloppy work and focusing on Peterson exclusively.

Scott Peterson has pleaded innocent to the double murder charges. The case has 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 as a result of attacking 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 returned to Washington from the campaign trial to vote against 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.