By Anna Pulley
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Erin Sherbert
By Rachel Swan
By Joe Eskenazi
By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
By now the whole country knows the story: Laci Peterson, a 27-year-old wife who was eight months pregnant, disappeared from her hometown of Modesto on Christmas Eve 2003, sparking a nationwide search that riveted media, crime experts, and the public. When the bodies of Laci and her unborn child were found four months later in San Francisco Bay, near the spot Laci's husband claims he was fishing on the morning of her disappearance, Scott Peterson was charged with two counts of murder. Now standing trial in Redwood City, Peterson maintains his innocence amid burgeoning criticism of a prosecution team that has so far presented mostly circumstantial evidence. Are you, too, becoming a Scott Peterson apologist? Take our quiz and find out!
1) Scott Peterson was arrested in April in the parking lot of a San Diego golf course, from which authorities feared he might flee to Mexico. Peterson had changed his appearance, having dyed blond streaks into his hair and grown a new Vandyke goatee. He was also carrying $10,000 in cash, his brother's identification, knives, and camping gear. What do the circumstances of Peterson's arrest mean to you?
A) Obvious guilt. Peterson was going to make a run for the border the same day his wife's remains were positively identified in Northern California.
B) Not much. With the media shadowing him around the clock, Peterson had been spending a lot of time in San Diego, where it would be only natural to disguise himself from the camera's glare.
C) Knives, cash, and a fake ID ... man, that's just another weekend in Mexico!
2) Which of Scott Peterson's actions in the weeks following his wife's disappearance do you find most suspicious?
A) Maintaining his phone relationship with Southern California mistress Amber Frey, in which he continued to falsely claim he was traveling in Europe and told her that he'd soon be free to spend more time with her.
B) Selling the couple's Modesto home, trading in Laci's SUV, and laughing on camera at a candlelight vigil for her.
C) Ordering Playboy and other adult-programming cable channels just two weeks after Laci's disappearance. Hasn't he heard of the Internet?
3) How plausible do you find defense attorney Mark Geragos' contention that a satanic cult -- perhaps operating out of a mysterious brown van -- kidnapped and killed Laci Peterson?
A) Wait a minute. Wasn't Geragos also defending Michael Jackson? Against child-molestation charges?
B) The theory sounds preposterous, but can we hope for a thorough investigation from a police department that elects to "air out" -- rather than test -- a gasoline-soaked tarp found on Peterson's boat?
C) Of course there are satanic cults in Modesto. How else do you explain a place that elected Gary Condit to Congress seven times? (Bonus point for inquiring as to Condit's whereabouts at the time of Laci's disappearance.)
4) Whose performance surrounding the Scott Peterson trial do you find most compelling?
A) Amber Frey. She's braving media scrutiny and derision from high-profile defense attorneys because she believes in the judicial process.
B) Frey's attorney, the ubiquitous Gloria Allred. It's fascinating to watch her explain why she's there.
5) On his first date with Amber Frey, while his pregnant wife was attending a Christmas party alone in Modesto, Scott Peterson seduced his mistress with a leather bag full of strawberries and champagne, an intimate sushi dinner, and a night of karaoke serenades. If you were Frey, how would you have responded to Peterson's advances?
A) "You're a struggling, 31-year-old fertilizer salesman, aren't you?"
B) "This strawberry is sour." (Bonus point -- this was her actual response.)
C) "Sing 'Dancing Queen' to me again, you animal!"
6) In which of these actual Scott Peterson quotes, taken from transcripts of his wiretapped conversations with Frey, do you think he's telling the truth?
A) "Oooh! The best movie ever made is The Shining!"
B) "God, I hope she is found alive."
C) "Our hope, and it's a sad hope, is that ... well, I mean we need a tip. That's why we have such a big reward. We just hope that someone is holding her for her child and that we can, you know, get her back with a tip."
7) Who do you think is responsible for the death of Laci Peterson and her child?
A) At this point, all evidence suggests Scott.
B) The media. (Bonus point for specifying Larry King.)
How to score:
Score zero points for every "A" answer; one point for every "B"; and two points for every "C."
0-5 points: You know, the prosecution could use a witness or two next week ....
6-10 points: Sounds like you see both sides of the issue -- want a show on Court TV?
11 or more: Congratulations! You're officially a member of the defense team. And, um, if you're female, Scott would like to know what you're doing after the trial.