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TV doc makes case for Scott Peterson’s innocence

A massive search, bolstered by members of the tight-knit Modesto community, was organized while police investigated. The case had already become that perverse modern-day form of “entertainment” we call a media circus, and the circus became even more raucous when Peterson went on trial for murder in 2004. The police had their sights set narrowly on Scott Peterson from the beginning and failed to talk to witnesses whose sightings of Laci walking the family dog on the afternoon of her disappearance would have at least suggested a greater possibility of reasonable doubt in Peterson’s trial. A pair of pliers became a key piece of evidence in the trial because they contained a single strand of Laci’s hair. “Amber was a complete game changer,” says Ted Rowlands, who covered Laci’s disappearance and Scott Peterson’s trial for KTVU. Frey, among the contributors to the film, changed everything when she appeared at a news conference and revealed that she had been seeing Peterson. Up to that point, while Peterson’s behavior may not have been what the public would expect of a grieving husband, the public had little reason to believe he had killed his wife, nor did Laci’s family, the Rochas, who had rejected any idea that he was involved. “The Murder of Laci Peterson” may include information from credible sources that at least makes viewers wonder whether Peterson is innocent, but the series does not cover only one side of the case. A local cop recalls Scott enjoying a ribs dinner with so much gusto, you’d never believe his wife was missing. Others recall Scott decamping to San Diego, dyeing his hair and trying to join his father at a golf course until he was nabbed by cops who had been following as he drove around trying to evade what he thought was the media. [...] he continues, the police focused on Scott Peterson “very early on and it may have been to the detriment of missed opportunities,” including several people discovered by private eye Gary Ermoian who saw Laci walking the golden retriever the day she disappeared. Several contributors to the film believe the oversaturated media coverage was a factor in the investigation’s focus and on the outcome of the trial. To use a currently popular word, there was a good bit of collusion between the cops and at least one TV reporter, Gloria Gomez, who covered the story for KOVR in Sacramento. Fake news has been around for a long time,” he says, “especially in criminal cases, especially when it comes to trying your case in the media. David Wiegand is an assistant managing editor and the TV critic of The San Francisco Chronicle.

Article by By David Wiegand (c) Entertainment - Read full story here.