Sunday, September 17, 2017

Dr. Cheng - Tidal Evidence

Anyone familiar with the Scott Peterson trial knows that tidal evidence, as presented by Dr. Ralph Cheng, played a significant role in Scott's conviction.  It's not that he was needed to prove that Laci was in the Bay, but to prove no one else put her in the Bay, only Scott could have put Laci in the Bay.

The Prosecutors knew there was a likelihood that Scott's defense lawyer, Mark Geragos, would argue that someone else killed Laci and put her where it was widely publicized that he had been on the 24th -- fishing along a route from the Berkeley Marina to Brooks Island.  So the killer(s) simply put her body there. 

The Prosecution also likely knew that the killer(s) wouldn't need a boat to put her in the area that would naturally incriminate Scott.  Indeed, there are numerous places along the shoreline from the Berkeley Marina to Richmond that a car could have pulled up alongside the shoreline and simply dumped a body in.  And there are places along that shoreline with very large riprap and other debris on which a body could get caught and be concealed from public view.  Especially at the Albany Bulb. 

Where ever she washed ashore, whenever she washed ashore, the police, the media, and the public would conclude that Scott was guilty. 

How do I know they likely knew these things?  Because I assume they had the intelligence to anticipate arguments from the defense and be sure they could counter them.  So they would investigate the area themselves to see if there was another way Geragos could argue the bodies could have gotten into the Bay.

Dr. Cheng's role was to show that the bodies came from Scott's fishing route, not somewhere along the shoreline.  He first had to explain why it took so long for the bodies to wash ashore.  He said it was a combination of strong winds on April 12, 2003 concurrent with a negative low tide that caused the bodies to dislodge and begin moving towards shore.

In his words,  "wow, quite a wind event during that day. I really recall in my own mind, you can see now the scientific records showed us now during that particular period of time, in the morning, or starting from the midnight of the midnight April 11th, or early morning of April 12th, you can see wind exceeded 40 knots. 40 knots, wind exceeded. Also a sustained wind for long period of time, subsided slightly, but still continued on for another good twelve, eighteen hours with wind average around twenty knots per hour. So that is quite a magnitude of wind. And during that period of time, there was occurrence of a very low tide right after noon of April 12th."  

Let's look at the 3 elements of his argument for this "wind event" on April 11-12:

  • Wind exceeded 40 knots
  • Sustained winds of average 20 knots for 12-18 hours
  • Concurrent with the very low tide right after noon of April 12
I fact-checked Dr. Cheng's claims by surveying 11 area weather stations that measured wind and had their data online.  I also copied a graph of the tide on April 12 from the NOAA Richmond station to compare with the wind data. I started with the wind stations closest to where the bodies washed ashore and spread out from there.  I surveyed: 
  1. the NOAA Richmond Station,
  2. the UC Richmond Station,
  3. the East Bay Municipal Utility District station on Point Isabel, 
  4. the Oakland North RAWS (Remote Automated Weather Station),
  5. the wind station at the Berkeley Marina,
  6. the wind station on Angel Island,
  7. the wind station on Treasure Island,
  8. the Oakland South RAWS (Remote Automated Weather Station),
  9. the NOAA Alameda station,
  10. the wind station on Crown Beach in Alameda,
  11. the Oakland Airport weather station
Not a single one of these 11 stations verified Cheng's claims.  Why was it necessary to exaggerate and misrepresent that "wind event" on April 12?  Because the truth didn't cut the mustard.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A&E presenting its 6-week, 7-hour docuseries The murder of Laci Peterson

A&E Network will premiere the new six-episode, limited documentary series, THE MURDER OF LACI PETERSON showcasing new interviews with Scott Peterson himself from prison. The series explores the infamous Scott Peterson trial, the case that destroyed a family, gripped a nation and defined an era, as a vehicle for understanding America's criminal justice system and the ways in which outside influences can affect that system. "The Murder of Laci Peterson" is set to premiere Tuesday, August 15 at 10PM ET/PT on A&E.

"A&E is in the business of finding and uncovering the real stories behind some of the most impactful cultural moments that our audience hasn't heard and 'The Murder of Laci Peterson' does exactly that," said Elaine Frontain Bryant, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming, A&E Network."The media's obsession with the Scott Peterson trial was unlike anything seen before. This new series will cut through the mass hysteria that has plagued and distorted the reporting of this story to deliver, for the first time, a definitive factual account by those who lived and breathed it every day."

The mystery of Laci Peterson's disappearance on Christmas Eve 2002 captivated the nation. Eight months pregnant, she vanished without a trace. Her body and that of her unborn child, Conner, appeared four months later on the shores of the San Francisco Bay causing a media frenzy on both a local and national level. To this day, no one knows exactly when, where or how she died, only that her husband Scott Peterson was convicted of murder and sentenced to death, despite the absence of DNA evidence or eyewitness testimony. Scott Peterson's conviction was less a tribute to the efficacy of the legal system than it was a case study for the overwhelming power of modern media to deliver the facts of news in a way that creates irresistible tabloid fodder.

As the 15th Anniversary of Laci Peterson's disappearance approaches, "The Murder of Laci Peterson" takes a fresh, new look at the case, reexamining the circumstantial evidence and assessing the media's influence on the case and its outcome. This documentary series will include unprecedented access to Scott Peterson and his family as they speak directly and candidly about Scott's conviction. In addition, the series will include interviews with an expansive and impressive list of key eyewitnesses, experts, lawyers, cops, journalists, detectives (professional and amateur), including Nancy Grace, Gloria Allred, Amber Frey, Detectives Jon Buehler and Ed Steele, journalists Ken Auletta and Maureen Orth, reporters Gloria Gomez and Garth Stapley, Scott Peterson's trial co-counsel Pat Harris, his appellate attorney Cliff Gardner, attorney and CNN and ABC contributor Chris Pixley and local reporter turned CNN correspondent Ted Rowlands among many others.

"The Murder of Laci Peterson" is produced for A&E Network by Left/Right and BQE Films.Executive producers for Left/Right are Banks Tarver, Ken Druckerman, and John Marks.Executive producers for BQE Films are Shareen Anderson and Po Kutchins. Executive producers for A&E are Elaine Frontain Bryant, Amy Savitsky, Brad Abramson and Emily Flood. A+E Networks holds worldwide distribution rights for "The Murder of Laci Peterson."

Friday, April 21, 2017

The "newly unearthed interrogation video"

Dateline is using the guise of a "newly unearthed interrogation video" to draw attention to its 2-hour show on Scott's case tonite.  It's the interrogation that Brocchini did at midnight the day Laci disappeared, so there's nothing new about it -- in fact, it was shown in court and the transcript has been on pwc-SII for years.

A short clip is posed on Scott Peterson Appeal facebook page.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Watch for these two specials on Scott's case.

April 21st, Dateline, at 9 pm

May 7, Oxygen Channel, Snapped.  This appears to be the season's opener.

Here's a clip from Snapped.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The tests don't lie

The tests don't lie
So much is made, by those who believe Scott is guilty, that Scott lied so much how can anyone believe anything that he says. The truth of the matter is, we don't have to believe anything Scott says. We don't have to believe any one that has a vested interest in this case. We don't have to determine who is telling the truth and who isn't. We don't have to decide whose motives are pure and whose bias is objective.

Why? Because the forensic testing speaks loud and clear, and requires no interpretation, has no ulterior motive, and cannot be misunderstood.

It is not always the case that the forensic testing is so conclusive -- in some cases it still is very much subject to interpretation.

But, in this case, it is absolutely reliable.

Why? Because all of it contradicted the State's case. It was all collected by the State, controlled by the State, tested by the State, and reported by the State.

And all the tests came back NEGATIVE.

At every step of the way, those participating in its collection, testing, and reporting had a vested interest in the test results.

And all the tests came back NEGATIVE.

We don't have to take Scott's word for where he was on Dec. 24, and what time he was there, because he left a paper trail that proves, without bias, where he was and when.

We don't have to take Scott's word for why the mops and bucket were outside the door, or why anyone would be mopping the floor the day after the maid mopped, because the forensic testing proves with absolute certainty that the mops and bucket were not used to clean up a crime scene. That makes what they were used for totally irrelevant.

We don't have to understand why Scott washed his clothes or why and how they got wet, because the forensic testing proves with absolute certainty that he did not commit the crimes he was convicted of wearing those clothes. That makes everything else about the clothes totally irrelevant.

We don't have to understand why Scott was vacuuming on Dec 25, because the forensic testing proves with absolute certainty that the vacuum cleaner was not used to clean up a crime scene. That makes everything else about the vacuum cleaner or the vacuuming totally irrelevant.

We don't have to know where the pliers came from or how the hair got into them, because the forensic testing proves with absolute certainty that the pliers were not used to cut the chicken wire and had not been used recently enough to be involved in the crime. That makes everything else about the pliers and the hair totally irrelevant.

Everything that the state presented as evidence against Scott was inconclusive, subject to a range of interpretation; everything that was tested was absolutely conclusive that Scott did not murder Laci.

What was tested? Everything in that house that had the least hint of suspicion -- blood stains that they had to mark their location with sticky-notes because they were so small they wouldn't show up in the pictures. Everything in the pickup that had the least hint of suspicion. Everything in the boat that had the least hint of suspicion.

Besides collecting items for testing, cadaver dogs and scent dogs were used. Their results were inconclusive; most of it was not even allowed in as testimony it was so inconclusive. What was let in was contradicted with other dog testimony.

The State said Laci and Conner washed ashore, yet their own expert could not get them back to the same place, and the best dive and sonar teams could not find any evidence they had been where they should have been. So what difference does it make why Scott went fishing, or if he should have gone fishing, or what time of day he went fishing, or if he told some he was fishing and some he was golfing, because the State's own experts and other witnesses proved with a preponderance of the evidence that Laci was not where Scott was fishing.

So, when it gets right down to it, who cares whether Anne is telling the truth or Scott; whether Amber is telling the truth or Scott -- because the forensic testing proves that Scott did not murder Laci in that house or transport her in that pickup or boat, or dump her in the bay. The entirety of the forensic testing proves absolutely that Scott did not murder Laci in that house or transport her in that pickup or boat; and the preponderance of the evidence provided by the State itself proves that Scott did not dump Laci in the bay on that fishing trip.

All the accusations Anne Bird makes in her book, and all the heretofore secret documents that Catherine Crier cites in her book are meaningless as proof -- and no claims that Scott did this or that, or that his mother did this or that, can dispute the absolute certainty of the forensic testing.

Tell me why I should not place absolute trust in the forensic testing in this case to declare that Scott is 100% factually innocent of the crimes he has been convicted of. Give me one good reason why I should favor gossip over forensic testing.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

It looks like the State is finally going to file its Response to the Habeas.  Mark April 24, 2017 on your calendars. 

Case: S230782, Supreme Court of California

Date (YYYY-MM-DD):        2017-02-16
Event Description:        Extension of time granted

Notes: Good cause appearing, and based upon Supervising Deputy Attorney General Donna M. Provenzano's representation that the informal response to the petition for writ of habeas corpus is anticipated to be filed by April 24, 2017, counsel's request for an extension of time in which to file that document is granted to April 24, 2017.  After that date, no further extension is contemplated.

For more information on this case, go to:

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Update on Habeas Appeal - Extension of Time granted

The extension of time is to April 22, 2016, at which time the State will either file its Response or request another extension.  You can follow the progress of the Habeas Appeal by clicking here.  If you want to receive email notifications of updates, scroll down to the bottom of the page, click the link to register to receive emails, and then follow the instructions.

02/17/2016Request for extension of time filed    to file informal response. (2nd request)
02/19/2016Filed:    CD; electronic copy of exhibits in support of petition for writ of habeas corpus. (Volumes 1-4; Exhibits 1-49)
02/25/2016Extension of time granted    Good cause appearing, and based upon Supervising Deputy Attorney General Donna M. Provenzano's representation that the informal response to the petition for writ of habeas corpus is anticipated to be filed by December 15, 2017, counsel's request for an extension of time in which to file that document is granted to April 22, 2016. After that date, only ten further extensions totaling about 600 additional days will be granted.