ABC to Present 'TRUTH AND LIES' Documentary on Murder of Laci Peterson
They seemed like the perfect couple. Scott and Laci Peterson were charming, dynamic and good-looking college sweethearts in love. On Christmas Eve, December 24, 2002, Laci mysteriously vanished from their home in Modesto, California. She was 27 years old and almost eight months pregnant with a son who they planned to name Conner. In a shocking twist that stunned a community experiencing loss and a riveted nation, Scott was arrested less than four months later and eventually sentenced to death in 2005 for the murders of his wife and unborn son. After Scott Peterson has spent 12 years on DEATH ROW and as his legal team awaits answers to both an appeal and a legal petition alleging he was denied a fair trial, ABC presents a documentary on THE MURDER OF LACI PETERSON featuring new reporting and interviews. TRUTH AND LIES: THE MURDER OF LACIE PETERSON airs THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT) on ABC.
The hour features ABC News archival footage, including exclusive excerpts from interviews with Scott Peterson before he was arrested and Scott Peterson's father and mother, Jackie and Lee Peterson, before Scott was convicted. The documentary includes new interviews with Sharon Rocha, Laci's mother; Al Brocchini and Jon Buehler, former Modesto Police Department detectives who investigated the case; Nancy Grace, Geraldo Rivera, Dan Abrams, Court TV's Beth Karas and other reporters who covered the murder and trial extensively. The special also will reveal never-before-seen home video of Laci.
In the beginning, Laci's family defended Scott against claims that he may be a suspect. However, his odd behavior, calm and unemotional, and a series of lies to family, friends and to the police soon made him the prime suspect. He agreed to a polygraph on the day after she disappeared, but then decided not to do it. While Scott allowed the police to search his home on the night Laci went missing, he refused to sign a consent form for a second search without counsel from his lawyer. Scott also claimed he decided to go fishing on a whim, but police later found he had previously purchased a fishing license for the day she went missing.
While the community immediately mobilized, organizing door-to-door search parties by foot and by car, creating posters and fliers, Scott avoided the media spotlight. Even at Laci's memorial and candlelight vigil, Scott refused to speak out, saying that the event was about Laci and not him. But events took a turn when police UNCOVERED evidence that he had a girlfriend, Amber Frey. Amber claimed he lied to her about being married and when she found out that he was a person of interest in the murder of his wife, she explained to police that Scott told her a couple of weeks before Laci went missing that he had lost his wife and it would be his first Christmas without her. Was Amber Frey the motive for the murder? Laci's family turned on him and he became public enemy No. 1. He was arrested with almost $15,000 in cash, four cell phones, camping equipment, his brother's driver license and Viagra. The trial was often compared to the O.J. Simpson case because of the intensive media coverage. Scott was convicted of MURDER IN THE FIRST degree for Laci's death and in the second degree for their prenatal son Conner's death, and sentenced to death.
The documentary on THE MURDER OF LACI PETERSON is the fourth installment of the No. 1 rated "Truth and Lies" series. Launched in January 2017, the first three specials were on the Menendez brothers, Charles Manson and Watergate.
The special is produced by ABC News. David Sloan is senior executive producer and Muriel Pearson is senior producer.