Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Mailman's Timeline

At 10:38 a.m. on Tuesday, December 24, the day that Laci Peterson disappeared, Amie Krigbaum and her partner Terra Venable were awakened by the sound of barking dogs – not a chorus of dogs, such as when the mailman was delivering the mail, but two dogs. They recognized the barking of Sage, the dog who belonged to the neighbor just north of them; but they did not recognize the barking of the other dog. The Krigbaums lived across the street and slightly north of the Petersons. It was not until 2 days later, at the time the cars belonging to Scott and Laci Peterson were being removed from the Peterson driveway by MPD, that they heard the same aggressive barking they had heard 2 days before; and at that time they realized that the dog they had heard was McKenzie, the Peterson’s dog.

Amie Krigbaum testified in the preliminary hearing that McKenzie rarely barked. She said that Sage always barked when the mailman came or when another person or another dog was walking by; but McK was not a part of the chorus of dogs that barked when the mailman came. Normally, Sage barking did not trigger McKenzie barking. Apparently then, at 10:38 a.m. McK was not behind the gate inside his own yard. He was in the area of Krigbaum’s house and was barking aggressively. Sage was barking in response to McK’s barking.

Just a few minutes earlier, at 10:32 a.m., Rudy and Susan Medina who lived directly across the street from the Petersons and one house south of Krigbaums had left home for a trip to Los Angeles. Medina’s home was burglarized sometime after they left.

Russell Graybill, the mailman, in testimony and in the schedule he provided for MPD, said that he was on Peterson’s street between 10:35 and 10:50 on December 24. If this is so, he would probably have passed the Medinas as they left home; and he definitely would have heard Sage and McKenzie barking. He testified that McK did not bark on that day.

Graybill’s timeline needs further examination.

Mr. Graybill was scheduled to deliver mail to 500 homes (testimony) during the course of his day. On December 24, 2002 he arrived at his first scan at 10:19 a.m. and at his last scan at 3:41 p.m. for a total of 5 hours and 22 minutes delivery time. He did not take a lunch break on December 24. Given an approximate delivery time of 1.5 homes per minute, Graybill would have arrived on the Peterson’s block around 11:00.

Graybill had the kind of route that is called a park and loop. He would park at a certain spot and then get out of his truck and deliver mail on foot to all the houses that area. There were scan points on a few mailboxes along his route to determine where he was at certain times.

From Graybill’s testimony:

My first stop would be 1402 Encina. I would walk down 1424, go across the street, deliver all these houses here, come back across Encina, go down Rowland, to the 400 block, which is off the map, come back up, come back to my vehicle. That's the first relay. Then I would get in my vehicle and I would drive to 1520 Encina, and I would shut the vehicle off, get out, drop the mail at that house. Drive around here, shut the vehicle off, drop the mail, drive around, shut the vehicle off. Same thing at 1515. Then I would park the vehicle.

On December 24, 2002, Graybill started early. He was due at his first scan point at 10:45 a.m., but he arrived there at 10:19. His first scan was at 1424 Encina Avenue (on the south side of the regular Encina on the west corner of Covena.)

After he parked at 1402 Encina and delivered mail to that house and to the scan point at 1424 (2 houses), he crossed Encina to the north side of the street and delivered mail to that block (12 houses). Then he crossed back over Encina and delivered mail on the south side of Encina (3 houses), and then delivered mail up and down Rowlands in the 400 block (14 houses). (1st Park, Scan, and Loop) Then he moved his truck to 1520 Encina (on the SW corner of Encina and Camellia) and delivered to that house (1 house). (2nd Park and Deliver) Then, he testified, “Drive around here, shut the vehicle off, drop the mail, drive around, shut the vehicle off. Same thing at 1515. Then I would park the vehicle.”

We interpret this to mean that he drove around the corner and headed south on Camellia, shut his truck off, and delivered to the 400 block of Camellia (15 houses). (3rd Park and Loop) Then he drove around the end of the block and headed north on Covena where he shut his truck off and delivered to the 400 block of Covena (15 houses). (4th Park and Loop) Then he continued north on Covena across the regular Encina and drove up to the short block of Encina where he delivered to 1519 and 1515 (2 houses). (5th-6th Stop and Deliver) Then he parked at the corner of ” little Encina “ and Covena and got out of his truck to deliver to the Peterson’s block. (7th Park and Loop) How could he possibly have arrived on the Peterson’s block 15 minutes after his 10:19 scan? How could he possibly have delivered mail to 64 houses, mostly on foot, in 15 minutes? It would be an incredible feat on a normal day, but on the day before Christmas when the volume of mail and packages is much heavier, it could not be done. Based on his 1.5 homes per minute rate that day, delivering to 64 homes would take him at least 42 minutes, which would be 11:01.

So perhaps Mr Graybill meant that he might not have arrived on the Peterson’s street until 10:50 a.m. That is slightly more credible; but even that time does not seem realistic.

Let’s examine Prosecution Exhibit 34. On a regular day Mr. Graybill was due at his first scan at 10:45 a.m. (at 1424 Encina) and at his second scan at 12:05 p.m. (at 202 Ferguson). This first leg of his route should have taken 1 hour and 20 minutes. However, on December 24, it took him 1 hour and 45 minutes.

After he finished Peterson's block (the 500 block of Covena), he drove south on Covena for 3 blocks. He probably delivered to the 300 and 200 blocks of Covena at that time (28 houses) then drove 4 blocks on Miller (about 8-16 houses) to 202 Ferguson for the next scan due at 12:05. He arrived there at 12:04. It would seem apparent that he was on the Peterson block at some time close to 11:00 even though he had started his route early on that day. Mr. Graybill’s lunch break was scheduled from 12:30 to 1:00, between his third and fourth scans. On December 24 he skipped lunch but still did not return to the post office at the end of his route until 3 minutes before his scheduled time. It was a very busy day.

If McKenzie was running by Krigbaums at 10:38 a.m. and Mr. Graybill was not on that block until 11:00, it raises significant questions about Karen Servas’ time of 10:18 a.m. for finding Mck in front of Medina’s and putting him back inside Peterson’s yard. The prosecution implied that Karen Servas could not have found McK after Medina’s left home because Graybill would have been on the street and would have seen her. The prosecution also implied that the barking dogs heard by Krigbaums at 10:38 had nothing to do with Laci’s abduction because Graybill would have been on the street at that time and would have witnessed the abduction.

There is also credible information from Mike Chiavetta (a neighbor who lived 2 doors north of the Petersons) that he saw McK in La Loma park at the north end of Covena at 10:45 a.m.

Medina’s left home at 10:32 a.m. McK was not inside his yard at 10:38 a.m. McK was seen in La Loma park at 10:45 a.m. Mr. Graybill was not on the block until approximately 11:00.

An honest assessment of this timeline would indicate that Laci was most likely abducted around 10:38 a.m. by people associated with the burglary at Medinas. This timeline also suggests that Karen Servas did not find McK at 10:18 a.m., that she was not at Austin’s store at 10:34 a.m, and that the phone call she made at 10:38 a.m. was made when she was still at home. It was sometime after 10:38 a.m. that Karen Servas found McK in the street in front of Medina’s house and put him back inside the gate at Peterson’s house.


Anonymous said...

There are a lot of time lines that work either. Have taken the testimony from Ron and do his time line? It doesn't work either. Remember when Ron said he took the LONG way to Los Banos? Who would take the long way to get from point A to point B on the busiest day of the year?
I was always taught, if you want to get from point A to point B, you always take the shortest direct route to save on gas and time.
What is also interesting is that he claimed to have gone fishing on the spur of the moment type of thing, and yet, no one can swear to it that he actually did go fishing. No one saw him, just as no one could swear what time he got home.

Anonymous said...

I take "the long way" quite often to avoid traffic and lights, no big deal really.

I totally disagree with this "article". It is "guessing" at the times, and discounting Servas' time line altogether when it was backed up by testimony, cell records, and a cash register recipt.

Nice try, but it makes no sense what-so-ever.

Anonymous said...

Firat of all, there is NO SHORT WAY to get from Lodi to Los Banos. As for Ron's fishing, Laci's body did not surface near Oakdale, did it?

Anonymous said...

Serva´s original timeline changed based on her later "recollection". Who is to say that she did her errands in the order she remember it at later stage?

Mailman timeline was always the same, and still raising the same questions.

Anonymous said...

Assuming your timeline is correct, and assuming that the burglars abducted Laci, it does not make any sense whatsoever that they (the burglars)would be sophisticated enough to keep her body, and the baby's body, for four months and then be expert enough to take the bodies and dump them by the sea front to be found, risking being seen doing it, etc., etc. It is where the bodies were, the fact that Laci was eaten by sea life, no limbs, etc., and the fact that the baby was well preserved, doesn't equal or jive with any theories out there that Scott didn't do it.

Wearing A Halo said...

This essay by Jane is erroneous at best and misleading at worst. It is flat out flawed. First, Mike Chiavetta never testified and he admittedly never saw Laci nor Mackenzie. On Larry King he described what he thought could have been someone and a dog from 30 yards away, and he also gave times that he himself was not sure of. Second, the postman who was actually there in Modesto doing his job on 12/24/02 has a better recollection of the time frame he was on Covena than Jane couuld ever dream of. Third, Amie Krigbaum heard the same bark of Mackenzie being inside the gate 2 days later as she heard on 12/24/02, prove positive that Mackenzie was already inside the gate before 10:35.

Anonymous said...

How good was the postman's recollection one year after the fact? The only way to know for sure, would be to follow behind him on Christmas Eve day and time him.
Jane is correct, he would have had extra mail to deliver and unless he power walks, then it is possible his time line is off.
Karen S. kept changing her time's, something like three times wasn't it?
I don't know why she wasn't concerned about Laci when she saw Mack was out. She knows Laci is pregnant, the dog is out, on a leash and no sign of his pregnant owner. I would have done a lot more than just look through the window.
At the very least, I would have knocked on the door to let Laci know her dog was out, if I got no answer, I would have tried the door to see if it was unlocked, thinking maybe Laci didn't hear me. If it was unlocked, I would have poked my head in and called her name.
After getting to response, I might go in further to make sure she was okay and not unconscious some where or I would have called 911.
Yes, Amie heard Mack bark 2 days later, however on the 24th, she didn't know it was Mack and yes, two days later he was inside the gate. I believe the point being made is when Amie heard Mack on the 24th, he was not behind the gate, therefore, it could have been when Laci was abducted and he was barking at her abductors.