Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cookies and meringue on Martha Stewart

In his taped interview with Det. Al Brocchini, Scott gave this information about what happened in his home that morning, December 24, 2002.

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PETERSON: Thank you
BROCCHINI: Pretty much Scott, all we do, lets just go over what, what we already talked about so I can make some notes.
PETERSON: Um hum. (Affirmative)
BROCCHINI: See if you remember something that you know maybe you don't know you remembered. So today just tell me about the morning?
PETERSON: Ah, okay. Ah I don't know what time we got up, probably ah Laci got up and went I assume, she said she had some cereal for breakfast.
BROCCHINI: Um hum.
PETERSON: Eats right when she wakes up, otherwise she gets sick, 'cause she's pregnant. Ah, I laid around in bed longer, I got up at I don't know, 8 o'clock probably or so. Ah, showered ah we were watchin' her favorite show, Martha STEWART. Watched a little bit of that.
BROCCHINI: You didn't watch the whole thing though?
PETERSON: No.
BROCCHINI: You remember what part you saw?
PETERSON: I don't know, I don't know what they had on, some cooking deal, I don't know, cookies of some sort, they were talking about what to do with meringue.
BROCCHINI: Ah and I, I can't remember, your house, you had the, the converted garage area, is that your TV room, right?
PETERSON: Yeah.


By that time, Brocchini was already convinced Scott was responsible for Laci's disappearance and didn't believe anything Scott told him. However, why did Brocchini focus obsessively on the meringue and forget all about the cookies? When he wrote his report on December 25th he mentions only the meringue.

GERAGOS: Does this refresh your recollection from your 12/25 report: Remembered Martha Stewart was baking something with meringue. So it went: I don't know, they had on cookies of some sort, they were talking about what to do with meringue. And in your report it says: Peterson said Martha Stewart was baking something with meringue; is that correct?
BROCCHINI: I didn't quote it like that, but that looks correct to me.
GERAGOS: Well, that report that I've got right there, do you have any reason to believe that's not straight out your report on 12/25?
BROCCHINI: No, that is. I remember that, but there's no quote marks in my report.
GERAGOS: Okay. This is a direct sentence out of your report, right?
BROCCHINI: Yes.


Brocchini ordered the tape of the Dec 24, 2002 Martha Stewart show to find out if Scott was really home that morning.

GERAGOS: So by getting the, the significance of the Martha Stewart portion is to see if in fact he was at home watching Martha Stewart sometime on Christmas Eve morning, correct?
BROCCHINI: That's why I did it.


But Brocchini didn't just request the tape for the 24th, he also asked for the 23rd.

GERAGOS: And you ordered, why did you ordered both the 23rd and the 24th?
BROCCHINI: I don't know. I wanted to see if what he was talking about was on the 23rd or the 24th.
GERAGOS: Why didn't you order the 20th?
BROCCHINI: If I had to, I would have, but I didn't think it was necessary at the time.
GERAGOS: Out of all the days in December, how did you pick the 23rd?
BROCCHINI: Two days.
GERAGOS: Well, you knew by the January 17th, you'd talked to Margarita Nava, right? By January 17th?
BROCCHINI: Yes.
GERAGOS: By January 17th you knew that he wasn't home on the 23rd, from your interview with Margarita Nava, correct?
BROCCHINI: That's right.
GERAGOS: Okay. So you still picked the 23rd?
BROCCHINI: There's TVs everywhere, Mr. Geragos. I don't know.
GERAGOS: So you didn't know, you thought maybe he had gone out and, part of his grand scheme and watched Martha Stewart somewhere else?
DISTASO: Objection. It's argumentative.
JUDGE: Sustained.
GERAGOS: Well, the,
DISTASO: Well
GERAGOS: what you put later,
DISTASO: There is an objection, Judge.
JUDGE: I ruled on it. Sustained.
GERAGOS: That's why I asked another question.
JUDGE: I'll have to sit closer to the microphone.
GERAGOS: To the microphone, exactly. Pull it close.
GERAGOS: You had made a leap that he was describing in your reports. You said he was describing what had happened on the 23rd; isn't that your statement in your reports?
BROCCHINI: Yes.
GERAGOS: Okay.
BROCCHINI: That's what I thought.
GERAGOS: Okay. Well, by the time you wrote your report on the 21st, you already knew he wasn't at home on the 23rd?
BROCCHINI: I wrote, yeah, I know. That's right.


On January 17, 2003, when Brocchini watched the tape of the 24th, he didn't hear any mention of meringue. I can't fault him for that, as the word only appears once in the transcript. When he watched the tape of the 23rd, however, he saw an entire segment with meringue. Brocchini wrote another report involving the meringue on January 21, 2003:

GERAGOS: Now, after you prepared this report here on January 21st, you then wrote in the same report: I find it highly suspicious first that Scott Peterson would describe clothing to me that Laci was wearing on 12/24 as the same clothing she was wearing on 12/23, and you also find it suspicious that Scott Peterson would claim to be watching Martha Stewart with Laci on 12/24 while Martha Stewart was baking with meringue. And then your conclusion is there is no meringue mentioned on the show on 12/24, correct?
BROCCHINI: That's what I wrote.


So he concluded Scott was lying and gave that information to Jacobson, who included it in his affidavit for a wiretap.

DISTASO: Okay. The -- that information, did you also give that information to Investigator Jacobson?
BROCCHINI: Yes, I did.
DISTASO: And to your knowledge did he use that information as part of an affidavit that he wrote for -- for a wiretap in the case?
BROCCHINI: Yes, he did.
>>>
GERAGOS: Now, after that you gave the information to Investigator Jacobson, right?
BROCCHINI: Sometime after that, yeah.
GERAGOS: Yeah. And he filed a wiretap application, correct?
BROCCHINI: Yes, he did.
GERAGOS: Okay. And he, when he files that wiretap application, he prepares an affidavit, correct?
BROCCHINI: Yes.
GERAGOS: And that affidavit is based upon what the detectives in the Modesto Police Department tell him are the results so far of their investigation, right?
BROCCHINI: It's based on what the detectives believe are, what the, what's in the investigation up to that point.
GERAGOS: Okay. Now, in that, contained in that affidavit, which Investigator Jacobson swore under oath, was the following statement: During your interview with Scott Peterson, Peterson claimed he woke up on December 24th and watched Martha Stewart with Laci. According to Scott, the show aired on the date containing a segment about meringue. Detective Brocchini learned that Martha Stewart show is date sensitive as the date is broadcast as part of the program. He ordered, received and viewed the videotapes of the 23rd and the 24th. The meringue segment is included on the 23rd, but is not mentioned on the 24th. Is that, is that accurate?
BROCCHINI: That's accurate.
GERAGOS: And that's what you told Jacobson so that he could swear under oath so that they could get a search warrant, correct?
BROCCHINI: No. Wiretap.
GERAGOS: Wiretap.
BROCCHINI: That's correct.


Brocchini knew that the tape for the 24th included making cookies because he included that in his report on Jan 21, but that didn't seem to make any difference to him.

GERAGOS: Well, let's take a look at your report on the 21st. The report on the 21st, specifically you say you reviewed the 12/24, 2000 and 2 from the beginning, including commercials; is that accurate?
BROCCHINI: Yes.
GERAGOS: And Martha Stewart baked lemon butter cookies during the first, and then during the second segment there was no mention of meringue during any of this show, correct?
BROCCHINI: That's what I wrote.


I can't understand how the cookies got eliminated from the picture in Brocchini's mind. Why, when he saw the long segment on making and decorating lemon butter cookies didn't it register that Scott was telling the truth?

Scott's statement: I don't know what they had on, some cooking deal, I don't know, cookies of some sort, they were talking about what to do with meringue.

The December 23rd Martha Stewart show, People's Exhibit 81, had no segments on making cookies, and cookies were not mentioned except in Martha's closing, when she describes the buffet table that has been set and says: "And, of course, cookies and there are other delightful surprises for dessert coming out later." There was indeed a long segment with Chef Bill Yossa demonstrating how to make his Bittersweet Chocolate Dacquoise. A dacquoise is layers of meringue and either mocha butter cream or praline butter cream.

The December 24th Martha Stewart show, People's Exhibit 82, included a long segment with Dorie Greenspan, author of "Paris Sweets," making lemon butter cookies. The recipe uses egg yolks only, so Stewart asked Greenspan what she was going to do with the egg whites.

Stewart: So when are we going to do all the egg whites, Dorie?
Greenspan: Ooh, you want to make little meringues?
Stewart: Oh, that would be nice. So there.


Little meringues are little cookies that you make with egg whites and sugar. Stewart and Greenspan continued to work on their lemon butter cookies. The mention of little meringues was toward the end of the cookie segment, so it's no surprise that Scott remembered "cookies" and "meringue."

Scott was telling the truth. He did watch Martha Stewart with Laci on the morning of the 24th and he did see that segment on the lemon butter cookies, a recipe which probably delighted Laci because, after all, it was a French pastry and she had gone to France to take a cooking course.

That still leaves the question of why Brocchini only wrote about the meringue in his report on the 25th, when Scott clearly said cookies and meringue. I suspect he edited his Dec 25th report to only include meringue in Scott's statement after he watched the Martha Stewart tapes on Jan 17.

9 comments:

Bruce Dombrowski said...

Scott got up and showered, laci had already showered, and was dressed.


i've never seen a woman, let alone a very pregnant woman shower, get dressed for the day, then mop the floor.

Bruce Dombrowski said...

I think scott was remembering the 23rd entire segment on meringue, appears it was mentioned in passing on the 24th...the word was spoken only once.

Marlene Newell said...

Bruce, where does it say in this article that Laci showered and then got dressed? Where does it say that she got dressed "for the day"? Do you not recall that she changed clothes on the 23rd when she went out for her appointments?

Burkey said...

GERAGOS: You had made a leap that he was describing in your reports. You said he was describing what had happened on the 23rd; isn't that your statement in your reports?
BROCCHINI: Yes.
GERAGOS: Okay.
BROCCHINI: That's what I thought.
GERAGOS: Okay. Well, by the time you wrote your report on the 21st, you already knew he wasn't at home on the 23rd?
BROCCHINI: I wrote, yeah, I know. That's right.

Did he say in his report that Scott was describing the events of the 23rd? Really? Because you'd think he'd at least specify (for an official document) that he *suspected* Scott may have been talking about the 23rd and not the 24th, if there was a question. But to just write "he was talking about the 23rd" when the maid said he wasn't there makes no sense at all. I mean, I can't understand the thinking. It seems very presumptuous and heavy-handed to me.

Burkey said...

I really want to know if Brocchini knew about Scott and Amber when he went to Covena that first night. That could be the basis of his assumption that Scott did it.

Someone should ask him. It seems important. If that video VOS saw said what he said it did--that Brocchini said that--then that's a very large omission from the official version of the story (another one, I mean).

Marlene Newell said...

I wonder if Brocchini's wife watched Martha Stewart, and if she watched on the 24th, but missed the meringue mention - after all it was very short -- or if Brocchini got it all messed up in his mind that Scott said MS was cooking or baking with meringue, and his wife said, No, that was the day before. There you go, evidence that Scott is lying! And he gave that information to Jacobson for the Jan 10th wiretap.

Bruce Dombrowski said...

i like it....since it was short and the day before it was a longer segment, me thinks scott may have seen it the previous day as well...

Jane said...

Bruce, do you think that Scott came home from work on December 23 to watch Martha Stewart when Laci was at Trader Joe's getting groceries?

Bruce Dombrowski said...

just a thought...if the facts say different, then i stand corrected..but i do believe the det got the info second hand...