Friday, March 18, 2011

The 2002 Season Finale of the Sopranos

Both Sharon and Ron testified that they went over to dinner at Laci's and Scott's on December 15, 2002, and that was the last time Sharon saw Laci alive, though she talked a few times to her on the phone after that.

DISTASO: And then before we get to that, though, when is the last time that you physically saw your daughter, not talk to her on the phone, but actually saw her in person?
ROCHA: December 15th.
DISTASO: And that was at the dinner you told us about?
In her book, For Laci, pages 74-75, Sharon writes about that dinner:

At dinner, I said that Ron and I had gone fishing earlier in the
morning. Laci's eyes widened. I rarely went fishing with him, so it was

news. And it prompted a funny description of me bundled up in a
chair beside the river. It was also a perfect opportunity for Scott—or
Laci—to mention that he'd bought a fishing boat the week before.
But the subject never came up because (a) Laci didn't know and (b)
because Scott didn't want us to know.
For some reason, Laci mentioned that Scott had told her that the
warehouse he rented for work in an industrial part of town was so full
he had to step over things to get to his office. I'd never seen the warehouse
myself. I didn't even know what it looked like until I saw photos
at the preliminary hearing. By that time I couldn't remember why she
had brought it up, but I knew it didn't have anything to do with a
Ron specifically said in his testimony that the night they went over was the season finale of The Sopranos:
GRANTSKI: Yeah. That was the plan. The way it worked was it was the last episode of Sopranos and I was complaining because it comes on on cable at 9:00 o'clock, and Scott and Laci had satellite, and Laci said Well, we get it at 6:00, why don't you come over for dinner and we'll watch the last episode. So that's what we did.
DISTASO: Okay. Coming on at, at 9:00 o'clock, were you, is that, is that a little late in your normal typical schedule?
GRANTSKI: Yeah. I get up at 3:30, 4:30 at the latest every day and, so...
DISTASO: As part of your job, do you, do you drive to a lot of different locations? You know, wherever your construction projects are going on?
GRANTSKI: Yes, I put between 35 and 50,000 miles a year on my car, so I do a lot of driving.
DISTASO: So you're up early?
DISTASO: And you get to your sites and you do your thing early?
DISTASO: And you go to bed early after that?
DISTASO: So you went over to Laci's house and the Sopranos came on at 6:00 because they have satellite, right?
However, the 2002 season finale of The Sopranos did not air on December 15, 2002 -- it aired on December 8, as shown in this chart from Wikipedia.

Ron also revealed in his testimony that it was Scott initiating the increased contact between the two families -- not Laci, and not Sharon:
GERAGOS: Okay. The, is it a fair statement that as Laci got more pregnant, or as the pregnancy proceeded, that Scott made an effort to try and include you and Sharon more with them? 
GRANTSKI: Yes, he did. 
GRANTSKI: Yes, he did. 
GERAGOS: And would that also involve having you and Sharon, as she progressively got more pregnant, or the due date approached, coming over on Sundays, for instance, for dinners? 
GERAGOS: Okay. And that he wanted to spend more time or have the families get closer together? 
GRANTSKI: About two weeks before Laci, 
GERAGOS: Disappeared? 
GRANTSKI: disappeared, I made a point of asking Sharon about that, you know, it's kind of strange, we're all starting to get together. She said that Scott, Laci said, Scott wanted us to spend more time together because of the baby.
The Sunday before Laci's disappearance was the 22nd.  Two weeks before the 22nd as the 8th.  So it's logical to conclude that Ron asked Sharon about the increased visits between the families on the night they last went to Laci's for dinner.

Scott didn't tell Sharon and Ron about the boat purchase because he hadn't yet bought the boat on December 8.  He didn't buy it until the next day.  And, despite his personal failings with fidelity, he very much was doing what he could to become closer to Laci's family.

The dinner being on the 8th makes sense of the "warehouse being so cramped" conversation.  Since Sharon was wrong about the date, there's no reason to believe that she is entirely right in her memory of how that conversation went.  It likely was some good-humored chatter between Laci and Scott about how he was going to fit a boat in the warehouse as cramped as it already was.  Sharon and Ron may not have known that Scott actually bought the boat, but I highly suspect they knew that Scott was talking about buying one.


Burkey said...

Very interesting! I think it came up in a discussion that HBO may have been re-airing the finale on the 15th. Was there ever any resolution on that? I remember calling HBO and getting nada.

You know, reading the transcripts, it is so odd to me that the jurors would ignore clues about Scott's character, like the fact that he was initiating getting together more with her family. That is very hard to reconcile with a guy who wants to murder his wife. Then I think about the Diane Sawyer interview, where the first thing you hear is Scott saying he goes down to the park with the dog to try to feel Laci's spirit, except you can't really understand what he's saying because he's mumbling. THAT is not something a guy who murdered his wife would say.
I have a theory. I think Scott really believed the evidence (or lack) would exonerate him. And I think that he did not act remorseful because he did not do it. And I wonder if his attitude may have been misread by jurors. After all, they're in a room with the guy and the people who hate him, for five months, never get to talk to him at all. They think "this guy isn't acting sorry at all." Jurors have power. They want to be feared a little, maybe. And these jurors were superstars, remember. Everyone was watching to see what they'd do. And maybe they were a little pissed that Scott wasn't more hangdog or looking pleadingly at them. They called him "arrogant," and without ever having ever spoken to him, how could they make that assessment? The testimony does not show arrogance on his part, but on the police's part, it sure does. I really think they were marinating in the mental atmosphere surrounding the case, and wanted their butts kissed and to see a little fear. A little deferential acknowledgement of their power, perhaps. Scuse the language, but I'm just not sure how else to put it. These are just my impressions, OK.

Marlene Newell said...

I know that argument has been made, that they were watching a re-run --but nowhere does Ron say that he missed the original showing and so he wanted to see it on the rerun, although he certainly had an opportunity to do so under cross by Geragos.