Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nancy Grace -- true to form!

Nancy Grace was true to form last night -- big on opinion and misinformation, short on real facts.  

Opinion -- okay, we get it, Grace has a manual for how people should obey when a loved one goes missing, and anyone that fails to act accordingly is guilty.  However, it would be nice for any "investigation" to actually include some facts.

Misinformation -- what she gave last night is particularly inexcusable.  She has staff to fact-check things for her.  Unfortunately, we don't have the benefit of a transcript of the show, so we have to rely on what people recorded as they listened.  Most of the inaccuracies are simply instances of exaggerating the truth.  But why is it necessary to exaggerate the truth?  Why isn't the truth good enough all by itself?  Is that the way she got all those convictions, by exaggerating the truth?

Laci was just about to give birth - the delivery of her unborn son Conner was imminent.  Laci was 32 or 33 weeks pregnant on December 23.  Her original due date was February 10.  So she had 7 weeks remaining.   

There was a big get together planned for that evening and she had worked so hard on it - her whole family was coming.  The get-together was at Sharon's, it was a small get-together, the whole family wasn't coming, and Laci's only responsibility was to bring whipped cream, and she was only asked to do that at the last minute.  Laci was hosting a brunch on Christmas Day and was going to serve french toast.  

It was the night of Laci’s vigil and he was leaving this preposterous message to Amber Frey about where he was on vacation or out of town or some lie and it wasn’t just one – it was call after call after call.  This is the record of phone calls between Scott and Amber on December 31.  

11:35 a.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber <1 min="min">
11:42 a.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 <5 min="min">
2:59 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 <2 min="min">
3:05 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber <2 min="min"> 195D
4:18 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber <4 min="min"> 195E
4:20 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber <1 min="min"> 195F

The body of her baby, Conner, there was only 24 hours difference in them washing ashore – I remember that the pedestrian out walking his dog as I recall saw little Conner and thought it was a baby doll  it was so perfect.   There is no reference at all to Conner looking like a baby doll in Looby's testimony.  Dr. Peterson's descriptions of the babies decomposed condition would hardly fit the "so perfect" description.  Did Grace ever see any of those autopsy photos?  In fact, Looby's wife didn't even recognize Conner as a baby at first. 

If Scott Peterson had really been looking for his wife why would he be arrested enroute to Mexico with his hair died another color, false i.d., thousands in cash.  He was set to go, set to leave the jurisdiction.  He had survival gear with him he was headed to Mexico and planned a life there.  Scott was not "enroute to Mexico."  He was living in San Diego, which has a historic reality of being next door to Mexico.  What a great life that would be living on "survival gear" in Mexico.  Apparently Grace isn't aware that Scott was in Mexico in January, and was told by Ted Rowlands that an arrest was imminent, and yet Scott returned to Modesto.  She also must be unaware that the bodies were found on Sunday and Monday and was all over the news, but Scott made no attempt to escape to Mexico or anywhere else during that week while the police waited for the bodies to be ID'd.  

Peterson and his whole camp came into the game ya know snake pit because they had a reason to lie.  And that is something that I’ve long argued to juries, when I assess a case, I look at the potential witnesses to determine their credibility.  What if anything do they have to win or lose based on the outcome of the trial.  Many of them have nothing to gain or to lose, for instance the police, the crime lab analysts, they’re not going to get a raise or a promotion if there’s a conviction.  They’ll be on to the next case the next week.  But Scott Peterson and his family had a lot to lose based on the outcome of the trial.  Well, duh, of course Scott and his family had a lot to lose based on the outcome of the trial -- his whole life.  Grace's reasoning seems to be that no defendant, or anyone testifying on his behalf, can be believed because they have something to lose.  I didn't realize her anti-defendant bias was that radical.  Even more radical is her statement that no one from the prosecution side has anything to gain.  Of course the MPD had something to gain from a conviction and a lot to lose from an acquittal - their reputations.  They had contributed significantly to making this a national media case, and everyone would know exactly who to blame if the case wasn't strong enough to convict.  They would have had to face a very angry Modesto community on their arrival home.  Same with the DAs.  

Furthermore, a lot of people did gain from Scott's conviction -- lots of books sold that wouldn't have had a market if he had been acquitted.  And there were some promotions, according to this ModBee article:

Rick Distaso: Appointed to be a Superior Court Judge in June 2005.

Dave Harris: Promoted to chief deputy district attorney in fall 2005
Birgit Fladager: Elected as District Attorney in June 2006

Allen Brocchini:  promoted to sergeant, leaving investigative services for the operations division

Joh Buehler:   promoted to sergeant, leaving investigative services for the operations division
Craig Grogan: Reassigned to investigate cold cases

Scott referred to Laci in the past tense.  And so did everyone else.

GERAGOS: Now, one of the things that you specifically had mentioned, I think it was you, in one of the interviews that Scott had referred to Laci in the past tense; is that correct?
GROGAN: Talking about the media interviews?
GROGAN: Yes, sir.
GERAGOS: Okay. I'm looking at 14751. You got a call from a Marna Davis, who is a reporter from Sacramento, correct?
GERAGOS: And Marna Davis reported that she was a reporter from Sacramento who had spoken to Brent Rocha, and she thought it was odd that Brent Rocha had spoken about his sister in the past tense; is that correct?
GROGAN: That's what this tip says.
GERAGOS: And that she had interviewed Brent Rocha on the day after Christmas and he had referred to Laci in the past tense and she thought that was odd, correct?
GROGAN: That's what the tip says, yes, sir.
GERAGOS: Okay. Now, the, did you, to the best of your knowledge, did anybody follow-up with this reporter, Marna Davis, to see what, what interview she had done with Brent Rocha where he had referred to Laci in the past tense?
GROGAN: No. That's the first I've seen that.
GERAGOS: Okay. That's in the, it is in the discovery in the tips line that comes in; isn't that correct?
GROGAN: It does have a Bates stamp number, so it should be in the discovery.
GERAGOS: Yeah. 14751, correct?
GROGAN: Correct, yes.
GERAGOS: Now, you've also seen a number of the, well, you've got one report here that is, I can't quite, it says page six of six. Is that 142?
GROGAN: I don't know.
GERAGOS: Okay. And is this an interview with Amy?
GROGAN: Yeah, it appears to be.
GERAGOS: You've got some quotation marks around something Amy said; is that correct?
GROGAN: Correct.
GERAGOS: And this is a January 5th report? That you prepared?
GERAGOS: Does Amy refer to Laci in the past tense on January 5th? In your quote?
GROGAN: Talking about, yeah, it's talking about jewelry and whether Laci would have set any aside or if it would all be in the jewelry box, and she said: Laci was not that way, she would have shared all of it.
GERAGOS: Okay. Did you find that odd that Amy had spoken about Laci in the past tense?
GROGAN: At the time, no.
GERAGOS: Okay. I've got, you, there were also other interviews that were done on Larry King, on The Early Show, and Good Morning America. And in, you would periodically, I'm sorry, look at those interviews, as well, of the families, correct?
GROGAN: Actually, not very often. I didn't watch very much of the media in this. I was occasionally told about it.
GERAGOS: Okay. Were you aware that in an interview on The Early Show on December 30th that Sharon Rocha spoke about Laci in the past tense?
GERAGOS: Were you aware that on Good Morning America, on December 27th, that Sharon Rocha spoke about Laci in the past tense?
FLADAGER: Your Honor, I would object as (inaudible).
JUDGE: I can't hear you, Ms. Fladager.
FLADAGER: I object to this, your Honor. The detective's indicated he's not watched these programs.
JUDGE: The objection's sustained.
GERAGOS: Did you do any, did you look at who other family members were speaking about the, about Laci on TV?
GROGAN: No. I rarely watched any media reports related to this case.
GERAGOS: Okay. If I were to show you, are you aware of how to obtain transcripts from the shows? Either by a Lexis search?
GROGAN: I know it can be done.
GERAGOS: If I were to tell you during the break to take a look at the Good Morning America transcript from December 27th, or The Early Show from December 30th, or the, specifically the Connie Chung Show, which I guess no longer exists, and they have family members speaking in the past tense; that in and of itself was really indicative of nothing, is it?
GROGAN: I don't know if it's indicative of nothing. Maybe it's when someone has decided that there's a possibility that Laci may not be coming back.
GERAGOS: Okay. As far as you know, it appears, at least, however, that virtually everybody who was close to her at one time or another in the media referred to Laci in the past tense within the first week; isn't that correct?
GROGAN: Based on the documents that you showed me, some of those people, if those quotes are correct, said things similar to that, yes.

Probably the biggest mistake Grace made is when she said Laci was found first, then the baby.  She obviously is not keen on details -- at least not on factual details.  Perhaps that's because she focuses so much on irrelevant, exaggerated, and incorrect details that she doesn't have any attention span left for reality. 

All in all, it was much ado about nothing -- a re-investigation that merely regurgitated old myths and misinformation.  No new evidence; no new insight.  Just the same ole, same ole. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Nancy Grace re-investigates the Scott Peterson case

Tonight, Friday 11-9-12, at 8 pm EST, Nancy Grace will revisit the Scott Peterson case on HLN.
Love, lies, an extramarital affair, a secret life… and murder. The true story of Laci & Scott Peterson. After a seemingly loving husband and expectant father is convicted of murdering his pregnant wife we are still no closer to knowing what really happened that fateful night. Did Laci look into her husbands eyes when he killed her? After living a secret double life for awhile, why did Scott Peterson turn to murder? The truth revealed as Nancy re-investigates one of America’s most infamous crimes.
Here's a tip, Grace -- if after a trial you still don't know what happened, hmmm maybe the wrong person was on trial.  Think so?  Possible?  Nah, you know he's guilty so that ends that.  That leaves only the question of whether you will reveal some new misinformation, or simply regurgitate the same misinformation you have spewed for years?  

The facebook page, Scott Peterson Case - Truth Be Told, will be critiquing Grace's re-investigation.

See you all there . . .