Monday, December 28, 2015

The Croton Watch

Over the years I've encountered many who ridicule the claim that the Croton watch Deanna Renfro pawned on 12-31-02 was Laci's.  Two of the excuses given are that no one would pawn such a valuable watch for just $20 and no one would pawn stolen goods, knowing they had to give photo ID and be fingerprinted.

A recent case in the Naples News shows just how naive these excuses are.  

Brad Wilson knew what he was doing when he stole a pair of earrings and a bag full of vintage charms and necklaces from a Naples high rise in March.
The 27-year-old Fort Myers man later would tell police he pawned the stolen jewelry to fund his drug habit. A month later, Wilson was arrested by St. Petersburg police for possession of the synthetic drug "spice."
One of the burglary victims, Jane Moerschel, had to buy back her stolen property from pawn shops — spending $3,046 for her own belongings.

According to the article, Moerchel's stolen property was worth $40,000, for which Wilson got $3,046.  So Wilson pawned the stolen goods for 8 cents on the dollar.  And he used an ID and was fingerprinted.

Unless the local police department is vigilant in comparing stolen goods to lists of new inventory at the pawn shops, there is little risk to the pawn dealers.  Moershel reported: "I asked both places why they accepted stolen jewelry and the one said 'If we don't get it, another pawnshop will.'"

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The habeas appeal has been filed

11/23/2015Related habeas corpus petition filed (concurrent)    by attorney Lawrence Gibbs, Case No. S230782

Monday, November 23, 2015

Scott Peterson Appeal Facebook page

The Peterson family has started a Facebook page to complement its website.  The first post is a new Youtube about Scott's timeline for December 23-24.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tunnel Vision

Tunnel vision is repeatedly identified as one of the main causes of wrongful convictions, yet most people don't take it seriously, some even scoff at it.  Tunnel vision is not a rogue cop breaking all the rules just because he can.  Tunnel vision is systemic, meaning it touches all people involved in criminal investigations and prosecutions -- cops, DA's, lab technicians, and even witnesses.

This is an excerpt from a book written about tunnel vision in the Canadian criminal justice system and efforts to eradicate it. 

Honouring Social Justice
By Margaret E. Beare
University of Toronto PressDec 8, 2008 

“A presentation given by Russ Grabb, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), using a football analogy illustrates what individual officers must be trained to do.  The caption beside the slides instructs the police that good case management involves ‘Staying in your lanes,’ otherwise, if everyone follows ‘the football’ (one targeted suspect), the real action might shift to another part of the field where no players are focused.  Follow all leads and resist the pressure to focus too narrowly on one suspect too early in an investigation with the result that other suspects are ignored or ‘hard’ police work is never done to discover other potential suspects. 
                On paper this is compellingly clear.  However, it may underplay the fact that in wrongful conviction cases, unlike some other types of major cases, there may be few suspects and an enormous pressure to convict.  Witness interviews, surveillance, media releases, dog handler (possibly), and neighbourhood inquiries will inevitable focus down on the likeliest of suspects.  Building ‘the’ case becomes paramount.  If the case is not solved in the period immediately following the crime (i.e. the blood drenched butler), the task becomes to put the person you suspect into the frame and fit the facts as best you can.” 

Beare goes on to say:  “However, even putting an emphasis on eliminating the use of these procedures still does not reach deep enough in order to identify the systemic reasons why the police, usually together with other segments of the justice system, have been found to be repeatedly guilty of:
*blindly relying on eyewitness accounts
*holding back of exculpatory evidence
*planting/tampering with evidence
*police notebook collusion
*reliance on ludicrous jailhouse informants
*coercion of witnesses/coercion of suspects
*collusion with forensic ‘experts’ or merely faulty science
These easily identified failings may operate independent of the very best intentions of any individual officer.  Rather than separate factors that result in a wrongful conviction, winning/game theory, police culture, media relations, promotions, political interference, and funding issues are all interwoven and result in tunnel vision.  Hence ‘tunnel vision’ is not one concept to be avoided but rather a term used much too loosely to apply to a complex network of systemic, structural, and, on occasion, individual factors.

The author continues:  As Justice Marc Rosenberg said in reference to Thomas Sophonow, ‘Wrongful convictions are caused by underlying systemic problems that won’t be fixed as long as the miscarriage of justice is treated as an isolated event . . . wrongful convictions don’t occur in a vacuum.”

Beare argues that "we maintain and support a system that virtually guarantees a reoccurrence of innocent people spending time in jail.
The fault lies with the gravity of the legal system that thrives on an impenetrable and false ‘justice script.’  With all of the weight of tradition elite social status, and political power, this script sustains and is sustained by three fallacies:
*that the ‘assumption of innocence’ has a currency that can be depended upon to work to the protection of the accused;
*that justice officials, from police through all of the performers for the duration of the court process are concerned with truth – telling it, allowing it to be told, responding to it;
*that the ‘adversarial’ nature of the courts tempers the power of the state against the accused.

Note:  Thomas Sophonow (born March 1953[) is a Canadian who was wrongfully convicted of murder and whose case was the subject of a major judicial inquiry. Sophonow was tried three times in the 1981 murder of doughnut-shop clerk Barbara Stoppel. Sophonow spent four years imprisoned. In 1985, he was acquitted by the Manitoba Court of Appeal.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Featured Fact: Scott's Timeline

Scott's Timeline

Scott was asked about the events of December 24th many times. This timeline is assembled from 18 different sources. These sources include a videotaped interview with the police, an interview with a Department of Justice agent, wire tapped phone calls where Scott did not know he was being recorded, conversations with police officers, a media interview and casual conversation.

This was not a rote story he told over and over from beginning to end. He told various people different pieces of what he did on December 24th and all those pieces fit together perfectly with no contradiction. His story never changed, and over time, many of his statements were proven to be true. Not one was shown to be a lie.

Not only does this timeline show how truthful Scott was about the events of December 23rd and 24th, but it shows the lack of opportunity he had to commit the crime he's been convicted of. 

Read the entire Featured Fact.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Top Ten Facts you need to know about Scott's boat

This is another of the Featured Facts written by the Peterson Family.

The Top Ten Facts you need to know about Scott's boat

Click here to read the article.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Featured Facts

In the early years after Scott's conviction, his family wrote a series of Featured Facts that emphasized how the evidence points to Scott's innocence or to give explanations that weren't presented at trial.  Since it has been such a long time since these were published, and many may have forgotten about them and others haven't read them at all, we thought we'd post them here serially.

The very first featured fact is titled "Opportunity."  

"We cannot address all the other facts of this case until we first address where Laci and Conner's bodies were found. No matter how many facts we feature that point toward Scott's innocence, the question will always be asked, 'But what about the bodies?' . . . So we submit to you: It is a fact that someone other than Scott had the opportunity to put Laci and baby Conner's bodies where they were."

Read the entire Featured Fact.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Last Brief has been filed

The last brief for Scott's direct appeal to the California Supreme Court has been filed.

07/23/2015Appellant's reply brief filedDefendant and Appellant: Scott Lee Peterson
Attorney: Cliff Gardner     (41, 891 words; 181 pp.)

You will be able to get the brief from the Scott Peterson Appeal website.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Extension of time granted

Case: S132449, Supreme Court of California

Date (YYYY-MM-DD):        2015-06-11
Event Description:        Extension of time granted

Notes: The application of appellant for relief from default for the failure to timely file appellant's request for extension of time is granted.

Good cause appearing, and based upon counsel Cliff Gardner's representation that the appellant's reply brief is anticipated to be filed by July 27, 2015, counsel's request for an extension of time in which to file that brief is granted to July 27, 2015.  After that date, no further extension is contemplated.

For more information on this case, go to:

Monday, April 13, 2015

YouTube and Scott Peterson

Someone has collected 200 YouTube videos on this case.  Here is the link.

Just a FYI, some of the videos in that collection are about a different Scott Peterson.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Justice for Scott Peterson group Facebook page

The Community Facebook page is not very conducive to active, ongoing conversation.  It's more of a "me informing you" type of setup.  Since this blog and SII already do that, it doesn't serve any purpose.  I suppose I realized that a couple years ago when I deactivated it, but, well, I forgot.

I've created a Group Facebook page to be part of the SII-trio to provide a place for people to ask questions, chat about the newest developments in the case or to rehash the old.  Click here.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Loving Laci

The sad truth is, Laci Peterson was nothing but a cash cow to the majority of the media, local, regional and national.  For those unfamiliar with the phrase, "The term cash cow is a metaphor for a 'dairy cow' used on farms to produce milk, offering a steady stream of income with little maintenance" (Wikipedia).

Perhaps no one better describes the media frenzy to capitalize (as in make money) on Laci Peterson than Maureen Orth who included Laci Peterson in her book, "The Importance of Being Famous: Behind the Scenes of the Celebrity-Industrial Complex."  The book is available on both Barnes & Noble and Amazon.  This review is from Amazon. 

From Publishers Weekly

Vanity Fair columnist Orth calls the world of celebrity a war zone of million-dollar monsters and million-dollar spin. She proves her thesis through a series of lacerating essays and interviews exposing personalities who'll "sacrifice everything including, sometimes, their lives, to be famous." Orth views the Laci Peterson saga as America's number one reality soap opera and examines the media's hysterical need to provide alternative scenarios about the case just to keep the story in the news.
In an exclusive extract from the book published by Vanity Fair, Orth tells of being asked for an interview by another reporter: 
One day a reporter from a local channel asked if he could interview me as a member of the national media covering the case in Modesto. "You want to do a story on me doing a story on you?" I asked incredulously. "Why?" "Because there is nothing else to report today,'' a cameraman blurted out.
Orth talks about Gervasoni's bar, "a 1950s-style saloon in Laci's hometown of Modesto has become the hangout of choice for two of the story's most prodigious propagators, David Wright and Michael Hanrahan of the National Enquirer."  Wright said, " "The Peterson story has broken perfectly. The tabs kept Laci going during the Iraq war, and as soon as the war finishes, her body washes up."  By "tabs" he means the tabloids.  Back in the day of respectable journalism, the tabloids were scorned, and shoppers would pick up a copy at the checkout counter and quickly hide it among other purchases.  "According to Steve Coz, former editorial director of American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer, Globe and Star, every Laci Peterson cover has increased sales of each of the three weeklies by as many as 300,000 copies."
Orth talks about how liberally the Enquirer reporters handed out cash for stories, including $12,000 to Dennis Rocha.  The Enquirer also employed its own private investigators, and in May 2003, bragged that it had "penetrated the ongoing investigation," which supposedly prompted "an internal scrutiny of the force."  One of the reporters, however, told Orth, "That's not the way it works. Cops all have girlfriends, sisters, uncles, mothers."  I guess that is what is meant by "a source close to the investigation," so often cited as the only source in an article.
Orth also talks about the frenzy to get "breaking news" at the cable news outlets -- CNN, Fox, MSNBC.  Orth describes how, in her opinion, Greta Van Susteren "dramatically lowered the ethical bar" when she invited Larry Flynt of Hustler magazine to detail his efforts to acquire the topless photos Frey had taken years earlier.  Greta kept flashing one of the photos with a red banner across Amber's chest, and then the next night, when she had Gloria Allred on as a guest, told Allred how much of a fan she is of Amber's.  And Gloria thanked her for being sensitive to Amber.  It was on Greta's show that Flynt said that a masseuse is "just a glorified term for a hooker."  So much for sensitivity when there's so much kissing up on both sides. 
The most disgusting story that Orth related occurred on the day Geragos made his first Court appearance in Modesto.  She counted 18 cameras mounted on tripods, three handheld cameras and 11 satellite dishes on the street, and then this happened. 
Off to the side, however, an ambulance was at the ready, lights blinking, because word had just come out that a woman inside had fainted. All the news reporters were clearly hoping that it had been Jackie Peterson, Scott's mother, who usually carries a breathing aid with tubes in her nose. She had appeared frail as she entered the courthouse earlier. When, suddenly, the doors swung open and a flushed, heavyset woman was carried out on a stretcher, the cameras stopped whirring. You could hear the sighs of disappointment.  
Really?  She could hear the sighs of disappointment?  And that's who the public had to rely on to get its information about Laci Peterson.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Extension of Time for Scott's attorney to file the final brief for the Direct Appeal has been granted

Case: S132449, Supreme Court of California

Date (YYYY-MM-DD):        2015-04-06
Event Description:        Extension of time granted

Notes: Good cause appearing, and based upon counsel Cliff Gardner's representation that the appellant's reply brief is anticipated to be filed by July 27, 2015, counsel's request for an extension of time in which to file that brief is granted to May 26, 2015.  After that date, only one further extension totaling about 60 additional days is contemplated.

An application to file an overlength brief must be served and filed no later than 60 days before the anticipated filing date.  (See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.631(d)(1)(A)(ii) & (B)(ii).)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

When injustice is so blatant . . .

Anthony Ray Hinton is finally a free man after 30 years on death row for murders he did not commit.  He had no history of violent crime and passed a polygraph test, which the trial Judge refused to admit as evidence.  And his alibi was as airtight as you can get.  Here's how this awful conviction went down.
In 1985, two Birmingham area fast-food restaurants were robbed and the managers, John Davidson and Thomas Wayne Vason, were fatally shot. There were no eyewitnesses or fingerprint evidence; police had no suspects and pressure to solve the murders grew as similar crimes continued. On July 25, 1985, a restaurant in Bessemer was robbed and the manager was shot but not seriously wounded. Anthony Hinton was arrested after the manager identified him from a photo lineup, even though he was working in a locked warehouse fifteen miles away at the time of the crime. Police seized an old revolver belonging to Mr. Hinton’s mother, and state firearm examiners said that was the gun used in all three crimes. The prosecutor—who had a documented history of racial bias and said he could tell Mr. Hinton was guilty and “evil” solely from his appearance—told the court that its experts’ asserted match between Mrs. Hinton’s gun and the bullets from all three crimes was the only evidence linking Mr. Hinton to the Davidson and Vason murders.
The prosecutor was not only biased but exuded a hubris that terrifies me.  But what about the state firearms examiners, who are they?  How many others did they assist in wrongfully convicting?  Were they  incompetent? or careless? or malicious?  Whatever you want to ascribe to their motives and/or intent, you cannot deny that they were a very big part of the problem.

The similarities to Scott's case are striking.  4 responding officers decided that very night that Scott was responsible for Laci's disappearance and he in fact had murdered her; that's exactly why Duerfeldt called for a homicide detective.  And Brocchini knew Scott was guilty that same night.  2 of those responding officers told Greg Reed that very night that they already knew what happened.  All they had to do was prove it.

Experts are a very necessary element to ensure a wrongful conviction.  Distaso said in his closing argument that the jury could convict on Cheng's testimony alone.  Yet, Cheng used the wrong NOAA reporting station to obtain his tidal data, failed to use verified tidal data instead of predictions, grossly exaggerated the strength of the winds in the storm on April 12, prepared a PVD that still had Conner a ways off shore at high tide on April 13, and apparently didn't know anything about the massive breakwater that Conner would have to cross to come ashore.

In spite of what Distaso said in his closing argument, he and Harris knew that Conner's age was such a strong exonerating factor that they needed an expert to "prove" Conner died on the night of Dec 23 or morning of Dec 24, and so they employed Devore to do just that.  When his first results produced a death date of December 25, he was sent back to the drawing table.  Finally he produced 3 possible death dates, only one of which helped the State, but, sadly, that was enough.  It's like the phrase they use, "consistent with" -- it doesn't prove that the defendant committed the crime, it only raises the possibility that he did.  Forget beyond reasonable doubt -- if it's possible he did it, then he did it, because we already knew he did it.  Devore's death date was deed sufficient to offset all of the other evidence that Conner couldn't possibly have died on December 23-24.

For some reason, jurors think every member of every State Crime Lab is integrity personified, always to be trusted, never to be disbelieved or doubted.  The same with other experts working for other companies.  There's never any reason to doubt their integrity -- most don't even know that they get paid for their services, though the media and public are quick to raise the cry of "hired gun" when the Defense calls experts.  I hope the Hinton exoneration finally starts to make people think.

One last comparison -- a faulty defense.
 Mr. Hinton was appointed a lawyer who mistakenly thought he could not get enough money to hire a qualified firearms examiner. Instead, he retained a visually-impaired civil engineer with no expertise in firearms identification who admitted he could not operate the machinery necessary to examine the evidence. With no credible expert to challenge the State’s assertion of a match, Mr. Hinton was convicted and sentenced to death. Last year, the United States Supreme Court unanimously overturned his conviction based on his attorney’s deficient representation, and Judge Petro ordered a new trial.
Geragos did hire two top-notch experts -- Henry Lee and Cyril Wecht -- but these two failed Scott miserably.  They either didn't notice or didn't have the courage to present some very exonerating evidence for Scott.  Dr. March tried his best, but he wasn't the right expert to call.  And Geragos failed to call an expert to counter Cheng.

I doubt very many people will even notice the Hinton exoneration, much less learn anything from it.  But perhaps when Scott is exonerated, because his case is so high-profile,  it will shine the necessary spotlight on cops, prosecutors and experts who corrupt the system.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Justice For Scott Peterson Facebook Community Page is open for discussion

On August 21, 2010, I created a Facebook Community Page to complement this blog and SII.  In August 2011, the public interest in this case had diminished and I got quite busy with other things, so I deactivated the page.

Now seems a good time to reactivate the page to provide an opportunity for public discussion.

Check us out at Justice for Scott Peterson Community Page.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Scott's Changing Alibi

A favorite talking point for those who believe Scott is guilty is that he changed his alibi.  One poster on the Facebook page, Truth Be Told, claims Scott changed his alibi "multiple" times.  And of course, ADA Rick Distaso claimed he changed it from golfing to fishing.  I discussed this briefly in my recent article, "Argument - Counter Argument."

What are the facts?  Did Scott really change his alibi?  First, what is an alibi? answers the question this way:  An alibi is evidence showing that a defendant was somewhere other than the scene of a charged crime at the time that the crime occurred.

Let's go through this methodically.  Scott wants to get rid of Laci, so he plans to kill her.  He knows he has to prove he was somewhere else at the time to be sure he didn't become a suspect.  He's got plenty of time to plan this out, from at least December 8, if not earlier.  That's more than 2 weeks to plan the alibi.

For the alibi to be effective, that is, to succeed in turning attention away from himself, he has to have witnesses to his claim of where he was.  He can't just say, I was here, or there, or doing such and such.  He has to have evidence, either eye witnesses or some paper trail or some computer evidence -- just something tangible that he can present as evidence that he was somewhere else.

Are we all on the same page?  Do we agree that Scott is smart enough that he would know he had to "prove" he was somewhere else when the crime was committed?

The State argued, and many believe, that Scott setup Laci's walk as part of his alibi.  He was going to claim she was going on a walk, and as evidence of the walk, he leashed up McKenzie and let McKenzie out of the yard, or simply left the gate open so that McKenzie would eventually wander out by himself.  Someone would find McKenzie running loose and everyone would assume that Laci had been abducted while on her walk.  He doesn't seem concerned that there would be absolutely no possibility of any eye witnesses seeing Laci going on this fictitious walk.  He was just content that the leashed McKenzie running loose would be sufficient evidence because it would be supported by his own alibi -- evidence that he was somewhere else at the time of the crime.

Since Scott planned to leave in the morning, and setup a morning walk for Laci, he has to prove where he was in the morning -- the same time he wanted people, especially the cops, to believe Laci was abducted.  His alibi had to be a morning alibi in order to be convincing.

Are we still on the same page?  Do we all agree that if he sets up a morning walk for Laci as a basic element of his alibi, that he has to have his own fool-proof alibi for the morning?

After over 2 weeks of planning, Scott kills Laci in the home on the night of the 23rd and then loads her body into his pickup and drives out to some remote area to dump her body.  Of course he might be seen coming or going in the middle of the night, but there's always some risk involved when you have to dispose of a dead body.  But you do your best to reduce the risks to practically nil.  And it seems that in the early morning hours when the neighborhood is settled down for the night would be present the least risk of being seen.  Of course, he would spend at least a few nights watching the activity patterns in the neighborhood -- when the lights went off at each home, when they came back on?  He wouldn't want to be surprised by a neighbor routinely going out to feed all the neighborhood stray cats in the early morning, or a neighbor who habitually rises very early in the morning, or a neighbor who works the graveyard shift, or even the paper delivery boy.  He would be sure that he didn't go anywhere that would leave tell-tale evidence on his truck. And he surely wouldn't want to leave any paper trail or computer searches that could pinpoint where he disposed of the body.  He had over 2 weeks to plan, so there is no reason to expect that he wouldn't address these issues in his planning.

So comes the 23rd.  He goes about a perfectly normal day, including going to Laci's prenatal doctor's visit.  At the Salon, both are just as cheerful as can be, and he establishes his intended alibi with Amy, telling her he's going to be golfing the next day and will be glad to pick up the gift basket for her.  He also puts up a good pretense by inviting her over for pizza that night, which she declined, but it would have been even better if she had accepted, because that would been even more evidence that he and Laci had no problems between them.  He does have the good fortune to have Laci call her Mom, so her Mom would be evidence that Laci was perfectly alright with no problems at all.  He makes sure Laci has nothing at all to complain about to her Mother.

He successfully kills Laci without  leaving any evidence -- so he doesn't even have to bother changing the bed or doing any cleanup.  He waits until the neighborhood is totally quiet, all the neighbors have had their lights out for long enough to ensure that they are indeed down for the night and he has plenty of time to get back before the early birds begin their daily routines.  He successfully loads her into the pickup without drawing any attention in the neighborhood.  He goes to the specified remote area and disposes of her body.  When he returns home, he notes that the neighborhood is still down for the night.  Success!

Now, the morning comes.  He wants to be sure he has Laci leave for her walk in her customary time.  He leashes McKenzie and opens the gate.  He then goes to work and starts creating his alibi.  He goes onto the computer and sends an email.  He downloads instructions for putting together his recently purchased mortise machine.  He decides it's a little too cool to golf, and he's got that 2-day fishing license so he changes his mind and takes the boat for a quick run in the San Francisco Bay.  Doesn't matter if he plays golf or goes fishing.  Either one, he'll have an iron-clad alibi for the time Laci was on her fictitious walk because her body is somewhere else -- not even on the way to either of those places.
So he gets his boat hooked up to the truck and makes the long journey to the Berkeley Marina, motors out to Brooks Island, and then returns home.

By now you should be seeing a lot of problems with this "alibi."  That's because Laci and the baby were found in the same general area where he went fishing.  Someone with over 2 weeks to plan a murder just doesn't do that.  Some have said that he returned to the Bay to be sure her body hadn't surfaced.  That's a very, very lame excuse for not admitting the painfully obvious -- a person with over 2 weeks to plan a murder just does not immediately return to the scene of the crime.

So, let's investigate a slightly different scenario.  He decides it's too risky to make a night-trip, so he will go to the Bay and dispose of her, and if he should be seen at the Bay, he will just say he was fishing.  And he purchased a fishing license a couple of days earlier just in case he decided to use fishing as his alibi.

Stop!  This is absolutely ridiculous to think that he would use the very place he disposed of her body at the very time he disposed of her body as his alibi.  An alibi puts you somewhere ELSE!  That's how it works.

But some adamantly argue that he thought he wouldn't be seen.  So, it's more risky to take her body in the dead of the night in a totally quiet, shut-down neighborhood, than to take her over 90 miles, pulling a boat that was supposed to be secret, going to a public Marina, going back to that same Marina, driving home over 90 miles pulling that same secret boat, stopping on the way to get gas?  And he had over 2 weeks to plan this out?

But let's continue on a bit longer.  He does take her to the Marina, motors out to Brooks Island, sees the way is clear, that is, no obvious spectators around, manages to get her over the boat and observes that she sinks, and then returns to the Marina.  He knows that he's been seen, so he decides he has to admit he was fishing at the Bay.  He returns home, calls his Mother-in-Law to see if she knows where Laci is, and then goes to the neighbors, Amy Krigbaum and Tara Venable, and tells them he was golfing all day.  Then he tells the police and everyone else that he was fishing.  Then along comes Harvey Kemple much later that night and Scott tells him he was golfing.

What happened to changing the alibi to fishing?  It doesn't make sense that he knows when he left the Marina that he had to change his alibi and admit he went fishing, and then tell someone that night that he went golfing!

The answer is really quite simple, and if people would take off their blinders for a few minutes they would see the truth.

Scott Peterson didn't change his alibi.

He and Laci got up that morning; she was going to go for a walk and then do a little bit of shopping, and he changed his mind from golfing to fishing.  He already had the 2-day fishing license, and since he had talked the sales clerk into illegally leaving the dates blank, he could fill them in whenever he decided to use it.  It was a 2002 fishing license, so he did have only a certain number of days left to use it.  He left for the office, did some piddling around, and then headed to the Marina to fish.  He forgot the new lures he had purchased in the truck, so he trolled awhile with lures he already had in his fishing tackle.  On this particular trip, he wasn't so much interested in fishing as he was in getting the boat out on the water, to test its seaworthiness because he did hope to do some sturgeon fishing in the Bay.  He went home, and found Laci to be missing.  Amy Krigbaum simply misunderstood Scott in that frantic conversation, and Kemple, well, I'm not sure he misunderstood or simply made it up because he didn't report it till some time after.

The truth is always simple.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Amber Phone Calls: Evidentiary Value Analysis

This is a rerun of a portion of a webpage I created for SII years ago devoted to the subject of Amber Frey.  The webpage first gives a timeline, and then this article follows.  I will rerun the Timeline tomorrow.

The Amber Phone Calls: Evidentiary Value Analysis

Collected on:  December 30, 2002 through February 19, 2003
Collected by:  Amber Frey, under the management of Detective Jon Buehler
Reason:  To obtain a confession or other incriminating statements from Scott Peterson
Media Reports:  Various media sensationalized the tape recordings as the evidence necessary to convict Peterson and hailed Amber as the Star Witness.  Copies of the tape recordings were leaked to People Magazine
Received by:  Det. Jon Buehler
Received on:  On a regular basis throughout the period
Case No:  CV 02-010941
Results: The tapes were used to portray Scott as an adulterer and liar, and romancing Amber instead of looking for Laci.

Those who believe Scott Peterson murdered his wife and unborn son cite as strong evidence of guilt his many hours on the telephone with Amber after Laci’s disappearance, romancing her instead of looking for Laci, as everyone else was. I’ve even seen it posted on our BB that he spent 300+ hours on the phone with Amber.  Furthermore, they cite his eagerness to begin the affair and his willingness to lie in order to keep Amber on the string as evidence of motivation for this planned, pre-meditated murder.

The facts, however, do not support this public perception. Instead of spending hours romancing Amber instead of looking for Laci, in the first 12 days after Laci's disappearance, he spent only an average of 28 minutes per day on the phone with Amber, mostly late at night when no searching for Laci was even possible, and he was at home with the home phone open to take calls regarding Laci.

The first contact between Scott and Amber occurred on November 19, with 3 phone calls exchanged to arrange the first date.  Rick Distaso, in his Opening Statement, claims that Scott is the one that called Amber: 
In this particular case you can see Scott, or the defendant called Amber Frey three times on the 19th to set up their date. (Distaso)
Did Distaso deliberately lie?  Because what he told the Jury certainly isn't the truth.  According to Jacobson’s chart for November 19, 2002 (People’s Exhibit 207F-1), and Amber’s cell phone records (Defendant’s Exhibit 5O), she is the one who called Scott three times on that day to arrange the meeting date for the next day.
4:24 p.m. Amber called Scott Bus [1m]
4:27 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [4m]
10:00 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [2m]
Jacobson, in his testimony, confirms that no other calls between Scott and Amber were identified for the 19th, or any day prior to the 19th.
Mark Geragos: Would you pull those out for November. These three calls on the 19th, do you have those?
Steven Jacobson: Yes, sir, I do.
Mark Geragos: Okay. What are the duration of those three calls?
Steven Jacobson: The first one indicated there at 4:24 p.m. to the business.
Mark Geragos: Right.
Steven Jacobson: Shows one minute.
Mark Geragos: Okay. So we're assuming that's a, leaving a voice mail?
Steven Jacobson: It's certainly, it all depends whether he had an answering machine there at the business or not, but it is a short duration call, so that could be a correct assumption.
Mark Geragos: 4:27?
Steven Jacobson: 4:27 p.m. shows a four minute duration.
Mark Geragos: Okay. So more likely to be either a long message or a conversation?
Rick Distaso: Objection. Calls for speculation.
Judge Delucchi: Overruled.
Steven Jacobson: It could either be a long voice mail message or a short conversation, you're correct.
Mark Geragos: 10:00 p.m.
Steven Jacobson: 10:00 p.m. indicates two minutes.
Mark Geragos: Okay. Now, go to the, and those are the only three that you were able to find, right?
Steven Jacobson: Those are the only three on the records, yes, sir.
So, we have the State's own expert witness stating that Amber is the one who called Scott to arrange for the first date -- and she placed 3 calls on the 19th, one to his office number and two to his cell phone number.

How much time did Scott spend on the phone with Amber?
Jacobson estimated that Scott and Amber shared at least 250 calls.  9 calls were in November 2002 and 48 in December before Laci disappeared.  So, we eliminate those from the discussion.  In the following analysis, Jacobson's note of who called whom is followed by the detail from Amber's cell phone records (Defense 5O).  Scott's Cell 1 number is the -0337 Modesto number, and his Cell 2 is the -8427 Modesto number. 

Jacobson has 0 calls on December 24.  On December 25, we have these calls:
8:23 a.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [5 min]
8:32 a.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [1 min]
9:06 a.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [10 min]
6:14 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min]
7:41 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min Doug Sibley voice message]
8:20 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [6 min]
8:26 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [23 min]
The total time is 47 minutes, including the voice mail messages and even the voice mail from Doug Sibley.  Did these calls prevent him from looking for Laci?  No, they did not.  Scott was at the house on the morning of the 25th as a steady stream of people came in for flyers and then out to distribute them.  He was out by 10:30 a.m. with Brent Rocha putting up flyers.  He walked around the corner with Sharon Rocha to see one of her friends.  Three and a half hours that afternoon were spent in an interview with Det. Grogan and Agent Mansfield.  47 minutes pales in comparison to the hours he spent on the 25th working with family, friends, and police investigators to find Laci.

One other point about the calls on Dec. 25th needs to be made.  Amber makes the 1st 2 calls.  Would Scott have called her if she had not first called him?  The same can be asked about the calls that evening.  If Doug Sibley had not called and left his voice mail, would Scott have called Amber? 

December 26th shows more of the same pattern -- but even more excessive, with 5 calls from Amber to Scott, and then a series of 9.   
3:04 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [2 min VM]
5:32 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min VM]
5:37 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min VM]
5:48 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [2 min VM]
5:50 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [1 min VM]
6:55 p.m. Scott Cell 1 called Amber [1 min]
6:57 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [2 min VM]
7:18 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min VM]
7:19 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min VM]
7:34 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min VM]
7:34 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min VM]
7:36 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min VM]
8:16 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min VM]
8:20 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min VM]
8:21 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min VM]
9:33 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber  [17 min]
We have to ask, would Scott even have called Amber on the 26th if she had not left 14 voice mail messages for him?

Because we know from Amber's testimony that these were voicemails, not conversations, we can see that they only spent 17 minutes on the phone on the 26th, and that only after search efforts for the day would have ended.  Besides aiding in the search earlier that day, Scott was quite busy that evening being served a search warrant and working with the dog handlers.  Clearly, Amber was not uppermost on his mind -- finding Laci was.  And when he does spend the 17 minutes on the phone with Amber, he can't be at home to receive incoming calls on the home phone because the police have it cordoned off for the search warrant. 

December 27 shows the same pattern.  Amber first calls Scott multiple times before he calls her, and when he does call her, it's late at night, for only 23 minutes, well after search efforts would have ceased for the day, and from home, where he is available to take calls regarding Laci on the home phone. 
8:37 a.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min]
8:38 a.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [2 min]
8:25 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min]
8:39 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min]
9:33 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [2 min]
9:34 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber 
9:35 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [23 min]
December 28, same pattern.  Amber calls Scott twice before he calls her, and they spend only 28 minutes talking on the phone. 
4:45 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min]
4:46 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min]
4:46 p.m. Scott Cell 1 called Amber [15 min]
6:28 p.m. Scott Cell 1 called Amber [8 min]
9:51 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [5 min]
December 29, same pattern.  Amber calls Scott twice before he calls her.  And, they only exchange voice mails, or extremely short conversations.  
3:09 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min]
3:10 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [1 min]
6:20 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [1 min]
6:20 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [1 min]
6:23 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [1 min]
Of course, December 29 is the magic day for Amber, when she becomes aware, very late that night, that Scott is married and his wife is missing.  She makes contact with the MPD and discusses Scott's calls with Brocchini and Buehler, who, of course, have only her word for it because they do not yet have the phone records.

So, let's review what we have.  Each and every day after Laci disappeared, Amber calls first, multiple times.  Only then does Scott call her.  On the 26th, we have 14 calls from Amber to Scott, voice mail messages.  The total time on the phone is not very impressive, for someone that is "romancing" Amber and allegedly trying to keep the relationship going:
December 25, 44 minutes talk time
December 26, 17 minutes talk time
December 27, 23 minutes talk time
December 28, 28 minutes talk time
December 29, 0 minutes talk time
TOTAL talk time = 115 minutes, an average of 23 minutes per day
During these first 5 days, Scott was not romancing Amber instead of looking for Laci.  He was spending very little time on the phone with her, only on average 23 minutes a day, and well after the search efforts would have ended for the day.  He probably would not have spent any time at all on the phone with her if she had not called him multiple times first, each and every day.

Amber goes to the police

On the morning of December 30, the landscape significantly changed -- Amber met with Detectives Brocchini and Buehler, who set her up with a recording device to use with her cell phone and instructions to record every phone call between herself and Scott.

During the previous 5 days, they have only talked an average of 23 minutes each day, Amber has called Scott 29 times, and Scott has only called Amber 11 times.  Amber has called Scott multiple times each day before Scott called Amber.  They had 0 minutes talk time on the 29th.

Of course, Scott doesn't know he's being taped, so he doesn't know to change his behavior in order to avoid suspicion.  These are the calls for the 30th.
2:32 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [2 min]
2:39 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [1 min]
4:02 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 1 [6 min]
5:01 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber 195B [2 min]
5:03 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber  195C [1 min]
A total of 12 minutes, and that includes rounded up talk times and voice messages.  12 minutes.  Where is the romancing?  Where are the hours of talking to Amber instead of being out looking for Laci? 

Again, on December 31, we clearly see that he is not spending hours on the phone romancing Amber.  The notorious call during the vigil was only a 1-minute call.  That's all.  These are not the calling patterns of a man trying to keep a romance going.  They are the calling pattern of a man deeply engrossed in looking for his wife and only giving lip service to the girl friend who keeps calling him. 
11:35 a.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [1 min]
11:42 a.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [5 min]
2:59 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [2 min]
3:05 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber  195D [2 min]
4:18 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber 195E [4 min]
4:20 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber 195F [1 min]
January 1, we have 2 calls from Scott to Amber:
12:01 a.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber 195G [69 min]
10:05 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber 195H [18 min]
Let's look first at the 12:01 a.m. call.  It's a 69 minute call, the longest by far since Laci's disappearance.  But let's put it into some perspective.

The call occurs between midnight and 1 a.m. - not a time when anyone is out looking for Laci.  So, Scott is not talking with Amber when he should have been out looking for Laci.  Furthermore, Scott is at home, with the home phone and his other cell phone free to receive incoming calls from Laci or any one else about Laci. 

This phone call, filled with so much chatter from Amber, may have been some very necessary comic relief.  One week to the date and time, Scott was at the MPD involved in a one hour interview with Det. Brocchini, culminating several hours of discussions and search efforts.  He has already had his home and place of business searched twice and fully realizes he is the one under scrutiny.  No one has come forward to provide any explanation of what happened to his wife and son.  Much as he wanted to deny it, thoughts that she might never return have surely been on his mind. 

The second call that day likewise was at a time when no one was out looking for Laci, and thus it did not interfere with his efforts to find Laci.  He was at home, and the home phone and his other cell phone were free to take calls.

January 2.  Amber is again the one to call first on this day, we have a grand total of 34 minutes max talk time, 32 of which are after 10 p.m., when no one was looking for Laci and Scott was at home with his home phone free to take calls regarding Laci.  Scott is not romancing Amber instead of looking for Laci.
2:39 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [2 min]
10:15 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber 195I [28 min]
10:42 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 195J [4 min]
10:43 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber
10:56 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber  195K [VM]
The 10:43 call cannot be reconciled with Amber's cell phone bill
January 3, no romancing going on here.  Just 3 very short phone calls where pretty much all they do is say, Hello, can you hear me?  No one was looking for Laci at that time of night, and Scott was home manning the home phone. 
11:06 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber  195L [2 min]
11:06 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [2 min]
11:17 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [2 min]
January 4, the only call worth mentioning is the 61 minute one, and it began at 10:32 at night, long after search efforts had ceased for the day, and when Scott was at home manning the home phone.  I know this is beginning to sound like a broken record, but there just simply isn't any evidence that Scott is romancing Amber instead of being out looking for Laci, or that he is spending hours and hours talking with Amber.  And if this is romancing, romance needs to be redefined.
12:09 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [2 min]
4:53 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [4 min]
10:30 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber  195M [1 min]
10:31 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [1 min]
10:32 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber 195N [61 min]
January 5, no romancing going on this day.
9:31 a.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [VM]
11:15 a.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [2 min VM]
10:56 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [3 min VM]
Obviously, Scott Peterson was not acting like the typical adulterer who wanted to be with his mistress instead of his wife.  He has made no attempt to see Amber and has been spending very little time with her on the phone, mostly in response to her calls, at night when no searching for Laci could be accomplished, and sitting at home manning the home phone. 

In fact, over the last 12 days, Scott has been on the telephone with Amber a total of 338 minutes, and that counts all the little 1 minute and 2 minute calls that probably are just voice messages. 
December 25, 44 minutes talk time
December 26, 17 minutes talk time
December 27, 23 minutes talk time
December 28, 28 minutes talk time
December 29, 0 minutes talk time
December 30, 12 minutes
December 31, 15 minutes
January 1, 87 minutes
January 2, 34 minutes
January 3, 6 minutes
January 4, 69 minutes
January 5, 5 minutes
Total = 338 minutes divided by 12 days = 28 minutes per day average
No wonder the MPD wanted to put the heat on Scott.  Their theory that Amber was the reason he murdered Laci was falling apart.  Amber just wasn't getting enough romantic interest from Scott to sustain their theory. 

January 6, D-day
January 6 is the D-day of sorts, the day Amber, coached by the MPD and even the Department of Justice, forces Scott into a declaration that he is the husband of Laci Peterson, the missing Modesto woman.  Information about this attempt came out in the trial.  Leading up to the 6th, David Harris asks Amber:
David Harris: Ms. Frey, we played some of the recordings that occurred up until January 4th, 2003. The next recordings that we're going to be playing are from January 6th. I want to be talking to you specifically about January 6th at this point in time. Did, did something occur at the Modesto Police Department on January 6th?
Harris doesn't play any recordings from January 5th because there aren't any to play. He doesn't inform the jury that Scott Peterson's last attempt to contact Amber was at 9:31 a.m. on the 5th.  That is important, because Amber left 2 voice messages on the 5th, but Scott had not yet called her back.
11:15 a.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [2 min VM]
10:56 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [3 min VM]
Scott did not make his usual night-time call to Amber on the 5th, even though she left him a voice mail at 10:56 that night.  Now, let's listen in as Harris continues his questioning about the events of January 6.
David Harris:  . . . Did, did something occur at the Modesto Police Department on January 6th?
Amber Frey: Yes.
David Harris: Did they ask you to leave your home or move you to another location on that date?
Amber Frey: Yes.
David Harris: Without getting into what it was that, why they did that, did you accompany them and go to some other location?
Amber Frey: Yes.
What David Harris does not want the jury to hear is what any reasonable person would suspect, given the whole truth.  Scott's failure to make his customary call the night of the 5th, even though Amber left him a voice message that morning and that night, undoubtedly unnerved the MPD.  Furthermore, Scott did not make any calls to Amber during the day on the 6th -- not even a single voicemail message. 
David Harris: And did you, were you pretty much under their protection at that point in time?
Amber Frey: Yes.
David Harris: And did you start to make some phone calls, I don't want to say using their words, but did you talk with them about certain subjects or certain information that should start coming up on January 6th?
Amber Frey: Yes.
David Harris: And a part of that was to at this point in time, on January 6th, indicate that you might –
Mark Geragos: Objection. Leading.
Judge Delucchi: Sustained.
David Harris: Did you talk to the defendant about finding out some information on January 6th?
Amber Frey: Yes.
David Harris: And did you start this early in the day and leave a message?
Amber Frey: I believe so.
David Harris: If we can go to the document
Judge Delucchi: O then? Okay. And this is January 6th at 2213 hours.
Harris specifically asks if Amber started "early in the day," and Amber replies, "I believe so."  Yet, the first call on Jacobson's chart is from Scott's cell 2, at 10:12 p.m.  The 2nd call was also from Scott at 10:13 p.m., which is the recording played for the jury. 
10:12 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber
10:13 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber  195O
10:15 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber  195P
10:16 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber  195Q
11:02 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber  195R
11:29 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber  195S
These calls are not "early in the day" and they are not Amber calling Scott.  Why don't Amber's "early in the day" calls appear on Jacobson's chart?  The chart gives the impression that Scott just resumed his regular nightly calls, but Amber's testimony makes it clear that she had left voice messages for Scott "early in the day" as an incentive for him to call her. 

What does Amber say "off the record" about this important day?  In Witness for the Prosecution, she gives this introduction:
The next day [January 6], Buehler phoned and asked if I could come to Modesto.  He gave me directions to the Orchard Motel, in nearby Turlock, and I drove there and met him and Sharon Hagan, a profiler with the Department of Justice, as well as Detective Craig Grogan, of the Modesto Police Department.  They had checked me in under the name Teresa Collins.  I guess they were just being careful.
"One of the reasons I asked you to come up is because Scott is in Fresno," Buehler said.  "I didn't want you to run into him.  The other reason is that we want to help you in your next conversation with Scott." 
"Help me how?" I asked.
"You're going to keep him on the phone, and we'll feed you questions from time to time.  Officer Hagan is going to try to help you get some information out of him."
"I'll do what I can," I said.
It turned out to be a watershed day.  It was the day Scott Peterson finally told me about Laci. (pp. 90-91)
Of course we know Buehler lied to Amber about Scott being in Fresno (or Amber lied about Buehler saying that) because he was tracked all day by GPS and was nowhere near Fresno. 

We also know that Amber shared more than one phone call with the Modesto Police Department on the 6th, several of which she placed to them.  209-572-9524 is Buehler's number, and 209-652-1814 is Brocchini's.  Note that Amber's call to Buehler is the first exchange for them that day, as she has no incoming calls before it.  So, she had calls to Buehler at 8:34, 8:58, and 9:03 before she receives her first incoming call.  Then another call to Buehler at 10:25 a.m. immediately followed by one to Brocchini. 

More calls to Brocchini at 12:54, 3:06, 4:56, and 5:08. 
Amber receives two calls at 5:11 and 5:12, then a 5 hour silence until Scott calls at 10:11 p.m. 
So, rather than a single phone call from Buehler to Amber asking her to come to Modesto, we have a series of 9 phone calls from Amber to Buehler and Brocchini throughout the day.  Amber didn't seem to recollect these 9 calls when she testified under cross examination:
Mark Geragos: Yeah. Did you tell him you were going to go up there on January 6th?
Amber Frey: No, it wasn't something that was planned.
Mark Geragos: It was what?
Amber Frey: It was, it wasn't something that was planned through the police department that I come up on that date.
Mark Geragos: Well, you called them on the 6th, right?
Amber Frey: I called who?
Mark Geragos: The police on the 6th, correct? On January 6th?
Amber Frey: My recollection, they had contacted me and wanted me to come up there that day.
Mark Geragos: Okay. And you said you would?
Amber Frey: Yes.
Mark Geragos: Okay. And when you said you would go up there, did they tell you why they wanted you there?
Amber Frey: Not until I was there.
Now, let's analyze the phone calls that Scott made to Amber.  His last call to her was a voice mail left at 9:31 a.m. on the 5th.  No calls on the night of the 5th from Scott to Amber, even though Amber left 2 voice messages, one at 11:15 a.m. and the other at 10:56 p.m.  Amber has made 9 calls throughout the day to the MPD and she has gone to Modesto to be coached by Buehler, Grogan, and Hagan.  These are the calls Scott made that night.
10:12 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [1 min]
10:13 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber  195O [2 min]
10:15 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [2 min] 195P
10:16 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [27 min] 195Q
11:02 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [25 min] 195R
11:29 p.m. Scott Cell 2 called Amber [98 min] 195S
David Harris didn't play the first call for the jury, probably because the subject of it seems to be Ayianna's diaper rash and it was very short.  In the second call, Amber tries to plant the hint, as Harris terms it. 
David Harris: Yes. Playing O.
Judge Delucchi: And this is two pages?
David Harris: Yes.
(196O played)
FREY: (clears throat) (phone ringing) Hello.
PETERSON: Diaper rash?
FREY: Huh-huh. Hi.
FREY: Can you hear me?
PETERSON: Yeah, perfect.
FREY: Really. Oh, my God! I’m so glad that…to hear from you.
FREY: Oh, well, something uh…strange had happened today. Um…
FREY: I’m here.
FREY: Can you hear me?
PETERSON: Hey? Okay, got ya.
FREY: Okay.
FREY: Barely?
PETERSON: Yeah. What’s up?
FREY: I was just um…well, I got a message from Sauki. She was in-between airports today. I don’t know what happened with her flight.
PETERSON: Amber? Amber, are you there?
FREY: I’m here.  
PETERSON: Amber, I can’t hear you, sweetie.
FREY: I can hear you just fine.
PETERSON: Amber, are you…I don’t know if you’re there or not. Amber?
FREY: I can hear you.
PETERSON: Amber, I’ll try calling back.
FREY: I can hear you. (click)
David Harris: The message, the information on that particular phone call about Saki, was that the beginning of this kind of dropping a hint to the defendant?
Mark Geragos: Objection. Leading.
Judge Delucchi: Overruled.
Amber Frey: Repeat the question.
David Harris: The phone call that was just played, the message about something from Saki, was that part of this process of leaving or planting this hint?
Amber Frey: Yes.
Harris played the 3rd call, too, which is nothing more than Scott being unable to hear a word she says.
David Harris: We go to next. I believe this is P.
Judge Delucchi: This January 6, 2215 hours. One page.
(196P played)
(phone ringing)
FREY: Hello? Hello? Scott? I hope you could hear me…
FREY: Yeah.
FREY: Yeah, I’m here.
FREY: I was just seeing…I don’t know what…she just called and said she was worried about me and I have no idea what she’s…what she’s talking about.
PETERSON: Amber, is that…?
FREY: I’m here, can you hear me?
FREY: I can hear you.
PETERSON: Okay, I can’t hear. I don’t know if you’re there, sweetie. Um…
FREY: I can hear you. I just don’t know. I’m worried about her. She says she’s worried about me and I have no idea what she’s talking about. And her plane…I don’t know when her plane’s gonna get in. I just…I’m…she just sounded very concerned for me and I’m just…I have no idea what she’s talking about. Are you there? Can you hear me? Scott? Hello? (beep, beep) 
Scott called the 4th time, which was a total actual talk time of 24 minutes and 34 seconds, according to David Harris, and starts off with Amber continuing to plant the hint, but Scott quickly changes the subject -- to Ayianna, Amber's toddler child, and her problems with diaper rash and a cold. 
Judge Delucchi: Now we're going to play Q. And that's dated January the 6th at 2216 hours, which is 10:16 p.m. And have you distributed Q, Mike? Distributing it now. Okay.
(196Q played)
FREY: Yeah, he listened to me (talking to someone in background). (phone ringing) Hello, Scott?
FREY: Yes.
PETERSON:  Hey, okay. I can hear you.
FREY: Did you hear me?
PETERSON: Yeah. We were talking about diaper rash.
FREY: Oh, well, I heard diaper rash. But you didn’t hear me?
PETERSON: No. What’s wrong?
FREY: I don’t know. Sauki called and left me a message and said she was worried about me and that she was in-between flights and she said she needed to talk to me when she got back into town. And I have no idea. I…I don’t know.
PETERSON: Huh! Weird.
FREY: It is weird.
PETERSON: She left like a cryptic message?
FREY: Yeah, she had left me a message. I was at diner with uh…my family. And when I tried calling her back it went straight to her voicemail and I haven’t heard back from her since. But she said she was just getting on her flight and she’d call me when she got back into L.A., I think is what she said.
PETERSON: Wow! When does she get in?
FREY: Um…I have no idea. She didn’t tell me a time.
FREY: She said she was delayed and in-between. I have…I have no idea if she’s in…in Chi…Chicago, I think. I have no idea where she’s at. 
PETERSON: But you’re okay, right?
FREY: I’m okay. But she said she was worried about me and concerned and said, “I hope you’re okay, Amber”. I’m gonna…I have no idea, I’m scared, I have no idea what she’s talking about.
PETERSON: Yeah. Weird.
FREY: Yeah. It’s like, you know, like okay, what next? You know, I fight with my sister and it’s just…
PETERSON: Yeah. Like you need more in your life, huh?
FREY: And then you’re so far away. I just feel so…I just feel so alone. I just don’t…I don’t…I have no idea. I’m…
PETERSON: Well sweetie, there’s lots of people that care about you.
FREY: I know, but I…I have no idea why she was so concerned. She sounded like she was crying and…
PETERSON: Well…gosh, you don’t need anything else tough in your life.
FREY: No, I don’t.
PETERSON: I mean people can make it better. And I don’t mean your life is bad, I’m just saying, you know, quality people. Oh…huh!
FREY: So I’ve got…
PETERSON: Well, let’s get your mind off of that until you find out what it is.
FREY: Okay.
PETERSON: So the poor girl’s got diaper rash and a cold?
This call seems to end with no question on Scott's mind about Saki's call.  Scott does not mention calling her back or having any unresolved questions. 

Planting the hint worked, because just 30 minutes later Scott called back for the 5th time?  This call was billed at 25 minutes on Amber's phone bill, but Harris said the recording was only 22 minutes. 
PETERSON: …the worst thing in the world.
FREY: Okay.
PETERSON: And I’m so sorry that this has happened and I am so sorry I going to hurt you in this way. I don’t want to do this over the phone. I want to tell you this, I want to be there in person to tell you this. But I’m sure that’s why Sauki called you.
FREY: What?
PETERSON: I’m sure that’s why Sauki called you.
FREY: Why…why would Sauki…what
PETERSON: It’s the worst thing. I’m sorry, Amber. Um…well, I’ll just…I’ll just tell you.
FREY: Okay.
PETERSON: Uh…you haven’t been watching the new obviously?
PETERSON: Um…I have not been traveling during the last couple weeks. I have…I have lied to you that I’ve been traveling.
FREY: Okay.
PETERSON: The girl I’m married to, her name is Laci.
FREY: Uh-hum.
PETERSON: She disappeared just before Christmas.

For the next 20 or so minutes, Amber badgers Scott with questions about what he said or did on this day or that.  The call is unexpectedly disconnected.  Almost immediately Scott called Amber back, and this last, the 6th call for the day, was billed at 98 minutes, over an hour and a half.  The call ends with Amber asking Scott not to call her, and he agrees.
FREY: You know, Scott, I…I just really need to think about all this so don’t call me.
PETERSON: Okay, I won’t. I respect that.
FREY: I’ll call you, okay?
PETERSON: Please do. Please do.
FREY: Gotta go.
FREY: Oh, my God!

That should be the end of it, right?  Amber has made it clear to Scott that she thinks he is involved in Laci's disappearance, and he's emphatically said he's not.  She's demanded to know details about his and Laci's relationship, and he's refused to tell her. Buehler and Grogan have accomplished their goal, they got Scott to admit that he was Laci's husband.

But, that's not all they wanted.  They wanted a confession, or at least an incriminating statement.  But Amber fell far short.  What is worse, Scott appeared to be keeping his word; he wasn't going to call her.  From Jacobson's charts, we know that Amber is indeed the one that initiated the next call.  On the 7th, she called Scott at 4:13 p.m., and they talked for 100 minutes.
4:13 p.m. Amber called Scott Cell 2 [100 min] 195T
So, we must ask the question, would Scott have called Amber again if Amber had not first called him on the 7th?  So many times, Scott gives every indication that he is not going to maintain the relationship, but Amber persists in calling him.  She reels him in, so to speak.

This wouldn't be a factor worth discussing, if it were not for the fact that the Prosecution has portrayed Scott as pursuing a romantic relationship with Amber, when the truth is that she was deliberately perpetuating that relationship and wouldn't let it die the natural death it was destined for. 

We shall never know for sure if Scott would have ever called Amber again, but the Prosecution would have had a much better case if the facts went down like this:
On December 25, Scott had called Amber without having to be prompted by her voice mail messages and the message from Doug Sibley
On December 26, Scott had called Amber 14 times, not Amber called Scott 14 times
Through the course of the next 10 days, Scott had been the one to make the first call of the day, not Amber
Through the course of the next 10 days, Scott had called Amber at least as often as she called him
Scott hadn't skipped his January 5 usual nighttime call, in spite of 2 voice mails from Amber
Scott had called Amber on January 6 without having to be prompted by voice mails from Amber expressing some urgent situation
Scott had called Amber on January 7, not Amber called Scott
Those would be some facts that would support the claim that Scott was pursuing Amber as a romantic relationship.  But those facts are nowhere to be found.