Thursday, July 5, 2007

Murdered Moms-to-Be: Comparing similarities between murders of Jessie Davis and Laci Peterson

For the video of this report, click here, scroll down to Douglas Kennedy reports, and then click "Murdered Moms-to-be."

Kennedy makes a very glaring error, saying that Scott is serving LWPP.

These are the similarities between the two murders that Kennedy noted:

  • Both men denied doing it.

  • Both men were having affairs.

  • Both Laci's family and Jesse's family said they thought they knew them but didn't.

Mr. Kennedy, how about these striking differences:

1. Scott was having an affair with one woman. Bobbie Cutts was having several affairs and had children with at least 3 women.

2. Laci was the wife. Jesse Davis was one of the other women.

3. Scott had no history of violence. One of the women who had a child with Bobbie Cutts claims to have had a restraining order out against him, and he was charged with disorderly conduct when he forced his way into her apartment. She said he was verbally and physically abusive to her.

3. Scott never admitted to anything. Bobbie Cutts led the police to Davis' body.

4. There was no sign of a struggle or crime scene in the Peterson home. There was a huge mess in Jesse Davis' home.

5. There was no evidence of a cleanup of any kind in the Peterson home. Bleach was used liberally to cleanup the crime scene at Davis' home.

6. And let's not forget that "Pudge boy" Scott was supposedly able to move Laci's body with no help from anyone, more than once, and left no forensic evidence behind. Bobbie Cutts had to enlist the help of a friend to move Jesse's body. Laci was 5'1 and 153 lbs, Jesse was 5'4, 170 lbs. Cutts is 6'0 and 200 lbs; Scott likewise is 6'0, and at the time of his arrest was 180 lbs, but he had lost some weight since Dec. 24.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Mike Chiavetta's sighting disputes the Karen Servas timeline

Those familiar with the Scott Peterson trial know that the State relied heavily on the Karen Servas timeline to dispute reported sightings of Laci in the neighborhood as well as claims that she encountered Steven Todd later that morning. Servas initially said she found McKenzie on the street and put him in his backyard at 10:30 a.m., then subsequently changed the time to 10:18 a.m.

No one disputes that Servas found McKenzie and put him into the backyard. What is in dispute is when she did so. Her claim is that she found McKenzie as she was leaving home to do her errands, and she produced a receipt from Austin's to confirm her checkout time. Backtracking from that time, she established that she must have found McKenzie at 10:18.

The receipt from Austin's proves that she went to Austin's and made a purchase. It does not prove that Servas found McKenzie before she went to Austin's. And several items of evidence indicate that Servas found McKenzie after she returned from her errands.
  1. The Medinas were out front packing up their car for a holiday trip during the time Servas said she found McKenzie, yet they neither saw McKenzie loose, nor did they see Servas stop her car in the street, nor did they see Servas leave again. That's a lot of activity for them to have missed. The Medinas were on their way at 10:33, before Servas returned home from her errands.
  2. Amy Krigbaum and Tara Venable were awakened by two dogs barking at 10:35-10:38 a.m. They recognized one of the dogs to be Sage, who lived in the home to their north, and later reported the other dog to be McKenzie. Since Krigbaum and Venable did not know McKenzie's bark, it is reasonable to conclude that they could not hear McKenzie barking from his own backyard when they were in their house. So McKenzie must have been out of the yard and in the vicinity of Sage's yard, on his way to the park.
  3. The postman delivered mail to the Petersons sometime between 10:35 and 10:50. That mail included a package (a book), which protruded somewhat. The postman testified that if McKenzie was out, he would stay in the yard and guard the yard. However, McKenzie was not out in the yard on the 24th. One reason is that he was already back in the yard, per Servas. The other is that he was already in the park.
  4. Mike Chiavetta reported seeing a dog in the park about 10:45 -- a dog that he was certain was McKenzie. Chiavetta saw McKenzie near the olive grove, which is adjacent to the dirt path that leads up to Covena.
  5. Servas said that when she left for a dinner appointment later that afternoon, she observed the package protruding from the Peterson mailbox. I doubt that Servas had sufficient observation skills to notice the package from that distance. I suspect that she noticed the package when she walked to the front gate to put McKenzie in, and then across the yard to use the other side gate. Servas arrived home from her errands about 11:45.


The "real reason" the Peterson house will not sell?

Apparently, the people living in the Covena neighborhood disagree on the reason why the former Peterson house did not get any bids at a recent public auction. They say it is because of a 2-story "mansion" being built on the former Reed property, as shown in this picture recently published in the Bee.
“We call it `Katrina’ because it’s a disaster,” said Mike Chiavetta, whose home joins the former Peterson house as bookends to a new two-story addition still under construction at 529 Covena Ave. “It’s just too big.” More

Monday, July 2, 2007

Recent news items . . .

Nancy Grace recently announced that she has gotten married and is now pregnant with twins. More

The Peterson's Covena home had no bidders at a recent public auction held at the Stanislaus County Courthouse in Modesto.

"With no one but a reporter listening, Grimm thrice asked for a minimum bid of $308,250, then declared the bidding closed."

The owner, Gerry Roberts, said: "I've had nothing but bad luck since I've owned that thing." More

For the Victim's family, a Fair Trial is a Must!

Today, Bobby Cutts and Myisha Ferrell waived their rights to a preliminary hearing, "a move his attorney said will help ensure a fair trial by keeping evidence from the public for now. "

After the hearing, Jesse Davis' mother told reporters: "I want him to have a fair trial probably more than anybody, because at some point I'm going to have to explain all this to my grandson.''

Read the article

The Nifong standard of Reasonable Doubt

When Nifong went before the North Carolina State Bar's disciplinary hearing, he was not without character witnesses to speak on his behalf. Kendra Montgomery-Blinn, a former assistant district attorney and the director of the newly established North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, spoke highly of her former boss. She said the Nifong "maintained the highest threshold for deciding whether to prosecute a criminal case: He would proceed only if convinced of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the same standard a jury uses to convict." (The News & Observer, June 19, 2007, page 6A)

From comments Nifong made at that hearing, it appears that he still believes beyond a doubt that the 3 Lacrosse players are guilty, in the face of irrefutable DNA evidence to the contrary. The problem is, it required too little evidence to bring Nifong to his original conclusion of guilt, and once that conclusion was formed, no amount of exonerating evidence could convince him he was wrong.

It isn't just DA's who fall prey to this inferior and degraded standard. It is played out every day in various police depatments, as veteran detectives fall prey to the foolish notion that years of experience has produced a sixth sense, a "gut feeling" that is superior to any evidence that could be found in determing who perpetrated a crime. Thus, when their investigation fails to uncover the expected evidence, they rationalize that the criminal was particularly clever, or thought he was, but not clever enough to outsmart this cop!

And it is played out in hundreds of courtrooms, where jurors convene to pass judgment on the State's case, and who come to their duty armed with some basic assumptions:
  • that the police did a thorough investigation and followed all credible leads
  • that more evidence exists that couldn't be presented because of legal technicalities
  • that if any exonerating evidence existed, the defense would present it
  • that State's witnesses are inherently honest and truth-seeking, and thus would never lie or misrepresent evidence

I have no doubt that had Nifong been successful in concealing that DNA evidence, the Duke players would have been tried and convicted.