#02) 2002 BC (Before Crime)
Laci Peterson Case Information:
When: 2002 B.C. (Before Crime)
February 20 Ayiana Frey celebrates her 1st birthday. Her father’s parents bring a cake and a pinata. Amber Frey sees a rainbow.
March 13 Scott and Laci Peterson finish refinancing their home at 523 Covena Avenue.
May 4 Laci Peterson celebrates her 27th birthday.
May 6 According to her records at Hera Medical Group, Laci Peterson’s has her last menstrual period.
May 16 Conner Peterson’s date of conception, as suggested by Mark Geragos.
May 20 Conner Peterson’s date of conception, as determined by Greggory DeVore and others.
June 4 Laci Peterson meets Kimberly Christina backstage at the El Rey Theater following an INXS concert.
June 9 After taking a home pregnancy test, Laci Peterson begins at 7:00 a.m. calling friends and family, announcing that she is pregnant with her first child. According to Renee Garza, Laci Peterson also begins wearing maternity clothes after her first trimester because of her excitement over her first pregnancy. The following month, she begins taking prenatal yoga classes at a studio in McHenry Village, although she misses the first few classes because she is suffering from dizzy spells.
July 4 According to the February 10, 2004, issue of the National Enquirer, Scott Peterson asks a friend who recently became a father about his sex life after the arrival of the child, and is told to expect that sex “wouldn’t be the same afterwards.” Harvey Kemple gives Scott Peterson advice on cooking chicken on his outdoor grill. Scott Peterson burns the chicken and expresses anger. Scott Peterson tapes Stacey Boyers and Laci Peterson in the kitchen. “Who’s that going to?” she asks. “I was going to send it to Osama and make him envious,” he replies, and tells both women to “wave to the camera now.”
July 11 At a prenatal visit to her obstetrician, Laci Peterson weight is recorded as being 119 pounds.
July 16 Laci Peterson visits her obstetrician at Hera Medical Group. She has a sonogram. Conner Peterson’s gestational age is estimated to be 10 weeks and 1 day.
July 17 Lisa Martin calls from Hera Medical Group, speaking to Laci Peterson and informing her of a positive test for a urinary tract infection.
July 24 The body of Evelyn Hernández is found along the Embarcadero in San Francisco. The lower part of her torso and her legs are found floating in the water about 16 feet from the sea wall.
August 9 Scott and Laci Peterson celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary.
August 30 Scott Peterson has a valid 2-day fishing license. Laci Peterson goes to Motherhood Maternity and purchases six items of clothing for $198.55.
August 31 Scott Peterson has a valid 2-day fishing license.
September 24 Laci Peterson has a sonogram performed at the office of James Yip. Laci Peterson’s weight is recorded as being 137 pounds.
September 28 Laci Peterson goes to Motherhood Maternity and purchases a bra for $17.18.
October 20 Scott Peterson attends the California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA) convention at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim (by some erroneous accounts, this convention occurs October 23–24, 2002; by erroneous statements by attorneys during Scott Peterson’s trial, this convention begins a week earlier, on October 13, 2002).
October 21 Scott Peterson attends the second day of the CAPCA convention. He meets Shawn Sibley and has dinner with her, Eric Olsen and David Fernandez. Scott Peterson asks her what he should he write on his name tag to attract a woman. She suggests, “I’m rich.” Scott suggests, “H.B.” for “Horny Bastard.” They have dinner, drinks and visit until approximately 3:00 a.m. (according to an article in the Modesto Bee, 8:30 a.m.), during which time, according to the National Enquier, he makes “obvious passes” at her, even though she has told him she is engaged. He asks her what her favorite sex positions are and makes other suggestive comments. He tells her he has homes in Sacramento and San Diego. This convention is the beginning of a personal and business relationship that includes him “begging” her to “set him up” with one of her friends, who turns out to be Amber Frey. Apparently convinced that Scott Peterson is interesting in finding someone for a “serious relationship,” Shawn Sibley will eventually provide both of them with each others’ phone numbers.
October 22 Scott Peterson attends the third and final day of the CAPCA convention.
October 24 Scott Peterson celebrates his 30th birthday.
October 29 Laci Peterson visits Hera Medical Group for a routine prenatal checkup.
November 1 Scott Peterson buys materials to erect a fence at his home. November 6 Laci Peterson calls the Hera Medical Group and talks to Cheryl Smith. Laci Peterson states that, while she was taking a walk, she became dizzy. She speaks to Tina Edraki, who tells her to quit walking or to walk later in the day.
November 8 Laci Peterson again calls the Hera Medical Group and talks to Cheryl Smith. Laci Peterson complains of shortness of breath.
November 11 Margarita Nava cleans Scott and Laci Peterson’s home. Bob Ford sends a message to Duane Frederick responding to Laci Peterson’s complaints to the City of Modesto about “undesirable activity” at the Covena Avenue trail entrance to Thousand Oaks Park
November 14 Stacey Boyers and Laci Peterson attend a birthday party at Chili’s. She tells Boyers about plans to quit walking because of nausea.
November 19 Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak by phone.
November 20 Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak by phone. Scott Peterson meets Amber Frey for the first time in person, at the Elephant Bar Restaurant (according to The Murder of Laci Peterson and some earlier accounts, at the World Sports Cafe; according to Det. Jon Buehler’s preliminary hearing testimony, this meeting happens on November 19; according to Ron Frey, the couple’s first date is a picnic). When he walks in, she stands up and asks, “Scott?” He asks, “Amber?” He kisses her cheek. “I had some butterflies before I came here,” he tells her. According to the February 10, 2004, National Enquirer, and confirmed by Amber Frey’s trial testimony, Scott Peterson tells her he has been working all day and would like to check into his hotel room to take a shower before dinner. The couple then goes to the Radisson Hotel in downtown Fresno, where he showers and changes. He then brings out a bottle of champagne from his overnight bag and also produces fresh strawberries. He puts some of the strawberries in flute glasses and pours champagne over them. The two toast their affair, then go to dinner at Edo-ya. During dinner, they are seated at a private booth. Scott Peterson tells Amber Frey about his various travels, both past and planned, including his plans to spend Christmas in Kennebunkport, Maine, after a one-week trip to Alaska with his uncle, father and brother. He also tells her he has plans to go to Europe after Christmas. He claims that he lives in Sacramento, but also has a condominium in San Diego. They stay at the restaurant until it is closing, then walk next door to BB’s Lounge. They sing a Karaoke duet, slow dance and kiss. They return to Scott Peterson’s hotel room and spend the night together.
November 21 Amber Frey expresses concern about having slept with Scott Peterson on their first date, but he reassures her. According to the February 10, 2004, National Enquirer, Amber Frey leaves Scott Peterson’s hotel room at 6:00 a.m. He takes her to her car. Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak by phone.
November 22 Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak twice by phone. According to the February 10, 2004, National Enquirer, he tells her he is at airports between flights when, in reality, he is on his way back to Modesto.
November 24 Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak twice by phone. Sharon Rocha has dinner at Scott and Laci Peterson’s home. Laci Peterson tells Sharon Rocha that Scott Peterson has joined Del Rio Country Club (according to other sources, the membership began on December 1, 2002).
November 25 Margarita Nava cleans Scott and Laci Peterson’s home. Laci Peterson visits her obstetrician.
November 26 Scott and Laci Peterson go to Disneyland (according to some sources, they go there on November 27). She does not feel well and has trouble walking, so Scott Peterson rents a wheelchair and wheels her around the park. According to the July 5, 2004, National Enquirer, Anne Bird also visits Disneyland (Disney’s California Adventure). Eric Olsen receives a job offer from Sun West.
November 27 According to Kim Petersen, Laci Peterson ends her teaching contract because of her pregnancy (some sources state she quit teaching in December 2002). The Peterson family has a baby shower for Laci Peterson in the San Diego area.
November 28 Scott and Laci Peterson spend Thanksgiving with Lee and Jackie Peterson at their home. In a later telephone conversation with Amber Frey, Scott Peterson insists that he was actually in Alaska with his brother, even after admitting numerous other lies.
November 29 Scott and Laci Peterson leave at about noon to drive back to Modesto from San Diego. According to Cory Carroll, some time around this date, at about 12:30 p.m., Scott Peterson meets with him and two members of the Nazi Low Riders at Chili’s Grill and Bar in Fresno. Later, the group meets at Carroll’s room at the Best Budget Inn. During these conversations, Scott Peterson offers the two Nazi Low Riders $3,000 each to kidnap Laci Peterson and an additional $8,000 each to murder her. Carroll allegedly leaves for about 45 minutes after overhearing these plans, stating later that he did not want to get involved. According to Carroll, Scott Peterson had met him earlier in the month at City Lights in Fresno and offered to pay him $300 to be put in touch with persons who would steal Laci Peterson’s vehicle. While there, the two men had their picture taken with a stripper referred to as “Tammy.”
December 1 Scott Peterson joins the Del Rio Country Club at a reported membership cost of $25,000 (according to Mark Geragos, $20,000).
December 2 Shawn Sibley calls Eric Olsen to ask him if he knows whether Scott Peterson is married. Olsen tells her to ask Scott Peterson. Scott Peterson calls Amber Frey. According to the February 10, 2004, National Enquirer, the two meet for the first time since November 21, 2002, when he unexpectedly shows up at her home and presents her with a souvenir of their first night together: the corks from the champagne they had, inscribed with their names and the date they met. He also brings an amaryllis plant and a bag of groceries with the ingredients for a seafood lasagna. Amber Frey wears a pair of “very tall, red boots” but then changes before they leave. They pick up Ayiana Frey from daycare, pack a picnic lunch and go to Squaw Leap Management Area. He gives the girl a children’s book. Afterward, Scott Peterson and Amber Frey lie in the back of his truck, each searching for the first star of the evening. Scott Peterson wins the competition. When they return to Amber Frey’s home, they have dinner and shows him photographs. He mentions to her that he is going to check into a hotel. She replies, “Don’t be silly, you can stay with me.” He does, and they have sexual relations again.
December 3 Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak twice by phone. According to the February 10, 2004, National Enquirer, and confirmed by Amber Frey’s trial testimony, she asks Scott Peterson to pick up Ayiana Frey from daycare, giving him a key to her home. Scott Peterson leaves in the morning, but later returns. When Amber Frey arrives home, Scott Peterson has a glass of wine waiting for her, is warming up leftovers, and has Ayiana Frey in her highchair. The three then go out to look for a Christmas tree. That evening, as they are decorating the tree, Amber Frey asks him if he had ever been married. He tells her that he had not, and that he had never even had a serious romantic relationship before. She asks him if he has children, or is close to having children. He tells her no. In bed, she talks to him about the importance of trust in a relationship—how it is easier to handle the truth, no matter how bad, than to live a lie. He compliments her on her attitude.
December 4 Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak by phone.
December 5 Susan Medina notices the right rear tire on her Mercedes is dangerously low. Scott Peterson sees her circling her car and offers her a ride to an appointment. While on the way, he changes a business date by phone so he can go with Laci Peterson to an appointment, assumed by Susan Medina to be a checkup with Laci Peterson’s obstetrician. Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak by phone.
December 6 According to Det. Al Brocchini, Shawn Sibley finds out from a colleague that Scott Peterson is married. She calls one of his employees to ask about Scott Peterson’s marital status, but the employee refuses to comment, telling Sibley that she should call Scott Peterson to get an answer to her question. She then calls him to confront him directly about the revelation, saying, “Look, all I care about—are you married or aren’t you married?” Sibley believes that Scott Peterson sounds “extremely upset like he was crying” when he talks to her. He tells her that he sometimes tells people he’s married, and sometimes tells them he is not, implying that he is a widower: “Look, I’m not married. I lost my wife.” He begs Sibley to not say anything to Amber Frey, giving him a chance to explain the situation to her himself: “Let me break it to Amber.” Sibley agrees to keep the information to herself until he has had a chance to speak with Amber Frey.
December 7 Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak by phone He tells her that he is spending the weekend sailing in San Francisco Bay with friends, but that no one is having a good time since he is so upset because he lied to her. According to the February 10, 2004, National Enquirer, Laci Peterson begs Scott Peterson to cancel a business trip he says he has planned for late January 2003 because the time is too close to Conner Peterson’s due date. According to trial testimony, at 9:44 a.m., Scott Peterson is online, searching the Modesto Bee classifieds for boats. At 1:23 p.m., Amber Frey calls him and they speak for about 2 minutes. During this conversation, he pretends to be fishing. At 4:41 p.m., he briefly returns to his online boat search in the Modesto Bee classifieds. He calls Bruce Peterson and discusses a boat he has for sale. Scott and Laci Peterson attend a Christmas party in the home of René Tomlinson’s next-door neighbor.
December 8 From 7:52 to 8:23 a.m., Scott Peterson works on his home laptop. He searches the Fresno Bee online classifieds, looking for boats. He visits Yahoo, searching for “boat, ramps, Watsonville, Pacific Ocean,” “Lakes Northern California” and “Lakes, water areas, habitat.” On eBay, he searches for “dragon shirt,” “embroidered shirt,” “Asian embroidered shirt” and “dress embroidered shirt.” He returns to Yahoo, searching for “San Francisco Bay area fishing” and “San Francisco Bay, boat, ramp.” The latter search produces a result for OCSC San Francisco Bay and an option to view a map of Berkeley Marina. He clicks on the map and prints it at 8:17 a.m. He goes to the USAFishing site to view “San Francisco Bay Report.” He then returns to Yahoo, searching for “Suisan Bay Map.” Later, he negotiates a transaction with Bruce Peterson, offering $1,400 in exchange for a Sears Gamefisher 14-foot aluminum boat that is later seized by Modesto Police Department investigators (according to some early reports, this negotiation occurs on December 9, 2002). At 10:50 a.m., Amber Frey calls Richard Byrd and speaks with him for 4 minutes. She meets Shawn Sibley, who—true to her word—keeps Scott Peterson’s marriage a secret from Amber Frey. According to Sharon Rocha, Scott and Laci Peterson have dinner at her home. Amber Frey speaks to Richard Byrd three more times: at 6:21 p.m. (1 minute), at 7:36 p.m. (14 minutes) and at 8:55 p.m. (58 minutes). From 9:41 to 10:20 p.m., Scott Peterson does more extensive Internet research, using his home laptop computer. He visits USA Fishing, Yahoo (searching for “San Francisco Bay fishing report”), eBay (relisting the Croton watch), “Steve’s SF Bay Fishing Report” and Yahoo (searching for “chart, San Francisco Bay, map.” The Yahoo search leads him to the licensing and revenue branch for the State of California Department of Fish and Game. From that site, he prints out the “Central Bay Current Velocity Map” and takes a link to “San Francisco Bay safe boating hints” (according to The Murder of Laci Peterson, he visits these sites “late in December”). He visits the following web sites linked to the State of California web site: 1) a specific listing for the California Fish and Game code, 2) a 2002 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations web page, 3) a link that shows the geographical location of what’s open during that time period (40 degrees and a 10-minute line to Point Conception, 4) a web page that focuses on Marine Sportfish identification, and 5) a web page about the San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay areas. Back on Yahoo, he searches for “maps, San Francisco Bay chart” and visits several web sites showing maps and nautical charts of the area. He then searches for “sturgeon, fishing, tackle” and “sturgeon, fishing, tackle, San Francisco.” From the USA Fishing web site, he goes to Hi’s Tackle Box Presents, to Ten Tips for Better Sturgeon Fishing, then back to the home page, and finally to Moss Landing Daily Fishing Reports.
December 9 According to some sources, Scott Peterson searches the Internet and finds a map of the Suisun Bay area. Margarita Nava cleans Scott and Laci Peterson’s home. Scott Peterson goes to the bank and, at about 10:00 a.m., returns with $1,400 cash (fourteen $100 bills) for Bruce Peterson to complete the transaction for the boat (according to some early and likely erroneous reports, this transaction occurs on December 10, 2002). Scott Peterson drives to Fresno. He is wearing a blue suit and an International Rotary Club pin. At 12:44 p.m., he calls her (3 minutes) to tell her that he is near her house, asking to stop by—one of six times the two speak by phone. When he arrives, he tells her that he is afraid about a “mistake” he had made: He had lied to her about never having been in a serious relationship. He tells her, in fact, that he had been married, but that, he had “lost” his wife and, in the words of Det. Al Brocchini, “this would be the first holiday that he would be without his wife” (according to The Murder of Laci Peterson, he says he lost his wife “the first week of December last year”). According to Det. Jon Buehler, Scott Peterson starts to cry and Amber Frey hears his stomach making noises as the two sit close together and hold hands. She comforts him and thanks him for sharing the news. He stops crying and resumes his “normal demeanor,” telling Amber Frey that she is “amazing” and that he is “intrigued” by her response to his revelation. Later, Scott Peterson calls Shawn Sibley and tells her that he has broken the news to Amber Frey. Sibley immediately calls Amber Frey to confirm that he did so. (By some early accounts, Amber Frey found out that Scott Peterson was married and confronted him.)
December 10 Laci Peterson brings jewelry to Brooks Pawn and Jewelry to be appraised for sale, selling a gold chain (according to some accounts, gold chains) to David Brooks for $140. She tells him that Scott Peterson would be happy about the sale. Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak three times by phone.
December 11 Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak twice by phone. They go out and he is fitted for a tuxedo he plans to wear to an upcoming holiday formal. They then attend a birthday party for Shawn Sibley’s fiancé, Tom, at the Copper River Country Club.
December 12 Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak by phone.
December 13 Scott Peterson and Amber Frey rent an outfit for him at the Fashion Fair Shopping Center in preparation for a formal Christmas party they are attending the next night.
December 14 Scott and Laci Peterson go to Brooks Pawn and Jewelry, selling chains, some charms and some rings for $110. During this visit, Scott Peterson is affectionate toward Laci Peterson, rubbing her belly, but according to Tori Brooks, Laci Peterson does not seem to want her belly rubbed and is “hesitant” in returning the affection. Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak by phone. He arrives at her home, carrying three dozen roses and a single red rose. He puts the single rose on the table, lights a candle and dims the lights. As Amber Frey leans against a wall, he rubs a rose on her face and chest, and kisses her softly. He then ushers her out of the kitchen and makes her a “pink lady caramel apple”—the one thing she had told him she had wanted most, but never got, after having her braces removed. According to the February 10, 2004, National Enquirer, they dine at the Casanova. According to articles in the Modesto Bee and the National Enquirer, and supported by preliminary hearing testimony, they then attend a Christmas party at the World Sports Cafe—an event that The Murder of Laci Peterson calls a “$25-a-head Christmas bash” that Ava Frey says was such a “big deal” to her sister that “she talked of nothing else for a week.” Amber Frey wears a strapless, straight-cut, red evening gown, and Scott Peterson wears a dark suit, a white shirt and a gray tie. They have photographs taken as a couple—pictures that will emerge months later in the tabloids. She asks him how she should introduce him. He suggests she call him her “lover.” She objects to that as inappropriate, so he counters with “my love.” Finally, she asks if she can introduce him as her boyfriend. He agrees, telling her he is in a monogamous relationship with her. After the two have sex sans birth control, Scott Peterson expresses regrets. She tells him she would like to have one more child. He answers that, although he would treat her daughter as his own, he was not interested in more children and was considering a vasectomy. He tells her that he is going to meet with business associates about reducing the amount of travel he is having to do for work so that they can spend more time together. Laci Peterson, dressed in a burgundy silk maternity pantsuit, arrives at about 7:00 p.m. at a party being thrown by Stacey Boyers and her boyfriend, Jake Zimmeht (according to some reports, this is a “couples” baby shower in her honor; according to other reports, she does not attend a Christmas party given by Mike and Heather Richardson, having previously explained to Heather Richardson that Scott Peterson’s boss was in town). Laci Peterson is reportedly exhausted after having walked from her car to the house. She explained Scott Peterson’s absence by saying that his boss had called him that day and asked to meet in San Francisco. After one guest hangs a string of glass Mardi Gras beads around Laci Peterson’s neck, she has her picture taken as she sits in a brown wicker chair—the last known picture of her and one that will soon grace countless missing-person posters. She tells guests she is tired, and leaves the party at about 9:30 p.m. Meanwhile, an unidentified woman is being violently raped by four (or, according to some accounts, five) persons, one of whom will later be identified as “Donnie,” after being lured to a van by an ex-girlfriend (by some accounts, the woman is raped by two women while two or three men watch). She hears her assailants perform what she terms a “satanic ritual.” During the ritual, the attackers tell the victim to look for a “Christmas Day death” that she will be able to read about in the newspapers. The victim later reports the attack to sexual assault counselor Jill Smith, saying that the attackers frequent area parks and are currently staying at Woodward Reservoir. (According to some early accounts, Scott and Laci Peterson visit with Sharon Rocha and Ron Grantski, although this was likely December 8 or December 15, 2002.)
December 15 Scott Peterson and Amber Frey pose for some informal photographs at a friend’s apartment, then return to her home. Ron Grantski goes fishing, accompanied by Sharon Rocha, in Oakdale off Orange Blossom Road. According to Amber Frey’s phone records, she and Scott Peterson speak at least once by phone; according to Steve Jacobson’s preliminary hearing testimony, Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak three times by phone. According to Sharon Rocha’s preliminary hearing testimony, Laci Peterson calls her in the morning and invites her and Grantski over to dinner. Scott Peterson leaves Amber Frey’s home at 12:15 p.m.—the last time the two will see each other in person until his trial in 2004. According to The Murder of Laci Peterson, she asks him for an address in Maine where she can send a package, but he “evasively” gives her the address of a post office box in Modesto. According to Sharon Rocha’s trial testimony, Scott Peterson had offered to make lasagna for dinner but got home late, so Laci Peterson bought lasagna (according to early accounts, Laci Peterson makes dinner). After dinner, the two couples sit in the living room—Laci Peterson on the love seat, Sharon Rocha and Grantski on the sofa, and Scott Peterson on the floor—and watch The Sopranos on television. Laci Peterson asks Sharon Rocha if she wants to feel Conner Peterson. Sharon Rocha goes over and sits next to Laci Peterson, feeling her stomach, but is unable to feel the baby kicking. According to the February 10, 2004, issue of the National Enquirer, Sharon Rocha also puts her ear to Laci Peterson’s stomach to listen for the baby, at which time Laci Peterson makes a pointed remark about her husband being unwilling to feel or listen for the baby—an accusation that he does not defend. It is during this gathering that there is a lengthy discussion about fishing during which, it will later be pointed out, Scott Peterson does not mention his recently purchased fishing boat.
December 16 According to Amber Frey’s phone records, she and Scott Peterson speak at least three times by phone; according to Steve Jacobson’s preliminary hearing testimony, Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak five times by phone. He leaves a message for her at 5:42 p.m., stating, “I’m driving to the gym here to do my weekly 5-minute workout.” According to suggestions made by Kirk McAllister at Scott Peterson’s preliminary hearing, Amber Frey possibly begins recording her conversations with Scott Peterson. Laci Peterson calls Sharon Rocha and asks if she can watch McKenzie, Gracie and Siam because she and Scott Peterson will be visiting with Lee and Jackie Peterson in Carmel for 3 days.
December 17 Scott and Laci Peterson go to visit with Lee and Jackie Peterson in Carmel (according to a March 7, 2004, account in the San Francisco Chronicle, this visit occurs on December 20, 2002; according to Jackie Peterson, she and Lee Peterson go car shopping with Scott and Laci Peterson in Carmel on December 15, 2002, and Laci Peterson chooses a Mercedes to be her future car, claiming that her Land Rover is unsafe for a baby). According to Jackie Peterson, she and Lee Peterson go car shopping in Carmel with Scott and Laci Peterson during their 3-day visit). According to Amber Frey’s phone records, she and Scott Peterson speak at least twice by phone; according to Steve Jacobson’s preliminary hearing testimony, Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak four times by phone.
December 18 Scott and Laci Peterson visit with Lee and Jackie Peterson in Carmel. An unidentified woman reports being raped on December 14, 2002. According to Amber Frey’s phone records, she and Scott Peterson speak at least once by phone; according to Steve Jacobson’s preliminary hearing testimony, Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak twice by phone.
December 19 Scott and Laci Peterson visit with Lee and Jackie Peterson in Carmel, then return home at about 1:00 p.m. Amber Frey runs into the estranged wife of Dave Gardanelli—a woman that, according to Gardanelli had died of a heart condition. Sharon Rocha and Laci Peterson speak on the phone at about 7:00 p.m. According to Amber Frey’s phone records, she and Scott Peterson speak at least five times by phone; according to Steve Jacobson’s preliminary hearing testimony, Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak eight times by phone.
December 20 Shortly after 7:00 a.m., Eric Olsen, Rob Weaver and Scott Peterson meet at the Tradecorp Warehouse office, and all three go to Stockton to visit a distributor dealer. According to Amber Frey’s phone records, she and Scott Peterson speak at least twice by phone; according to Steve Jacobson’s preliminary hearing testimony, Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak twice by phone. According to the National Enquirer, the two see each other for the last time before Laci Peterson’s disappearance. Sharon Rocha and Laci Peterson speak on the phone. Laci Peterson reportedly attends her prenatal yoga class and speaks with Debbie Wolski about doing a mural in Conner’s nursery, borrowing her portfolio for evaluation. Wolski later testifies that, after this visit, Laci Peterson was in pain and could barely walk, needing Wolski’s help to make it back to a car. Wolksi will also say that Laci Peterson tells her that McKenzie “probably thinks she’s mad at him because she no longer walks him.” According to Peggy O’Donnell and Rosemary Ruiz, Laci Peterson goes to the Tradecorp Warehouse but cannot get in to use the restroom there, so she visits Adventures in Advertising, in a neighboring warehouse (according to O’Donnell’s police interview, this visit may have occurred on December 23, 2002). At 3:29 p.m., Scott Peterson checks out at Big 5 Sporting Goods, buying fishing lures and a 2-day fishing license, valid for December 23–24, 2002.
December 21 Amber Frey calls Det. Richard Byrd at his home. The two speak for nearly an hour. Scott and Laci Peterson go to a Christmas party, where despite her advanced stage of pregnancy, she shows up with in a party dress, steadying herself in high heels, with crab cakes in one hand and a house plant in the other. About this time, Brent Rocha speaks to Laci Peterson; he will later recall that she was “her happy, joyful self.” According to The Murder of Laci Peterson and the February 11, 2003, National Enquirer, Laci Peterson finds photographs of Scott Peterson and Amber Frey and an argument follows. According to Amber Frey’s phone records, she and Scott Peterson speak at least twice by phone; according to Steve Jacobson’s preliminary hearing testimony, Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak twice by phone.
December 22 Between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m., Homer Maldonado sees a woman he later identifies as being Laci Peterson, walking near what he describes as “a small park” located at Miller Avenue and La Loma Avenue. Laci Peterson goes outside, where Scott Peterson has finished mowing the lawn and is starting a leaf blower. Across the street, Susan Medina prunes bushes in her yard and exchanges waves with Laci Peterson for the last time. In an event that defense attorneys will later point to in attempting to show alternatives to Scott Peterson as the murderer of Laci Peterson, a man apparently of Pacific Island descent tries to pull a 15-year-old girl out of her car near Tracy. According to Amber Frey’s phone records, she and Scott Peterson speak at least twice by phone; according to Steve Jacobson’s preliminary hearing testimony, Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak twice by phone. According to Det. Al Brocchini, Scott Peterson calls Amber Frey from a pay phone at an airport in Sacramento. He tells her he is on his way to visit his parents in Maine. According to Amber Frey, he also calls and tells her he is in Chicago, waiting on a connecting flight.
December 23 Amy Rocha arrives at Salon Salon at about 6:30 a.m. Margarita Nava comes over around 8:30 a.m. to clean Scott and Laci Peterson’s home and, among other things, mops the bathroom with bleach and mops the kitchen floor with Pine-Sol and water, although, according to some sources, Scott Peterson will later say she mopped only half of it. Just before 9:30 a.m., Scott Peterson applies for a private mailbox at Mailboxes, Etc. He pays medical bills related to Laci Peterson’s pregnancy. He comes home briefly around 10:00 a.m. to pick up a FedEx package. Laci Peterson goes to Trader Joe’s to buy groceries and checks out at 10:06 a.m. (according to newspaper reports, 11:35 a.m.), spending $98.19 (according to newspaper reports, $90.90) and buying 24 items. Nava helps Laci Peterson with “four or five” bags (according to some accounts, Laci Peterson carries these herself) when she returns from running errands, and notes that her employer spends most of her time on the couch with her feet up, eating or watching television. According to Nava, Laci Peterson turns on the television about noon. Just after noon, she goes to Sweet Serinity Day Spa for a facial waxing treatment scheduled for 1:00 p.m. She arrives early, probably between 12:30 and 12:45 p.m. Nava leaves Scott and Laci Peterson’s home at exactly at 2:00 p.m. During the early afternoon, Sharon Rocha goes to the movies with a friend, and Scott and Laci Peterson work briefly in their yard (by some more-likely accounts, this happens on December 22, 2002). At 2:35 p.m., they go to a scheduled appointment at her obstetrician’s office, where she is examined by Esther Tow. Tow determines that Conner Peterson’s hearbeat is strong at about 150 beats per minute, and that he is a “viable baby.” Conner Peterson’s gestational age is estimated to be 32 weeks and 6 days. According to some reports—later contradicted by her physician—Laci Peterson has a sonogram. Laci Peterson’s weight is recorded as being 153 pounds. Tow later states that Laci Peterson’s mood is pleasant during the exam. Eric Olsen accepts another position, but does not formally resign from Tradecorp. Amy Rocha drives to Vella Farms Produce Market and Gifts to order a decorative fruit basket for her grandfather, then drives back to Salon Salon. At around 4:45 p.m., Laci Peterson calls Stacey Boyers to wish her a merry Christmas and to tell her that the visit to the obstetrician went well. Boyers later states that Laci Peterson was “happy as ever…ready for Christmas and cheerful.” Laci Peterson and Sharon Rocha exchange messages by phone several times, but do not speak to one another. Scott Peterson goes to Del Rio Country Club to work out, returning at about 5:00 p.m. Scott and Laci Peterson visit Amy Rocha at Salon Salon at about 5:45 p.m., where she cuts his hair and Laci Peterson sits in the chair next to them and talks (by one early account, she has her nails done; according to Chris Johnson, she sits on a black couch). Scott Peterson offers to do a favor for Amy Rocha by picking up the fruit basket between noon and 3:00 p.m. the following day, saying he will be in the vicinity of the store when he is golfing (according to some accounts, he states that he has an early tee time at the Del Rio Country Club; according to other accounts, he has an afternoon tee time with some friends, which is canceled; according to a February 12, 2004, article in the Modesto Bee, the club did not require members to reserve tee times). Laci Peterson calls and orders a pizza from Mountain Mike’s. The visit to Salon Salon is videotaped by the salon’s surveillance camera, but investigators will not recover the tape before it is recorded over. This visit, which by some accounts ends at approximately 7:30 p.m.(according to Laci: Inside the Laci Peterson Murder, between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m.), is the last confirmed time anyone other than Scott Peterson sees Laci Peterson alive. Scott and Laci Peterson invite Amy Rocha over to share the pizza, but she gives her half-sister a hug goodbye and then goes to have dinner with a friend visiting from another state. Scott and Laci Peterson return home and eat pizza. According to The Murder of Laci Peterson, they run “a few more errands,” then come home and do chores before eating dinner. At about 8:30 p.m., Sharon Rocha is on the phone with Sandy Rickard and picks up Laci Peterson’s call using Call Waiting. Laci Peterson discusses plans for the upcoming holiday gatherings—dinner at her mother’s home on Christmas Eve, and brunch at her home on Christmas Day. This conversation is the last confirmed time anyone other than Scott Peterson speaks with Laci Peterson. According to Sharon Rocha, Laci Peterson does not mention any other plans Scott Peterson has for December 24, 2002. This conversation is short, as Sharon Rocha returns to her conversation with Rickard. Laci Peterson says she is very tired. Sharon Rocha asks if she is feeling all right. Laci Peterson replies that she is “just tired.” According to Scott Peterson, he and Laci Peterson watch a little football, a movie (The Rookie) and then go to bed at about 10:30 p.m., with she wearing his blue pajamas. According to The Murder of Laci Peterson, Laci Peterson begins getting ready for bed as soon as she ends the conversation with her mother. According to Amber Frey’s phone records, she and Scott Peterson speak at least once by phone; according to Steve Jacobson’s preliminary hearing testimony, Scott Peterson and Amber Frey speak once by phone (according to some accounts, he calls her from an airport in Sacramento, telling her he is on his way to Kennebunkport, Maine; according to a later conversation between Scott Peterson and Amber Frey, he tells her that he is duck hunting with his father). During this conversation, Scott Peterson again brings up the subject of having a vasectomy. She spends the night at home with Ayiana Frey. Kim McGregor goes to a shopping mall where she has a massage scheduled with Tina Gassetti. McGregor later visits with Matt Laolagi at his home for about 10 minutes as he is watching Monday Night Football. He gives her a card for her daughter’s birthday. McGregor then goes to dinner at La Morenita with Laolagi and his two roommates, Hali Kapea and Gregory Raposo, whom she is meeting for the first time. She returns with Laolagi to his home between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. According to McGregor’s account, she meets Robert Watrous at Dews and borrows his jacket. Richard Jacobs is seen harassing neighbors of Scott and Laci Peterson. Scott Peterson later tells Amber Frey he spends the morning working, and playing golf and working out in the afternoon.