Skip to comments.Slaying theories involve devil, Nazis, art
Posted on 10/06/2003 5:46:03 AM PDT by runningbear
Slaying theories involve devil, Nazis, art
Posted on Mon, Oct. 06, 2003
Slaying theories involve devil, Nazis, art
HEARING OCT. 20 IN CASE OF MODESTO HOMEMAKER
By Julia Prodis Sulek
MODESTO - Nazi Low Riders named Dirty and Skeeter, an old Satanic cult called the Order of Lion, and bizarre paintings of decapitated women and floating fetuses. These are the latest surreal elements in the Laci Peterson murder case.
Who could have guessed that the death of this pregnant homemaker who watched ``Martha Stewart Living'' each morning and had a wine-of-the-month club membership would be intertwined with such seamy images?
But no theory, it seems, is too far-fetched for a case that feeds tabloid headlines and talk show debates. Two especially macabre scenarios have arisen as the Oct. 20 preliminary hearing approaches.
One centers on a jailhouse informant who passed a lie-detector test after claiming two gang thugs were hired to kill Peterson's wife. The other resurrects a decade-old quadruple homicide outside Modesto by devil worshipers who believed the purest sacrifice is the killing of a newborn baby.
One scenario could send Peterson to the death chamber. The other could set him free. Could either be true? Or has a thirst for the sensational spawned titillating tales when the reality may be something far simpler: a cheating husband killing his wife to be with his mistress?
The prosecution is expected to push that more simple theory when it lays out its case for the first time at Peterson's preliminary hearing in Modesto. But until then the focus has shifted to bald, tattooed gangsters and robe-clad Satanists.
The Nazi Low Riders
It was only two weeks ago that Cory Carroll, a Fresno jail inmate, issued a startling statement: Scott Peterson used him to set up a murder-for-hire.
According to Carroll's lawyer, Frank Muna, it started in early November last year at a Fresno strip club called City Lights. After seeing Carroll's prison identification card when he paid for a drink, Peterson struck up a conversation. They spent the next several hours together watching the dancers, shooting pool and bar hopping.
``Scott mentioned he would like to buy his wife a new car for Christmas,'' but if he sold the old one he didn't think he would get much money for it, said Muna, who grew up in East San Jose. ``He asked my client if he knew anyone willing to steal the car so he could claim it on his insurance.''
Peterson offered him $300 to make an introduction, Muna said. A couple of weeks later, on Nov. 29, Carroll brought Peterson together with Dirty and Skeeter, members of the Nazi Low Riders, a notorious prison gang known for murder, extortion and drug running.
The foursome gathered at Best Budget motel, where Carroll lived and worked as a maintenance man, Muna said. There, Peterson made a far more sinister proposal.
``He solicited the two guys, Dirty and Skeeter, to get rid of his wife -- first to kidnap his wife, then to get rid of her,'' Muna said. ``My client didn't want any part of that so he left. He ran into Dirty and Skeeter a half-hour later, and they told my client they were going to take care of what Scott wanted.''
Frequent phone companions
Frequent phone companions
By GARTH STAPLEY and JOHN COTÉ
BEE STAFF WRITERS
Published: October 4, 2003, 07:27:19 AM PDT
Scott Peterson and his lover exchanged at least 37 telephone calls in the four weeks after she revealed their relationship at a Jan. 24 televised news conference, according to partial phone records. Authorities secretly taped their conversations for 3 1/2 weeks. Amber Frey's calls to the married man would continue for 15 days after the wiretaps stopped on Feb. 4, according to the records.
Whether Frey knew about the wiretaps -- or knew when they ended -- is not clear.
But the records suggest that Frey, who first contacted Modesto police on Dec. 30, cooperated with authorities. She appears to have regularly called Modesto police Detective Jon Buehler upon hanging up with Peterson, even after authorities stopped bugging his phones.
Peterson, 30, is charged with killing his wife, Laci, and their unborn son. Prosecutors believe Peterson pretended to know nothing about their deaths as thousands searched for the pregnant woman after she was reported missing Dec. 24. The bodies of mother and son were found in mid-April.
Though he had steadfastly denied Bee reports of the affair, Peterson reversed course in a half-dozen media interviews starting four days after Frey's Jan. 24 news conference. He admitted lying about his relationship with the 28-year-old massage therapist from Fresno, and said he had discussed it with his wife in early December. Frey has said she didn't know Peterson was married when they met Nov. 20.
The phone records show Peterson and Frey exchanged at least 76 calls over nine turbulent weeks that started nine days before Laci Peterson's disappearance. The calls stretched through the holidays, emotional news conferences, her birthday and the due date for Peterson's son before apparently ending Feb. 19.
On Feb. 10, Frey dialed Peterson's numbers four times -- and didn't call Buehler at all. The night before, the former lovers spoke for 34 minutes. Feb. 10 held significant events for both:
It was Frey's 28th birthday.
It marked Laci Peterson's due date.
Friends and family of Laci Peterson prayed in East La Loma Park, which volunteers had searched many times. Peterson was at home that evening, a short walk from the park.
Nude photos of Frey taken four years earlier first hit some National Enquirer newsstands.
Frey has spoken privately about receiving seven calls from Peterson on Valentine's Day. Phone records show she called Peterson once that day as well, and again at 2:42 a.m. the following day. Frey didn't immediately report either call to Buehler.
The phone records show:
Frey called Buehler's office phone, cell phone and home phone 191 times in a three-month stretch ending March 14, totaling more than 19 hours of conversation. Many of the calls came immediately after Frey's conversations with Peterson.
Frey and Buehler averaged nearly 16 calls and 1 1/2 hours of phone time per week.
Frey didn't call Peterson on Jan. 24. That evening, she stunned observers by going public with their relationship. The next day, they exchanged at least three calls.
The two spoke at least once on Jan. 27, the day Peterson taped his mea culpa for ABC's "Good Morning America." After the show aired the first segment of a two-part interview with Diane Sawyer the next day, Frey called Peterson's cell phone for a call that lasted 23 minutes.
That night, she phoned him again -- and the call lasted 52 minutes.
Frey also phoned Sawyer's office on Feb. 22. An assistant to Sawyer said the show has been trying for months to book an interview with Frey, without success.
Though police reported no new developments Feb. 1, records show a flurry of calls that day between Frey and Peterson, and Frey and Buehler.
Frey called Peterson's number nine times on two of his cell phones and spoke for almost 90 minutes. She called Buehler 19 times the same day, with the calls lasting a total of 61 minutes.
She also placed two calls that morning to Melvin King, a former Fresno police lieutenant who operates a polygraph and private investigation service. King refused Friday to say why Frey called.
King popped onto the Peterson media scene two weeks ago in connection with another aspect of the case. At a lawyer's request, he gave a lie-detector test earlier in the month to a jail inmate who claims that before his arrest he heard Scott Peterson discussing a plot to kidnap Laci Peterson with two members of a vicious neo-Nazi gang.
King has said that Cory Lee Carroll passed the polygraph.
In the nine weeks reflected in the partial phone records, Frey and Peterson totaled more than 8 1/2 hours in phone conversations -- an average of nearly one hour per week of phone time.
Frey's fingers busy dialing
Frey, who has shunned interviews, had at least some contact with several media companies from mid-January through mid-March.
Records show that in addition to phoning ABC's Sawyer, she called CNN's Connie Chung, a Fox News affiliate in Santa Monica and Fortune magazine. She also placed five calls to People magazine.
Frey last called Peterson on Feb. 19 at 7:36 a.m., the second day of a two-day search by police of Peterson's home. Investigators carried out dozens of bags of items.
The day before, police drove Peterson's white Dodge pickup away and returned it several hours later. State Attorney General Bill Lockyer would later say that police used global positioning satellite devices in the case and were tracking Peterson's truck.
Prosecutors might have put out information in an attempt to induce Peterson into making damaging statements that the wiretaps would pick up, Assistant San Francisco District Attorney James Hammer has said.
A week after a judge approved wiretaps on two of Peterson's cell phones, The Bee reported Peterson was having an affair with an unknown woman. That day, Frey dialed Peterson's phones twice -- and called Bueh- ler seven times.
At some point in January, prosecutors also confronted Peterson with a rare pre-arrest plea offer: They would take a possible death penalty off the table if Peterson would lead investigators to the body.
"It's called tickling," Hammer said. "They are going to dangle the death penalty and see if he gets scared enough to say stupid things."
DA nipped wiretap
But information from the wiretaps appears to have been of limited value to prosecutors.
According to court documents, the district attorney's office had asked a judge to cut off the first wiretap early, saying "further progress in the investigation would not be gained through additional interception."
State law allows a wiretap to run for up to 30 days, but a judge can grant an extension.
Court documents show the first wiretap was approved on Jan. 10 and ran to Feb. 4, the day a car dealer gave Laci Peterson's Land Rover to her family. Scott Peterson had traded the vehicle in toward the purchase of the Dodge truck.
Also Feb. 4, Frey phoned Peterson at 9:20 p.m. and again at 10:02 p.m.; the second call lasted 15 minutes. She then phoned Bueh- ler and spoke for 23 minutes -- the last of four calls to the detective that day. At 11:19 p.m., she called Peterson back and spoke for two minutes........
Fresno attorney promotes Peterson story
Fresno attorney promotes Peterson story
His client in county jail alleges a conspiracy to kidnap, kill Laci Peterson.
By John Coté and Garth Stapley
The Modesto Bee
(Published Sunday, October 5, 2003, 5:29 AM)
A Fresno attorney has been making the interview rounds with a story that his client has crucial information linking Scott Peterson to the murder of his wife and unborn son.
During the last two weeks Frank Muna has appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" and Fox News' "On the Record" with Greta Van Susteren and been interviewed by the press about his version of the Laci and Conner Peterson deaths -- that they were victims of one of several contract kidnap and killing scenarios.
Little information has surfaced to corroborate his accounts, and questions about his motivation have been raised.
Muna repeatedly has said his client, Fresno jail inmate Cory Lee Carroll, is not asking for anything in return for the information.
But Muna was in contact with tabloid news outlets to sell Carroll's story, two sources said. Muna called that untrue.
According to the sources, Muna sought more than $75,000 for the story from The National Enquirer.
Enquirer Senior Editor Charlie Montgomery confirmed his publication pays for stories, but he would not comment on whether Muna had contacted them or sought payment.
Muna said Wednesday he had not shopped the story. He said tabloids contacted him after The Bee reported the story Sept. 20.
"The National Enquirer made the offer, and we turned it down," Muna said. "This sounds more like there is some law enforcement -- some third party -- trying to influence credibility. We don't have anything to sell. All the information we have has been released."
Muna's information has come in distinct batches. He first said his client arranged a meeting between Peterson and two neo-Nazi gang members to discuss stealing Laci Peterson's vehicle for insurance money, but the talk soon turned to kidnapping.
The next week, Muna added to that account, saying Carroll heard Scott Peterson arranging to pay the gang members, identified as "Dirty" and "Skeeter," $22,000 to abduct and murder his pregnant wife. To this date, "Dirty" and "Skeeter" have not been publicly identified.
Muna suggested Scott Peterson failed to pay the money after he came under intense police scrutiny, and Laci Peterson died while being held. The disgruntled kidnappers could have dumped the bodies where Peterson said he went fishing to implicate him, Muna said.
Credibility was lent to the original car theft story because Carroll passed a lie-detector test administered by a veteran Fresno investigator.
But polygraph tests are not admissible in court because they are unreliable, and other parts of the story remain uncorroborated.
The identities and whereabouts of people named as key players in the scenarios remain elusive.
Authorities are refusing to comment on Muna's information, citing a sweeping gag order imposed in the case...........
(Excerpt) Read more at bayarea.com ...
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"Nazi Low Riders named Dirty, Skeeter and Schwarzenegger,..."
How ironic. Now Scott may get a prison ID of his own!
Why wasn't Davis investigated too?
By Jill Stewart
I couldn't have been more shocked to see the lurid stories about Arnold Schwarzenegger and the things several women allege he uttered or did to them. But it wasn't over the allegations, which I had read much of in a magazine before. I was most shocked at the Los Angeles Times.
Some politicos dub the Thursday before a big election "Dirty Tricks Thursday." That's the best day for an opponent to unload his bag of filth against another candidate, getting maximum headlines, while giving his stunned opponent no time to credibly investigate or respond to the charges.
It creates a Black Friday, where the candidate spends a precious business day right before the election desperately investigating the accusations, before facing a weekend in which reporters only care about further accusations that invariably spill out of the woodwork.
Dirty Tricks Thursday is not used by the media to sink a campaign.
Yet the Times managed to give every appearance of trying to do so. It's nothing short of journalistic malpractice when a paper mounts a last-minute attack that can make or break one of the most important elections in California history. The Times looked even more biased by giving two different reasons for publishing its gruesome article at the last minute.
Now, there's no time left before the election to separate fact from fiction regarding incidents that happened as long as 20 and 30 years ago.
I should disclose here that I know one of Schwarzenegger's accusers. She is a friendly acquaintance. I have no idea whether she was actually man-handled.
Is it possible that my acquaintance told friends a tall tale, after meeting Schwarzenegger, because back then it made a young woman terribly exotic if one of the hottest beefcakes in the world wouldn't keep his paws off you?
I have no idea.
Company asks for hold on Peterson benefits
By JOHN COTÉ
BEE STAFF WRITER
Published: October 4, 2003, 06:50:14 AM PDT
Laci Peterson's life insurance company has asked a judge to order the more than $250,000 in benefits held in an account until the outcome of her husband's double-murder trial. Under California law, Scott Peterson is ineligible to collect on the policy if he is found guilty.
He is the only beneficiary on the policy, according to documents Principal Life Insurance Co. filed Friday in Stanislaus County Superior Court.
If he is ineligible, the $256,000 in proceeds and interest goes to Laci Peterson's estate, according to the documents.
Laci Peterson's estate technically hasn't been established yet, said attorney Adam Stewart, who is representing Laci's mother, Sharon Rocha.
Because Laci died without a will, her estate would be her natural mother and father, Stewart said.
"We're obviously going to make a claim to funds .......
Empowered by the Bush administration, of course.
Great idea....I think it's been done though. LOL !