There are few cases that have captivated the nation like the disappearance and murder of Laci Peterson. Though it’s been more than decade since she disappeared on Christmas Eve in 2002, there are still many questions that remain about the case.
One of these questions is whether or not they ever found the body of the mother-to-be, 27, and her unborn son, whom she and her husband Scott planned to name Conner. They did, as the body of a recently pregnant woman and an unborn male fetus were discovered in April of 2003 by a couple and their dog on the shore of the San Francisco Bay (Conner’s body was found first, and Laci’s a day later.
As it has been reported since the discovery of the bodies more than a decade ago, the judge opted to seal the autopsy reports of both Laci and her son, though it was later revealed that Laci had been decapitated prior to the discovery of her body. However, by the time her corpse was discovered, the body had been so decomposed it was impossible for the coroner to determine a cause of death. Furthermore, reports from the medical examiner later alleged that there were injuries — including two cracked ribs — that occurred at or near the time of death; additionally, an unnamed source told the Associated Press that there was nylon tape around the neck of the fetus, and that there was a “significant cut” made to the fetus’ body.
Five days after the discovery of the bodies, Scott was arrested. And after a long trial that lasted from June 2004 to March 2005, when he was sentenced to death for the first- and second-degree murder of his wife and unborn son — a sentence he has since described as shocking in a death row phone call to his sister-in-law.
“It was just like this amazing, horrible, physical reaction that I had,” he said of hearing he was convicted of first- and second-degree murder. “I couldn’t feel my feet on the floor. I couldn’t feel the chair I was sitting in. My vision was even a little blurry. And I just had this weird sensation that I was falling forward — and forward and down and there was going to be no end to this falling forward and down like there was no floor to land on. I, I was staggered by it. I had no idea it was coming.”