The infamous case of Scott Peterson has never gone away. In fact, since Christmas Eve 2002, when Scott murdered his eight-months-pregnant wife Laci, the facts and figures surrounding the horror have only ever grown increasingly familiar.
In large part, the Peterson prevalence arose from round-the-clock news coverage of the investigation, trial, and the aftermath (with Scott being sentenced to death in 2005) as it all happened. Since then, countless documentaries, TV specials, opinion pieces, podcasts, radio call-in shows, and online buzz have also kept the discussion open and ongoing.
In addition, true crime books about the Peterson case have long populated best-seller lists and offered a vast array of viewpoints. Here are seven of particularly potent note.1. A DEADLY GAME: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE SCOTT PETERSON CASE by Catherine Crier
As a former judge and longtime go-to legal analyst, Catherine Crier had unparalleled access to key players in the whole Peterson tragedy. Crier’s #1 New York Times best-seller A Deadly Game remains the one definitive book above all others on the case. With authority and insight, Crier interviews friends, family members, detectives, attorneys, associates, and an array of women from Scott’s past who paint a frighteningly heartless portrait of the killer. [Amazon]
In addition to the Petersons themselves (Scott, Laci, and unborn baby Conner), Amber Frey unwittingly became a household name as a result of Scott’s Christmas Eve atrocity. Witness opens with Amber recounting how she met and fell for Scott and, from there, compellingly takes us down the rabbit hole with her as she discovers more and more unbearable truths. The book actually grows more feverishly readable once Frey catches on and goes to the police, leading to the sting operation and shocking testimony that ultimately got Peterson convicted. [Amazon]
As harrowing and heartbreaking as only a mother’s pain can be, For Laci also stands as a testament to Sharon Rocha’s indomitable strength in the face of every parent’s most heinous nightmare. Sharon was the last person to whom Laci spoke, and her writing makes the reader experience every emotion she felt from that moment onward. Rocha’s rundown of Scott Peterson’s endlessly unraveling lies will leave you hyperventilating. [Amazon]
The journey that connects Anne Bird to the Peterson case was entirely unexpected and certainly makes for captivating reading. Given up for adoption as a baby in 1965, Bird reconnected with her birth mother in the late ’90s and grew close to the half-sibling she never knew she had: Scott Peterson. When Anne and Laci became pregnant at around the same time, the sisters-in-law became best friends — right up until Christmas Eve 2002. While not every one of Blood Brother’s “33 Reasons” is a revelation, the book certainly supplies a unique POV. [Amazon]
We, The Jury delivers on what the title promises: actual members of the 12-person panel that eventually sent Scott Peterson to Death Row open up about the thoughts and emotions they experienced throughout the process — and, most hauntingly, afterward. Their stories prove powerfully moving, from thoughts of suicide over what Laci endured, to nearly breaking down in sadness and disgust when hundreds cheered upon over the capital punishment verdict. [Amazon]
As Scott Peterson’s defense attorney, Matt Dalton fought zealously to keep his client out of jail, regardless of whether or not the accused was innocent. In the course of building his case, though, Dalton became utterly convinced that Scott is, indeed, absolutely innocent of inflicting any kind of harm on Laci, let alone killing her. It’s not a popular opinion, but Dalton’s book presents his arguments in a gripping fashion, even if only for insight into the process that decides what information can be presented at life-and-death trials, and what gets suppressed. [Amazon]
As the timeline of the Scott Peterson case coincided with the social-media revolution, it provided fodder for blogs, message boards, and online discussions as few courtroom shockers previously had — and, from there, the phenomenon of the “web sleuth” truly took flight. Author Loretta Dillon ranked high among the bloggers dedicated to covering Peterson at the time. Still Stone Cold Guilty gathers up Dillon’s investigations along with seldom-seen legal documents to create a mightily compelling argument that the police and jury really got this one right. [Amazon]
Watch Investigation Discovery’s Scott Peterson: An American Murder Mystery on ID GO now!
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Main photos: “Blood Brother” by Anne Bird [front cover image]/”For Laci” by Sharon Rocha [front cover image]/”Witness” by Amber Frey [front cover image]