The Scott Peterson Jurors: Autopsy Photos

Haunting Images

 

The jurors reflect on their experience with the images of Laci's body they saw in court.

 

"To see what Laci was, and then to see what she ended up, it's indescribable," Richelle says. The photos still run across her mind at least once a day.

"We saw firsthand the magnitude of the decaying process of a human being. Laci had no arms, had a part of a leg, and she had no head," says John.

"The last time I saw a body so badly mutilated, it was when a brother Marine was blown up by a grenade," says Mike. "Now you would have to have been one cold son of a gun not to have been affected by them. It was just traumatic."

For John, the pictures of Laci's unborn child, Conner, were even worse. "He was just a massive amount of Jell-O-type texture," he says.

"The baby looked like a plastic bag there, you know," adds Greg. "It was translucent, just in the shape of a baby. "

"When [Laci's mother] Sharon Rocha took the stand, to this day I can hear those words echo," says John. "When she referred to Laci in the casket with no arms to hold her baby, it broke everybody's heart."

"You could feel the pain," says Greg.

Julie says, "I was trying so hard not to cry."

Dr. Phil addresses John, saying, "In the book that y'all have put together, We, the Jury, you say, 'All I can think of is Laci's head still on the floor of the San Francisco Bay, looking up to God and asking why.' That haunts you."

"It does," he replies. "You see pictures, you know, on TV of dead bodies and things like that, but I've never seen one headless, and that sure enough shocks you, to know how gruesome this crime was. But still to this day you wonder: how can they do that to such a young woman who had plenty of life ahead of her and was going to be a mother for the first time?"

"No head, no body, a dog pulling on her," says Greg. "That's how they found her. There was a dog run by there, and the dog went down there, and this lady's going for the dog, and the dog's pulling, I think, on the bone of the leg or the arm " I can't remember now."

"He was chewing on the leg," Richelle clarifies.

Dr. Phil asks, "What did you read in Scott Peterson when those pictures of his wife and baby were being shown?"

"He was cold," Mike recounts. "He was cold and distant." Greg and John agree.

Dr. Phil asks Julie for her reading of Scott's reaction.

"They hadn't established that he was guilty because it was fairly early in the trial," she says. "And I remember thinking, if I were him, how could he not want to get a hold of whoever did this and just kill him?"

John sat fairly close to the defendant in the courtroom. Dr. Phil points out that one of the first things John noticed was that Scott looked often at the women in the jury box.

"He spent a lot of time glancing over at the women and sort of giving a flirtatious half-smile at times," John recounts.

"After going through this and having the burden that you had, seeing the things that you had to see, this has had a huge impact on you folks after the fact," says Dr. Phil. "I know you think about it, you flash back to it, you're having stress reactions physiologically, psychologically. Is this too much of a burden? Was this unfair to put this on ordinary citizens?"

John says, "After seeing the evidence and everything, you can't bounce it off anybody, and if it disturbs you, you have no outlet. You can't seek a priest; you can't seek psychologists. You're not allowed to do any of that stuff while you're in the process of jury duty. So, the longevity and then the evidence itself, it's a heavy burden that one has to pay."