The Scott Peterson Jurors: Death Threats

Threat of Death

"The first death threat was the evening after we made the decision," Greg recounts. "I'd gotten home, the phone was ringing off the hook. My wife, actually, was the one who picked up the phone with the death threat. And they said, 'You ought to die,' you know, 'and your whole family.'"
Greg's wife says that the experience was overwhelming. "It really makes you stop and think about how life can be sometimes."  
Greg also received a letter from Southern California, saying that he should die. He held onto the letter without opening it, but knew what it was after talking with Mike and Richelle, who received the same. "I don't know if I'm ever going to open it up," he says.  
"The third death threat was in person," Greg continues. "Doing an interview in front of the courthouse, a gentleman was standing off camera, and he was doing the hand across the neck thing and saying, 'You've got to die,' and 'I'm going to kill you.' And I just sat there doing the interview, and I'm thinking, am I really seeing this? Is this really happening? I went through this whole trial, and now somebody's going to kill me for this."
Greg holds up articles in national papers as examples of how the trial inspired a weird fascination. "We took this seriously," he says. "You're going to have the people who think you did the right thing, and then you've got the people who don't think you did anything right. We wouldn't put somebody to death just to put them to death. Nothing prepares you for that, how people are going to react afterward."

Dr. Phil sits opposite Greg, holding the letter that Greg believes is a death threat. "Is there a reason that you haven't opened it?" he asks.

"I was going to do it, and then I started thinking," he says. "If they didn't agree with me, I can accept that. If they want to kill me, I can accept that. But I can't accept anyone attacking my family or my home. That was the only concern I had."

"Do you want to open it?" asks Dr. Phil.

Greg replies, "I don't want to give any validity to it."

"Have you considered that you need to give it to the police?" asks Dr. Phil.

"Thought about it. I know that [Mike] did it, he had given [it] to them. I don't know what came of it, so I felt there was enough information there."

"Law enforcement would want to see what's in this letter," Dr. Phil notes. "Do you want me to look at it for you?"

Greg is visibly torn. "Is there something gained?" he asks. "Do I gain something by opening this? Does it give it validity or " "

"I think what you gain is information," says Dr. Phil. "If there's a specific threat in here or it is targeted toward someone in your family, or there's an anniversary date, or there's something in here that is referenced by a psycho, I would damn sure want to know it."

"Well, I was telling myself, 'I'm not opening it. I'm not opening it,'" he says. Then, releasing his trepidations he says, "Well, let's open it, I guess."

Reading over the letter, Dr. Phil says, "Yeah, I think this is not a fan letter. And I can tell you that this absolutely, unequivocally should be delivered to law enforcement, and they should compare this with the other letters. And this person appears to me " I've seen this kind of thing before " I wish you had opened this a long time ago, and I think that you need to make sure this gets in the hand of someone to evaluate it. I think you need to find this person's

picture, you need to know it, learn it, you need to give it to all the members of your family and everybody around you to recognize this person, should they be seen, and I think all of you should do the same thing," he says, addressing the other jurors. "If you guys would like, I will have our private investigator find out who this is, where they are, what their history is, what their picture is and give you the information so you can protect yourself, whether law enforcement puts it on their top front burner or not. Would you like for me to do that?"

The jurors nod and say yes.