The Untold Story
Because she did not testify in the trial, Anne says she wrote this book to tell her side of the story and to highlight Scott's behavior both before and after the hideous crime. "All of these things had been adding up," Anne says. "And I got to this moral plateau, you know. Do I ever say anything? Do I just keep everything to myself?"
Oprah: What did he look like?
Anne: He was wearing…a Ferguson, which is like a suicide outfit. It's Velcroed on the shoulders, and you wear nothing underneath. … [He looked] really kind of pasty from no sunlight, and he had lines and dark creases [on his face].
Oprah: Did he look well to you?
Anne: No. Emotionally not well either.
Oprah: What did you talk about?
Anne: He said, "I lost my family about 18 months ago." Which I thought was interesting because 18 months ago was actually when he went to jail. But 24 months ago is when he lost his family. … And he didn't say their names. He didn't say, "I lost Laci and Conner." He just said, "my family."
Anne says she was particularly enamored with Scott. "I had heard him called the golden boy from several other relatives," Anne says. "When I first met Scott, I immediately understood what everybody was talking about. He was just this kind of all-American: big smile and really polite, very courteous, darling. And I thought, 'Wow, this is the golden boy.'"
Publicly, Jackie painted a picture of family unity, but behind closed doors Anne says she saw a different side of Laci and Jackie's relationship. "It seemed to come down to this golden child image of [Scott's], Jackie kind of putting him up on a pedestal," Anne says. "Laci wasn't good enough. There was no one good enough for Scott."
According to Anne, the room Scott stayed in had a view of San Francisco Bay where authorities were searching for Laci's body. "Every time they looked in the bay and Scott was in our living room watching TV, he would get really upset and his tone was different," Anne says. "He was a little bit louder, 'Why are they wasting their time? Why are they looking there? They're looking in the wrong place.' And I could not understand why he was saying these things."
Anne says the moment that she began to think her brother was guilty came on April 14, 2004 when she called Scott to tell him that the bodies of a woman and baby had washed up in the bay. "When I told him they found the body of a woman, he just kind of sounded almost robotic: 'They'll find out it's not Laci and they'll just keep looking,'" Anne says. "It was when I said they found the body of a baby that all this kind of energy—his tone, yelling, 'Who would do such a thing?'—that just made me stop and think: Why be concerned about the baby and not the woman? I knew something was wrong."
Anne: When he was staying with us, he left two, maybe three times to go clean the pool. And I just thought that that was so strange that here his wife's missing and he's concerned about his pool.
Oprah: He left your house to go clean the pool? Oh, boy.
Anne: Yes. And I asked him why? I said, "Why would you even care about your pool right now?" And he said it was turning green and he didn't want the neighbors to see it. But when I noticed the aerial view pictures of his house, there is a huge fence all the way around it. So I don't think the neighbors can even see it anyway.
Oprah: So you believe, what, he drowned her in the pool?
Anne: I think so. That's my personal theory.
"The hallmark of a sociopath is someone who lacks empathy, who can't resonate with another's feelings and who is going through life, in fact, almost imitating a human being," says Dr. Ablow. "[Scott] is clearly, and Anne mentions it in her book, sort of imitating a person. He'll use stock phrases from movies. He'll describe his relationship with Laci and say, 'She completes me.' Well, you know, we know that that's from a movie, Jerry Maguire. … He seems perfect, in fact, the golden boy, because there are no rough edges. But, in fact, people have rough edges."
According to the American Psychiatric Association 1 out of 25 Americans secretly has no conscience and can do anything at all without feeling guilty. Dr. Ablow believes, "Nobody is born evil; people are basically good. The empathy that we have, which is miraculous, the fact that we can hear a story of a friend who's in pain across the country and cry, or go to a movie and be moved to tears, is a gift. It's miraculous. Nobody can explain that. It's also very fragile. And it can be destroyed in children by showing them no empathy. At a certain point when a child feels helpless and decides, 'I'm not gonna feel anymore,' they lose the capacity to feel for me or you."
"What a woman's pregnancy represents in a man's life story is a really dramatic chapter that has not been spoken enough about," Dr. Ablow says. "It redefines that man's life. It challenges him to be a father now. Not just a husband. It brings up primal feelings. 'Am I going to be ignored now in favor of my child?'
"What narcissists and sociopaths have is a sort of inflexibility to roll with the punches in their lives. … A true sociopath and narcissist can't integrate outside chapters. The pages being inserted in his life story strike him as assault. And so Scott Peterson in his mind may well have been thinking, 'It's either me or them.' So in other words, most of us would say, 'Well, I have to have a divorce.' A narcissist will start to reason with himself and say, 'What kind of life, after all, would it be for my young wife if she were to be left by me when she just gave birth? Better that she be dead.'"