Laci was reported missing on December 24, 2002, allegedly last seen walking her dog in a Modesto, CA, park. Her family pleaded for her safe return and her husband, Scott, appeared to lead the search efforts. Scott, however, had been keeping a big secret: his relationship with Amber.
Scott quickly came to be the prime suspect in Laci's disappearance, and police asked Amber to record her telephone conversations with Scott. Meanwhile, Scott maintained his complete innocence.
Then police recovered Laci and Conner's bodies on the shore of San Francisco Bay, just a few miles from where Scott claimed he was fishing the day they disappeared. Less than a week later, Scott, now with blond hair and a beard, was arrested near the Mexican border and charged with two counts of murder.
Those taped conversations and Amber's testimony became the centerpiece of the prosecution's case against Scott.
Their first date was on November 20, 2002 at a restaurant in Fresno, CA. Amber says she initially thought Scott was "handsome." "The conversation just flowed so well between us," Amber says.
After having "too much to drink," Amber went back to Scott's room. She explains, "When it became more passionate, you know, there was a moment of 'I don't think I'm really ready for this.' We've all been in those moments that take us away and there's no excuse for it. But that's what happened."
The next morning, Amber says, "He was very sweet and very soft with me" and said he wanted to have a relationship with her.
On December 9, 2002, more than two weeks before Laci's disappearance, Scott went to Amber's home. "We had a conversation about trust," Amber says. "There was this whole build-up, basically, that he was going tell me that he had lost his wife. And I thought, once he said that, 'How can I be mad at a person that went through a terrible loss?'"
Shortly after that phone call, her friend confirmed it, and Amber says she immediately contacted the Modesto police. The call was the beginning of Amber's pivotal role in the Scott Peterson investigation.
Laci had been missing for nearly a week when Amber first recorded a conversation with Scott on December 30, 2002. The second recorded call was the next night—New Year's Eve. Scott told Amber he was in Paris, when in reality, he was preparing to attend a candlelight vigil for Laci and Conner.
While the search for Laci continued, so did his phone calls to Amber. It was finally on January 6 during one of the secretly taped phone calls that Scott Peterson confessed to Amber about his missing wife.
Oprah: How was that for you talking on the phone with him knowing that they're being taped and also [that] this is somebody that you really did care about?
Amber: There was kind of a progression. It was terrifying to me in the beginning…my hands would shake. My hands were sweating. My stomach was just a mess…That day of confession kind of gave me a little bit of relief because I didn't have to keep up with all the lies.
Julie: Amber, thank you for helping the police to the extent that you did. We wouldn't have known half of what was going on had we not heard with our own ears the actual Scott that you were talking to that you knew.
Richelle: You are a very wonderful person, a very strong person, and I hope you can really blossom from this and grow from this experience.
Michael: I want to tell you that you displayed great courage in your assistance of the Modesto Police Department. Thank you for your help. You helped us to come to a decision. And you helped the state of California put away a cold-blooded murderer.
Oprah: If you could have one last conversation with Scott Peterson, Amber, what would you say to him?
Amber: Just like so many other people: Why?
Oprah: I know you're innocent until you're proven guilty. But when you first heard and realized that he was calling you…[and] realized that his wife was missing…did you think then that he'd killed his wife or had something to do with it?
Oprah: How do you feel about him getting the death penalty?
Amber: I feel it gives a very strong statement to him and to so many other people that this behavior is not acceptable.