Scott Peterson, the California man sentenced to death for the murder of his wife and their unborn child in a case that captivated the nation 15 years ago, admitted in a newly revealed conversation that he was stunned by the guilty verdict that led to his incarceration.
"I was staggered by it,” he told his sister-in-law Janey of the judgment handed down at the end of his 2005 murder trial. “I had no idea it was coming.”
Peterson’s recorded phone call with his sister has been revealed for the first time in a six-part A&E special, The Murder of Laci Peterson, which premieres Tuesday.
“It was just like this amazing, horrible physical reaction, that I had,” he continued. “I couldn’t feel my feet on the floor. I couldn’t feel the chair I was sitting in.
“My vision was even a little blurry. And I just had this weird sensation that I was falling forward and down and there was going to be no end to this falling forward and down like there was no floor to land on.”
Peterson’s official mugshot is marked "CONDEMNED."
Laci Peterson was eight months pregnant when she vanished around Christmastime in 2002. At the time, Scott Peterson claimed to have been on a fishing trip.
A fetus found to have been Laci's unborn son was found four months later, on April 13, 2003. The next day, her dismembered torso was discovered.
The case was broken wide open when a woman named Amber Frey came forward to reveal she had been having an affair with Peterson.
Frey said she is no longer haunted by the fact that Peterson killed his wife to be with her, telling Inside Edition in 2015, “I can’t live with ‘what if?’”
The new A&E series will focus on flaws in the prosecution’s case, including 11 witnesses who believe they saw Laci Peterson walking her dog in the neighborhood after her husband had left on his fishing trip.
“I wasn’t the last one to see Laci that day,” Peterson said in the phone call. “There were so many witnesses who saw her walking in the neighborhood after I left.”
He also claims her murder may be connected to a mysterious burglary across the street from their home.
“The police failed to find my family,” he said.
But Laci Peterson’s mother, who attended the murder trial every day, says she has zero doubt that her killer is behind bars.
“He murdered my child so as far as I’m concerned, [Scott’s] where he needs to be,” Sharon Rocha said.
Scott Peterson is on death row at San Quentin State Prison.