In late 2002, Laci Peterson, a 27-year-old pregnant woman, disappeared without a trace from her home in Modesto, California. She was eight months pregnant with a son, whom she and her husband Scott had planned to name Conner.

Laci’s disappearance was reported by her husband, Scott Peterson, who claimed that he had been fishing in the San Francisco Bay when she went missing. The authorities launched a massive search effort, including helicopters, divers, and volunteers, but no trace of Laci was found.

As the investigation progressed, Scott’s behavior raised suspicion. He appeared to be acting strangely and made inconsistent statements to the police. Additionally, it was discovered that Scott had been having an affair with a massage therapist named Amber Frey, and had told her that he was single.

Scott’s behavior and the affair led many to believe that he may have been involved in Laci’s disappearance. The media quickly picked up on the story, and the case became a national sensation, with news outlets covering every detail of the investigation.

Four months after Laci’s disappearance, on April 13, 2003, a couple walking their dog along the San Francisco Bay shoreline discovered the body of a late-term male fetus. A day later, the body of a woman, believed to be Laci, was found nearby.

The autopsy confirmed that the woman was indeed Laci and that she had been murdered. The fetus had been removed from her body, indicating that Laci had been killed before her due date. The case was now officially a double homicide.

Scott was immediately arrested and charged with two counts of murder. The prosecution’s case rested on the theory that Scott had killed his wife to escape the responsibilities of marriage and impending fatherhood, and that he had disposed of her body in San Francisco Bay.

The trial began in June 2004 and lasted for five months. The prosecution presented evidence that Scott had purchased a boat and had been seen near the bay around the time of Laci’s disappearance. They also showed that Scott had searched the internet for information on tides in the bay and had recently increased his life insurance policy.

The defense argued that the evidence was circumstantial and that there was no direct proof of Scott’s guilt. They also suggested that Laci had been kidnapped by someone else, pointing to reported sightings of a pregnant woman matching her description.

After a highly publicized trial, Scott was found guilty of the murder of Laci and their unborn child. He was sentenced to death and remains on death row in San Quentin State Prison. The case has remained a haunting mystery and a cautionary tale about the dangers of deception and betrayal in marriage.


The investigation into Laci Peterson’s disappearance was one of the largest in California’s history, involving multiple law enforcement agencies and search teams. The search efforts included extensive searches of the San Francisco Bay area, where Laci was last seen, and a reward was offered for any information that could lead to her whereabouts.

The case received widespread media coverage, with national news outlets closely following the investigation and trial. The public was captivated by the story of a young, pregnant woman who had seemingly vanished without a trace, and the subsequent revelation of her husband’s affair and alleged involvement in her disappearance and murder.

During the trial, the prosecution presented evidence of Scott Peterson’s deceitful behavior, including his affair with Amber Frey, his purchase of a fishing boat around the time of Laci’s disappearance, and the fact that he had made several trips to the San Francisco Bay area in the days leading up to her disappearance. The defense team argued that there was no direct evidence linking Peterson to the crime and that the prosecution’s case was built on circumstantial evidence and speculation.

Despite the lack of direct evidence, the jury ultimately found Scott Peterson guilty of the murders of his wife and unborn child. His conviction and sentence sparked intense debate and controversy, with some arguing that the evidence was insufficient to convict him and others maintaining his guilt.

The case of Laci Peterson’s disappearance and murder remains a tragic mystery, with unanswered questions about the circumstances surrounding her death and the motivations of her killer. The case also raised important issues around media coverage of high-profile criminal trials, the use of circumstantial evidence in criminal cases, and the use of the death penalty in the United States.