Greta in Modesto: A Mother's Pain

Dear Viewers,

During a break in testimony I had a chance to talk to Scott Peterson's (search) mother, Jackie Peterson in the hall.

As you might imagine, this is hard on her and her health is not good. She has battled pneumonia many times in her life and that has taken its toll on her lungs. She carries oxygen with her at all times.

It isn't easy to sit in the courtroom for hours in the best of health. As an aside, the seats are incredibly uncomfortable in the Stanislaus County Courthouse. I have, however, spotted a few journalists managing to sleep in the chairs. I am not sure how they ever get comfortable enough in the chairs to sleep. The seats are so uncomfortable that they keep me awake during even the long -- very long -- DNA testimony.

I did not ask Jackie questions about the case since she is under the gag order and seemed weary.

Likewise, I have not 'cornered' Sharon Rocha, Laci's mother, and asked her questions that might violate the court order. Sharon and I exchange smiles and say hello as we pass each other. We have talked before -- I once went for a walk with Sharon in the park where Laci walked her dog. The walk was a personal one and thus "off the record," so you won't learn the content of our talk on that walk.

You might wonder why I don't "stick a microphone in these mothers' faces" when I come in contact with both these mothers in the courthouse. My thought: neither of these women did anything wrong and I think they ought to be able to take a break from the preliminary hearing without me asking questions that will later end up on a TV show. This is very, very, very hard on them. They are forced to confront and endure the unthinkable. Thursday, for instance, Sharon had to be reminded that she had to let the police swab her mouth for DNA so that it could be sent to the FBI. Jackie had to watch her son escorted by the sheriff and unable to even touch his mother. Sharon had to look at a son-in-law who she loved and now believes murdered her daughter. And, of course, the mothers had to deal with the fact that they are both in the courtroom at a murder trial.

Of course when either wants to speak to me "on the record," I will leap at the opportunity. I would like to interview both of them again -- both have been on our show in recent months.        

Finally, I know many of you have questions about this case and I am thinking about taking calls on Friday night.


Watch On the Record with Greta Van Susteren weeknights at 10 p.m. ET