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Peterson's Jailhouse Exchange

This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, December 11, 2003.

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: When Scott Peterson (search) was arrested on April 19, his hair was dyed a different color, he had $10,000 in his pocket, and his brother's driver's license was on him. Our next guest thought that this was totally understandable, and she wrote to Scott, supporting him. And to her surprise, he wrote back, as did Scott's family.

Scott's pen pal is Joyce Jensen, and she joins us from Orlando, Florida, with the letters. Welcome, Joyce.

JOYCE JENSEN, PETERSON PEN PAL: Hi, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Joyce, let's talk about this. You understood why he would change his hair color and have the cash on him when he was arrested?

JENSEN: I thought he changed his hair color because he had been harassed, I felt like, since December. And the news media, I felt like, had basically convicted him. And he didn't want to be recognized.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, what did you say in your letter to him?

JENSEN: I wrote three letters, the first night he was arrested, on Friday. I wrote Friday, Saturday, Sunday and mailed them off the next week. I told him that I felt bad for his parents, I felt bad for Laci and Conner and I felt bad for him at the time.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, what I'm going to put up on the screen for the viewers, the response that you received, dated April 27, 2003, from Scott Peterson. At least, it's purported to be.

JENSEN: Right. That's a copy of the letter.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes. It says, "Joyce, please forgive the appearance of this letter. Short pencils and a short supply of paper force it to look as if written by a grade-schooler."

He goes on then to say -- let's put up the next one -- "The short time I will be spending in jail until my innocence is proven is absolutely nothing compared to the loss of my family."

He goes on to say, "In the first days here, I was in tears for 80 percent of the time. I first learned of their passing from a ride from SD" -- means San Diego -- "to Modesto. It was seeing the news one Saturday that I knew it was true. I was fighting to find some way to mourn them. I didn't think I could do it in this place."

Now, that's at least part of the letter you received on the 27th. What did you think when you got that letter back from him?

JENSEN: When I read the letter, I was shocked, yes, that he wrote me back because I never expected it. But when he didn't call Laci and Conner by name, I thought no feeling at all. I couldn't believe that. And then when he wrote that he needed to find some way to celebrate their lives -- they were just found deceased. And I thought that was very tacky.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. And then you got sent something from the Peterson -- or at least, it's supposed to be from the Peterson family, a letter that says:

"Dear Joyce, Scott appreciates your support and apologizes for being able to respond. With heartfelt thanks, the Peterson family, and includes a cookie recipe, one of Laci's favorite recipes."

What'd you think about that? Was there a recipe actually included in this letter?

JENSEN: Scott's letter came about two weeks after he was arrested. The Peterson family letter came about two weeks after that, about the middle of May. I'm sorry, Laci's favorite lavender cookies...

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you make them?

JENSEN: Why? Who can make them? Who can make the cookie without thinking of her death? I thought that was so tacky. Why not send out her favorite book, a favorite poem? Why would you send out a food recipe in the way that she was found? It made me angry at the family because I thought that's the way you want everybody to remember Laci, a big cookie recipe?

VAN SUSTEREN: All right...

JENSEN: You know, it was too soon to send something like that out.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Joyce. Thank you very much. I take it there's no more correspondent after this, right, Joyce?

JENSEN: No more correspondence.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Joyce, thank you very much for sharing your letters with us.

JENSEN: Thank you.

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