Burden of Proof

Dear Viewers,

As the prosecution seeks to prove its theory and its evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, the defense does what it can to poke holes in that theory and evidence. As you know, the defense does not have to prove anything — only the prosecution (the state) has a burden of proof. 

For many reasons — and this does not mean the prosecution will lose in the end — this is a tough case for the prosecution. There is no crime scene, no confession, no cause of death and no murder weapon. This does not mean it is impossible to win — but rather difficult to be persuasive. 

You can imagine how different this case is to a case where an accused has confessed on videotape or been found covered with the victim's blood.

It is plain what the prosecution theory is: that he murdered her and disposed of the body by dumping her body from his 14-foot boat in the SF Bay. In order to be convincing, that possibility - dumping the body from a 14-foot boat - must be real. 

The DA does not have to prove that particular point beyond a reasonable doubt but it sure would help the DA if he could prove that this is a feat that can be done. If the defense can show it is impossible, the DA has a big hole in his case. Big holes can be reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt means not guilty verdicts.

Here are some e-mails on the topic:

E-mail No. 1

Hi, This is my first time to write. We are faithful to watch each night. My husband is a retired Coast Guardman after 20yrs. He said about the Peterson boat deal, that it was very possible for him to take Laci and also the anchor out on the sm boat without it captizing, as my husband was a sm boat handler and also worked on the SF bay area. He said that Scott most likely didn't expect her to come loose from the cement anchors. Hopefully, u will discuss this on the program. Thanks so much

ANSWER: I am curious whether either party did a demonstration showing the possibility  or impossibility or difficulty of pushing a 140 pound object off the boat in the SF Bay. If either side had done it, I would expect that it would be video taped and presented to the jury. While not all demonstrations are admissible before the jury, if you re-enact the prosecution theory exactly, it should be admissible. 

Many lawyers wonder why the DA has "married" himself so tightly to the theory that he pushed her body from the boat. There is no positive evidence of this — only that he has a boat and had it at the marina that morning. Frankly, there are other ways a body could end up in the water where it did. By locking themselves into this theory - the 14 foot boat - the prosecution puts themselves at huge risk if the defense can demonstrate that it is impossible (or even difficult) to dump a body without capsizing.

E-mail No. 2

Greta, the question was posed on your call-in show last night about how difficult it would be to throw a body and anchor off the boat without capsizing it. I got to thinking about that and came up with a few notes on this.
From the videos I've seen on television, Scott was a big, buffed bodybuilder at the time of Laci's disappearance. I believe in that physical shape he could have easily picked up Laci (as tiny as she was even while pregnant) and an anchor and tossed them overboard without capsizing the boat. He has said he's lost over 30 pounds since being in jail. His current slender look might be a ploy to say he isn't strong enough to do such a fete. Sounds to me like the infamous OJ's glove ploy.
By the way, I lived in Menlo Park, CA until we moved to Florida two and a half years ago. And I lived in the SF Bay Area since 1953. This case is not only of interest to me because of my residence there, but because I truly believe (and have from the beginning) that he is a liar, a cad and a psychopath. And no matter how inadequate the prosecution's case may be, I pray that justice will be done!
I love your show and watch it daily if possible. FoxNews is my home base channel and my favorites are you, Hannity, Shephard Smith and Bill O'Reilly. I also listen to Hannity to and from my work, and you might tell him I too have been Hannitized!

E-mail No. 3

In checking online as to where Berkeley Marina is I noticed Golden Gate Fields just north of the marina.
Would it have been possible for Scott to have placed Laci's body the night before from somewhere on Buchanan Street shoreline? He could have then launched his boat and dragged Laci & Conner to where ever he eventually anchored the plastic bag in the bay. I think this might answer the "how he got the body overboard" question.
I used to live in Phoenix behind Turf Paradise, a local horse racing field. The Turf manufactured their own manure into fertilizer and shipped it directly from behind the track. Since Scott was a fertilizer salesman he might have had knowledge of the workings of the employees at Golden Gate Fields as well as where he could place a bag out of sight.
As I recall he was extremely friendly to whom ever he saw that Christmas Eve at the Berkeley Marina. He could have been manufacturing witnesses who would state his boat and truck did not have a plastic bag in them. He then would have simply launched the boat and fetched the bag depositing it into the bay after anchoring it.
What do you think?
Millie Haggard


Does Bernie's Wife Watch the Show? Because if she does, I presume he will be sleeping on the sofa from now on if not in his very own studio apartment.

Any husband who would even consider selling what most women refer to as HER home, not to mention selling HER car and toss away HER wedding albums or consider selling HER furniture while she was missing, won't have a wife for long if she gets back.  This is the same jerk who was suggesting to his girlfriend, (he could not afford a mistress), that his wife just might
have taken off on her own. And clearly, since his mother actually thought that the sighting in the
Northwest might have actually been Laci, he told Jackie that, too!

I am sure if she watched this show, there will be an even grimmer time than usual at the Grimm home tonight! Bernie may need to hit makeup early for tomorrows show to cover up the fat lip and black eye.

Phoenix, AZ

PS You could throw the body over the bow. They did it on another network. They also rolled a 160 lb body over the side, following it with the weights.

E-mail No. 5

I have veiwed pictures of Scott Peterson's boat. A body could be dumped from  the bow or stern without cap-sizing the boat. Everyone seems to be focusing on the sides of the boat.
JD Shelton

E-mail No. 6

Has anyone ever watched an episode of Crocodile Hunter? Steve Erwin is shown on numerous occasions, loading and unloading croc's into and out of his small aluminum boat. I am certain that a crocodile weights more than an 8 month pregnant woman.  

E-mail No. 7
Hi Greta.   Your the best.
Scott P could have launched the boat with Laci's body in the water at the time, tied to the side of the boat.  Fishermen in small boats tow back big fish that way.  Wrapped in a tarp, a body would be more buoyant.  Cement anchors roped to the tarp could be kept on the inside of the boat, and when he's ready, just toss the  cement overboard.

If searchers were using sonar / radar to locate the body, and it was wrapped in a tarp, it would be more difficult to find.  The tarp would fill with water and air, and resemble a very non-specific blob on the bottom.

Here's my question:  early on during the disappearance, there was a story about a young Hispanic woman whose body had been found, beheaded, in a nearby bay.  I seem to remember hearing that Mark Garragos cannot use this unsolved case to cast  doubt and point to other theories as to what happened to Laci.  Why can't he use it?

Keep up the good work

Keith Aran



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