Want Greta's blog delivered directly to your e-mail box? Click here to sign up!
For today's blog I have streamed the video of my "one-on-one" with Gloria Allred (search) that has sparked so many e-mails. I have streamed it on www.gretawire.com because I have been flooded with e-mails about it. Thus, if you are getting this note by e-mail, you might want to go to our Web site today to check out what the controversial video is.
And, because I promise behind the scenes information, I have also streamed some holiday music by my colleague, Brian Wilson (search). When I got to the office Tuesday, Brian had proudly placed his new self-made CD on my desk. I popped it into my computer and played it and figured you might like to hear it, too. I am always surprised by my colleagues' "outside talent."
Tuesday night on the show I promised viewers that I would explain why Mark Geragos (search) was not present when the Peterson guilty verdict was read. I had explained it before on the air, but we were running out of time and thus I could not do so again last night. Like everyone else who was in Redwood City at the time (meaning the entire media), I know the facts as to why Geragos was not there. If asked, I am sure that even Gloria Allred — who has a running battle with Geragos — would agree that I am correctly stating the facts. For reasons that escape me, Geoff Feiger refuses to acknowledge the facts and continues to suggest another scenario — as he did again last night. As an aside, you can dislike Geragos and you can disagree with his strategy, but do so based on the real facts and not on what are the imagined facts. As you know from watching the show, I don't always agree with Geragos. By the way, I like Feiger very much, but my job includes correcting guests if I am aware that they have made a mistake. And yes, I have made mistakes too.
Here are the facts:
Sometime on Wednesday, November 10, after days and days of deliberations, there was a juror problem. As a result of the juror problem, the foreperson was removed and replaced with an alternate. At the time of the replacement, the judge specifically told the jurors in open court that they had to START ALL OVER with deliberations. What "start all over" meant was not clear since we could not consult the jurors, but because they had already been deliberating for days, we in the courtroom guessed it would be more days of deliberating since it has been days already.
At the time of the judge's instructions to start all over, we did KNOW two things. First, the next day (Thursday) there would be NO deliberating since it was a Federal holiday — November 11, Veterans' Day. And second, the judge said that Friday would be a half-day of deliberating. This did not give the jurors much time to even elect a foreperson again before the weekend.
On Wednesday, November 10, when the judge made his announcements, I moaned to myself since it seemed that I would be spending the weekend in a hotel in Redwood City. Everyone else in the media thought the same thing. After the judge's remarks to start all over to the jury, I had a conversation with the correspondent from Newsweek Magazine about the assumed guess that we would be there through the weekend. Since her "deadline" is Friday for the next week's issue, she groaned that her article would be dated (that she would report no verdict at the end of Friday for her deadline and that by early the following week there would be a verdict and her article would sit on the stands dated.)
Lee Peterson, Scott's father, had been at the trial since day one. Since he figured, like everyone else, that there would be no verdict, on Wednesday night, he returned to his home in San Diego to deal with personal business. Had Lee thought there would be a verdict on Friday, he never would have left Redwood City. The likelihood of a verdict on the half-day on Friday was so remote in all our minds.
As you may recall, there had been no court on Fridays in Redwood City during the entire Peterson trial. Why? In part it was because Mark Geragos was required to be in court in Los Angeles for another case on Fridays throughout the Peterson trial. A judge in Los Angeles was holding an ongoing preliminary hearing every Friday for one of Geragos' other clients and so every Thursday night after the Peterson trial, Geragos had to race to the airport and fly to L.A. to be in court on Friday for the other client. Everyone in the media in Redwood City was aware of this. It is not uncommon for lawyers to need to be in two places at once. Geragos would return to Redwood City on Saturday or Sunday after handling this other matter on Friday in Los Angeles.
It is possible — maybe even probable — that Geragos could have gotten the judge in L.A. to give him the day off on November 12 and he could have stayed in Redwood City. But, the truth is, there is not a single person connected to the Peterson trial who thought — given that the jury was "starting over", there would be no deliberations on Thursday and only a half-day on Friday — that a verdict would be coming down Friday. We were wrong and a verdict did come down Friday.
When Geragos left on Wednesday, everyone — including his client — agreed to his departure. The judge also agreed to it. What you may not know is that Geragos' co-counsel Pat Harris, who had been sitting at counsel table working the case with Geragos every day, remained behind to "take the verdict" if it did come in on Friday — which no one expected. There is nothing unusual about a co-counsel "taking a verdict" and, in fact, even a lawyer unrelated to the case could "take the verdict."
So these are the facts. Some may think there was another reason for Geragos' absence than set forth above, but these are the facts that everyone who was actually in Redwood City would report if asked.
Now for the lighter side. Tuesday night, on the set, I had Senator Jim Bunning and the surgeon general of the United States to discuss the baseball steroid scandal. As I ended their second segment, I did a tease about Paris Hilton (search) — the subject of the final segment. They both teased me about it.
Now for randomly selected e-mails:
E-mail No. 1
Your cross-examination of Gloria last night was an absolute scream. Really, I thought I was going to wet my pants. Gloria is beginning to grow on me… she used to annoy me, but I see her in a different light now.
Have a good day,
ANSWER: We have streamed this interview on www.gretawire.com today for you to re-watch.
E-mail No. 2
Greta you do a great entertaining show and a great public service profiling the missing children etc. I watch almost every show.
Your cross examination of Gloria was great but she sure is a tough cookie. Are thumbscrews still legal? Chinese water torture?
Just trying to help.
E-mail No. 3
I have followed the Peterson case from the beginning and have a question really gnawing at me... Where did Scott go to behead and dismember Laci's body? There has been no evidence of blood anywhere. Have the police asked this question?
I could accept that water or fish or something could have caused one leg or arm to come off, but not all four limbs and the head.
Does anyone have any guesses to this question? I haven't even heard this question raised, although it probably has since everything else has been asked.
As for Amber and a book deal, I can't think of a thing she would have to say that would be of interest to anyone. She only had a few dates with Scott, many phone calls, but that's about the size of it. Is she planning to tell the world why both of her children are illegitimate? Or maybe who their fathers' are, but I doubt that. Other than that, what in the world is of interest about her life as opposed to any other single mom's daily life.
She's had her 15 minutes of fame. That's more than enough.
A viewer in Lake Charles, LA
E-mail No. 4
Can a lawyer knowing that his client is guilty run the defense in a way that would make people think he is doing the best for his client when he is really subtly sinking him? I think Geragos knows Scott Peterson is psychopath.
E-mail No. 5
Maybe you think you know everything, but Feiger has Geragos pegged. You don't know what you are talking about you just think you do.
Feiger said it all tonight when he said the jury "knew" the real Peterson. The news media said the jury didn't deliberate very long but everything pointed to Peterson as the murderer. He had the opportunity, the motive and the reason. He didn't want the child. And he didn't want her anymore. He could have gotten a divorce but with the baby he would be "tied" to her forever. I would have liked to have seen his face when her and the baby washed up. He was so sure he had fastened them down permanently, that he thought that saying he was fishing there was a perfect alibi especially since someone might have seen him there with that boat.
I have always said you never really "know" anyone or what evil lurks in their minds... People say how could he be such a monster to murder his baby in the womb like that. Excuse me? Four thousand women a day do it in the United States. It's called abortion!
E-mail No. 6
Man oh man, what is happening to our country? Paris Hilton is a self-promoting rich girl without morals and without any talent. What DOES she do? She isn't fascinating, she is a complete YAWN. The guy that you interviewed was just as inane. I implore you to avoid having any more shallow segments like that on again. If I wanted to see drivel like that I would take MTV off the "skip" option on my remote. Stick to what you do best (factual analysis of relevant topics) and kindly remember who your audience is. Love your show, but no more Paris Hilton, puh-leeease!
ANSWER: I hope you know that I did not say she is the most fascinating... I reported that Barbara Walters did.
E-mail No. 7
Greta, I was very surprised to see Geoff Feiger on your show tonight. Geoff has been very outspoken on his dislike for the flamboyant and conceited Geragos since the get go. Now that Peterson was found GUILTY of murdering Laci and baby Conner, we can say that Geoff was right on target with everything. You have always defended Geragos and jumped on anyone who spoke badly about him. Why? Admit it, Greta, Geragos lost this case and he lost it badly.
I admire Geoff for speaking his mind about Geragos. Geoff was right on target about everything. Wow!
We need more attorneys like Geoff!
ANSWER: Do not be surprised by Feiger being on the show... I enjoy a good debate. Incidentally, Geoff and I agree on many things and we disagree on many things, but we are not disagreeable with each other.
E-mail No. 8
Do you feel the jury has been fair in deliberating this trial? It's not fair for them not to listen to the witnesses. Maybe they don't want to feel bad for making the wrong decision. It sounds like, what I like to call, "guilt-look-away." I know they have made large sacrifices in their lives but they also know that, like Amber Frey, there will be a "book-deal" and countless interviews almost assuredly. I have said before that I felt Scott Peterson was guilty but I didn't feel that the prosecution proved that he was guilty. If you say reasonable doubt, I feel "doubt" period is reasonable in a death penalty case. Until we have a crime scene and we know exactly how, when and where Laci and Conner died, then I feel Scott's life should be spared. I feel so badly for Jackie Peterson that I don't know that I can take hearing her on the stand. I don't think I can take Jeff Feiger complaining about Mark Geragos either. I think Mark Geragos made a mistake but I think he probably didn't expect the presence of two loving families and the impact that they have had on this jury, good being Laci's — bad being Scott's. Until this case is completely over and we're passed this phase then we won't know what Mark Geragos was thinking. He probably had an ace up his sleeve but the judge made him change shirts... if you know what I mean. I'll have to research this, but I would guess that the judge has a sort of veto-power as to what the lawyers can let in to a case. By the way, I won't be buying Amber's book, but I might pick it up at a garage sale if they throw it in. I'll say this, she did an excellent job interrogating Scott, better than anyone I've ever heard. No wonder Gloria keeps her mouth shut where Amber's best interest are concerned. I wouldn't want Amber quizzing me either. I don't think she's so brave ... more like scorned and wanted to make sure she wasn't a suspect or she mysteriously disappears. It couldn't have been easy for her, especially being a single mother, but unless she donates most of her profit from that book to an organization that helps woman then I won't buy it. I've also been known to turn books and magazines around in the store so nobody will see the cover. I turned every copy of Nicole Brown Simpson's bloody picture around that the National Enquirer distributed at my local grocery store. Maybe it's immature, but if I'm immature so were the 4 women in the store that helped me when they saw what I was doing. Here is an idea: Amber could donate to a charity of Sharon Rocha's choice, then I'd buy a couple copies.
Watch "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" weeknights at 10 p.m. ET