On the Sidelines

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Dear Viewers,

It If you heard my "tease" out of the first segment Monday night, you expected at some point during the show to hear from the lawyer in the Peterson (search) case who represented the bartender who was "accused" of having a discussion about the trial with a sitting juror.

The lawyer and the bartender met behind closed doors with the judge and the prosecutor and the defense lawyers. When I said it, I, too, expected to hear from the lawyer. As we were in the commercial, I was told that the guest had to cancel 30 minutes before the show. I asked, "How come no one told me?" The answer, "I forgot." OK, sometimes these things happen since it is so chaotic in the minutes leading up to the show. You have NO idea how much the line producer has to deal with both before and during a live show.

Often when I drive home at night I call my guests and talk about the segments, or even just to thank them. Last night I spoke to Jim Hammer and we discussed the Peterson sentencing hearing. I told him last week, when I was sitting next to him in court, that I felt like a "voyeur" and did not like it. It is one thing to be a lawyer in a courtroom in a death penalty sentencing phase where you have a job — seeking the death penalty, or seeking to block it. It is much different to be a spectator. You feel horrible listening to people — Laci's family and Scott's family — describing their pain and they both have lots of it. You just sit there and watch and feel horrible for people. I had never been simply a spectator at a death penalty hearing.

Last night Jim said to me that after days of listening to people — on both sides of the matter — that he, too feels like a voyeur. It is no fun (to put it gently) to watch people suffer. It only highlights for me how this jury may feel. Yes, the reports are that they are turned off to Peterson's family and friends testifying, but the reports may be all wrong. The jury, while it has a role like the lawyers, may feel like Jim and I do. It is horrible to listen to suffering even if you have certainty as to what should be done in any given case.

As for the "news" that Amber Frey (search) may be writing a book, I have not confirmed it but Gloria Allred seemed to send "messages" in her answers to my questions last night that there is a deal. Her "non answers" seemed to tell it all! The publisher is believed to be Judith Regan who is part of the News Corp. corporate family. I know Judith, but have no inside scoop.

Here are some e-mails and, as always, they are randomly selected:

E-mail No. 1

Dear Greta

I really like your penchant for grass roots (or as we would say in Arkansas "down home") terms. Did you grow up in a small town or farm?
By the way, your interrogation of Gloria was great. I loved it
Al Newberry
Harrison, AR

ANSWER: I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin.

E-mail No. 2

How many enablers has Scott Peterson had in his life? Family, friends... maybe to some extent an understanding, forgiving wife... Certainly true friends and immediate family of a man in the middle of such turmoil would want to be supportive, but to turn a blind eye to the facts is to delude oneself.
Contrast the humility demonstrated by the Hacking family by pressuring Mark Hacking to admit the truth to give everyone peace! Mark Hacking's brothers showed themselves selfless out of respect for both families by championing truth instead of covering over the actions of their brother out of a misplaced sense of fidelity.
Could the jury be unmoved in Scott Peterson's case because he's shown more emotion when his life is in the balance, than during the most gruesome parts of the trial? Wouldn't it be moving to see Scott demanding to take the stand ready to provide any information that would help find the 'true' killer of his beloved family? Lacking this type of selflessness on his part, ah, ho, hum…
Rosemary Gongora

E-mail No. 3

Dear Greta,
I'd like to comment on Amber Frey's prospective book deal: Cashing in on this murder through book (and movie) deals is just appalling to me. Any money earned through these deals is blood money at Laci's and Conner's expense! If we're expected to believe that Amber Frey is a brave and concerned citizen who testified against Scott because it was the right thing to do, then I challenge her to donate every penny earned from her book deal to a battered women's shelter in Laci's and Conner's memory. Only then will it be believable that Amber "just wants to tell her story," and only then will I view her as brave!

E-mail No. 4

Please pass this along, I will never read a book from Amber Frey or any other person, that was connected with the killing of Laci Peterson. Where are their principals, profiting on the horrible tragedy that occurred is disgusting.
Jane Brannan
Spartanburg, SC

E-mail No. 5

I felt sick tonight when I watched your show and heard that Scott Peterson sobbed in despair because the jury was not listening to his witnesses. We don't know what happened the night Laci died and we don't know how she suffered. The woman who stabbed pregnant Sharon Tate to death while terrorizing and tormenting her is still alive and well in California. How can Peterson get death when people like that live? I know the Manson murderers got death originally, but they are alive today and Scott Peterson is no worse than them. I pray for his life every day though I support the death penalty in most cases. He should be spared.
Sarah Spaulding
Springfield, MA

E-mail No. 6

There is a pool in our office on if your having an affair with [Mark Geragos]... Most think that is the only way to explain why you jump on anyone that you feel doesn't treat him fair. You did it tonight...

ANSWER: My advice: Get your minds out of the gutter.

I have also been known to defend Gloria Allred (I think she has done a good job representing Amber Frey!) Is there now an office pool about Gloria and me?

Rather than jump to conclusions — or form office pools — let me remind you that when a guest incorrectly states a fact, I correct it. Often, not always, when I disagree with a guest statement, I make that disagreement known.

Last night a guest gave two criticisms of Geragos. One was that he runs to the microphones. I "corrected" that statement — there has been a gag order since at least June and he has not stepped up that microphone and violated the gag order. The media hounds Geragos as he leaves the courthouse — he does not go looking for them. The media literally chases him when he exits the courthouse.

Second, if you REALLY listened last night, you will note that there was a second criticism by this guest of Geragos with which I did not disagree. The guest said that Geragos "over promised" in his opening statement and then did not "deliver" during the trial and thus may have lost some ground with the jury. I did not disagree with that point and even turned to Bernie Grimm for his remark about it.

One other note, since I want to make sure you have the facts and not encourage wandering collective imaginations: I have known Mark Geragos for years. He is a friend, as are countless other high profile lawyers (defense and prosecutors) who I have known for years. I bet if I knew the prosecutors in this case, they would be friends as well. I would like to know them. In this business you have friends on "both sides of the aisles" and when a prosecutor leaves that job, he/she becomes a defense lawyer.


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