Scott Peterson’s COMFY LIFE BEHIND BARS
He’s on death row for murdering his wife and unborn child, but Scott Peterson is hardly roughing it in prison
The jury had spoken. On Nov. 12, 2004, Scott Peterson was found guilty of killing his pregnant 27-year-old wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner, before dumping their remains into the San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve in 2002. For four months, the public agonized over how the Modesto, Calif., fertilizer salesman would be punished for his unthinkable crime. Finally, on March 16, 2005, Scott was sentenced to death by lethal injection. “You deserve to be put to death as soon as possible,” Laci’s mother, Sharon Rocha, screamed in rage at the sentencing, as a stone-faced Scott sat calmly in the courtroom. “You deserve to burn in hell for all eternity.”
But Scott’s time behind bars has been anything but a living hell. In Touch has exclusively learned that the 43-yearold, once dubbed “the most hated man in America,” has been living quite comfortably on death row at California’s San Quentin State Prison. “Scott is doing wonderfully. He’s found a life behind bars,” his father, Lee Peterson, tells In Touch in an exclusive interview. Though many of Scott’s fellow inmates have called San Quentin “the worst place” they’ve ever been, Scott is thriving in an exclusive area of the prison where he’s able to socialize with other inmates on a roof deck with a half basketball court. “We talk all the time and he’s always in good spirits,” says Lee, adding that Scott wants to have kids someday and is craving “a normal life.”
Through the Freedom of Information Act, In Touch has obtained documents, including Scott’s commissary log, which show his shockingly cushy life on death row. While other inmates chow down on fatty prison food, he splurges on pricey (and healthy!) options from the commissary, including fat-free milk, smoked scallops and oysters, granola, multivitamins and sugar-free honey. Scott also keeps regular with “natural fiber,” buys whey protein tablets favored by bodybuilders and even recently shelled out for a $17 extension cord.
Scott isn’t sitting around lonely, either. Aside from mail he gets from supporters and female admirers, the documents reveal the notorious murderer enjoys a steady stream of visitors. While many of the guests on his prison visitors’ log (also obtained exclusively by In Touch) are relatives, one woman, Sharon Bates, has had contact visits with Scott multiple times a year for the last decade. “Scott and I are good friends,” Sharon tells In Touch. She says they’ve been friends for “over 10 years” — the murders happened 14 years ago — and that she never met Laci, but declines to reveal how they became pals or what they talk about when she visits. Sharon, a married South Carolina business owner, insists the relationship is strictly platonic. (Her husband confirms to In Touch that he knows about and approves of the friendship.) “I’m fond of Scott. He’s a good man and a good friend,” Sharon adds. “I fully support him and believe he is innocent.”
Scott’s popularity extends to his fellow inmates. In June 2012, journalist Nancy Mullane observed Scott’s daily life in San Quentin’s North Segregation facility, which is less restrictive than other areas and allows him to be a social butterfly. “He has the ability to walk around and interact with other inmates,” she tells In Touch, adding that unlike other men on death row, Scott spends several hours a week with his cell door open and unlocked. He also has access to a common area where he can socialize with other inmates or make calls to friends and family.
Scott, who was cheating on Laci
before killing her and their unborn son, seems at ease. “When I saw Scott, he was playing basketball. He didn’t look depressed. He looked like someone you’d see on the street playing basketball,” says Mullane, who was given access to the maximum-security prison for her book, Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption. “He had his shirt off and his boxer shorts up. He wasn’t ripped, but he looked healthy. He was having a good time.”
If he has his way, he’ll one day be free. Scott’s legal appeal is slowly making its way through the system — and a new documentary, Trial by Fury: The People v. Scott Peterson, promises to raise serious questions about Scott’s guilt. “There is so much that is unknown about the murders. How did Scott kill Laci? Where is the murder weapon?” asks co-director Shareen Anderson, who believes Scott was wrongfully convicted and hopes the film will lead to a new trial. “We owe it to everyone involved to explore all of the evidence.” But attorney Gloria Allred, who represented Scott’s former mistress and key witness in his prosecution, Amber Frey, tells In Touch that Scott is exactly where he’s supposed to be. “The jury found Scott guilty and he was sentenced to death. There shouldn’t be another trial,” saysallred. “Justice has already been served.” ◼
IN COLD BLOOD
made him out “He’s not the monster they’ve son Scott, to be,” Lee Peterson says of his monthswho is behind bars for killing eight- son, Conner. pregnant Laci and their unborn Scott is on death row at San Quentin, but he takes full advantage of amenities like a rooftop half basketball court and fancy food — smoked oysters and granola! — from the maximumsecurity prison’s commissary.
“I make it a point to visit him for his birthday and I go other times, too,” says Scott’s friend Sharon Bates (pictured), who, according to records (above), has already visited Scott five times this year — more than any other friend or family member.