|LACI & CONNER
"I am very sorry for your loss. Scott got what
he deserved. You're in Our Hearts Always."
Rachel Burns ~ Sheboygan WI ~ Guestbook
|On a day dominated by sounds, Ron Grantski cringed when he heard a noise in the
sky Monday morning. He and longtime companion Sharon Rocha had just arrived at the
home near Redwood City where they've stayed throughout Scott Peterson's murder trial.
"I heard a helicopter flying overhead," Grantski said. "I thought of
Dec. 24 (2002), when the helicopter flew over the (La Loma) park."
The sounds of choppers have haunted him since that day, when the futile search for
Laci Peterson began and their world fell apart. But Monday also brought a different
kind of sound when the trial, which began in June, finally came to a close.
This one was the voice of San Mateo County Court clerk Marylin Morton. She read
the jury's verdict to a courtroom packed with people who heard only one word:
Death, as in murder that begets more death, as in an execution years from now. Murder cases
have a way of coming full circle, shattering lives like a chopper's blades slicing through the air.
Peterson heard the word, too, just as he heard choppers working the
sky above the park near his Modesto home two years ago. And just as he did
throughout the search for his pregnant wife, he showed little emotion Monday.
To the contrary, Peterson stared straight ahead as if looking right
through Judge Alfred Delucchi. He never cringed, he never blinked.
He acted much the same way he did throughout the trial — like a man without
a soul. Nothing he did gave any indication that he recognizes the devastation
he's wreaked and the victims he's created, including those in his own family.
No words. No gasp. No sound at all.
As jurors later said, his blank stares as the evidence piled up helped convince them
he did exactly what he stood accused of — killing Laci on or about Christmas Eve
2002, and dumping her body into San Francisco Bay near the Berkeley Marina.
"It shouldn't have happened," Grantski said during a news conference
nearly two hours after the verdict. "It hurt too many people for no reason."
The news conference was not a time to gloat over a victory, prosecutors and law
enforcement officials said, because so many people were affected so adversely.
Peterson not only took the lives of his wife and baby, he disrupted the lives of both families.
He allowed hundreds of officers and volunteers to continue searching throughout the holidays,
and for months until her body and Conner's washed up near Richmond in April 2003.
He did this knowing all along where she was. He kept quiet. He let Sharon
Rocha and her family writhe in agony for months when he could
have confessed to what the jury so thoroughly believed.
The evidence "clearly showed the individual who was subsequently
convicted was responsible for the disappearance of Laci and Conner,"
Stanislaus County District Attorney James Brazelton said.
Peterson's silence throughout the investigation and his demeanor
during the trial did nothing to soften feelings about him. He became
the nation's most hated man and did little to rebut the charge.
And while many people fixated on why this case had become such a media
circus, those closer to it were left wondering why it had to happen at all.
Certainly, Grantski and Rocha can never really understand why Peterson killed
his wife. Don't expect him to ever tell them. That's a sound they'll never hear.
Instead, Grantski will carry with him the haunting sounds of a helicopter
— sounds that will stir the most painful of memories he'll ever endure.
As an added measure of cruelty, those were the sounds he probably heard as he and the Rocha
family left the courthouse Monday afternoon, as TV cameras shot the scene from above.
But inside, there was yet another sound. It emanated from the radio on a
bailiff's shoulder, the voice of a deputy in another part of the courthouse.
"Scott is returning to his cell now."
That's where he'll be until his sentencing, scheduled for Feb. 25. If the judge accepts the jury's
recommendation, that will be Peterson's residence before going to San Quentin's death row.
And that's where the sound of death is loudest.
HOME INDEX LACI CONNER LACI'S FAMILY TRIAL VERDICT SENTENCE SCOTT
|Sound of death will remain with family
December 14, 2004