February 24. 2004 - National Enquirer
Laci's Last Photo
From:  RICKAMORTI1

LACI'S LAST PARTY-  THE STORY BEHIND PHOTOS
THAT HELPED PUT SCOTT BEHIND BARS

BY DAVID WRIGHT, DON GENTILE, AND CHARLIE MONTGOMERY
SYNOPSIS

A heavily pregnant Laci Peterson struggled to reach down over her baby bulge
and put her shoes on, as she prepared to go alone to a Christmas party.


If only husband Scott Peterson had been home to help her with her black strapped
shoes like he usually did since her tummy got so big, she thought in exasperation.


But Scott had canceled at the last moment, lying to Laci that his boss was flying in
unexpectedly for an important business meeting.


It was Dec. 14, 2002-and Laci 27, had just 10 days to live.

At that moment, cheater Scott, dressed in a fancy rental tuxedo, was getting ready to escort
his secret lover
Amber Frey, to an upscale Christmas party 90 miles away in Fresno, Calif.

Remarkable pictures were taken at both parties that night that would help put Scott
behind bars on double murder charges.


Now, from multiple sources close to the case, NE has learned exclusively the poignant
details of Laci's last party, as told to police by her friends.


The pretty substitute teacher finally managed to get her shoes fastened, smoothed her
burgundy silk maternity pantsuit over her expanding stomach and headed for the party
being thrown by her pal Stacey Boyers and her boyfriend Jake Zimmeht.


She arrived around 7 p.m.  Zimmeht told Detective Jon Buehler that
he was struck by her pregnancy "glow."


Someone hung a string of glass Mardi Gras beads around Laci's neck and the happy young
mother to be settled herself comfortably in a brown wicker arm chair.


There, a guest snapped the last picture of Laci, hands proudly clasped over her bump and
dazzling smile on her face.  It would soon  shine out from thousands of missing posters.


"With just weeks to go to the birth of her baby, Laci seemed very happy, talking about
her plans for the baby," a close source told NE.


"The only complaint anyone at the party can remember her making was that Scott
had been away from home too much recently on overnight business trips.


"She had no way of knowing he'd been seeing Amber since November 20th.

By 9:30, with the party still in full swing, a tired Laci said good-bye.

By then, Scott and Amber had finished dinner at the appropriately named Casanova
restaurant in Fresno.  Soon they would be close-dancing at THEIR party at the World
Sports Cafe.  As cameras flashed, 27 year old Amber, wearing a sexy red dress,
snuggled close to her handsome new beau.


After Laci vanished, Amber showed those pictures to astonished detectives in
Modesto as proof of her affair with Scott.


For Laci's friends, the most moving memory of the last party night was Laci's own.

"Renee Tomlinson told detectives her pal Laci remembered how much fun she'd had,"
said a source close.  "But she also mentioned how irritated she'd been because
Scott wasn't home to help her put on her shoes."


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