Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Laci Peterson

Scott Peterson

Scott Peterson
Scott Peterson
Scott Peterson was born into a big, athletic family in San Diego in 1971. His father, Lee Arthur Peterson, already had three children, and his mother, Jacqueline Helen Latham, had been raising a child on her own after giving up two others for adoption. Lee worked for a trucking company; he would later open a shipping and packing business.

Family members, friends and ex-girlfriends describe Scott as generous and gentle. They say he didn't express emotion easilyhis strict father had taught him to keep his feelings in checkbut every once in a while something, a fight or a break up, would push him to the edge and he'd snap.

Scott Peterson, young
Scott Peterson, young
He started hunting and fishing when he was just a kid, and he spent two years as the captain of the golf team at the University of San Diego High School, a Catholic prep school. He went to Arizona State University, hoping for a golf scholarship, but dropped out after a semester and returned home to attend Cuesta Junior College. Then he transferred to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he met Laci.

They got married in August 1997, while he was still in school. It looked like they were building a solid life together. She taught him about wine and food and pushed him to become a success. He let her take the lead, taking care of her and deferring to her, sometimes seeming almost like a henpecked husband.

But before he'd even finished his degree, there was a hint of things to come.

We're Following
Slender Man stabbing, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Gilberto Valle 'Cannibal Cop'