Peterson: Motive

Everyone from the armchair psychiatrist to the FBI profiler has speculated about the motive behind the murders of Laci and Conner Peterson. What caused the seemingly normal all-American “golden boy” to kill his beautiful wife and unborn son? Was it for a future with Amber Frey? For the $250,000 life insurance policy? The prosecution contends that it was for freedom. He simply didn’t want the responsibility of being a husband and father and considered murder the ideal means to achieve that freedom.

Speculation aside, it’s my observation that Peterson very plainly stated the motive in a telephone conversation with Amber Frey on January 6 — mere hours after confessing to her that he was married to Laci Peterson, the missing pregnant woman from Modesto.

[Excerpt of 1/6/2003 11:30 p.m. phone conversation]FREY: (sigh) But your whole point of this Eurpoean trip was so that you could have a life and not travel and not have to work so hard and you could have a life. But apparently not with…

PETERSON: The whole point of the business negotiations

FREY: Yes.

PETERSON: Amber, you don’t understand at all.

FREY: The whole point of what business negotiations, Scott?

PETERSON: Are to simplify my life.

FREY: To simplify your life?

PETERSON: That was…is what was supposed to take…going right…being done right now. This situation changed all that.


FREY: Really?PETERSON: And obviously I’m not working.

FREY: Your life would be simplified. If you have a present wife, a baby around the corner, and a girlfriend…how does that…?

PETERSON: You don’t understand.

FREY: What?

PETERSON: You don’t…you don’t know everything.


Amber asked a very good question when she said, “The whole point of what business negotiations, Scott?” Scott had already confessed that there was no trip to Europe — the purpose of which was supposedly to work things out with his employer so that he could travel less and have more free time to spend with Amber. Scott conveniently disregarded her question and continued to try to explain the unexplainable. But Amber got to the crux of the matter. The complications in his life had nothing to do with his career. The business negotiations meant to simplify his life were, in reality, the engineered disappearance of his wife and unborn son — more to the point, murder. The situation that “changed all that” was the intense investigation, public reaction and media furor that ensued, for all of which Scott Peterson had no foresight or provision.

You might consider my interpretation of Peterson’s words to be speculation. That’s okay. You’re probably right. I still say that the murderer himself confirmed the motive put forth by the prosecutor. There are other interesting admissions in the Peterson/Frey transcripts. You’re welcome to post your own observations in the comment section. It might save me writing (and you being subjected to) another entry on the subject.

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