Archive for May, 2006|Monthly archive page

Good Grief!

Former Peterson juror, Richelle Nice, dubbed “Strawberry Shortcake” by the media, has become Scott Peterson’s pen-pal. Will wonders never cease?!

Nice said she wrote the first letter as an exercise suggested by her therapist, but she didn’t intend to mail it. She said she wanted to tell Peterson how the seven-month trial had turned her life upside down. The mother of four boys also wanted to know why he killed his wife, Laci Peterson.

Then she decided to mail it.

Somehow, I don’t think her therapist intended for her to mail it either.

This part doesn’t surpise me:

About a month later, she got a response.

It seems that prison life has not yet dimmed Scott Peterson’s desire to charm the ladies:

She said she was amazed at the tone of his letter. She said he’s polite and charming, often showering her with compliments. He even commented on her choice of a breast cancer awareness stamp.

Peterson also seems more concerned about how the trial affected her than himself.
“He talked a lot about those autopsy photos and how hard that must have been for the jurors to see,” Nice said.

Yes, I’m sure Scott’s concern for Richelle Nice is completely genuine.

This part doesn’t surprise me either:

He also repeatedly denied killing his wife, she said.

Did she think he would confess?

I hope Ms. Nice is continuing to see a therapist and that said therapist is vehemently discouraging her from continuing this “relationship” with Peterson. With that said, the timing of her revelation to the public is questionable; several of the Peterson jurors have collaborated on a book entitled “We the Jury” which is due out this fall. Richelle Nice is one of them. The New York Daily News reports that Richelle wrote seventeen letters to Peterson, encouraging him to confess to the murders, never informing him that she was writing a book. Peterson responded with eight letters and an Easter card.

Ms. Nice wants everyone to believe that she wrote to Peterson hoping to coax a confession from him. I believe that, but I don’t believe that the motive behind it was benevolence. This wasn’t about clearing Peterson’s conscience or easing her own. Fame and fortune are what she’s after. That’s my take.

Stan Tribble is Stupid

Tracy Tribble was murdered, and Stan Tribble is a stupid, lying murderer. I can say that because it’s only my opinion, of course, and this is my blog, which was specifically created as a place to write down my thoughts and opinions. The Council Bluffs police can’t say it yet, but they will. It’s only a matter of time. And that, too, is just my opinion, but you’ll soon see that it’s true. They’ve already stated that he is their only “person of interest” in the case. They’re waiting on the complete autopsy results before they classify her death. Expect an arrest to be made simultaneously.

Police have executed two search warrants on the Tribble home and vehicles — one on May 11 and another on May 22.

The search warrant also states that police confiscated several pieces of bedding from Stan Tribble’s home, including a waterbed liner that was in the trash and an SUV.

Prior to the first warrant, Stupid Stan was allowing the investigators access to the home and freely answering their questions. Then he hired a lawyer who put a stop to it.

Tracy (Gostomski) Tribble disappeared from her Council Bluffs, Iowa home earlier this month. She was reported missing by her husband Stan on May 3. He claims to have last seen her at 6:30 that morning before leaving for work. When he returned home at about 5:30 pm, Tracy was gone. Her vehicle was in the driveway. Her cell phone and wedding ring were on the counter. Her dog was found wandering in a nearby cemetary without his collar. Friends have reported, and Stan admits, that the couple fought the night before Tracy disappeared. Stan claims that it was merely a verbal altercation, but it’s known that he has physically assaulted Tracy in the past. He currently is facing charges for one prior incident, wherein Tracy called police but then refused to press charges.

Stan claims that his wife mentioned suicide during their argument. [Uh-huh.]

Although Stan claims to have seen Tracy on May 3, police released a description of the clothing she wore on May 2.

Tracy’s body was found in the Missouri River on Friday, May 19. There were obvious injuries. The left side of her face was fractured, and several teeth were knocked out. Blunt force trauma — translated to mean a violent blow from Stan’s fist or some object which he wielded against his wife.

Does Stan expect us to believe that she did that to herself? Her friends certainly don’t.

See what I mean? Stan Tribble is a stupid, lying murderer. No, wait. Make that a stupid, lying, wife-beating murderer.

Considering that Stan is a lying, wife-beating murderer, I’m glad that he’s stupid, too. Actually, I’m not sure one could be a lying, wife-beating murderer without being stupid in the first place. Whatever the case, Tracy was murdered, Stan is stupid, and the Council Bluffs police are not.

Stupid Stan is going down.

Update: 1:15 pm

The Daily Nonpareil has published a few more details from the search warrant:

  • Both the dog and the cat were missing from the Tribble residence.
  • There were two messages on the answering machine: one from the animal shelter informing the Tribbles that their dog had been found, another from Tracy’s friend, whom she was supposed to have picked up that morning.
  • Among the items detectives were looking for in the search were Tracy’s hair, fake fingernails, and teeth.

Officers were also looking for any indication of a struggle in the residence or the vehicles resulting in DNA left behind. Several items were taken from the home during the search, including pillowcases, bedding, a waterbed bladder and lining and one of the vehicles.

7 Updates and a New 1

John Fiocco, Jr.’s parents have hired a lawyer, a private investigator, and Dr. Michael Baden to investigate their son’s death.

Baden said yesterday he has been on the Fiocco case for a few weeks at the request of the deceased 19-year-old TCNJ freshman’s relatives, who live in Mantua, Gloucester County.”The family wants to know why their son died and did anybody do harm to him?” Baden said, adding he has reached “no conclusions at all. We’re just in the process of gathering information.”

 

Good for them.

Lawyers in the Natalee Holloway case were in a New York courtroom yesterday arguing whether to dismiss or move the civil suit filed by her parents. They await a decision from the judge.

The Dorrian brothers, owners of The Falls, were slapped down hard by the State Liquor Authority for their offenses regarding the hiring of Darryl Littlejohn and lying to investigators of the Imette St. Guillen murder.

“He lied. He hedged. He ducked and weaved,” a police source said of Daniel Dorrian. “He did everything he could to avoid helping to find who killed this girl. All because he didn’t want to lose his liquor license. For money and greed.”

They may lose their liquor license. One can only hope. That should be the least of their punishment, in my opinion.

A Russellville detective opens up a little about the Nona Dirksmeyer investigation, defending his department against public criticism. There’s not really any new information in the article, but it’s interesting if you’ve been following the case. I think they did things right.

I hope I’m wrong, but I get the feeling that Tara Grinstead’s family is being taken for a ride by this so-called criminologist, Dr. Maurice Godwin.

Royal Caribbean is fishing with live bait again. Another passenger, Daniel DiPiero, has gone overboard, and, once again, their main concern is public relations. Daniel was drunk. It’s all his own fault, and Royal Caribbean’s hands are clean. Of course. Nevermind that nearly 12-hour gap between the time that a security camera captured Daniel going overboard and the time that the Coast Guard was notified. As you’ll remember, George Smith IV either fell or was pushed overboard during his honeymoon on a Royal Caribbean cruise of the Mediterranean.

Some members of the Peterson jury have their own book coming out this fall. I may read it if the opportunity arises, but I won’t be buying the book. Gloria Allred has made too much money on the case already.

www.tracytribble.com
The family of Tracy Tribble is asking for volunteers to help search for the 35-year-old redhead in western Iowa. She’s been missing from her Council Bluffs home since May 3rd. Or could it be May 2nd? Tracy was reportedly last seen by her husband before he left for work.

Stan Tribble told officers that he last saw Tracy before going to work at 6 a.m. When he returned home at 5:30 p.m., her car was still in the driveway, but she was nowhere to be found.

In addition to her vehicle, Tracy apparently left without her keys, purse, and cell phone. Her wallet, which contains her identification and a debit card, is missing from her purse, but there has been no activity on her account. Her dog was found wandering without its collar in a nearby cemetary. Contrary to the police stance that Stan Tribble is not a suspect, they have released a description of clothing that Tracy was wearing on May 2nd.

A coworker told officers that Tribble, 35, was wearing dark blue pants or jeans, a green sweater and a dark green jacket with a gray fleece lining.

Stan Tribble admits to police that he and Tracy had an argument the night before she disappeared, but denies assaulting her. Police have been called to the Tribble residence on more than one occasion for incidents of domestic violence, and last week filed charges against Stan for an April assault on his wife. Police have stated that so far there is nothing to indicate that Stan Tribble is responsible for his wife’s disappearance, but as the last to see her, he is certainly a person of interest. Police say that Stan has been contacting friends in trying to locate Tracy. Tribble was, at first, cooperative with investigators, submitting to an interview on May 8 and allowing them access to the home at 133 Benton St., but has since hired a lawyer and required a search warrant for further searches of the home. The results of the search warrant executed on May 11 have been sealed, so it isn’t know what, if anything, was found. Friend and former boyfriend Bryon Batchelder told reporters that the couple had had a bad argument the night of May 2 and describes Tracy as distraught afterward. Batchelder has taken a leave of absence from his job in Las Vegas to look for Tracy and doesn’t intend to return until she is found.

Another search is planned for this Saturday, and a $75,000 reward for information as to Tracy’s whereabouts is being offered. Anyone with information is asked to call Council Bluffs police at (712) 328-4764 or the non-emergency number at (712) 328-5737. Tracy’s family has set up a tip-line — (402) 218-1199 — for anyone who may be too intimidated to call police.

Christine Gaines, Tribble’s stepsister, said that the line was established to encourage anyone who might be afraid to call police with information about her sister’s disappearance.

“We hope that this line will open up some opportunities to find new information,” Gaines said.

Police have investigated a couple of tips received by the family, according to Gaines, but no new evidence has turned up.

Gaines also asked that if anyone in the community remembers seeing anything suspicious on rural roads in the last two weeks, to notify authorities.

 

I wonder if that rural road request is just based on a hunch or if it’s the result of something found in searches of the home and both vehicles.

Crime Scene A: 523 Covena

If you’ve done any exploring of my blog, you are probably aware that I have a slight obsession with the Laci Peterson case. I readily admit that it’s a big part of the reason I created this site. So, any who consider the investigation a done deal will just have to pardon me while I revisit the crime scene.

On Christmas Eve of 2002, Scott Peterson returned home from a “fishing” trip at the San Francisco Bay. He estimates his arrival at approximately 4:30 pm; however, witness testimony places his return closer to 5 pm. He and his pregnant wife Laci were due to have dinner at her parents’ home at 6:00 that evening. Laci’s Land Rover was parked in the driveway, as it had been when he left that morning. All entrances to the couple’s home are fully enclosed by a privacy fence. Peterson entered his residence by way of the north gate, which accesses a covered patio area adjacent to the “backyard”.

Click the above image for an enlargement of the 523 Covena floorplan.
I have added a few labels and placed blue dots to mark the approximate positions of the mop bucket. All images can be enlarged with a click.

Inside the yard, Peterson encountered McKenzie, the couple’s golden retriever, dragging his leash. Per Scott’s statement, Laci had planned to walk the dog in a nearby park that morning. Had Scott Peterson been innocent in the murders of his wife and unborn son, this should have been the first red flag — an indication that something was amiss. However, Scott merely removed the leash from the dog’s collar and laid it aside. In light of his subsequent actions, this oddity apparently caused not the slightest bit of alarm.

Housekeeper, Margarita Nava, had mopped the floors the previous day in preparation for a Christmas brunch to which several family members were invited. Perhaps in consideration of Laci’s preparations, Scott removed his wet, dirty shoes before entering the house through the French doors. In contradiction to that accommodating act, he claims that he allowed the dog and cat to follow him inside. The cat immediately ran over to a bucket full of water near the front door. Concerned that the cat would either drink out of the bucket or knock it over (“yeah, right” on both), Scott picked up the bucket and carried it outside, where he dumped the water and left the bucket on the walkway. However, rather than taking it out the nearest exit, the main entrance, he toted it through the kitchen and the den to a small side-door near the laundry room. In his statement to Detective Brocchini, Scott made no mention of the mop and claimed to have taken the bucket out immediately upon entering the house. Yet when responding officers arrived at the house more than an hour later, the mop was standing in the bucket and the pavement beneath was still wet. A second mop — the one used by Ms. Nava on the 23rd — was there also.

Another inconsistency with Peterson’s claim that Laci was mopping that morning is his statement that she intended to bake gingerbread that day. It seems more logical that Laci would have mopped after her kitchen work was complete so that the floors would be spotless for the arrival of her brunch guests the following morning. Speaking of gingerbread…that brings me back to the afore-mentioned red flags and Scott’s failure to take note. With less than an hour to spare before the couple was due at her mother’s house, Laci was absent. She wasn’t in the bedroom getting dressed, or primping in the bathroom, or even putting the finishing touches on whatever gifts or edibles she intended to present that evening. She was gone. Her car (with her cell phone inside) was in the driveway, her purse was in the bedroom closet, but Laci was nowhere to be found and hadn’t even left a note for her husband. There was no evidence — no gingerbread, no dirty or freshly washed bakeware, no aroma — nothing to indicate that Laci had done any baking or made any other preparations throughout the day. Still, no alarm bells sounded for the loving and attentive husband. Instead, apparently oblivious to the flashing message light on the answering machine, Scott wolfed down a couple of slices of leftover pizza and a glass of milk before throwing his fishing clothes in the washing machine and hopping in the shower.

The two tales of the mop bucket and cleaning rags — Scott’s versus Ms. Nava’s — are curious in their disparate nature. According to Scott, Laci was mopping the floor in front of the French doors when he left the house that morning. Because of her advanced stage of pregnancy, she was unable (again, according to Scott) to carry heavy items such as the bucket of water he filled for her, so he set it in the main entryway near a cubby-style divider between the dining room and kitchen sitting area. This, in and of itself, seems odd to me; why not set it nearer the area that Laci needed to mop — the vicinity of the French doors, where the family pets track dirt and debris in from the yard? Ostensibly, the pets are the reason Laci needed to mop that morning, being that the housekeeper had mopped the floors throughout the house less than 24 hours earlier.

Margarita Nava gave the Peterson’s house a thorough cleaning on December 23rd. In addition to mopping the floors, she cleaned the bathrooms, baseboards, windows, and a couple of exterior doors. She used a number of white, terrycloth rags in doing so. Ms. Nava states that when she was finished with her duties, she set the mop outside, where it appears in the above photograph, and placed the cleaning rags in the mop bucket, which she set atop the washing machine. When asked if she may have put the rags directly in the washing machine, Ms. Nava replied, “Never.”

Now back to Scott’s statement: Peterson claims that his clothing was wet, salty and sandy from his fishing trip in the bay, so he stripped down and threw them in the washer before heading to the shower. According to his statement, the cleaning rags were inside the washing machine; he removed them and put his soiled clothing in, adding detergent and starting the wash cycle — possibly even washing them twice.

Examine this evidence photo and determine for yourself whose statement it corroborates. Peterson’s clothes were inside the washing machine when this photograph was taken. I contend that this photo proves Scott the liar. If the rags had been inside the machine, as he states, why then are they on top of the washing machine lid with his clothes inside? If he had removed them from the tub, he would have had to set them either on top of the dryer or on the floor in order to get his clothes off of his body and into the washer, closing the lid afterwards. Does it make any sense that he would have moved them back to the washer lid after starting the machine? Didn’t he intend to put the clean clothes in the dryer? The explanation is simple. The rags are on top of the washer because no mopping was done until after the laundry was started. He dumped the rags out of the bucket onto the machine lid in order to use the bucket and the second mop. It was Scott, not Laci, who mopped the floor on the 24th, and he did so after returning from the bay, most likely after taking a shower, certainly after starting the wash, and probably even after calling Sharon to tell her, “Laci’s missing!” Laci was already dead and at the bottom of the San Francisco Bay when the floor was mopped. But you already knew that. The bigger mystery is “What area did Scott mop and why?”

If Scott’s fabrications regarding Laci’s activities that morning are not enough to indicate that she never left the house alive on December 24, consider these photographs of the master bedroom. It can plainly be seen that the bed is not properly made — certainly not to the standards of a woman who showed such care and consideration to detail in her home as did Laci Peterson. The comforter is sloppily pulled up over the bed pillows, and the second set of sham-covered pillows still rest in a nearby chair. Laci did not make that bed, nor did she oversee the making of it. It can also be seen that there’s a large impression in the comforter at the foot of the bed. Some speculate that Laci’s body may have lain across it before Peterson moved her to the bed of his pickup, where he camouflaged it with patio umbrellas wrapped in a blue tarp. Scott told Detective Brocchini that he had loaded the umbrellas that morning, intending to store them at his warehouse; however they were still in the back of his truck when he returned home that afternoon. The umbrellas and tarp are viewable in this photograph of the Peterson’s covered patio. The top half of the umbrellas are leaning against the ivy covered privacy fence, and the blue tarp is folded and wadded up on top of the lawn mower in the adjacent shed.
The lower half of each umbrella was still in its respective weighted base in the covered patio. Odd that Peterson intended to store the umbrella tops for the winter, but nevermind the other half of the poles. There were two blue tarps — one in which Laci’s body was wrapped and a second to make a similar looking package of the market umbrellas. The former may have been found very early in the search of the San Francisco Bay. A blue tarp was found in the water off the coast of Cesar Chavez State Park, not far from the area where Laci’s body was believed to have been submerged. A cadaver dog showed great interest in the tarp, even after it had been stowed in an onboard compartment.

As can be seen in this series of photographs and the diagram below, the route which Peterson used to remove Laci’s body from the house has hard surface flooring. The bedrooms, hallway, dining room and sitting room have hardwood floors. The kitchen, bathrooms, and a traffic area in the den have terra cotta tile. The remainder of the den is carpeted. It’s possible that the tarp-wrapped body left drag marks on the recently cleaned hardwood and/or tile, and that’s why Scott decided to give it a once-over with the mop. Another possibility is that, although he removed his shoes, his socks (or perhaps just his jeans) were wet with saltwater and muck from the bay, leaving tracks across the immaculate floors as he traipsed through the house.

Not drawn to scale

I think it’s more likely that he was cleaning up after himself rather than the removal of the body. Otherwise, he would have noticed the accordian-scrunched rug, where he’d dragged Laci’s body out the door, and straightened it up before police arrived. At that point, it isn’t unlikely that he was still planning to use the golf alibi and intended to keep his trip to the bay and his new boat under wraps. The quickness with which the Modesto police responded and began investigating the case as a “suspicious missing person” probably forced him to switch to the absurd excuse of a Christmas Eve fishing trip some 90 miles away.

Based on observations at 523 Covena, it isn’t any wonder that police were suspicious of Scott Peterson. Add to that his odd behavior, inconsistent claims about his and Laci’s activities for the day, and an implausible alibi, and it’s easy to see why the man with the ice-cold facade was deemed hot by investigators.

Coming Soon — Crime Scene B: Tradecorp Warehouse