It all goes back to Laci…

I suppose the OJ Simpson trial was my introduction to following crime stories. It was everywhere, and everyone was talking about it. We didn’t have CourtTV in my community then, but even CNN ran gavel-to-gavel coverage of that trial. There was no getting away from it. But the Laci Peterson case is the one that I always go back to. It will never leave me. Believe it or not, a few of the finer details have gotten a little fuzzy with the passage of time, but I can still picture in my mind the various photographs and video clips that introduced us to Laci — her brilliant smile and her effervescent charm. She had the same impact on almost everyone who caught a glimpse. It isn’t likely that any of you who watched the memorial video set to Brown Eyed Girl have forgotten it nor the emotions it evoked. I know I haven’t.

And neither has the prosecution team. Birgit Fladager recently spoke about the case to a gathering of Kentucky lawyers.

Fladager played a tape yesterday that jurors never got to see because of restrictions on the number of photos prosecutors could show the jury. It showed several photos of Laci Peterson from childhood to adulthood, with Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison — Laci’s favorite song — and later I Will Remember You by Sarah McClachlan playing in the background.

At the beginning, the judge tapped his feet to the upbeat Morrison song as he watched the tape in his office, Fladager said. He was silent at the end, she said, and the defense lawyers stared down at their shoes.

“When you watch this, keep in mind there is a guy who supposedly loved her,” Fladager said of Peterson before she played the video for Kentucky prosecutors. “And she died in a horrible way. And he showed absolutely no emotion to what you’re about to see. Which told me then that he never cared about her. He never cared about anybody.”

Peterson deserved all the scorn and wrath he got from the public for the simple fact of what he did to Laci, Conner, and the Rocha family. But he couldn’t stop there. His coldness, both before and after the fact, made it that much easier to condemn him.

Lately, I’ve been silently questioning myself and what I do here on this blog. I didn’t have my own blog when the Peterson investigation and trial were ongoing, but I participated in discussing it elsewhere. I believed early on that Scott Peterson was responsible for his wife and unborn son’s disappearance and murder. I didn’t have the internal conflict about discussing the case that I’ve been experiencing lately. I consider Jason Young the prime suspect in the murder of Michelle Young and her unborn son. I have suspicions as to the car accident that killed another of their unborn children. But what if I’m wrong? Am I persecuting an innocent man — a grieving husband and father — and those who love and support him by writing about my suspicions on this blog and elsewhere? That thought troubles me. So I intend to rethink the case. I’ll try to look at each item of evidence and reported fact more objectively and give unconfirmed rumors the proper weight.

Still, my primary concern is the victims. If I can do anything to facilitate justice for Michelle Young and her babies or to support her heartbroken family in even the smallest way, that is what I want to do. I know my chances of accomplishing either are slim, but slim is better than none. Of course, I feel sorry for Jason’s family and what they’re going through. I understand their need to support and defend him. And even if he proves to be the murderer, I will still expect them to support him. I just hope they handle it with more grace, more dignity and, most importantly, more compassion for their daughter-in-law’s family than the Petersons did.

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11 comments so far

  1. Taximom on

    I will admit to every now and then thinking what if it’s not JY.

    I usually come back to thinking he’s guilty. Mostly I feel that an innocent man would be working with law enforcement to catch the real killer. I’ve said before that if he was indeed talking with police…I’d be on the fence and might probably think a stranger or someone in the neighborhood did it.

    I’ll be interested in your thoughts as you study this case.

  2. Anonymous on

    AJ
    Today the sheriff days that JY is not cooperating. Looks worse for him. Captain Joe

  3. Average Jane on

    That it does, Joe.

    Hi Taximom! I agree completely. The failure to hound police about finding her killer (or even make himself available to them) doesn’t help his case.

  4. Average Jane on

    Here’s a link to the article Captain Joe was referring to: Crime Lab Backlog Could Delay Michelle Young Investigation

    Interesting excerpt:

    One part of the investigation that remains the same is Harrison’s belief in who may have done it.

    Harrison said he still feels that it was not a random crime.

    Harrison says Young’s husband has been less than cooperative in the case, a case that doesn’t appear to have any quick resolution.

  5. Anonymous on

    If JY truely wanted to cooperate with LE he would volunteer to submit to a LE administered polygraph examination. Passing a LDT would exhonerate him immediately. Captain Joe

  6. Anonymous on

    Most sales men use a company credit card or a personal credit card that is dedicated for your job to charge hotel bills, gasoline, and meals to in their sales calls. I’ll bet one of the places that LE visited was Massachussets, the home base for ChartOne, to get the credit card bill information and perhaps an itinerary that JY might have had.
    Captain Joe

  7. Anonymous on

    Once you’ve turned everything around you’ll probably come to the same conclusion, AJ. You talk about OJ and old cases and the poly. Polly Klaas’s dad badgered LE to take his poly.

  8. Average Jane on

    If LE has other evidence that implicates Jason (which I suspect they do), passing a polygraph wouldn’t exonerate him. Refusal to submit to one wouldn’t look good for him.

    I’m not sure if LE would actually need to travel to obtain those credit card records, Joe. Wouldn’t a court order suffice?

    I’m of the opinion that Jason probably volunteered his receipts to LE in an attempt to prove his alibi, a la Scott Peterson and the Berkeley marina receipt.

  9. Anonymous on

    If he was such sweetness and light, you’d have people posting about how wonderful he is, AJ.

  10. Average Jane on

    His supporters/defenders were posting at the CTV boards for a while, anonymous. Seems they’ve gotten quiet lately.

  11. Taximom on

    Hey, you popped up 4th on Technorati for “Jason Young”. And the other 3 weren’t even the JY I was looking for. Cool.

    As much as I like to hear a sheriff or someone like that say things like “I still believe we have the right perp” (or whatever), I think that locks them in as far as the defense side of the case. All we need are defense lawyers saying “LE didn’t look anywhere else for a perp from day one!”

    Of course…that didn’t help Scott much now, did it?!

    I have a very strong feeling that LE knows who did it and is taking their time getting everything in order. They did not step up patrols in that neighborhood, and a defense lawyer a few doors away from the Young residence pretty much wrapped it up for me when he said he could read between the lines. For a DEFENSE lawyer to pubically say that…well. You know.

    JY did it.

    BTW, Rest in peace, James Kim. What a sad ending to that situation.

    See you soon, AJ!


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