Video: Laci Peterson's mother speaks out

By 'Today' anchor
NBC News
updated 1/6/2006 5:28:52 PM ET 2006-01-06T22:28:52

In her first in-depth interview in more than a year, Sharon Rocha speaks exclusively with NBC about her new book, “For Laci: A Mother’s Story of Love, Loss, and Justice.” Rocha reflects on her three years of heartbreak and grief, and vividly describes how she began to suspect her son-in-law, Scott Peterson, who now sits on death row.

She also candidly discusses why she became an outspoken advocate for the federal legislation known as, “Laci and Conner’s Law,” and why she felt she had to write this book.

The interview will be broadcast on Sunday, Jan. 8, 7 p.m. ET on “Dateline NBC.” Below are excerpts from the interview:

On why it took her long to see the truth about Scott’s involvement with Laci’s disappearance
Sharon Rocha:
He was my son as far as I was concerned.  And he loved my daughter, I thought.  I know how Laci loved Scott. And for the longest time, it was hard to separate those two.  It was hard to separate my son-in-law from a murderer. If I chose to believe that, then I knew Laci wasn’t coming home.

On Scott’s suspiciously calm reaction to his wife’s disappearance
Rocha:
I never once heard him say, “Mom, where’s Laci?” “Who would have done this?” “Why would anybody take Laci?”  “Why can’t we find Laci?” Never, ever, ever did I hear him say anything to that effect.

On the first time she met Amber Frey
Rocha:
I felt bad for her.  I can only imagine you know meeting somebody, dating somebody, and finding out that they’re a suspect in a murder.  And I wanted to talk to her. One of Laci’s friends brought her to our house the next morning.  And she just started talking about Scott.

On seeing Scott in the courtroom everyday
Rocha:
I was there because I wanted to know what happened to Laci.  There were so many times I would look over at Scott he was just in another world.  I mean I don’t understand how anybody could sit there and laugh, and he would talk to his attorneys, and they’d be laughing or whatever.  And it’s like, “What is so funny about any of this?”  I would watch him when they would show interviews that he had done.  For example, Diane Sawyer interview or with some of the newscasters.  And he would just look the other way....

On her reaction to public perception that she will profit from writing the book
Rocha:
I don’t feel that I’m profiting from it.  In the beginning, I just kept saying “No, there’s no way I can do this.” My intention is to contribute to this.  I contribute to other organizations.  To a scholarship fund.  I plan on using the money to help other people.

On one of the reasons she is speaking out
Rocha: I am so tired of hearing about these men who murder their wives.  There’s no reason for it.  I mean if there’s anything—one point I would like to get across is, I want these men to stop murdering our daughters.  I mean, this is not their way out.  If they’re unhappy in a relationship, then get a divorce.  Don’t murder your wives,  don’t murder our daughters.  I mean that is selfish in itself.  Any person who thinks they can get away with murder.  I don’t think they’re crazy, I think they’re selfish.  And I think that’s where so many people need to be educated.  To deal with the unhappiness or their anger or whatever it might be—so many of these types of murders are not out of anger... I honestly don’t believe.  I believe Scott planned it.  His escape.  His way out.  His fantasy world. 

The interview will be broadcast on Sunday, Jan. 8, 7 p.m. ET on “Dateline NBC.”

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