Video: After Laci disappeared

Dateline NBC
updated 3/3/2005 9:01:36 AM ET 2005-03-03T14:01:36

He's in jail now, convicted of the murders of his wife and unborn son and waiting to hear if a judge will affirm his execution. But if you could ask Scott Peterson one question, what would it be? How about "Why?" Last month, his former girlfriend Amber Frey offered some clues when she spoke with us about her relationship with Peterson.

Now another woman tells us even more. She was there with Scott in the weeks after Laci's disappearance — a witness to his actions, and reactions, his comments and behavior during that period. In this exclusive interview, an intimate member of the Peterson family tells her story to NBC’s Matt Lauer.

Matt Lauer: During that time, Anne, that Scott is living in your house, did you ever pull up a chair next to him and say, "Scott, what do you think happened to Laci?"

Anne Bird: Well, I asked often. I think I was kept, you know, as a confidante. And I think that's why I ended up getting so much information.

Her name is Anne Bird — a name you probably don't know. But you may feel that you know her face. Because a face that resembles Anne's has peered out of tabloid covers TV screens and mug shots for the past two years.

You see, Anne Bird is the sister of a notorious murderer — Scott Peterson. Scott so trusted Anne, he even lived in her home during the most intense weeks of the search for his wife, Laci, even as he was emerging as a suspect.

This is the first time that Anne Bird has spoken publicly about her brother.

Bird: Scott is charismatic, charming, courteous, polite. When you're talking to him, he looks directly at you. And you're the only person he's focusing on.

Lauer: Does that come naturally? Or does it almost seem rehearsed, practiced?

Bird: Seems a little bit of both.

Bird's story is about separation, reunion, deep love and loyalty, and finally, the worst realization one family member can have about another, because Bird saw a side of Scott Peterson that no one else has seen.

Bird: I just know that he did this. It's very hard to comprehend. And it hurts.

This sister came to believe not only that her long-lost brother Scott was a killer. She thinks she knows how he did it, and even, why. But to understand the whole story you have to go back to the beginning, long before Anne Bird had ever heard of Scott Peterson or had any idea they were related.

Lauer: How would you describe your childhood?

Bird: Great family. Loving parents. Loving siblings.

Lauer: Not a care in the world kind of happy.

Bird: Pretty easy, yeah.

She grew up as Anne Grady, the daughter of a well-to-do couple in San Diego.

Lauer: At what stage in your childhood, Anne, did you find out that you'd been adopted?

Bird: I believe I was around six.

But Anne says her adoptive parents were so loving, her home life so comfortable, being adopted didn't much matter to her.

Bird: I was never angry. I was never upset. I loved my parents. I never felt abandoned or deserted.  

She says she had some mild curiosity about who her birth parents might be, but she never followed up on it. But then, one summer day in 1997, when she was 32 years old:

Lauer: This guy Don calls on the phone one day out of the blue and he says, "Guess what, I'm your brother?

Bird: Yes.

Lauer: What was your reaction to that?

Bird: I felt weird. I felt like I kind of had vertigo or something.  You know, I wasn't really kind of absorbing everything. 

Don was adopted, too. He told her he had not only found her, his sister, he had found their biological mother. Almost before Anne knew it, don arranged a meeting at a beachfront hotel in nearby La Jolla.  And Anne Bird met the mother she'd never seen before — a woman named Jackie Peterson.

Bird: I really wasn't nervous until she opened the door. And then she was standing in front of me.

Lauer: You're 32 years old. You'd never laid eyes on her before. Was it a great feeling? Was it an uneasy feeling? How would you describe it?

Bird: You know, maybe a little bit overwhelming.  

But she says Jackie kept the conversation light — even trivial.  Asking about Anne's favorite foods and colors, not delving any deeper.

Lauer: So, this is a woman who gave you up for adoption when you were born.

Bird: Right.

Lauer: And she didn't, during that first meeting, sit down and say, "I'd like to explain myself? I'd like to tell you why?”

Bird: No. I kept waiting. I wanted to hear some kind of explanation as to how I ended up where I did.  

Anne learned that her biological mother, Jackie, had suffered a terrible childhood. Her father was murdered when she was just two years old — murdered just before Christmas. Then Jackie's mother suffered a breakdown. Jackie grew up in an orphanage.

Bird: And then she said, "Those nuns never talked to me about sex." And I thought maybe that's what happened. I wasn't sure.

Lauer: That she had had sex, gotten pregnant.

Bird: And nobody talked to her about it.

Lauer: And there was no way she could keep the baby.

Bird: Right.

Whatever happened back then, now Jackie Peterson was married with a grown son whom she adored — Anne's half-brother, a young man named Scott Peterson.

Lauer: Before you met Scott, who would be your biological brother-- what had you heard about him?

Bird: That he was called "The Golden Child."  

A couple of months later in August of 1997, Anne Bird met Scott -- the golden child -- at Jackie's home in Morro Bay, California.

Bird: He was coming in through a screen door, and I was opening it up for him. And I could see his face. And it looked similar to mine. And I was looking at his smile. And I thought, "OK, now I know who they're talking about."

Lauer: This is the golden child.

Bird: The tanned, golden child. Yeah.

Lauer: What was that first meeting like? What'd you say to him, and what did he say to you?

Bird: You know, I think he said, "You must be my sister, Anne." And I thought, "Yes." You know. It was just kind of a neat -- we just kept smiling.

Lauer: Did you hug? Did you embrace?

Bird: Yeah. Gave each other a hug.

Lauer: How would you describe him? What was he like, that first time you met him?

Bird: Wonderful. Amazing. You know, my car was having some problems, and he went out and looked at my car. You know. We talked about all different kinds of things. It was just a neat meeting.

Lauer: Would you say, Anne, that your first encounter with Scott was a lot easier than your first encounter with Jackie? In other words, did you two hit it off a lot better than you and Jackie hit it off?

Bird: Yes. Yes.

And soon enough, Anne would meet Scott's young wife, Laci, never once suspecting that Laci's name and Scott's would one day be known to millions of people for the darkest reasons imaginable.

Matt Lauer: Describe Laci for me. What was she like?

Anne Bird: Oh, well, she's full of energy, full of life.  She loves people. She's funny. She's got a, just a hilarious sense of humor.

Lauer: Why do you describe her in the present tense?

Bird: I have a really tough time referring to her as somebody who has passed on.

In the late summer of 1997, Anne Bird's life expanded in ways she found almost miraculous. She'd been given up for adoption at birth, but now was reunited with her biological family. She met her mother, Jackie Peterson, and her brother, Scott Peterson. And soon she met scott's new bride, Laci.           

Bird: The first thing that I noticed about her was how pretty she was.  Her skin is amazing, her hair, her smile, her dimples and her huge, dark eyes, and these thick long eyelashes. And so sweet. You know, so welcoming to me.     

Anne lived in San Francisco, Scott and Laci in Modesto, 85 miles away.  But they saw each other often and talked on the phone a lot.

Lauer: Is it fair to say that you and Scott and Laci, then over the course of the next year or so, really developed a pretty strong bond?

Bird: I think so, yeah.

In her new book, “Blood Brother,” Anne describes Scott and Laci as the perfect couple. "The golden boy and his doll-like bride: what could be better?"

Bird: To me, they appeared to adore each other. I looked at them thinking, "Gosh. You know, I wish I had that relationship." I know Scott said that they complete each other. And I think they did. It appeared that way.

As it happened, Anne found a great relationship herself. She met a man named Tim Bird. They married in 1998.

Lauer: Laci and Scott came to your wedding.

Bird: Yes.

Lauer: And obviously a very happy day for the whole family.

Bird: Yeah.

The next few years went by in a blur. Anne had a baby, then got pregnant with another. Laci had trouble getting pregnant, but was thrilled when she finally did.

Lauer: She talked to you a lot about being pregnant, didn't she? This was a subject for connection between the two of you.

Bird: Right.

Anne had her second child in august of 2002. In November of that year Anne and Tim Bird planned a trip to Disneyland. They invited the Peterson family, including Scott and Laci, who was now seven months along. Just before the trip Anne got a call from her biological mom hinting, for the first time, of trouble.

Lauer: Let me read you from the book, OK? Here you're talking about this trip to Disneyland. And Jackie says to you, "I'm going to come, but I'm not sure Scott and Laci are going to come." Here's a quote.  "They're having problems again." "Again, I asked? What kind of problems?" "I don't know," Jackie said, sighing. "Just you know, men." 

Bird: Yeah. That's right.

Lauer: So what did you think Jackie was telling you?

Bird: You know, I wasn't sure. And when I tried to dig a little bit into it, she pulled back and said, "Oh, it's nothing."

At the time, Anne wasn't sure if the problem was between Scott and Laci or between Laci and Jackie.

Bird: I think she, you know, was definitely the mother-in-law figure in Laci's life. And at times it came across as a little bit strained.

Anne says Jackie chafed at Laci's attention to every little detail and resented the fact that Laci and Scott lived in Modesto, closer to Laci's parents, but farther from Jackie.

Lauer: The impression I get in the book is that A, Jackie felt Laci was a bit too much of a perfectionist. And B, that Laci wasn't good enough for Scott.

Bird: I--

Lauer: Would that be accurate?

Bird: Yes, I would say that's very accurate.

But Jackie, Laci, and Scott all did end up going on that trip to Disneyland. And if there were problems, Anne says that Laci -- quite pregnant now -- didn't seem bothered.

Bird: Laci was just bubbling over about the baby and couldn't wait.  And she just was adorable. She to this day, she's the happiest pregnant person I've ever seen.

Scott, on the other hand, seemed strangely subdued, nothing like the charismatic charmer Anne remembered.

Lauer: In fact, I believe in the book you describe him as being somewhat distant.

Bird: Yes.

Lauer: On that trip, he spent a lot  of time on the phone?

Bird: Yes. A lot of time on his cell phone up in the room.

Lauer: And not a lot of time paying attention to Laci or the rest of the family.

Bird: Right.

Anne remembers that at one point, the whole family was gathered in her fourth-floor hotel room. when her son Ryan -- just three at the time -- wandered away, disappeared.

Bird: And I just was completely panicked. I didn't see where he went.  All the doors were open. We're in a hotel, we're up high. And everyone was running around trying to find him.

Lauer: Screaming for Ryan.

Bird: Screaming. And my husband found him. And he was standing out on the balcony, which wasn't safe. And then I noticed that Scott was still sitting there on the cell phone, with all this chaos and panic going on. He didn't ever get off the phone. He never even looked up.

Who was Scott talking to so intently? Anne Bird doesn't know for sure.  But she later learned, along with the rest of the world, that late November 2002 -- the time of the Disneyland trip -- was the same time that Scott Peterson began a torrid love affair with a young woman named Amber Frey.

Lauer: Did you have any suspicions at that time that Scott might be having an affair? Might be on the phone with another woman?

Bird: No idea.

Lauer: You just thought something was wrong.

Bird: Yes.

Anne thought that Scott seemed way too quiet again a few weeks later at Laci's baby shower on December 10, 2002.

Lauer: Here's Laci's big day. All her friends have gathered around to celebrate the impending birth of her baby. And Scott is there, and he's not quite himself again.

Bird: Right. Right. I kept asking, aren't you excited? Isn't this exciting? And he just didn't say much.

Why was Scott so subdued? Anne had no way to know it, but just one day before, Scott had been forced to confess to his new girlfriend, Amber, that he'd been married but, as Amber later testified, he said he had "lost his wife."

Lauer: Shortly before the holidays, you placed a call to Scott.

Bird: Yes.

Lauer: How would you describe his demeanor and his mood here a week before Christmas, with a baby on the way.

Bird: You know, once again, he didn't say a whole lot. You know, he just kind of said, "Happy holidays."

Lauer: And it's important to remember here, though, this is not the guy you'd known for the past couple of years. I mean, every time you were with Scott or talked to Scott in the time previous, he was this kind of life of the party — the golden child.

Bird: The golden child. Yeah.

Lauer: And here, there is this personality change.

Bird: Right.

Lauer: In him all of a sudden.

Bird: Yeah.

Lauer: Were red flags popping up in your head, or was this just a sister saying, "You know what? We all go through times like this."

Bird: You know, that's what I was thinking. That we all go through times like this. He is a new father. I don't know how he was absorbing everything. Maybe he was overwhelmed. You know? So, I just dismissed it.

Laci wasn't home that night. Anne didn't talk to her. Anne never got to talk to Laci again.

Anne Bird is already noticing that something doesn't quite add up in the life of her brother Scott Peterson. He's married to Laci — a funny, beautiful young woman whom Anne adores. And now Laci is pregnant. Fortune is smiling on Scott Peterson, so why isn't he smiling?

Anne Bird: The phone call I got was from my husband saying that Laci had been abducted. And I jokingly said, "Abducted by who, aliens?" You know, I just didn't quite grasp what was happening.

Just a few years before in 1997, Anne Bird, adopted at birth, had been reunited with her brother, Scott Peterson and met his lovely bride, Laci. They had bonded immediately, celebrated together, traded pregnancy tips and maternity clothes. Now, at Christmas, 2002, Laci was missing. Anne called her biological mom, Scott's mom, Jackie Peterson.

Bird: And she said that it was horrific. That there were police looking everywhere for her. That somebody took her. And I asked how Scott was doing and she said he's hanging in there.

Matt Lauer: Did you, Anne, ever think at that moment, "Did my brother, Scott, have anything to do with this?"

Bird: It never entered my mind.

In fact, Anne soon had a chance to help defend her brother. Police seemed to doubt Scott's story that he'd gone fishing on Christmas Eve, the day Laci disappeared. He said he'd launched his boat from the Berkeley Marina. It was 85 miles from his home, but just a couple of miles from Anne's home where he'd visited before. Jackie called Anne and asked her to help verify Scott's story.  

Bird: She wanted to establish his alibi. And she wanted me to go--

Lauer: So, this is--

Bird: --there.

Lauer: --a couple of days after Laci is missing. And she's now concentrating on Scott's alibi?

Bird: Yes.

Anne immediately drove to the marina and quickly found four people who remembered Scott launching his boat on Christmas Eve.

Bird: The entire time I'm thinking about Laci. And I was worried sick about her. So I thought anything, if anything could come together on this.

She soon talked to Scott to report her findings and offer any other help she could.

Lauer: Emotionally how was he doing? How did he sound to you?

Bird: You know, he sounded vacant, disconnected, you know? Completely unemotional.

Lauer: You had to be thinking maybe he's just in shock?

Bird: Right, I did. I thought he was in shock or completely traumatized.

Police and the media were already calling Scott a "person of interest" in the case.

Lauer: How did Jackie respond to hearing that Scott, the golden child, might be a person of interest?

Bird: She was really upset. She criticized the Modesto Police Department over and over again. She called the town Mayberry. She said Barney Fife was in charge.

Over the next few days and weeks, the story of Laci Peterson became a national obsession -- a lovely young woman, eight months pregnant, disappearing on Christmas Eve. There were massive searches, candlelight vigils, and a husband who seemed emotionally detached. Anne was glued to every detail of the case and kept in close touch with Scott and Jackie Peterson.

Lauer: Let me fast forward a couple of weeks, OK? It’s January 12, it's the day of the christening of your younger son, Tommy. You invited Scott to come to that christening?

Bird: Right.

Lauer: What do you remember about that day?

Bird: We all went into the church. And Scott sat sideways in the pew and looked towards the back of the church almost the entire service. And there was definitely a man behind me that I think was possibly an undercover policeman. He was staring at Scott.

Anne trusted Scott completely. She even asked him to hold her baby during the service. Afterward Anne felt the family, in crisis, needed help. She arranged for a private meeting with the rector of the church. But something about that meeting bothered Anne.

Bird: I looked over at Scott. And Scott was crying. And I — he may have glanced up once, maybe twice at the most. But he was holding Tommy. And he just kept staring down. And I don't know why. But that locked in my mind as something that was not quite right.

Scott had seemed so emotionally detached before, so were the tears for the rector's benefit?

Lauer: When you saw Scott crying, holding Tommy, did you think those tears were sincere?

Bird: You know, I'm not sure what I thought at that time. I just kind of logged, you know, what was going on in my mind. In hindsight, I think they were crocodile tears.

In hindsight, we know much more than that.

Lauer: We now know that on that very same day, Scott Peterson called Amber Frey. And we know something else. On that very same day Scott Peterson called his local cable company and requested two porn channels to be added to his home service.

Bird: Right. It was amazing.

Lauer: It's bizarre.

Bird: It's very bizarre. It especially to think that we were in a church, you know, at a christening. You know, we had this special prayer. And then for him to go home and upgrade his porno channels is just--

Lauer: And call his girlfriend.

Bird: -- and call his girlfriend is just beyond description.

But of course, Anne Bird knew none of this at the time. She was still loyal to her brother, who needed her help.

Bird: Jackie said that he had been basically driven out of Modesto. He was living out of his car. They had impounded his computers. He wasn't able to work. And I felt badly. I thought, "Well, we have a loft in the upstairs." And so I offered.

And so Anne's brother, Scott Peterson, "person of interest" in one of the biggest cases in the country, came to live with her, staying in a small loft bedroom that overlooked the San Francisco Bay -- the same bay where, three months later, the bodies of Laci, and her baby, would wash ashore.

Matt Lauer: The first day Scott gets there you all have dinner together, the three of you, Tim, your husband, you and Scott. What do you remember about that dinner?

Anne Bird: You know, we had a lot of wine. And...

Lauer: Two bottles between the three of you, I think.

Bird: Two bottles of wine, yes.

The truth is, they were all a little stressed out. Scott Peterson, under suspicion in the disappearance of his wife, Laci, tried to escape the spotlight by staying 85 miles from Modesto at the home of his sister, Anne Bird.

Lauer: And what was Scott's demeanor at that dinner.

Bird: You know, he didn't bring up Laci's name. He stayed away from the entire topic.

Lauer: She's been missing for three weeks. There are vigils all over the place. And he never brings up her name at dinner?

Bird: No.

Lauer: What did you think about that?

Bird: I thought that maybe this is a man who was so traumatized that, you know, maybe he can't show emotion in front of us.

Lauer: As the wine continued to flow did he open up at all? Did he seem more emotional?

Bird: No, no, he seemed to be enjoying himself.

In her book, "blood Brother," Anne recounts how that dinner set a tone in her household. Even as the evidence mounted, Anne continued to believe in her brother, Scott. But almost immediately, her husband, Tim, had doubts.

Lauer: Here's how you put it in the book:

'I don't know,' Tim said. 'I sort of expected him to be more screwed up over this. He seemed fine at dinner.' 

'He was making an effort to be sociable,' I said. 'It didn't look like it took too much effort.'

'It was the wine then,' I snapped unable to keep the anger from my voice. And so it began, the big sister making excuses for her little.

Bird: You know, it was too hard for me to comprehend that someone who is as courteous, as kind as he is, would kill his wife and unborn child. It is just something that is so incomprehensible.

But Anne was seeing Scott up close at a time when he was avoiding the news media and the police. She was getting insights no one else had.  She says that while police and volunteers searched for Laci, Scott just sat in her living room and watched TV.

Lauer: Did you ever, you know, on a quiet evening or in a morning, pull up a chair next to him and say, "Scott, what do you think happened to Laci?"

Bird: Well, I asked often. And, you know, I asked, "What leads do the police have?" And he was almost dismissive, you know, that that, you know, was not of interest to him.    

Scott may have seemed indifferent to the search for Laci, but Anne says he seemed anything but indifferent to her babysitter, an attractive young woman whom she calls by a pseudonym, Lorraine.

Bird: It was a little bit awkward. He was acting like a bachelor, you know, very interested in her.

Lauer: So, his wife's missing. And now he's — would it be a stretch to say he's flirting with the baby sitter?

Bird: Not at all, I would say he was definitely flirting with our babysitter.

Anne didn't know it at the time, but Scott was also flirting by phone with his girlfriend in Fresno, Amber Frey. And some of those calls originated from Anne's house.

Bird: When I first saw Fresno on our phone bill, I asked my husband, "Who are you calling in Fresno?" And he said, "Well, I, you know, probably have some business contact down there, or something like this." So, we just ignored it.

But they couldn't ignore the news that broke on January 24, a month after Laci disappeared, when Amber Frey went public about her relationship with Scott.

Bird: He was in our living room. And I said, "You know, what happened? And did you have an affair? And why?" And he said he did. And I said, "Did Laci know?" And he said, "Yes." And he said, "She was fine with it." And then I --

Lauer: Let me stop you. You're a sister. And you're a woman. Didn't that sound strange to you?

Bird: Yes.

Lauer: That his pregnant wife knew about it and was fine with it?

Bird: Yes. I said, "Really?" And he said, "Well, she was upset for a day. And then she got over it." Which I have always known to this day that that was a lie.

Amber Frey's appearance was a turning point in the case and a flashpoint in Anne Bird's own marriage.

Lauer: What did Tim, your husband, think when he heard about Amber Frey?

Bird: Well, he was livid. And he said that Scott can no longer stay in our house. That he's no longer welcome. And he was really upset that he did this to Laci. And he was upset with me for not being more upset about it.

You see, against all odds, Anne still believed Scott was not involved in Laci's disappearance. Her belief was based in part on the rock-solid faith of their mother, Jackie.

Bird: She said that all Amber Frey proved was that Scott had an affair. He didn't kill his wife. And so I, you know, got that affirmation again not to doubt Scott.

Lauer: So, no matter what Jackie was the great defending mom?

Bird: Yes.

Anne's loyalties were torn -- her brother and mother, or her husband? Anne tried to split the difference, giving Scott the key to a mountain cabin her adoptive parents owned, hoping to give Scott a safe haven, but not under the same roof as her husband. After that, Scott visited less often, but when he did, he still made disturbing statements, which Anne is only revealing now.

Lauer: At one point, you're in your house and he turns his attention to the TV and starts to shake his head, and he says this, "They're looking in the wrong places," he said.

Bird: Right.

Lauer: And you said, "Who?" He said, "The police, everyone." Now, you write in the book, a normal response would've been to ask him where they should be looking.

Bird: Right.

Lauer: But you didn't ask him that.

Bird: I didn't ask him that. I just didn't want to cast the judgment on him.

On March 5, ten weeks after Laci's disappearance, police changed the status of the case from missing person to homicide. That same month, Scott changed his appearance, bleaching his hair and his new goatee.

Bird: He said that he was in Mammoth skiing, I believe with some family members. And he said that he swam in the pool and that the pool chlorinated his hair and his facial hair.

Lauer: I don't know if this is your natural hair color. But I mean, did that seem a bit far-fetched to you?

Bird: I would be swimming in that pool. You know, I knew immediately that that was a lie.

And Scott continued his infatuation with Lorraine the babysitter, something Anne has never talked about before. In late March, Scott came to Anne's house and mixed Lorraine a cocktail he called a "flirtini."

Bird: It was such an odd situation, you know. Here he is, you know, kind of a person on television every single night who has a missing wife. And he's walking around our living room handing out flirtinis.

Lauer: And hitting on the babysitter.

Bird: And hitting on our babysitter.

Lauer: As if he's single.

Bird: As if he's single. Yeah.

It would have been comical if it weren't so deadly serious. On April 13, the body of a full-term baby washed ashore in San Francisco Bay. A day later, the badly decomposed body of a woman was found nearby. It was Laci Peterson and the little boy she had planned to name Conner.

Lauer: They were found about two miles from your home. Correct?

Bird: Yeah.

Lauer: Two miles from that room where he would sleep when he was your houseguest, overlooking the bay.

Bird: I know. In the same bay that he was saying, "You're wasting your time," in looking there.

Lauer: Did you think he was guilty then?

Bird: You know, a part of me, I think, did. A part of me was kind of getting it. But I still, you know, tried to keep a wall up.

But four days later, Scott was under arrest and soon Anne would face the facts -- not only that he could have done it, but that she might know how and why.

Matt Lauer: When you saw him on TV under arrest in that jail jumpsuit, in his handcuffs, how did that hit you?

Anne Bird: It was hard to see.

Anne Bird had been given up for adoption as a baby. She'd only been reunited with her brother, Scott Peterson, in 1997. For four months after Laci Peterson disappeared, Anne was a staunch defender of Scott. But now he was under arrest, charged with Laci's murder.

Lauer: You've had a chance to connect with this long-lost brother.

Bird: Right.

Lauer: And all of a sudden, here he is behind bars.

Bird: Right. I had to go see him, you know, behind a window while he was chained up.

She visited Scott several times in jail -- visits she has never before spoken about publicly. She says they talked awkwardly about their family, her kids, the weather, everything but the obvious subject.

Lauer: Did you ever say to him, "Scott, did you kill your wife? Did you kill Laci?"

Bird: You know, I never asked him. But there was one incident. I think it was my third visit there. And they flicker the lights right before your time is up. And the lights flickered. And he looked at me. And he said, "You know I didn't kill my wife." And he looked at me again to see -- it was like, if I bought it.

Anne had come to think of Scott the same way their mother Jackie did -- as the "golden child" of the Peterson clan. Anne had strained her marriage by stubbornly sticking up for Scott, even putting him up in her home. But now she sat down and started making a list.

Bird: I wrote down everything that didn't make any sense to me. And my list became longer and longer and longer.

She ticked them off one after another, all the things she noted while hanging out with, even living with, her little brother.

-- His insistence that police were "looking in the wrong place" for Laci.

-- His unseemly flirtations with Anne's babysitter, Lorraine.

-- His repeated lies and his inability, even now in jail to summon any emotion about the murder of his wife, Laci, and his unborn son, Conner.

Bird: He simply referred to them as his family. He doesn't even call them by name. And that really shocked me.

She flashed back to their trip to Disneyland, a month before the murder. That's when Anne first noticed Scott had turned dark and distant. And it's when she had a conversation with Laci that would come to haunt her -- pne of the many times they compared notes on their pregnancies.

Bird: She said that her stomach was, you know, getting big, and it was getting kind of heavy. And that she would get into the swimming pool, and that kind of the anti-gravity just felt great on her lower back. And --

Lauer: She just loved to float in the pool.

Bird: Yes. Yeah.

Lauer: In hindsight, you have a bad feeling about what she was telling you that day, don't you?

Bird: I do. Yeah.

Anne Bird came to a terrible conclusion that the long-lost brother she had only found a few years before, that she had loved deeply and defended tirelessly, really was capable of murdering his pregnant wife. And Anne thought she knew how he might have done it.

Bird: I think he drowned her. It's a silent death. Nobody would hear anything. And it's hard for me to think that, because I picture Laci and that's hard. But--

Lauer: That pool she told you that she loved to float in to ease the--

Bird: Yeah.

Lauer: --stress on her body from pregnancy?

Bird: Yeah.

Lauer: What was it like for you, when you finally came to the point where you could admit to yourself I've been defending the indefensible, he did this, how hard was that emotionally for you?

Bird: It's still hard. You know, every time I look at the list, it's not hard. You know? I know he did those things. I know he did them in my presence.

We contacted Scott Peterson's attorney with a list of questions for Scott. He did not respond. We also spoke with Jackie Peterson, who declined to comment on what Anne Bird told us.

Bird: I just know that he did this. It's very hard to comprehend. And  it hurts.

Scott's trial loomed. Anne thought she might be called to testify. She consulted attorney Gloria Allred.

Gloria Allred: she really had a moral dilemma  because if she spoke to police and the prosecutor, it could mean that she would lose her biological family and her relationship with them she had just established in the last few years. And if she did not go to police and the prosecutor, then of course her conscience would haunt her because she loved Laci.

Prosecutors interviewed Anne bird extensively, but decided not to ask her to testify against her brother.

Bird: I was thrilled. I did not know how I could've been able to stand there and, you know, say all of these hideous things that he did.

But as Anne followed the trial, she heard so many more hideous things she'd never known about -- how Scott researched the tides in San Francisco Bay, how he'd seduced amber Frey, how he'd told Amber on the phone that he was in Paris the same night he attended a vigil for his missing wife, Laci.

Anne wondered how her biological mom, Jackie, could still defend Scott.

Lauer: You think to the very last moment she was still trying to protect the golden child?

Bird: Yes.

Lauer: Do you blame her?

Bird: I think that there were a few times that came up where she could have talked to him and had him 'fess up, that this charade had gone on long enough. And she chose not to.

On November 12, 2004, the jury found Scott Peterson guilty of murdering his wife, Laci, and his unborn son, Conner.

Bird: I was a little bit relieved, because I always thought how would I ever have my children around him? Already, you know, we've kind of stopped talking about Uncle Scott in our house. You know, my son still asks what happened to Aunt Laci. And that's been hard.  

During the penalty phase of Scott's trial, Anne was asked to testify, but not by the prosecution.

Lauer: Jackie very much wanted you to testify on Scott's behalf during the penalty phase?

Bird: Yes. She said that they had a whole string of people that were going to come in: his old coach and a lady whose tire he changed, and things like that, to come in and speak for Scott's defense. And couldn't I just come in there and say what a great person he was? And I just couldn't.

Lauer: Was she angry?

Bird: You know, she was. She was very hurt and very upset that I didn't do this. And she said everyone's very disappointed in me, and especially Scott.

The jury recommended the death penalty. The judge is expected to approve that decision on march 16. Which will leave just one big question: why did Scott do it?

Lauer: Do you think he killed Laci to be with Amber?

Bird: No. I think she was a part of it.

Lauer: How much do you think Laci's pregnancy had to do with it?

Bird: Probably a lot.

Lauer: You think that the baby represented being trapped to him?

Bird: Yeah.

Anne thinks Scott felt trapped in his marriage. And unable to face the shame of a messy divorce, felt it was better for him if Laci and the baby just disappeared.

Bird: I think it had a lot to do with this golden boy image that he had. So if he screwed up, he would have to kind of push it under the carpet.

She'd grown up without her biological brother and mother. She met them, got to know them, grew to love them. Then came the wrenching realization that her long-lost brother was a murderer. But Scott Peterson still says he is innocent. Jackie Peterson still believes her son. And Anne Bird knows that by judging Scott guilty, she may be cutting herself off from her new family forever.

Lauer: To the people what say, you know, there were no winners in any of this, and now here comes Anne and she's writing a book, sounds a little opportunistic to me. How would you respond?

Bird: I certainly don't feel like a winner in any of this.

Lauer: Is this about money?

Bird: No. This is about my piece of the puzzle that I'm able to put in.

Lauer: So you don't feel in any way, Anne, that you're betraying Scott and betraying your family?

Bird: Well, I do feel that I'm betraying them on some level. I feel sad and, you know, I don't intend for this to be hurtful in any way.

I think at the very least, Laci and Connor deserved the truth.  

Lauer: And is there just even a little bit of a message to Jackie, "I'm the one you gave away, look what happened with the one you kept?"

Bird: No. You know, my life has been blessed. And I'm never going to shut doors to the Peterson family. But I am going to tell the truth.

The case continues to put a strain on Anne's own family. She says she and her husband are still struggling with the problems they ran into as a result of her loyalty to Scott Peterson. But, she says. they're getting through it. And through it all, Anne has had the love and support of her adoptive parents. She says she also remains in close contact with her other long-lost biological brother, Don.

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