The birth of a pop icon

Targeting the simple truth

April 20, 2004

The strange trial of Scott Peterson will get stranger and strange, because there is no case.

Homer Maldonado has repeatedly said he spotted Laci Peterson at a time when the police claim she was dead, and he has come under a renewed assault, as the trial of Scott Peterson approaches. Homer Maldonado lives a few blocks from the Petersons' Covena Avenue home, and he said he is certain he saw the dark-haired woman walking her golden retriever on the morning of Christmas Eve 2002 because he had seen the same pregnant woman and the dog twice before.

During the initial investigation, the police did not pursue tips about Laci walking her dog in the park because they didn't think it was "going in the right direction" and now, they are evidently determined to prove that Homer Maldonado does not know what he is talking about.

Homer Maldonado is conceivably an important witness because Scott Peterson's defense relies on the theory that someone else kidnapped his wife after he left to fish alone in San Francisco Bay.

What everybody is ignoring, however, is the fact that Scott Peterson's solid alibi is complemented by the unsolicited accounts by Maldonado and Vivian Mitchell, who also lived in the La Loma neighborhood. Mitchell, 80, conveniently died in February, and legal experts who say it's unlikely her account could be used at trial, now that she is dead, raise serious questions that are also, conveniently ignored. At any rate, despite Vivian Mitchell and despite Home Moldanado, Scott Peterson's alibi is still solid.

Proving that arrogance has no bounds, prosecutors have said they will counter Scott Peterson's alibi with evidence that his wife stopped walking her dog almost two months before she went missing.

The Maldonados have been summoned to testify, not by the Peterson camp, as one would expect, but by prosecutors who are obviously determined to destroy Homer Maldonado's credibility.

"I don't understand why they're doing this," said Maldonado, a commercial painter. "They want us to be there an hour early. I told my wife it's better we take the stand rather than talk to the prosecution. We really don't know what's going on."

It's really quite simple. The prosecution does not like what Homer Maldonado has publicly said and they have issued subpoenas for the couple to testify, May 17 in Redwood City, under the threat of perjury.

In a court document filed Feb. 23, prosecutor Rick Distaso wrote that he "will present evidence that Laci Peterson stopped walking the dog around the first week in November." Needless to say, if Maldonado claims that he saw Laci walking the dog, at least three times, Distaso is very upset, and he thinks that he has the right to intimidate Homer Maldonado. Did he also think he had the right to intimidate Vivian Mitchell? Is that why she is dead?

Scott Peterson told police his wife said she was going to walk the dog when he left to fish about 9:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve 2002 and his alibi has checked out. Why is he still a suspect?

Maldonado first saw Laci Peterson in the morning about two weeks before Christmas 2002, walking a dog by a bridge across Dry Creek. He spotted the woman and dog again Dec. 22 near a small park at Miller and La Loma avenues. Helen Maldonado was with her husband when Laci Peterson was walking her golden retriever on Christmas Eve, but Mrs. Maldonado wasn't looking in the direction of the woman or dog, and the clever Distaso thinks that his license to practice law is an opportunity to slice and dice anybody he chooses to call a hostile witness. The pattern is quite clear.

Now that Vivian Mitchell is dead, prosecutors have summoned her husband, Bill Mitchell, because they have convinced him that his wife had witnessed another pregnant woman walking another dog. The prosecutor's clear bias makes the manipulation of witnesses like Bill Mitchell absolutely predictable. Vivian Mitchell had proved that she was a witness who was not easily swayed, and now that she is not around to fill in the details she had clearly specified,they have been replaced with Distaso's agenda.

Prior to being manipulated however, Mr. Mitchell's unbiased testimony was very clear, and in his own words; "I called and told them that I'd seen whom I thought was her and it would be pretty difficult to have an identical twin and identical dog." Needless to say, Distaso thinks he's very clever, because as long as he convinces an old man that Laci was murdered on December 23rd, then Mr. Mitchell will be forced to conclude that his wife was mistaken. As long as she was alive however, Mrs. Mitchell was very clear and very specific. "I had seen Laci walk by the house several times before," said Vivian Mitchell. "When she walked by on Christmas Eve, I hollered to Bill, Oh look, it's the lady with the golden retriever."

Mrs. Mitchell was always very confident about having seen Laci on Chrismas Eve. "I'm sure it was Laci on Christmas Eve morning," she insisted. "That was the lady I saw. And she is so striking. Beautiful Lady and a Beautiful Dog." The obsession to make Vivian Mitchell irrelevant is disturbing. She is not irrelevant, and she is still hollering, but not to her husband Bill. Vivian Mitchell is hollering to the fact that what she saw on December 24 is consistent with what everybody else saw at Berkley Marina on Christmas Eve, and that is the solid alibi that Distaso cannot possibly discredit. No doubt, ignorant authorities have made Laci look-alike sightings more popular than Elvis, but they should work on exposing the cause and the method that is responsible for the death of Laci Peterson, they should stop attacking people, for telling the simple truth.

Compared to unsolicited evidence, the claim that Laci never walked her dog for 2 months prior to December 24th is simply dumb. Indeed, if that were true, Laci Peterson was so starved for the opportunity to walk her dog, that wild horses couldn't keep her away from taking advantage of a beautiful day, to take her golden retriever out for a walk, on the morning of Christmas Eve. Pregnant or not, the real torture of the real dog lover is to fail to do exactly what a feisty young lady like Laci Peterson would naturally do. The prosecutor may be an ignorant thug who thinks that he can manufacture reality, but Laci Peterson had a mind of her own and Scott Peterson has a solid alibi.

It is very difficult to understand the Prosecution's obsession to dispute the obvious. Early on in the investigation, the Police said the leash of Laci's dog was covered with mud, leading them to believe it had walked for some time on its own. Who do they think was walking Laci's golden retriever on the morning of Christmas Eve, when Scott Peterson was making a spectacle of himself? Homer Maldonado said "I believe that was Laci Peterson cause she was wearing a white shirt, the black pants and she was very pregnant." And even if Maldonado is making that up, it doesn't matter. The fact is, Laci was wearing a white shirt and black pants when she disappeared, Maldonado, Mitchell and Scott did not conspire to make that up, and if Laci was wearing anything different, the police should have reported it, because everybody was supposed to be looking for Laci.

At this point, it is not necessary to defend nor to attack the credibility of Vivian Mitchell and Homer Boldanado. It is time to determine how, where, when, why and who murdered Laci Peterson. If the prosecution continues to obsessively attack all witnesses who do not share their biased agenda, a special prosecutor should investigate the convenient death of Mrs. Mitchell because this extreme crusade is inviting suspicion. And in the final analysis, Laci Peterson was walking her golden retriever on Christmas Eve, the day her dog returned home alone, not because Home Boldanado and Vivian Mitchell said so, but because Laci Peterson would never wilfully abandon her dog. And this is exactly what Scott Peterson was doing, when Laci Peterson was kidnapped.

Next: The presumption of Innocence

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