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Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson

Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson

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Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson

3.5/5 (9 évaluations)
237 pages
3 heures
Aug 24, 2010


The Scott Peterson murder case is the most gripping and highly publicized crime story of the 21st Century. It has captivated a public hungry for the answer to one question: Why would a man with no known history of violent crime or mental illness, with a pretty wife about to give birth to his son, brutally murder her?

To get "inside Peterson's head," the national media turned to forensic psychiatrist Keith Ablow, M.D. His appearances resulted in a deluge of e-mails with most stating that his theories about the spawning of a killer inside Peterson were the first that made sense to them. Members of Scott's and Laci's families have also stated that his comments were the first that helped them understand what happened inside Scott's mind.

Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson takes readers into the mind of a killer, including:
· How Scott Peterson's empathy for others was shattered by a three generation "blood line" of childhood loss and abandonment

· How Peterson came to expertly "imitate" a person, while having no true, core self

· Early signs that Peterson was losing his capacity to empathize with others

· Why an addiction to sex took root in his psyche

· Why Peterson's meeting Amber Frey while his wife was pregnant triggered the "perfect" psychological storm

· Clues to Peterson's guilt in his interviews with Gloria Gomez and Diane Sawyer

· What Peterson was probably thinking as he listened to testimony in court and received his death sentence

Why Peterson could kill again, if released.

Using contacts at the FBI, and hiring private investigators and researchers, Keith Ablow delves deeply into Scott Peterson's life story to answer the question: How did an All American boy turn into a ruthless killer?

As the nation continues to follow the case this summer, and Peterson awaits appeal on his death sentence, Ablow's extensive psychological profile will be a window on Peterson's soul and the pathological gears turning in his mind.

Aug 24, 2010

À propos de l'auteur

Keith Russell Ablow received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed his psychiatric residence at New England Medical Center in Boston. A forensic psychiatrist, he serves as an expert witness in legal cases involving violence and has evaluated and treated murderers, gang members and sexual offenders for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. His essays on psychiatry and society have appeared in the Baltimore Sun, the Boston Herald, Discover, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report and the Washington Post. He is the author of several works of nonfiction, including Medical School: Getting In, Staying In, Staying Human, and of the novels Denial, Projection and Compulsion, and Psychopath. Ablow lives in the Boston area.

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Aperçu du livre

Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson - Keith Russell Ablow, MD



After all the coverage on Court TV, thousands of articles and several books about Scott Peterson, it struck me that we knew who had killed his wife, Laci, and his unborn son, Conner, but not why. Scott Peterson had been found guilty of murder, but he had remained silent during the trial, never taking the witness stand. Peterson’s parents and other relatives had testified that his childhood had been very nearly perfect, that it was beyond comprehension that he would dispose of his wife and unborn child in the San Francisco Bay.

But I knew it could not be beyond comprehension. My professional life has been spent in search of the answer to one question: why? As a forensic psychiatrist, I have not only treated extremely violent people but have testified in many murder trials about exactly what happens in the minds of men and women who kill. I have told juries precisely how murderers are created, what they feel inside, and what they think in their private moments. In doing so, I have become convinced that there are no unsolvable mysteries of human behavior, even behavior that results in the destruction of others. Every case makes some sort of terrible sense.

This book is an extended version of what I would have told the jury as an expert witness had I been called to testify in the Scott Peterson murder trial. It gives you, the reader, a rare chance to sit in the jury box and hear how Peterson’s life story, from infancy, put him on a collision course with the double homicide of Laci and Conner.

At the end of my testimony, Mark Geragos, Scott Peterson’s attorney, would have asked me whether I believed his client was insane.

My answer, with medical certainty, would have been yes.

Chapter One


Before reading this book, you may have believed that the story of the murders of Laci Peterson and her unborn son, Conner, began on Christmas Eve, 2002. That was, after all, the evening Scott Peterson asserted that he had returned home to find Laci’s Land Rover in the driveway of their Modesto, California, home, and the couple’s golden retriever, McKenzie, in the backyard, alone, with his leash on. At 5:17 P.M. he telephoned his mother-in-law, Sharon Rocha, and told her, Laci is missing.

If not that fateful Christmas Eve, you might believe the story began a month earlier, on November 20, 2002. That was the night Scott Peterson first met Amber Frey, the pretty, blond, single mother who worked as a massage therapist. The couple shared a drink at the Elephant Bar in Fresno, then dinner at an intimate Japanese restaurant, then a bottle of gin, then had sex in Peterson’s room at the Radisson Hotel. Within two weeks Peterson was picking up Frey’s daughter, Ayiana, at school and cooking dinner for what looked like an instant family—one he may have preferred to Laci and Conner.

Or you might open the curtain on the murder mystery earlier still. Paying homage to the theory that the pressures of impending fatherhood began to unravel Peterson’s psyche, you might begin the day Laci Peterson conceived Conner, about seven months before her husband killed her, weighted down her body, and dumped it in the San Francisco Bay.

There are those, in fact, who see the roots of Scott Peterson’s vicious act reaching back years to his discomfort with marriage itself, evidenced by repeated acts of infidelity, including a 1998 affair with Janet Ilse, who once walked in on Peterson and his wife in bed.

Others assert that Peterson was evil incarnate, that the story of the murders of Laci and Conner should begin with Peterson’s birth at San Diego’s Sharp Hospital on October 24, 1972.

I have a different story to tell. Having researched Scott Peterson and his family of origin by hiring investigators, interviewing relatives, friends, schoolmates, and lovers, placing newspaper advertisements on the West Coast seeking anyone with knowledge of his childhood, posting a Web site dedicated to learning of early traumas in his life, and reading and watching everything I could find in print or on tape about him, I am convinced that Laci and Conner lost their lives to a psychological perfect storm that began gathering over the Peterson family over five decades ago and reached hurricane strength in the psyche of Scott Peterson.

The road to the 2002 murders of a young woman full of life and the innocent child she carried truly began on December 20, 1945.

In addition to many sources who wished to remain anonymous, including first-degree relatives of Scott Peterson, I have interviewed his father, Lee, his uncles John Latham and James Patrick Latham, his sister-in-law Jennifer Peterson, his half brother Mark Peterson, and his former lover Lauren Putnat. Anne Bird, Scott’s half sister (and author of Blood Brother: 33 Reasons My Brother Scott Peterson Is Guilty) shared invaluable insights into him and other members of the Peterson family. Catherine Crier, in addition to providing the Foreword to this book, generously made available several of the sources for her number-one New York Times bestseller A Deadly Game. Amber Frey’s attorney, Gloria Allred, graciously provided me her perspective. And even Sharon Hagan, a profiler for the Modesto Police Department who worked on the Peterson investigation, freely gave me her

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  • (3/5)

    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    "Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson" is an interesting, if possibly flawed, look at the psychological makeup of Scott Peterson. Dr. Keith Ablow, while never having interviewed or worked with Peterson himself, does make some fascinating points and conclusions. Background on the Peterson family, which I previously did not know, sheds some light on the dynamics of this dyfunctional family. Could the murder of Peterson's grandfather have led to Peterson himself becoming a murderer? There are some similarities and parallels but truth is, we will never know. What is known is that Peterson is a killer, and he is definitely a cold, unfeeling sociopath. This book would have been much more insightful had Dr. Ablow actually spoken with Peterson, but he did speak to Peterson's family members and ex-girlfriends. Part of Peterson's personality is revealed through Dr. Ablow's interviews, but (as with all sociopaths) not all. Probably, Peterson himself doesn't truly know his own personality. The only part of the book I did not care for was Dr. Ablow's opinion of Laci's personality, as being someone who wanted to make things "pretty" and cared about outside appearances. Some of his writing, intentional or not, seemed to suggest that Laci's own ignorance over her husband and desire to keep things respectful and appearances up may have contributed to her own murder. Regardless of how little Laci may have known about her own husband, she was the victim in this story and definitely did not deserve what happened to her. All in all, an interesting and sometimes mind boggling journey into the deep, dark and empty heart of a sociopath.

    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile