Joking with others, shooting hoops and scoring baskets – to look at Scott Peterson, one would hardly imagine he's incarcerated on San Quentin's Death Row.You know who isn't ripped and healthy? His wife and unborn child. You know, the folks he threw in a trash bag to wash up on the shore.
And yet, that is how journalist Nancy Mullane found the former fertilizer salesman when she visited the California state penitentiary where Peterson is confined to a solitary 7-by-9-ft. cell for the Christmas Eve 2002 killings of his wife Laci and their unborn son, and then dumping their remains into San Francisco Bay.
"He didn’t look depressed. He looked like someone you'd see on the street playing basketball. He had his shirt off and his boxer shorts up," says Mullane, who was given an unprecedented level of media access to the prison for her book about the rehabilitation of condemned killers, Life After Murder: Five Men In Search of Redemption. "He wasn't ripped, but he looked healthy."
With the exception of a gullible few, the entire world came to learn that this man committed murder. Even those who truly did not want to believe that a man could kill his unborn baby, even the people who were too racist of classist to believe that someone "of his means" could stoop so low, those people came to learn it too. If you don't believe that was a topic, check crime message boards of the day. I remember being appalled that the reason some people refused to believe his guilt was because he was white and well off.
Our disgraceful fertilizer salesman who sold one load too many is in prison, but he's got his life, for now and for several years. Which is more than his wife and unborn son were given.
And now I will utter a phrase that I never thought would pass my lips: this story doesn't include nearly enough brutal prison scenes to satisfy me.