So is it The Law Firm of King and Geragos? This must be at least the third time that celebrity defense hound Mark Geragos has gone from commenting about a criminal case on Larry King to then representing the suspect in question. First Gary Condit, then Winona Ryder, and now Scott Peterson! Does Larry get a cut from all this business he brings in for Geragos? And given that Condit and Peterson are both from Modesto, isn't Geragos sort of becoming the Johnnie Cochran of downwardly-mobile Modesto philanderers?
The sorry truth is that I should have seen this coming. But I didn't. A week or so back Geragos mysteriously disappeared from Larry's line-up, only to be replaced a gaggle of second-tier TV defense lawyers for Nancy Grace to get angry at.
Actually, speaking of Nancy, there was a classic Nancy moment on Tuesday night when Larry fed one of the fill-in defense pundits, Chris Pixley, to Nancy. Here's a taste ...
GRACE: And another thing, Larry. I disagree with something Chris Pixley said earlier, the defense attorney on the panel tonight. He said that a one-month relationship is not a good enough motive for murder. Question to you, Chris. Have you ever seen a good motive for murdering your 5-foot-1 eight-month pregnant wife? I'm all ears!
PIXLEY: Well, exactly, Nancy. That's the problem that the prosecution...
GRACE: We don't have to prove motive!
PIXLEY: ... has in this case. There's no good motive that they have for what has gone on here. They've got...
GRACE: The state doesn't have to prove motive!
Question to you, Chris!
Impressively enough, by this evening, Chris had already reattached his head to his neck and was back on the panel ready for more.
Now, after I found out that Geragos was going to represent Peterson, I have to admit that I felt a bit off my game for not having predicted it, since normally I'm pretty in tune with the cosmic mojo that governs Larry's show. But it soon became clear I was being too hard on myself. The swipe I took at Nancy yesterday on TPM turns out to have been a dramatic foreshadowing of her complete downfall that took place on the show this evening. Toward the end of the show, after Nancy had been ranting and raving for about 50 minutes, Scott Peterson's dad called in to Larry's show.
(Pursuant to a little known section of the US Penal Code, the relatives of all high-profile murderers are given Larry's direct number, once a magistrate makes a finding of probable cause.)
Now, for my money, Scott's pretty clearly about as guilty as sin. But you can't begrudge his dad for believing in his son's innocence. And his dad actually came off very well. And ... well, let's just go to the tape ...
KING: We are told that we have Lee Peterson on the phone. He is Scott Peterson's father. Are you there, Lee?
LEE PETERSON, SCOTT PETERSON'S FATHER: Yes, sir, Larry I sure am.
KING: How did it go with Mr. Geragos? He was on at the beginning of the show. He said he's sleeping on it and is going to make a decision tomorrow. What do you expect?
PETERSON: Well, we'll just have to see what he has to say. Larry, the reason I called, I'd like to address a question to Nancy.
KING: Go ahead.
PETERSON: Nancy Grace. Nancy, I've watched many programs, I don't like to watch them, but it kind of keeps me informed, and I can feel the public sentiment. And I just have to say, for some reason you seem to have a personal stake in this, a personal vendetta against my son and I do not understand it. When you come on and you state things about my son, it is so obvious that you are just caught up in this thing and there's no room for, you know, innocence until proven guilty. And I'm just appalled by that. I don't think that's your place to be a spokesman for -- for the district attorney, and to...
KING: Before she responds, Lee, are you hopeful that Mark Geragos takes the case?
PETERSON: Yes, I am. I am. Mark's a wonderful man. We met him twice.
KING: I know, it appears he's going to. All right, Nancy, how do you respond?
GRACE: Well, I respond like this, Larry -- in all the many, many cases that I prosecuted I felt that I not only represented the state, but as a crime victim of murder, the victim as well. I do not presume to be representing the DA's office. That would be highly presumptuous. I take the facts as I hear them and I apply the law as I know it. And after trying well over 100 felony trials before juries, it's my belief that there's a very strong case against Scott, but in response to his father's call, I know he may not believe it, but my heart goes out to him and the pain his family's having, but I am speaking on behalf of what I believe to be true, on behalf of Laci Peterson, neither against Scott, for Scott, for the state, against the state, but what I believe to be true regarding her murder.
PETERSON: Nancy, do you hear me?
KING: Yes, she can hear you.
PETERSON: You are speculating on these facts as much as I am...
GRACE: And you are believing what your son is telling you.
PETERSON: Please don't interrupt me. You've had your say here for months, and you've crucified my son on national media. And he's a wonderful man. You have no idea of his background and what a wonderful son and wonderful man he is. You have no knowledge of that and you sit there as a judge and jury, I guess, and you're convicting him on the national media, and you should be absolutely ashamed of yourself.
GRACE: Sir, I think he should be ashamed of himself, as whoever is responsible fro the death of Laci Peterson, and lashing out at me -- I completely understand where you're coming from. I am simply stating what has been leaked or what has been put in formal documents, and if you find them disturbing, I suggest you ask your son about some of them, sir.
PETERSON: There you go, Nancy. Look at this look on Nancy's face. You absolutely hate my son. I don't know what it is.
GRACE: No, I don't hate your son. I don't know your son.
PETERSON: You don't know my son, that's exactly right.
GRACE: But I hate what happened to Laci.
Did I mention that Laci was only 5'1?