You had been scratching your about Michael Peterson and wondering why his name seems to be passed around everywhere right now. You figured that out (or can use our guide to who is Michael Peterson), but still the confusion remains. Maybe because you seem to remember a criminal case that involved another Peterson, the Scott and Laci Peterson case. Wait, you think, is Michael Peterson related to Scott Peterson? We clarify the cases, and the names, below.
Wait, who is Scott Peterson?
A quick refresher on Scott and Laci Peterson: Scott Lee Peterson is a former fertilizer salesman who’s now on death row in San Quentin State Prison. In 2004, he was found guilty of murdering his wife, Laci, and their unborn son and dumping her body in the San Francisco Bay. Although there was speculation that he commited the crime in order to continue his admitted affair with Amber Frey, the prosecution argued that the homicide was motivated by a more simple wish to be free of the responsibilities of a wife and child.
Scott Peterson’s lawyer argued that his client had been framed by a homeless person or burglar, but was unable to sway the jury. Scott has been appealing his sentence since the decision was handed down, most recently in May 2018. The habeas corpus appeal he filed against his death sentence cites as basis for a retrial the failure of his lawyer to call certain witness and the apparent lying of a juror.
So, is Michael Peterson related to Scott Peterson?
It’s easy for all of this to sound familiar and get mixed up with the details of the Michael and Kathleen Peterson case, the trail for which took place just a year earlier than Scott’s, in 2003. (By the way, there’s a third man accused of killing his wife who shares the last name, Drew Peterson. Drew’s case is more recent, garnering national attention in 2007 when his fourth wife went missing.)
There’s no evidence that any of the accused or suspected Petersons are related to one another. InTouch addressed the potential connection between Scott and Drew Peterson earlier, finding none. When it comes to Michael Peterson and Scott Peterson, there was less of a chance they were related, given the age difference. In fact, Michael Peterson was born the same year as Scott Peterson’s mother, Jackie, who passed away in 2013 after battling cancer.
Michael Peterson’s parents, Eugen “Big Thunder From Down Under” Iver Peterson and Eleanor Peterson nee Bartolino, both immigrated to the United States from Austria. Scott’s mother was born in San Diego, California, and his father, Lee Peterson, is from Worthington, Minnesota. So is Michael Peterson related to Scott Peterson? It looks like a definite no.