Who Is Scott Peterson's Sister-In-Law, Janey Peterson?

Nearly two decades after Scott Peterson was convicted of the 2002 murder of his pregnant wife Laci Peterson, it seems the case isn't quite over for his supporters. Though Scott was easily considered one of the most reviled men in America during the investigation of his wife's death — due to his perceived evasive conduct and his affair with another woman, Amber Frey, who had no idea he was married and expecting a child — some people's opinions have recently begun to sway. Although the general consensus is that Scott's character was always somewhat questionable, information gleaned over the years regarding other potential suspects in the case has strengthened alternate theories that others, not Scott, were responsible for Laci Peterson's murder. 

Scott's allies in this matter range from anonymous web sleuths to more high-profile figures — among them Casey Anthony, who was acquitted for the death of her daughter in 2011. At one point, Anthony had even planned to feature Scott in a now-abandoned reality television project, which would have followed Anthony's attempts to exonerate convicts who were wrongly imprisoned, with Scott ostensibly falling into that category. But perhaps Scott's biggest advocate is none other than his sister-in-law, Janey Peterson. So what does Janey have to say about her brother-in-law's possible innocence? And is there any credence to her claims? 

Janey Peterson is convinced of Scott Peterson's innocence

Over the years, Janey Peterson (pictured above in 2004) has campaigned for her brother-in-law Scott Peterson's complete exoneration. Speaking with a local Sacramento CBS affiliate in May 2021, Janey, who is married to Scott's brother Joe, stated she has a dedicated "war room" towards her cause. As The Cinemaholic notes, while Janey was once employed by the family's "crate-building business," she is now, as of May 2021, "studying law at the California Western School of Law in San Diego," making her devotion to Scott's case even more concrete. In her opinion, Scott's conviction is the result of negligence on the part of law enforcement. "The justice system has failed here, and a lot of aspects have failed," she contended during the interview. 

Janey's theory rests on an incident that happened close to the Petersons — a burglary across the street — which Janey alleges happened the same day Laci vanished. According to Scott's sister-in-law, Laci's murder could have been a botched robbery gone wrong, and that Laci, home alone, was killed by those who encountered her by surprise. To back up her claim, Janey pointed to what she believes to be another key piece of evidence in the form of a jailhouse disclosure she credits as an anonymous tip. "A Lt. Aponte who worked at Norco Prison in California called the Modesto police in January and said they had an inmate at their prison who was overheard discussing exactly that, that Laci had confronted the burglars at the Medina home," she added. So could there be any truth to Janey's theory?

Could Janey Peterson's 'proof' overturn Scott Peterson's conviction?

Though Janey Peterson's case for Scott Peterson's innocence might seem sound, there is, however, a few glaring flaws in her theory. As the TODAY Show's blog recently noted in their own coverage of Janey's campaign to clear her brother-in-law's name, two burglars who were involved with the Modesto break-in close to the Peterson home were cleared by local authorities in 2007 as persons of interest. (Janey told the CBS affiliate that there were five burglars, and three hadn't been questioned.) Adding salt to the would is that the break-in itself reportedly happened two days after Laci disappeared, per the New York Post

As TODAY also noted, the disposal of Laci Peterson's body also throws another wrench into Janey's premise that the burglars already knew enough about the Peterson family's day-to-day to know how to frame Scott. This would include knowing where to dispatch Laci's body at a location almost 100 miles away from the home — a marina where Peterson kept his boat and fished regularly. There's also the matter of statistics, which fall in favor of the original conviction. According to a study conducted by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program in 2019, only 9.9% of homicides are committed by someone not previously known to the victim, compared to the 28.3% committed by someone close to the victim, such as a partner.

Scott Peterson is currently seeking a new trial, per People.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.