Laci Peterson's death has been dogged by rumor and speculation, fueled at least in part by rapt media attention and few confirmed details. Authorities have remained tight-lipped about their investigation and had normally public documents sealed, including search and arrest warrant information. After Scott Peterson's arrest in April 2003, his attorneys joined the call to keep documents sealed, leaving many questions to be answered at trial:

* HOW DID LACI PETERSON DIE?

What We Know

Authorities believe Laci Peterson was killed in the couple's Modesto home. A police document briefly outlining probable cause for her husband's arrest lists the "location of offense" as 523 Covena Ave. -- the Peterson home.

What We Don't Know

How, when or in what room authorities believe Laci Peterson was killed. Prosecution documents allege that the crime took place "on or about and between" Dec. 23 and Dec. 24, 2002. The cause of death is undetermined. The medical examiner who conducted the autopsy testified at Scott Peterson's preliminary hearing that X-rays showed no evidence of bullets or blades in her body, which was severely decomposed and largely dismembered. There were no indications of tool marks or chewing at the joints. Two left ribs were broken and one on the right had abrasions, but the examiner could not determine if the damage came before or after death.

* DID SCOTT PETERSON CONFESS ON TAPE OR SAY HE KNOWS WHO WAS INVOLVED IN THE DEATHS?

What We Know

Authorities tapped two of Peterson's cell phones and intercepted about 4,000 calls between him and his family, attorney, former lover and others, according to prosecution court documents. The lover, Amber Frey, also surreptitiously recorded conversations at police request, a detective has testified.

What We Don't Know

Whether Peterson said he knows who was behind his wife's disappearance and death.

In a transcript of the only taped conversation introduced at Peterson's preliminary hearing, he tells Frey: "If you think I had something to do with her disappearance, then you're so wrong." Prosecutors shut off the first wiretap early -- more than two months before Peterson's arrest -- saying "further progress in the investigation would not be gained through additional interception." Peterson's attorneys fought unsuccessfully to keep the wiretap recordings from being admitted at trial.

* WAS CONNER PETERSON BORN ALIVE AND, IF NOT, AT WHAT STAGE WAS THE FETUS?

What We Know

During Laci Peterson's Dec. 23 doctor's visit -- the day before she was reported missing -- the fetus was estimated at 32 weeks old based on a sonogram performed Sept. 24, 2002, three months earlier, a detective testified. If Conner's remains indicate he was notably older than at the Dec. 23 visit, it would be difficult for prosecutors to argue that Peterson killed his pregnant wife while under the intense police and media scrutiny that followed her disappearance. Both sets of remains were found separately along San Francisco Bay's eastern shoreline in substantially different states of decomposition.

What We Don't Know

When Conner died. The medical examiner who performed the autopsies said he could not rule out that Conner had been born alive. But he believes Conner was inside his mother's uterus when her body entered the bay, and the fetus remained sheltered there until tidal effects, animal feeding and decomposition released it. There were no signs on Laci Peterson's remains of either a vaginal birth or an incision for a Cesarean section, the examiner testified. But the flesh from her navel up and all organs except the uterus were missing. Conner's remains showed no signs of animal feeding. Conner had plastic tape looped around his neck and knotted near his shoulder, loose enough to create a quarter-inch gap if the tape was pulled taut to one side. The examiner testified that he thought the tape was debris. Normally the loop would not have been big enough to fit over the head, but could have because the skull plates were collapsing. After taking two body measurements, the examiner estimated the fetus' gestational age at 9 months, which would be just less than 39 weeks. A forensic anthropologist measuring bones estimated Conner's gestational age at 33 weeks to 38 weeks.

* WAS SCOTT PETERSON PLANNING TO FLEE TO MEXICO WHEN ARRESTED?

What We Know

He was arrested along a road leading to the parking lot at the Torrey Pines Golf Course north of San Diego, about 30 miles from the border. He was driving a 1984 Mercedes convertible purchased for $3,600 cash under his mother's name, Jacqueline Peterson. Scott Peterson told the seller "it was kind of 'A Boy Named Sue' thing" and he was called Jack for short, a detective testified. When arrested, Peterson had a full goatee and lightened hair. In the car, police found four cell phones, an array of clothing, nearly $15,000 cash, his brother John's driver's license, a water purifier, camp stove, hammock and other camping gear, a detective testified.

What We Don't Know

What Peterson intended to do, why the camping gear, cell phones and other items were in the car and to whom they belonged. John Peterson's driver's license was on the center console of the car, a detective testified. Scott Peterson had his own license in his wallet, which also was on the console, according to testimony. Peterson's attorney suggested that his client had his brother's license because local residents receive a discount at the golf course. Peterson's parents live in Solana Beach, about seven miles north of the golf course. His attorney also suggested that family members were at the course at the time of the arrest.

* DO PROSECUTORS HAVE A 'SMOKING GUN' THEY'RE WAITING TO ROLL OUT AT TRIAL?

What We Know

Chief Deputy District Attorney John Goold has said prosecutors put on "some of the evidence, but not all of it" at the preliminary hearing. They have hours of wiretap recordings, pages of phone records, satellite tracking data, evidence photos, four televised interviews in which they contend Peterson repeatedly lied, and testimony from family members, neighbors, trailing-dog handlers and Peterson's former lover. They also have cement residue found in his warehouse, which they contend doesn't match cement samples taken from his house. Prosecutors maintain that DNA tests show that a single hair found in the teeth of a pair of needle-nose pliers in Peterson's boat is not his and could be his wife's.

What We Don't Know

What more prosecutors have. A hint might lie in the juror questionnaire, in which prospective jurors were asked to rate their confidence in types of evidence. The list included the types listed above, as well as fingerprint evidence.

* HOW DID THE ONE HAIR FOUND IN THE PLIERS BECOME TWO HAIRS?

What We Know

The detective who found the hair attached to the pliers described it in his report as a single "black-colored hair" 5 to 6 inches long. The detective opened the pliers over an evidence envelope to loosen the hair, observed what "appeared to be one hair" in the envelope and sealed it. When he and another detective went to the police evidence facility weeks later to view the hair, one detective opened the envelope and found two hair fragments, according to testimony.

What We Don't Know

Whether the two fragments came from one hair, if there were two fragments attached to the pliers or if something else happened. Prosecutors contend that a single strand of hair simply broke in the envelope. The defense contends that police mishandled evidence. A prosecution analyst testified that the two fragments were about 4 and 1« inches long. They were different shades of brown -- including one described as light brown -- and had different cuticle variation, but could have come from the same person, according to testimony.

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