Peterson, Hernandez: same story, varied coverage

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Evelyn Hernandez, 24 and pregnant, vanished last May 1 with her 5-year-old son. Her body was found in San Francisco Bay three months later; her son remains missing. The case got little attention, and no arrests have been made. The San Francisco Chronicle contrasted her case with that of Laci Peterson, whose husband, Scott, was arrested last Friday and is due for a court appearance today in Modesto, Ca. Cases like Peterson’s become major news stories, while those like Hernandez languish in obscurity, the Chronicle notes: Peterson seemed to be the all-American girl next door, the most innocent of victims. She also has a vocal family advocating on her behalf, and the financial and public relations help of a well-connected crime victims group in Modesto. Police say publicity helps them enlist the help of citizens whose tips might lead to the recovery of a body, an arrest, or the safe return of a missing person. “Our greatest hope would have been for someone to say, yes, I saw [Hernandez] here, with this person,” said San Francisco police inspector Holly Pera, who took on Hernandez’s case when it became a suspected homicide. “It’s hard to turn back the clock and get what we could have gotten if we had major publicity from the get-go,” Pera said.


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