Why Do So Many Care About Laci Peterson?

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There wasn’t much news yesterday in the Laci Peterson case, but that apparently doesn’t dim the public appetite for information about “America’s newest celebrity victim,” the Los Angeles Times reports. With the case expected to drag on for two years, Modesto, California, probably will be in the focus of media attention for a long time.

The Times’s analysis: “Some say Laci’s case has taken on a life of its own because the public can’t resist the tale of the girl next door done wrong. Others say they see a cautionary story, one that crystallizes the vulnerability of all women. Still others have made of Laci’s life a fable of near biblical proportions: The victim vanishing just before Christmas and being discovered again on Good Friday.”

Laci Peterson’s case isn’t unique. Some 1,247 women were killed in the U.S. by intimate partners in 2000. Even the victim’s pregnancy does not make her unusual. Homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women.

“These cases happen all over, all the time,” said Juley Fulcher, public policy director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Yet women showed up in large numbers for Sunday’s public memorial service for Peterson, some driving hundreds of miles because they felt a connection to her that they sometimes couldn’t explain.

Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-laci7may07,1,5214052.story?coll=la%2Dhome%2Dheadlines

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