The book written by Scott Peterson's former lover went on sale Tuesday, shedding little new light on the double-murder case, but offering a deeper look at a single mother desperate for love.
"I wouldn't say I was in love with him," Amber Frey tells The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. "My emotions were certainly wanting to move that way, but I can't honestly say that I was."
In "Witness For the Prosecution of Scott Peterson," Frey spends many of the 210 pages outlining how she worked with police and how she handled the publicity generated by the December 2002 disappearance of Laci Peterson and the 8-month-old fetus she was carrying.
Frey, a massage therapist from Fresno, was a star witness during her six days of testimony in Peterson's six-month trial last year.
"That wasn't my choice," Frey says, "I did the right thing. I went to the police. I assisted because there was a woman that was pregnant that needed help and nobody knew the real Scott Peterson, but I knew in the position that I was in that she needed me, and I needed to do the right thing."
On Dec. 13, the jury imposed the death penalty. For Frey, learning the news had an emotional impact she couldn't describe. But she says she has moved on. Formal sentencing is set for Feb. 25.
"I've moved forward in my life and, as far as how I feel toward him, that's kind of a tough question for me. I don't really know," she says.
Frey, 29, tells the story of meeting Peterson: how her best friend set up the couple after meeting Peterson at a conference, how Peterson coaxed Frey to his hotel room moments after their first meeting to shower and change clothes, then pulled out a bottle of champagne and a box of strawberries from his brown duffel bag.
Later, after dinner, they got drunk and sang "Islands in the Stream" at a karaoke lounge. Frey said she spent that night with Peterson.
"As the evening progressed, Scott said that he was looking forward to settling down, but that he hadn't yet found the right person," says Frey in one of several excerpts released early by the publisher, Regan Books. "The way he looked at me when he said that made me feel he might be wondering whether I was that person."
The $25.95 book, dedicated to the victims of violence and their families, features dozens of photographs of Frey, including a glamour shot taken when she was 18 and two dozen black-and-white frames from a modeling shoot in 2000 that show a short-haired Frey in a see-through negligee.
Frey also describes a nightmare she had about a month after meeting Peterson when she began to suspect he was lying to her. She said a man with brown hair tickled her daughter. As he got increasingly rough, she begged him to stop because he was suffocating her.
Frey then wrote she saw the face of an unknown woman with a bright smile and curly, brown hair who was laughing. Weeks later, Frey said, she realized the woman in her dream was Laci Peterson.
Frey spends much time outlining how she found a lawyer, how she worked with police and how she handled the media.
"I'm so proud of her," her attorney, Gloria Allred told Storm. "She was so brave. I don't think she gives herself enough credit for what she did.
"She was so important to this case because, by tape-recording Scott Peterson, as she said, the jury was able to see the real Scott Peterson, because he never took the witness stand.
"But they heard his voice on the tapes she made. They heard his lie after lie after lie. They heard him speaking from the vigil of his missing wife and talking to Amber and talking romantic talk and not being a grieving husband and seeming to have a cold heart toward Laci, and all of that is because Amber has the courage to do it and put herself at great risk of harm.
"On April 18, when he was arrested, they found the map downloaded that day from Mapquest in Scott Peterson's car, driving instructions to her work place with shovels and daggers and rope. And she didn't have any police protection at her home."
In her book, Frey also recounts meeting Laci Peterson's mother, Sharon Rocha, who called Frey shortly after her initial news conference. She went to the family's home and met Laci's sister, aunt and stepfather.
"It took a huge weight off my shoulders, just knowing that they knew that I wasn't the enemy," she wrote.
Frey spends dozens of pages rehashing recorded phone calls between her and Scott Peterson that were replayed during the trial. Phone calls that unveil him as a lier and made her wonder "just the unimaginable," she says. "If he's capable of carrying on with this whole facade, what really has happened to Laci?"
Frey stops short of saying she believes Peterson is guilty. But when the verdicts came on Nov. 12, she said she felt relief and that justice was served.
As she goes on with her life, the only question that she has left for Peterson is "just probably the same question everybody else has: Why?"