Skip to main content

Will Drew Peterson Ever Stand Trial For Stacy Peterson's Murder?

In my last blog post, I wrote about the new TNT show “Cold Justice” that debuts next Tuesday night.  The show features former Texas prosecutor Kelly Siegler and Las Vegas CSI Yolanda McClary who travel across America’s small towns taking a second look at some unsolved cold homicide cases.  I’m excited about the show, mostly because I’m a fan of Siegler’s work as a prosecutor but also the premise of the show seems different than many of the present formatted crime shows.  I believe they will be looking for unsolved murders that happened in rural areas where law enforcement resources were sparse.  But wouldn’t it be cool if they could get to the bottom of some of the more well known unsolved homicide/missing person cases?  At the top of my personal wish list:  the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. 

Most people believe Stacy Peterson is not simply missing, she was killed.  The prime suspect in the case has always been her husband Drew Peterson.  Stacy Peterson met and married the much older Drew Peterson after meeting him while he was on duty as a Bolingbrook police officer.  He was married to Kathleen Savio at the time, but the two quickly began a romantic relationship and when she became pregnant with his child Peterson and Savio began bitter divorce proceedings.  Savio was Peterson’s third wife, Stacy would be wife #4.  After the divorce was final, Drew married Stacy – the only thing remaining aside from the custodial arrangements of Peterson and Savio’s children was the division of property and assets.  Savio didn’t live to make it to court for the decision on division of assets, she was found dead in her bathtub.  Originally ruled an accident by the coroner, many of Kathleen’s family and friends were convinced her abusive ex husband killed her.

A little more than 4 years after Stacy married Drew Peterson, she simply disappeared.  On October 29, 2007 she was reported missing but not by her husband, she was reported missing by her sister Cassandra Cales after Stacy failed to show up for plans they had and nobody could reach her.  The last time family or friends heard from Stacy was on October 17, 2007 when she left a voicemail message on her father’s answering machine – in the message, Stacy left a new cellphone number for her family.   Stacy’s family knew there had been trouble in the marriage for some time, with Drew becoming more and more controlling over Stacy – insisting on knowing where she was at all times and who she was with.  Stacy wanted out of the marriage, but she feared Drew – and for good reason.  Stacy had been holding on to a secret that more than likely got her killed.  She knew that her husband had left their home on the night of Kathleen Savio’s death (murder).  She woke up in the middle of the night and he was not in bed.  She later found him in the laundry room, dressed in dark colored clothing and putting women’s clothing as well as his own clothes in the washing machine.  This was of particular interest because Drew never did his own laundry.  Where did the women’s clothing come from, and why did Drew have it? What was he doing out in the middle of the night and why did he coach her on what to tell police about that night during routine questioning after Kathleen’s death?  We know the answer to those questions now.  It took Stacy’s disappearance for law enforcement to take a second look at the suspicious death of Kathleen Savio.

Drew Peterson was eventually arrested for the murder of Kathleen Savio.  After her body was exhumed, a second autopsy proved crucial in showing her death was not an accidental drowning.  Drew Peterson was tried and convicted of killing Kathleen Savio in 2012 after a trial that was as much of a media circus as the Jodi Arias and Casey Anthony trials – although Peterson’s trial did not have cameras in the courtroom, it was still widely covered and discussed nightly on a national level.  Peterson was convicted in part due to a controversial new law enacted for this case.  Dubbed “Drew’s Law”, state prosecutors were able to use statements Stacy Peterson made to her pastor Neil Schori and divorce attorney Harry Smith at trial.  Stacy went to the pastor and told him she believed she helped her husband Drew get away with murdering his ex wife Kathleen Savio. She feared the knowledge put her in danger, and she was right.  Peterson’s defense team made what turned out to be a crucial mistake at trial by calling attorney Harry Smith to the stand as a witness.  The prosecution pounced on the opportunity and elicited some very damaging testimony from Smith regarding conversations he had with Stacy Peterson before her disappearance.  Smith told jurors that Stacy Peterson asked him if she could use her knowledge of Drew’s involvement in Kathleen’s death/murder as leverage against him in divorce proceedings.  Can you say M-O-T-I-V-E???

There are a few things Drew Peterson would not stand for from the women in his life.  He WAS married four times, almost five times.  Drew sought to control his women.  Whether it be what they wore, how much makeup they applied, who they talked to on the phone, who they e-mailed and who they saw.  He had to know everything at all times.  Was the much older Drew not the confident, self assured police officer he portrayed himself to be?  Was he really an insecure, middle aged man who feared the much younger and attractive Stacy would leave him and take half of his assets?  Drew Peterson’s ego could not stand for any woman leaving him – and he made it known to more than one person that he wouldn’t give half of his assets to any woman.  That was HIS money.  He didn’t believe in community property, and there’s no way he was going to share his hard earned pension and other assets with a young attractive woman who could have easily started a new life with someone more age-appropriate and less controlling.  I think that thought just ate at him.  He avoided the division of property with wife #3 by killing her and making it appear to be an accident. He bragged to Kathleen AND Stacy that he had the knowledge to kill them and make it look like an accident, and he nearly got away with it with Kathleen.  His ego unchecked, he has attempted to dispose of Stacy without having to part with his assets and keeping his ego in tact.

Drew Peterson is currently serving his 38 year sentence at the Menard Correctional Center in Illinois.  He will be 93 years old at the earliest possible release date, barring any successful appeals he will more than likely never see the light of day again.  Does that mean this man should go unpunished or untried for the murder of Stacy Peterson?  Will States Attorney James Glasgow pursue new charges against Drew Peterson in connection with his missing and presumed dead 4th wife Stacy?  I think if there is any chance to nail him, they will.  Peterson isn’t going anywhere anytime in the near future.  The problem is, much of what they know or suspect Peterson did is circumstantial and with Stacy’s body never having been recovered, it’s notoriously difficult to prosecute a no-body homicide.  Thankfully there is no statute of limitations on murder, however as time ticks away, witnesses forget details or move away and in some cases they die.  Time is of essence if they hope to try Peterson for the murder of Stacy.  What do police know, and how much of what they know have they shared with the public?  I don’t know very much in the way of details, but it seems likely that the best evidence against Drew comes in the form of statements made by his stepbrother Thomas Morphey.  Morphey told police he helped Drew carry a large and heavy 55 gallon blue drum/container from his bedroom to Peterson’s SVU right after Stacy’s disappearance.  He allegedly has said the container was warm, and it was large enough to hold Stacy’s body.  Distraught after the revelation that Stacy was missing, Morphey attempted to kill himself when he realized that he may have inadvertently helped dispose of Stacy’s body.  Morphey’s statements were downplayed by Peterson’s defense attorneys, claiming his drug and alcohol problems make him an unreliable witness who should not be believed.  Peterson’s longtime friend Rick Mims corroborated the blue container story in that he told police he was with Drew when he purchased 3 such drums from a cable company the two had worked for part time back in 2003. 

That blue container has never been recovered.  I remember years ago, a news story came on where the police were called to a nearby lake or river after people fishing reported a large blue container floating in the water.  They retrieved the container, but it did not contain Stacy’s body.  The million dollar question is what did Drew do with the container that may have concealed Stacy’s body?  Did he bury it? Did he throw it in some body of water?  Seems to me that he must have buried it or disposed of it in a body of water large enough to where it would never be found.  Drew had a small airplane.  Could he have loaded the barrel in the plane and flown over water and tossed it over?  Can Drew be prosecuted without Stacy’s body being found?  I certainly hope so.  I hate to think that people are rewarded for their skill at concealing a body.  But with a purely circumstantial case such as this, and double jeopardy in play, the police are likely taking their time with this case.  I don’t believe Stacy’s case has been forgotten.  I hope to someday see Stacy’s killer standing trial for her murder.


Drew Peterson is another high profile defendant who courted the media, and then turned around and complained about the pre-trial publicity harming his case.  Drew is probably the only person I can think of who could be compared to Jodi Arias in their hunger for media attention before, during and after their trial.  While Stacy was missing, Drew Peterson appeared on Larry King Live and publicly proclaimed his innocence and told viewers Stacy had up and left him for another man, taking only her bikini with her. How ridiculous of a notion is that?  Stacy would never have left her children behind, and especially not with Drew. Drew often toyed with the numerous reporters who camped out in his front yard.  He even pitched the idea of a contest “Win a Date With Drew” to the media.  While he was being held in jail awaiting trial, he called radio personality Mancow Muller from jail and suggested a new contest – “Win a Conjugal Visit With Drew”.  How disgusting is this man?  Peterson ALMOST snared another wife after Stacy’s disappearance.  In December of 2008, he announced his engagement to 23 year old Christina Raines in a television interview.  Raines at the time believed in Drew’s innocence, but that would change months later when she called off the engagement and moved out of the home he used to share with Stacy in January 2009.  Thankfully, Raines family and friends convinced her that she was making a MONUMENTAL and dangerous mistake in trusting Drew Peterson – a man who was married four times, of which one wife died under suspicious circumstances and the other was “missing”.  Game over Drew.  I have the feeling we have not heard or seen the last of Drew Peterson.  He may have disappeared from the spotlight at the insistence of his new attorney(s), but I don’t think his personality will ever let him completely fade into the background.  I truly hope to see justice for Stacy Peterson during my lifetime. Her family deserves to know where she is and what happened to her. That’s the only card Drew has left to play.

Comments

  1. This was the first trial I followed on Twitter and the reason I have become a 'trial junkie!' I love this blog! Thank you for writing what so many of us trial followers think and feel!

    I think about Stacey Peterson all the time. And it makes me so angry that Drew Peterson knows where Stacey is. As if he 'got one over the judicial system.' But all that lowlife scum has accomplished is taking two mothers away from their children (HIS children!), and taking two daughters and sisters away from the family that loved them.

    I hope and pray that the search for Stacey doesn't end until her body is found. And I hope and oray that Drew Peterson rots in hell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous (9/3 @ 9:26)
      Thank you so much for your comments. I think I became a trial junkie during the Scott Peterson trial, but the OJ Simpson trial was the first trial I had ever watched on TV. Another sad case of somebody getting away with murder. I feel so bad for Stacy's family, friends and children. Not having a final resting place where her family can visit and take comfort is horrible. Drew Peterson will likely take the secret to his grave. This sickens me! I hope they prosecute him, a "no body" homicide is not impossible in this day and age! I share your thoughts, hoping that Stacy's remains will be found for her family's sake. What a despicable man he is! Thankfully that 23 year old woman he was with after Stacy backed out of their engagement before it was too late. Thank you again for writing!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting!

Most popular posts

Dr. Janeen DeMarte - A Look At The Prosecution's Expert Witness

Dr. Janeen DeMarte is expected to take the stand in the Jodi Arias murder trial as a key witness for the prosecution. Think of DeMarte as the State's response to Dr. Richard Samuels and potentially Alyce LaViolette. It's unclear when DeMarte will testify, but with Alyce LaViolette's testimony wrapping up, I thought it would be helpful to take a look at who the State's expert witness is.




Dr. Janeen DeMarte is a licensed clinical psychologist who has a private practice in the Phoenix area. She holds a master's degree and PhD in clinical psychology. with a concentration on forensics - and graduated from Michigan State University and fulfilled her doctoral residency at Arizona State Hospital.  Her clinical training was done at outpatient clinics, correctional facilities and inpatient unit settings. She has served as the Clinical Director of a large outpatient behavior health clinic in Phoenix and "oversaw the practice of numerous multidisciplinary treatment provide…

Is Alyce LaViolette Cashing In On Murder Trial?

As the defense finishes questioning their star witness, domestic abuse expert Alyce LaViolette, many are disillusioned by her choice to take the stand to portray murder defendant Jodi Arias as a battered and abused woman.  Maybe I'm the one who's crazy, but wasn't Travis Alexander the one who had the life stabbed, slashed and shot out of him at the hands of Jodi Arias? Who battered whom here?  Are Travis Alexander's not-so-kind text messages to Jodi Arias PROOF that he was a womanizing batterer and bully who held all the power in the relationship between Arias and Alexander?

Alyce LaViolette seems to think so. Does she have any idea the feelings of outrage she is bringing out in the hearts and minds of the real victims of domestic abuse all over the country? Before LaViolette began testifying, I kept asking myself "why would a woman who is so well respected in her field choose THIS case, defend THIS woman?"  Could it be the money? I suppose $250-$300 an hour c…

Was Trip to Cancun Catalyst to Murder? Jodi Arias Murder Trial

Marie "Mimi" Hall was the first prosecution witness to take the stand in the Jodi Arias Murder trial. She took the stand on January 3, 2013. Hall told jurors that she met Travis Alexander through the Mormon Church. Although they initially went on a date, it was quickly recognized that they were a great match as friends, and they remained such good friends that Alexander invited Hall to accompany him on a work retreat to Cancun, Mexico. The trip was to begin on June 10, 2008. Travis wouldn't live to see that day. Friends found him murdered in his home in Mesa, AZ on June 9, 2008. Coincidence, or catalyst? Travis's close friends have told investigators that Arias had been engaging in stalker-like behavior in the months preceding the murder. Twice, Alexander had his tires slashed after going out with other women. He told close friends his Facebook account had been hacked into. Arias even reportedly would use the doggie door to gain entry to Alexander's home. …

A Look At Alyce LaViolette And More Strange Video Footage of Arias Arrest

Yesterday, as Dr. Richard Samuels finished up his testimony the Jodi Arias defense team called their next expert witness to the stand, Alyce LaViolette. LaViolette is a very legitimate expert on the subject of domestic violence, having been one of the early leaders back in the 1970's when this was not a topic that was spoke of often. Jennifer Willmott had LaViolette introduce herself and her educational background, and list her many accomplishments helping battered women and even helping the men who battered them, hoping to return these women to a safer environment. She is likable, and she is a legitimate voice on this topic. The prosecution should not expect this witness to be as sloppy in the trial casework and reporting as Dr. Samuels was. 

While it's unknown exactly how far out on a limb LaViolette will go for Jodi Arias, she is expected to testify about some of the characteristics of battered women, why they return to their abusers - and what some of characteristics are of…

"Cold Justice" Heats Up Unsolved Murder Cases

This is my third blog post on TNT's new reality show, "Cold Justice".  Cold Justice pairs former Texas prosecutor Kelly Siegler with former Las Vegas CSI Yolanda McClary, who travel to small rural towns across America to look at unsolved murder cases.  Their first episode which aired Tuesday has already delivered results - the arrest of Ronnie Hendricks (see yesterdays post for details) for the murder of Pam Shelley. TNT lists an episode guide online, and 
I couldn't resist taking a peek and looking for details on those cases.  I was astonished at what they have accomplished in their first season.  This is more than just another crime drama, these ladies are committed and determined to bringing justice to those who may have escaped it previously in small towns that may lack the resources to bring a suspect to trial.

You can see the episode guide on their website. They give a brief description of the victims and circumstances of their deaths. Here is a list of this seas…