Former Bolingbrook, IL, police Sergeant Drew Peterson, 55, felt he was just plain unlucky as he kept losing his wives, somewhat like Henry VIII, but in Peterson's case wife #3 was murdered and left in a bath tub and wife #4, well, to hear Peterson tell it, she just up and disappeared. As for Peterson, well, he said he was the recipient of bad luck and, he forgets to mention, lots of insurance money. Fate, though, appears to have finally dealt a blow to Peterson as he has been indicted and arrested for the murder of wife #3, Kathleen Savio, whose March 2004 death had originally been ruled an accident; a mysterious drowning in an empty bath tub. At that time Peterson and Savio were involved in a contentious divorce and her death insured that Peterson would get their kids and all their money. There would be no alimony and no child support for Savio as her death, one haphazardly investigated with Peterson apparently being given a pass on her death/murder; insured Peterson got everything while she got only a tombstone.
It was only after the October 29, 2007 disappearance of wife #4, 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, a woman who was then still a teenager when the former police officer dated her while still married to Savio, that the many questions concerning the officer and wives # 3 and #4 began to make sense to investigators. Stacy's disappearance, in this case after she announced that she, like Savio before her, wanted a divorce from Peterson, brought the case of the many wives of Drew Peterson to national attention. Questions were raised concerning the death of Savio that finally caused the exhumation of her remains, allowing the injuries to her body to once again see the light of day, even four years after death, and forced medical examiners to change the cause of her death from accidental to homicidal. Someone, it now appeared, had entered the home formerly shared by Peterson and Savio, murdered the 40-year-old woman, and staged her death to make it appear accidental. Authorities now believe Savio was beaten and held under water by someone until she drown. A Will County, Illinois grand jury now apparently believes "the someone" to be the not so good ex-Sgt. Peterson. Dead men, and in this case dead women, do tell tales; as least their corpses can if only given the chance.
As far as Peterson is concerned, his arrest may impact his future job prospect, that as chief of security for the infamous Reno, Nevada brothel "The BunnyRanch," subject of the reality TV show "Cathouse." While HBO says such an arrangement would never happen, it would apparently be a job right up Peterson's alley. Talk about letting the fox into the hen houseâ¦ In the meantime he joked with arresting officers, suggesting "I should have returned those library books -- son of a @!$%#," said Peterson as he shook his head and gave that goofy smirk for his mug shot photo. Rumor is they need a good clown in state prison...
Family members of Savio and Stacy Peterson alike will be giving out "high fives" at the news of the arrest of Peterson, someone they and many others believe responsible for the demise of his last two wives. Peterson, for his part, has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the death or disappearance of his recent wives, again blaming either bad luck or an unknown boyfriend for the loss of the two women. "Who better than a police officer," most would say, would know that he "had a right to remain silent," and who better than a cop would know where to put a body (in the case of Stacy) so it couldn't be found, or to stage a body (Savio) so it looked like an accident. All this time with all the national media attention has seen Peterson maintain a smug, narcissistic attitude, this while offering himself up as first prize in a "win a date with Drew" contest on a local Chicago area radio station. While good girls often choose bad guys (http://clintvanzandt.newsvine.com/_news/2008/12/17/2224063-drew-petersons-getting-married-again-and-why-good-girls-choose-bad-guys), those who had recently considered a relationship with the now accused murderer may finally have cause to reconsider any such thought, to include the 24-year-old who said their relationship was just a publicity stunt. Peterson had once again made headlines earlier this year when his latest fiancÃ©e allegedly broke off their engagement and moved out of his home, with her apparently overwhelmed with a bout of good common sense and a new sense, hopefully, of self preservation.
Illinois State Police have worked hard through this recent investigation to save some part of their reputation, noting it was one of their own investigators that did what many believe to be a less than thorough investigation of the death of Savio, allowing an obvious murder to be ruled an accident. Now that agency has led the charge to find missing Stacy and to identify the murderer of Savio, the latter of whose family has placed their $300,000 wrongful death lawsuit against Peterson on hold while the murder indictment runs its course. Although some information suggested that Peterson could have murdered Stacy in their common home and, with the aid of his stepbrother, carried her body from the house in a plastic storage container, placed it in Peterson's SUV, and made it disappear for the ages. While such stories have never been proven, the stepbrother, Thomas Morphey, says it actually happened. And as far as Peterson, he continues to claim he was the ultimate victim in the loss of his last two wives, this while his second wife alleges that she, like wives #3 and #4, had also been abused by Peterson over the course of their 10-year marriage. The really true victims, in addition to his last two wives that is, are his children and those in the community who once placed their trust in him.
One question that is raised over and over in this case is how did the authorities miss the fact that Savio was murdered, allowing cause of death (murder) to both reflect on the status of her life, this while allowing her killer to go free. Remember that in the case of Will County, and many other jurisidictions in America, the local coroner is an elected official who many times does not have a medical or forensic background. This person then reports findings to a coroner's jury that returns a cause of death. In the case of Kathleen Savio, State Police and other investigators reported they had found no evidence of foul play, notwithstanding the many injuries to her body, to include the gash on the back of her head, and, therefore, believed she had accidently drowned. The jury simply blockstamped a bad report and a terrible police investigation, and a killer was allowed to walk the streets for five more years.
Peterson, now held on $20 million bond (it will take $2 property/cash to spring him from jail), was once so enamored with himself and the attention his antics generated that he suggested his life was "like Drew TV," will be on the receiving end of all the attention even he could possibly want, somewhat like O.J. in his own trial, but in this case justice may be a little closer than even Peterson will be comfortable with. An indictment is a long way from a conviction, and it will be up to the local district attorney to prove Peterson had the means, the motive and the opportunity to kill Savio, this hopefully with some evidentiary means to physically link him to the crime scene and to her murder. It may, after all, be that statements made by Savio of how he threatened her prior to her death, statements that fell on the deaf ears of authorities at the time, or something as simple as cell phone records could place only one man at the murder scene; the self proclaimed star of "Drew TV."
UPDATE: On 5/8/09, Drew Peterson was transferred from the local jail to the Will County Court House for an initial appearance on the outstanding murder charges against him. Appearing in an orange jail jumpsuit, he seemed to laugh and mug with the press covering his appearance, this in his usual rock star-like demeanor. He again provided the appearance of someone who still failed to understand the seriousness of the charges against him, almost mocking the community and the criminal justice system that pays him a retirement salary of about $6k per month.
Although Peterson's attorney has indicated that Drew "passed" two polygraph examinations, the truth is that he was found deceptive on some questions. Peterson says, of course, he was truthful in all regards. This issue once again brings to question the validity of a polygraph examination (see my article "Do Lie Detectors Lie? at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7992482/). Peterson, due to his work as an undercover narc (nothwithstanding his sociopathic personality), has probably learned to lie and cover both the emotional and physical indications normally found when most people lie.