Yesterday, Susan Murphy Milano debuted her new blogttalk radio show. Rescueapet and I were invited to ask some questions about the Drew Peterson cases of her guest, Joe Hosey as was Delilah from Peace4theMissing. We tried to ask the questions that people posted here, so I hope you heard yours answered.
Not everyone was able to hear the show or to download the MP3, and have asked us for a synopsis, and I started to write one but I just sort of ended up transcribing the Q & A portion of the show plus a little more.
Here you go:
Intro by Susan MM: Lies women tell themselves as they endure daily abuse, the secrets they hold close to their hearts for fear their true identity as battered women will be revealed and the life they lead until one day we all read about them with our morning coffee, suddenly vanished without a trace, their lifeless bodies discovered.
Q: What is the status of the Grand Jury?
JOE: After the eighteen-month term is over they’re going to have to have to let them go, by law. They’d have to empanel a whole new Grand Jury and bring them up to speed and I think that would take an awful lot of time after eighteen months of testimony to bring an entirely new Grand Jury up to speed. I would hope that, you know you hear from State’s Attorney’s office that there’s going to be an imminent resolution. He didn’t say ‘imminent’, he said pending resolution. I would hope that’s coming soon but I hope it’s before this Grand Jury term expires.
Q: So it’s still going on?
JOE: Yes, I believe until the first week of May. If my memory serves me, I believe Drew was at the first session of the Grand Jury and that was the first Wednesday after Stacy was reported missing or the second Wednesday. That would have been the first week in November and that would make eighteen weeks the first week in May.
Q: When Joe was last on your radio show he mentioned that he was surprised that Drew hasn’t been arrested yet and it seems like Joe does know some things that we don’t. Why is Joe wondering why Drew has not been arrested?
SUSAN: What happens is you can’t dilute the importance of a case. Sometimes you can allude to things, you want to say things. You want to keep the integrity of the case. You want to keep the integrity of you as a journalist. Am I wrong Joe?
JOE: No, you’re absolutely right. I’m doing the best I can to get the things that I know in the paper. Maybe if I did a better job they’d be in there by now, but I’m doing the best I can. Also, things that I hear and I don’t know if they’re true I’m still working on trying to find out if some of the things that I’m told, if I can prove them. I can’t just repeat things that I hear.
SUSAN: Joe is part of a list of very credible reporters who will only report the facts because if he doesn’t it’s really going to hurt because he’ll be brought in for questioning himself. He could be subpoenaed to the Grand Jury for articles he’s written or things that he has said, and that’s why everybody has been so careful.
Q: How do you deal with criticism for covering the smaller details of a case (like Drew’s fiancée moving in or out) when it’s been going on as long as this one has?
JOE: The romance of Chrissy Raines story – it was in People Magazine. I thought it was a pretty soft sell story that People did on Drew and Chrissy. But I’ve been questioning the validity of these stories like, ‘why should I care about this’ but in the pantheon of Drew Peterson stories I kind of think that these ones are important if only you look at the track record. The third wife was a victim of a homicide, the fourth wife’s missing and presumed murdered.
Now you might have a potential fifth wife – no matter who did this to these two women – you have a fifth wife following this pattern. If somebody was sitting in the middle of the street pouring gasoline on themselves that would be a valid story. If a woman follows in the path of these other two women who apparently were victims of foul play, at least according to the police, I would think that’s valid. It’s more than just a silly, wacky ‘Drew is getting engaged’ story. A woman’s life may be at risk.
SUSAN: She’s got these two children she’s bringing into this relationship. What planet did she fall from to come and move into this house because you see all this stuff and it’s no different from women who write prisoners in jail…they want this connection, they want this power…but there’s no power. If you see somebody who’s this violent …I go back to the only kind of proof we have are those pictures of Kathleen, are the orders of protection are what she did to get out. That should say everything right there –someone who’s clever and cunning and manipulative. The legal system failed Kathleen and in turn it failed Stacy. Damn that State’s Attorney, Tomczak who didn’t do his job.
Q: Where is Drew’s support group? Why does no one come forward on his behalf?
JOE: I don’t know if he ever had a large support group. You look at the two people he entrusted with his children when he went to either coast to do a talk show, either California or New York; Len Wawczak and Paula Stark who turned out to be wiretapping him and also weren’t really close friend beforehand. After he found at they were wiretapping him he was the first to say, ‘I didn’t really know them that well, I wasn’t really good friends with them”, but you left your children with them for the weekend, I mean it wasn’t a two-hour babysitter, the girl down the street you might not really know that well but you trust her dad. He’d leave his woman with this man and woman over the weekend. So, do you know them well or do you not know them well? Are you a bad dad or did you really think these were your best friends?
I don’t think he really has friends per se. Steve Carcerano did not have that much of a relationship with Drew-–now that’s one of the few people he associates with it seems. I don’t know who is really friends with Drew Peterson except maybe his attorney.
Q: What’s the status of the reopening of Kathleen Savio’s estate?
SUSAN: He’s filed with the Supreme Court. Everyone says this isn’t going to go through, that it’s just paper they’re throwing up at the walls to see what sticks. They have a very good lawyer out of New York who specializes in this so I’m confident that he’ll prevail.
Q: What do you think Stacy and Kathleen could have done differently to maybe be alive today?
JOE: if the Savio case was handled properly at least Stacy would be alive I would think. That wasn’t even a lot of research. In 2004 I walked out of the inquest shocked that I was watching a State police detective sit up there and say that there were no signs of foul play and I don’t pretend to be an expert. I’m just a reporter. But, when a couple’s in the midst of a contentious divorce and he’s about to lose a great deal of his assets, and on the weekend he has his children she just happens to drown in a bathtub when she’s a healthy forty-year old woman, I got to think there are signs of foul play. I sat up there and watched a state police agent sit up there and say there were none. It was just handled improperly from the beginning.
I don’t know if that’s part of the problem now. I think the State’s Attorney’s office would like to pursue the Kathleen Savio case. I think the State Police don’t. I think they are much more interested in pursuing Stacy’s case because it’s embarrassing. For what happened in 2004, they’ve really never been called to the carpet. In the early days of this case everyone was jumping on the coroner and jumping on Pat O’Neil, wrongly so. I think maybe he could have done something or maybe not. He wasn’t the one who dropped the ball. He’s like almost a judge at this proceeding. He can’t tell the jury how to rule. I don’t think you can blame the jury when they’re told directly by the State Police that there’s no indication of foul play. I don’t know if they were supposed to come back and say it was a homicide after being told by the investigator that it was not. No one’s ever called the State Police out on this.
SUSAN: Also what didn’t come out at the time was how the divorce proceedings took place because technically, the issue of the financial matters had been reserved.
JOE: Right, and I did write about that at the time. I did raise that issue.
SUSAN: But they didn’t. That was not a consideration and it should have been because that’s a huge red flag that he had had his lawyer set aside these things and wasn’t it interesting that technically, even though they had just divorced, the will and other things played a part in this?
JOE: The only time that was brought up during the inquest was when Kathleen’s sister called out from the audience about it. I don’t even know if the detective from the State Police was aware of it. I think he knew they were divorcing or divorced. He didn’t seem sure of anything and Kathleen’s sister called out from the audience and told these horror stories. I don’t know how much credence the jury puts in a bereaved family member, an obviously stressed family member who just lost a relative or the official from the State Police who is supposed to be of some stature, is supposed to be the authority.
SUSAN: Drew’s other son, Eric. Where has he been through all this? I was told that after Kathleen died that he left. That he allegedly said something to his father, ‘I suspect you may have had something to do with this. I’ll never forgive you for this. I’m not returning. I’m not going to talk to you again.’ So you’ve not seen much of a connection with he and his father?
JOE: No, he’s not around. You don’t hear from him at all.
Q: have you ever interviewed him?
JOE: No. I’ve never met him. I believe he’s a waiter. I think they’re estranged. I’ve heard different stories. I don’t really feel comfortable repeating any of them because I don’t know whether they are true of not, without speaking to Eric.
Q. Do domestic calls for police officers get tracked in an internal system for review?
JOE: I don’t know if department policies vary from municipality to municipality but where I live I’m fairly certain that they do. I talked to McGrury about this and I don’t know if they did at the time in Bolingbrook but he seemed kind of appalled at the way the whole domestic situation was handled with Drew Peterson and Kathleen Savio. No matter what the truth was, who was at fault, whose allegations were borne out, he said the first time I talked to him. The second time it’s an internal affairs investigation and I’m going off the top of my head and it was a conversation we had more than a year ago that I do have notes and recording of but, I can tell you unequivocally, that he did not agree with the way the department handled Drew and Kathleen’s domestic situation. He was not the chief then either, I should mention.
Susan: Joe, how do you think the boys are faring through all this?
JOE: Well, one of them was out with Drew cutting ribbons off trees in the middle of the night, dressed in black. That’s disturbing in itself. I don’t know how good the relationship was with Kathleen’s children and Stacy. That’s who supposedly was out with Drew dressed in black cutting down ribbons put up in honor of his mother’s memory and in his adopted mother’s memory. That can’t be a good sign. It doesn’t sound healthy to me.
SUSAN R: Why isn’t the state of Illinois looking into that incident of abuse? Isn’t that abuse when you take a child out in the middle of the night for that purpose?
JOE: The tragedy of what Stacy went through and what Kathleen went through is so far in the past now, and I don’t forget it and a lot of people don’t forget it but the shock of that’s worn off and I think people are just dumbfounded that nothing’s been done. The system broke down and it’s still broke down. I think they’re at cross-purposes. I think the State Police would like one woman’s case to be focused on and the State’s Attorney would like another woman’s case to be focused on.
SUSAN: I think in these cases there needs to be a special prosecutor.
Finally Susan quoted from Joe’s acknowledgements from “Fatal Vows”
“… I must acknowledge Stacy Peterson and Kathleen Savio. Although you are not here to tell your stories, I hope I have you done justice.”