What gag order? Drew Peterson gives an interview to the press and invites you to his pity party

Once again Drew Peterson is sending out invitations to his pity party via the Chicago Sun-Times gossip columnist, Michael Sneed.

For three years Peterson has been getting around Judge Stephen White’s ruling that the judge must be notified before conducting any interviews from jail by penning self-pitying and finger-pointing letters to the media. Now, with his trial less than two months away, Peterson added a gossip columnist to his visitor’s list and granted an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed. Sneed is rumored to be a pal of Peterson’s lawyer, Joel Brodsky, and has published many Peterson missives in her column over the last few years. Is gossip exempt from the judge’s gag order?

…anyone associated with the case, including Peterson, his defense lawyers and prosecutors, must notify the judge before conducting any media interviews.

We’ll leave it to the State’s Attorney to decide whether this latest “Poor Drew” public appeal breaches the ruling. At Justice Cafe we’ll just ask exactly who it is that Drew Peterson thinks has called him “sinister”? He says he is tired of being labelled as such but danged if we can find a single instance of anyone labeling the man with that particular adjective.

This complaint from Peterson is nothing new. He’s been complaining that the media loves to paint him in a sinister light because “sinister sells” since well before his arrest and long before a fictionalized biopic called “Untouchable” aired on the Lifetime channel. Drew Peterson’s original complaints about his sinister coverage were aimed at news reports that simply laid out the facts of the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, and the mysterious death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

A search of this very web site turns up seven pages of comments in which either Drew Peterson or his defense have complained about his “sinister” portrayal and not one instance of any person or media entity referring to him as sinister. The closest I could find was this use of the word from a Chicago Tribune story from 2008. It asks only if something sinister could have happened to Kathleen Savio:

The investigators and experts re-examining her death as a possible murder are now asking how police could have been so quick to overlook signs that something sinister may have happened to the third wife of Drew Peterson, then a sergeant for the Bolingbrook Police Department.

We’re baffled as to why, when his trial is just about to start, Peterson is again attempting to plead his case to the public. Any good defense lawyer will tell you that the best thing you can do when charged with a crime is to shut your mouth, but then maybe that’s the problem. Peterson’s main defense attorney, Joel Brodsky, has continually trotted out his client like a circus act, counter to common wisdom.

In this latest case, we couldn’t help but notice that Peterson claims that the woman he is charged with murdering was once acquitted of a battery charge because her boys, Tom and Kris, lied for her under questioning. These are the same two boys who were trotted out to support their dad on TV in the face of a civil suit. These are the same two boys who will undoubtedly be called upon in the upcoming trial to supply an alibi for their dad on the night their mom was killed. Did Drew really mean to tell the public that they will lie to protect a parent?

That doesn’t seem too smart.

Peterson is expected back in court Wednesday morning for motions and a hearing in the afternoon.

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27 thoughts on “What gag order? Drew Peterson gives an interview to the press and invites you to his pity party

  1. All I’m wondering now is when Sneed is going to get on Chris Vaughn’s visitor list. He’s been in jail for three years now too. Doesn’t he have a sad story to tell?

  2. Somehow, Facs, I don’t think Attorney Leonard would go for that plan. He’s not into self-promotion through his client, although I still fail to see who wins in this Sun Times/Sneed fiasco with Peterson.

  3. Illinois State Crime Commission names James W. Glasgow
    State’s Attorney of the Year for 2012

    JOLIET — Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow has been named State’s Attorney of the Year by the Illinois State Crime Commission and will be honored at the organization’s 16th Annual “A Salute to Those Who Make a Difference” Awards Dinner at 6:30 p.m. June 20 at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace.

    It is the third time in his career as Will County’s top prosecutor that State’s Attorney Glasgow has received this prestigious honor from the Illinois State Crime Commission, the first time being in 1996.

    “I am profoundly honored to be recognized by the Illinois State Crime Commission for the work my office has performed on behalf of the citizens of Will County,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “I have a dedicated team of prosecutors, legal secretaries and supporting administrators, all of whom work tirelessly to prosecute criminals, protect our residents and serve justice.”

    The State’s Attorney continued: “In addition to prosecuting criminals, it’s important that we think outside the box to develop programs and engage in activities that make our community the best place possible to work and raise our families. I consider it the mission of our office to reach out to senior citizens, veterans, educators, parents, students and the business community on the critical issues that affect them.”…

  4. Just when you thought you had seen and read it all. Good job to the lawyers representing him, who are on board with this insanity.

    Drew Peterson: ‘There are people out there who believe in me’

    The Peterson file . . .

    So who is Drew Peterson?

    ◆ Is he the self-described “wise-ass” ex-cop who is as harmless as his next bad joke?

    ◆ Is he a caring father despite his habit of exiting each of his four marriages in order to move on to the next one?

    ◆ Is he a wife murderer; a charmer who married four times in search of “romantic” love — only to have one disappear and one die mysteriously in a bathtub?

    In this second part of an exclusive Sneed interview, Peterson — who is awaiting trial next month for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio — seemed to be an enigma encased in a six-pack of Coors Light with a taste of chili dog. His comments are easy to swallow but hard to digest.

    Consider:

    ◆ Peterson, who shows no remorse for any of the mess caused by his marital decisions, wants “to apologize to all those people who have written to me I’ve not been able to answer. … I don’t think I am getting all my mail.”

    Angry over being labeled “sinister,” Peterson smirks when he describes his former wife Kathleen Savio’s “hellcat” temper — yet softens when he talks about wanting to teach Lacy, his young daughter, how to fish.

    And just when you thought you had a handle on what might be Peterson’s soft side, you get pushed off track by an unexpected answer; a louche comment; a startling response.

    Example:

    ◆ Question: “What is your favorite magazine.”

    ◆ Answer: “Cosmopolitan” (A women’s fluff mag)

    ◆ Question: Really?

    ◆ Answer: “Yeah.”

    ◆ Question: “How would you like to be described?”

    ◆ Answer: “In a swimsuit on the beach.”

    Then there’s Peterson’s response to the Lifetime TV movie, “Drew Peterson: Untouchable,” starring actress Kaley Cuoco as his missing wife, Stacy, which paints a grisly Peterson picture.

    ◆ Quoth Peterson: “Not seeing Kaley Cuoco in a bikini was a waste of time.”

    What?

    Although Peterson claims to be angry with FOX newsman Geraldo Rivera, whom he feels entered his house “pretending to be a friend and wanting to help, but didn’t,” what he really is upset about is how he is being treated as a veteran: a former U.S. Army member of the Military Police.

    “Why would President Obama endorse limiting hearsay evidence in trials against terrorists housed at Guantanamo — and yet they are going to permit hearsay evidence at my trial!”

    This time Peterson is not smiling or cracking a joke; this is what really gets him animated: hearsay evidence — reportedly 14 pieces of hearsay testimony that may be used against Peterson during the trial of his life.

    How much of it will have to do with the disappearance of Stacy? How much from close friends of Savio?

    Peterson claims the majority of his mail comes from women “who tell me to hang tough. That there are people out there who believe in me.”

    The story of Drew Peterson is now pretty clear; the subject always seems to be about women.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/sneed/12980616-452/drew-peterson-there-are-people-out-there-who-believe-in-me.html

  5. …I don’t know…

    Is this supposed to make him appear as a broken, downhearted man, who only wants one thing, and that’s to be reunited with his children? Are his lawyers trying to get him even more disliked in the press? Seems so.

    Wow, is this ever crazy. His main concern, other than what he claims to be are his children, is women. Women who are not his wives.

  6. None of it makes much sense to me either. I’m honestly at a loss as to what this is trying to accomplish. Really. I need the key code to unlock this mystery, because I’m just not getting what reaction or impact this is supposed to have.

  7. The story of Drew Peterson is now pretty clear; the subject always seems to be about women.

    The subject of his story is not women. The subject is Drew. Drew getting what he wants. Drew using people for his own means. Drew controlling the people in his life. Drew likes women, but even more he likes controlling people to get what he wants from them and then moving on. The problems arise when they object to him taking everything from the relationship.

    It’s unfortunate that some people find his a-holeishness attractive. But hey, I just came across a fan tribute to Luka Magnotta, the Canadian who murdered a man, had sex with the corpse, ate some flesh and then sent hands and feet to political figures.

    If that lunatic has fans, why shouldn’t Drew Peterson?

  8. Same goes for Scott Peterson. There’s women who write to him, just as Drew Peterson claims they do him, and some who’d marry Scott Peterson in a heartbeat. The same man that killed his beautiful, pregnant wife, chopped her up, and threw her and their unborn child in the water. All the while he was romancing a girlfriend.

    What’s there to say about that or, in this case, Drew Peterson claiming he has mostly women writing him with their hang tough support. Now that we all know that, is that going to help him win an acquittal, or is there some other perfectly good reason all of this fluff is appearing in the Sun Times for two days?

  9. I was just thinking about the questioning of Tom Peterson that his father so objected to.

    If Tom has elected to spend his summer in Pennsylvania rather than return home, how else is he going to be interviewed? I think it’s called an out-of-state deposition and the witness can be compelled by one party filing a motion asking for the court to order a subpoena. Or maybe it’s just a plain old police interview. In either case, why shouldn’t they talk to Tom?

    I’m curious to know if that is what happened and what happens next. If they want Tom to take the stand as a witness then I guess they then serve him with a subpoena to appear?

  10. Oh hell. Tom Peterson was, what, 10 years old at the time his mother died? This is Tom Peterson’s quote from appearing on national tv:

    …”Accidents happen all the time” and “I highly do not believe that my dad had murdered my mom. Because, first off, he wasn’t there, he was with us during that period of time. I don’t know what else to say. I don’t believe it.”

    What else is a son to think if he’s defending his father? Yeah, my dad murdered her?

    He was “with us during that period of time.” So, the child did not sleep, he was at his father’s side 24/7? I “highly do not believe” that he and his brother, Kris, had a reason to be attached to their father’s hips if merely staying with him for a routine visitation. After all, their mother was just a few homes away, right?

    The Peterson boys were never questioned contemporaneously with the death of their mother. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to assume that they are going to be questioned extensively now as to what knowledge they had or continue to have about that fateful weekend if they are going to be alibi witnesses. Isn’t the prosecution entitled to have a deposition of what an opposing witness is going to say, as would the defense with the prosecution witnesses?

    In the end, what a terrible situation for two young men to be in. Defending their father against murdering their mother. No one would want to change places with them!!!

  11. Drew loves to prattle in the press about his concerns for his children, but his actions are a different story. Does he think we’ve all forgotten that for two years he was leaving the littlest ones under the care of the two teens while he went out to bars and schemed for reality TV show gigs with his lawyer?

    Even Tom stated publicly that Drew isn’t exactly father-of-the-year material.

    “I wouldn’t say role model, with the things he’s been involved with, but he’s definitely a large … presence,” Peterson said….

    “…Him going away was very disappointing, but I feel like if he came back I’d have to have a stern talk with him about the things that he’s doing because he’s really kind of lost in his ego, I want to say. I’m not going to lie,” Peterson said. “‘Dad, you do not need to talk to these people right now. You need to stay home and take care of your family.’“

    Drew wants to teach little Lacy to fish? Where would that be — at Lake Tahoe when he’s not busy running security at the Moonlight Bunny Whorehouse in Reno?

  12. Anyway, as far as Tom is concerned he’s an adult now. He’s sent letters of intent regarding the civil suit and he’s living independently on the half million that his mother (that hellcat ;)) made sure he and his brother would receive if and when Drew ever succeeded in murdering her.

    There’s no reason on earth why he shouldn’t be questioned just like any other witness.

    The only reason Drew has his undies in a bundle about Tom’s questioning is because he wasn’t able to sit next to him and coach him about what to say, like he did with Stacy.

  13. Jury Selection For Peterson Trial Could Be Held At Wilmington Union Hall
    June 5, 2012 4:43 PM

    CHICAGO (CBS) – The Drew Peterson murder trial – one of the biggest trials ever to take place in Will County – might not begin at the courthouse in Joliet.

    Drew Peterson mugged for the cameras while being led into the Will County Courthouse in 2009, after his arrest for allegedly killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

    It’s an image sources said we won’t see when his trial begins this summer. For the most part, he will be kept out of sight of the public, and the media.

    Jury consultant Allan Tuerkheimer said it’s important so “jurors have the evidence, and they have the witnesses in the case, and they’re not really focused on just him.”

    When Peterson’s murder trial does begin after years of delay, a union hall in Wilmington will become a temporary hall of justice. If plans now under consideration are approved, it could become the place where hundreds of potential jurors go to be questioned.

    Questioning potential jurors in a remote site has never been done before in Will County.

    Peterson defense attorney Steve Greenberg said he doesn’t think now is a good time to start.

    “This case should be handled like every other case. I think the jurors should be questioned like jurors are in every other case,” Greenberg said.

    But Tuerkheimer said, in what’s expected to be the most high-profile case in the history of Will County, it might make sense.

    “The judge just wants the jurors far-removed from the center of everything. He wants the jurors to know that ‘Hey, this is really serious. You’re going to be away from it all,’” Tuerkheimer said.

    In order for the union hall to be used for jury selection, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts must first sign off on the plan. Then the chief judge in Will County would have to declare the building a temporary court facility, before the questioning of potential jurors could legally take place.

    “I think that it should be done in the courthouse, where jurors are normally questioned,” Greenberg said.

    Defense team members believe the jury might be sequestered during what’s expected to be a four- to six-week trial. They don’t want that, because they fear the jurors will blame Peterson for keeping them away from their families.

    Defense attorney Joe Lopez said he is hearing rumblings that court officials might attempt to select an anonymous jury, whose names would be withheld from the media, as well as the prosecution and defense teams.

    He said that appears to be “another special Drew rule.” He went on to say that he believes it might be unconstitutional.

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/06/05/jury-selection-for-peterson-trial-could-be-held-at-wilmington-union-hall/

  14. “This case should be handled like every other case. I think the jurors should be questioned like jurors are in every other case,” Greenberg said.

    Wait. Didn’t the defense file a motion to get a change of venue at one point? back in 2010 they really seemed to think that this case was special and should be treated differently.

  15. What are anonymous juries?

    Anonymous juries are those in which the court withholds the names, addresses, and other identifying information about jurors and their families from the parties, their counsel, the public, and the media.

    Many courts have used anonymous juries for cases in which disclosure of the jurors’ identities places them at risk of physical harm or intimidation. However, this selective use of anonymous juries has a potential prejudicial effect, especially in criminal trials, insofar that jurors may perceive the defendant to be an unusually dangerous individual. Routine use of anonymous juries, in contrast, does not carry this stigma.

    When used on a routine basis, this technique relieves jurors’ suspicions that criminal defendants are particularly dangerous, thus eliminating any potential prejudice that might otherwise exist.

    *shrug*

    http://www.ncsconline.org/Juries/InnAnonymousFAQ.htm

  16. So now we know that one motion tomorrow will be from the defense asking for a completely new set of jurors (releasing the 2010 picks). That actually makes sense to me.

  17. And yeah, I realize that it’s the defense’s job to complain about everything at this point because they are laying the foundation for appeals in case their client is convicted. I get that.

    But still, the fact that sequestered juries are annoyed and eager to get home can also work in favor of the defendant. They may rush to a decision just to get out of there. And they may resent the state every bit as much as they resent the defendant.

    Secondly, wasn’t it Joel Brodsky who was very recently complaining that access to the Internet and social media could completely sabotage his defense if jurors weren’t closely monitored? Didn’t he say that he wanted the jury to be sequestered for this reason?

    In Will County, Ill., defense attorney Joel Brodsky is thinking ahead to how to guard against jurors’ using social media during the coming high-profile trial of his client, Drew Peterson, a former police sergeant accused of killing his third wife. Mr. Peterson has pleaded not guilty.

    Mr. Brodsky said he may ask the court to require jurors to disclose information, such as Twitter handles, to make sure jurors aren’t “researching, tweeting or Facebooking” about the case. “That would be ripe grounds for a mistrial, for throwing out a conviction or an acquittal, and we’d have to go through the process all over again,” he said. “It would be horrible.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204571404577255532262181656.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

  18. Great blog post. Do yourselves a favor and click on the link to read the whole thing!

    ….Quit looking like you’re having so much fun. You tell Sneed “I’m just a wise-ass [ex-cop] who gets in trouble for attempting to be funny…But what’s happening is not funny.” Then quit acting like it is.

    Out of all the many times you’ve put your foot in your mouth and out of all the horrible things you’ve been described as doing, for some reason, your perp walk after you got arrested sticks out the most. You had been arrested for the murder of your children’s mother. This is a solemn occasion if there ever was one. And not like a “Irish wake” solemnity, but a full-on, no grin serious time. But you’ve never been able to manage that in front of the cameras.

    You blame the media for your treatment. But even under a gag order (which I guess this exclusive interview somehow doesn’t violate), you managed to keep yourself in the public eye by writing letters and statements to the media and were often brought to our attention by some of those same folk — particularly Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed. (What a coincidence!) Don’t get me wrong — the media aren’t without fault here. But when you do an interview, you make jokes about Cosmo and Kelly Cuoco in a bikini. This is, I suppose, an attempt at being funny. Not only does this attempt fail, but hamming it up with media is NOT what you want to be doing here. (And though this isn’t the most accurate measure, when I type “drew peterson” + “hamming it up” into Google, I get 1,410 results. You aren’t doing yourself any favors.)

    And finally, and on this point, we insist there is no negotiation if you would like to meet your goal:

    3) Stop killing your wives.

    http://logopolis.typepad.com/logopolis/2012/06/how-to-not-be-called-sinister.html

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