Drew Peterson Update: Gossip, Rumors and Innuendo

It’s been a while since there’s been any big news to report about the Peterson cases but that doesn’t mean nothing has been going on recently.

This summer there have been a few filings in the Savio’s wrongful death suit against Drew. Attorneys will be back in court on September 26 for Judge Power’s decision on the Savio’s motion for a summary judgement.

In August, prosecutors filed a motion requesting that Steve Greenberg step down from Peterson’s appellate team, claiming that the libel suit brought against Greenberg by Peterson’s ex-counsel, Joel Brodsky, created a conflict of interest for Greenberg. At the time of the filing Greenberg called the claim “absurd”.

Yesterday, Greenberg tweeted that Brodsky had withdrawn the libel complaint because he “didn’t comply with the rules (no surprise) and didn’t state a cause of action”. Greenberg went on to tweet that Brodsky has said he is going to re-file but needs to find an attorney to represent him.

brodsky-drew-kissMeanwhile, Joel Brodsky has shared the contents of some of his letters from Drew Peterson with a local Fox affiliate. He claims to have received nine letters from Peterson and made public a few excerpts from letters he received in March and April (Peterson began his prison sentence in February). The excerpts were complaints about the discomfort of prison life, and worries for his safety. This is consistent with the kind of letters Peterson wrote while in jail while awaiting trial, which he sent to the Sun-Times and other media outlets.

While public response to Peterson’s complaints has been overwhelmingly negative, his defense team questions Joel Brodsky’s decision to share any of the correspondence which was labelled as “legal mail” on the envelopes. In a Facebook comment, Steve Greenberg wrote, “Communications r fine. But keep em private. Don’t read them to a reporter” and Brodsky’s former law partner, Reem Odeh, wrote, “Are you serious? It’s all about integrity and the best interest of your client, respect for the law, justice system and integrity of your practice.”

Attorney Reem Odeh

Attorney Reem Odeh

Speaking of Reem Odeh, has Joel Brodsky really taken to Twitter to insinuate that she has ties to Nidal Hasad, the Fort Hood shooter? “Did you know that Hasan comes from the same village in West Bank as Reem Odeh, the former Drew Peterson atty. Distant cousins” he tweeted. “Odeh’s mother went to Hasan’s mothers home on the day of the shootings to express her sympathy and support. I was shocked.”

As for Peterson, it would appear that he has begun to adjust better to prison life since those April letters. More recently, his correspondents have been reporting that Peterson has started to make use of his popularity as a pen-pal to help out his fellow prisoners by sharing lists of inmates who would like pen-pals and to inquire about correspondence courses.

Cassandra Cales

Cassandra Cales

Lastly, rumor has it that Cassandra Cales, sister of missing Stacy Peterson, has just returned from New York, where she consulted a celebrity medium, possibly to be aired as part of a reality show on TLC.

An appeal of Drew Peterson’s conviction is expected to be filed within the next 30 days.

Four years since Drew Peterson’s arrest for murder. What has changed?

another new mugLast Tuesday marked four years since Drew Peterson was arrested and charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. So, what has transpired since then?

Trial Status

Today: Jury selection for Drew Peterson’s trial began on July 23, 2012. Opening statements began on July 31st and the first witness was also called that day. Testimony continued through August 30. Closing arguments were heard on September 4 and jury deliberations began. On September 6, after two days and 14 hours of deliberations, the jury found Drew Peterson guilty in the first degree of murdering Kathleen Savio. On February 21st Drew Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison, minus the four years he spent in jail awaiting trial. Peterson was moved from the Will County Adult Detention Center, where he had been living since his arrest, to Stateville Prison and then was transferred shortly thereafter to Pontiac Prison and then Menard Correctional Facility. The City of Bolingbrook is reviewing the status of Peterson’s $79,000/year pension to see if it can be revoked.

Legal Representation

Today: Immediately after Peterson’s murder conviction, his defense team began to publicly point fingers and blame each other for losing the case. Paving the way for an appeal based on ineffective assistance of counsel, Joel Brodsky first got in Drew’s ear and was able to get Steven Greenberg fired from the defense team. But by October, Greenberg had spoken to Drew and was back on the team. Soon after, a team of three attorneys who had not represented Peterson in the murder trial filed a motion of ineffective assistance against Joel Brodsky. After much public and private name calling, letter writing, and motion filingJoel Brodsky withdrew from Peterson’s defense. He then filed a defamation suit against Steve Greenberg, two media outlets and specific reporters. Attorney David Peilet of Clarendon Hills and John Heiderscheidt joined the defense team. At a post-sentencing hearing, Judge Edward Burmila said that he was “shocked” at comments Brodsky had made on TV regarding his representation of Drew Peterson and had a transcript of the hearing sent to the ARDC. In March of 2013, the rest of Peterson’s defense team announced that they were stepping aside and turning over the appellate phase of Peterson’s defense to the state public defender’s office.

One year ago: In September, Attorney Walter Maksym was asked to “step aside” from the legal team after he was criticized by the federal appeals court for filing “unintelligible” court papers that were “riddled with errors”. As the case neared trial, it was announced that Atty Joe Lopez would be presenting closing arguments.

Two years ago: After months of rumors of arguing and even a physical incident, Reem Odeh left the partnership and withdrew from the Peterson defense team in September 2010. In February of 2011, Lisa Lopez, wife of Joe Lopez, assisted with the oral arguments regarding the hearsay decision before the Appellate court, which were presented by Steven Greenberg.

Three years ago: Andrew Abood and George Lenard withdrew from the case in April of 2010, citing irreconcilable differences with Joel Brodsky. John Paul Carroll had a complaint filed against him in September and appears to have left the case. Attorneys from Brodsky & Odeh, Steven A. Greenberg and Associates, Law Offices of Meczyk Goldberg, Joseph R. Lopez, P.C., and Walter P. Maksym Jr. then made up the “Seven Samurai” representing Peterson in court.

Four years ago: Brodsky & Odeh, Abood Law, and John Paul Carroll represented Drew Peterson. George D. Lenard joined the case in December of 2009.

Media Exposure

Today: Drew Peterson was able to address the court and the public with a statement at his sentencing hearing. Rather than expressing remorse, he shouted out “I did not kill Kathleen” and then issued a long self-pitying rant.

One year ago: The Sun-Times continued to shill for Peterson. On April 17 they featured a sympathetic story and cover photo of Drew Peterson after the state won their appeal to get more evidence admitted to his trial for murder.

Two years ago: Despite the gag order prohibiting interviews, Peterson spent 2011 writing letters and statements that were provided to the media, in particular to gossip columnist for the Chicago Sun Times, Michael Sneed.

Three years ago: Drew was prohibited from giving interviews to the press.

Four years ago: Drew’s last interview was given over the phone to a WLS radio show host, Eric Mancow Muller, from jail on May 27, 2009. He also gave one other in-jail phone interview on May 15, to Matt Lauer of the Today show.

Judges

Today: Judge Burmila presided over Peterson’s trial and sentencing.

One year ago: On May 4, 2012, Judge Edward Burmilla was assigned to the case.

Two years ago: Judge Stephen White retired in October 2010.

Three years ago: Judge Stephen White presided over the case.

Four years ago: Judge Richard Schoenstedt was first assigned to the case; then Judge Carla Alessio-Policandriotes and finally Judge Stephen White. Will County Chief Judge Gerald Kinney made the new appointments. Judge Daniel J. Rozak set Peterson’s bond.

Hearsay Evidence

Today: The defense continued to file motions to bar as  much of the hearsay evidence as possible leading up to Peterson’s trial. They were also able to challenge each piece of hearsay evidence as it was introduced at trial and were able to keep out more in that way. At trial Kathleen Savio’s sisters and some friends were allowed to testify to statements she had made to them about fearing Drew Peterson would kill her. Pastor Neil Schori was only allowed to testify to what Stacy had told him alone. The discussions he had with Drew and Stacy in their home were deemed inadmissible. Scott Rossetto’s testimony was also deemed unreliable after the prosecution made some errors with the dates and he didn’t get to take the stand. Although the defense had fought to keep out the testimony of Attorney Harry Smith, whom Stacy Peterson had called with questions about a possible divorce, eventually it was Joel Brodsky who called him to the stand in an attempt to impeach Stacy’s words to Neil Schori. Smith testified that Stacy had asked if she could get more money out of Drew if she threatened to tell “how” he had killed Kathleen Savio. Many believe this to be the evidence that cinched the conviction. A final breakdown of witnesses shows that more than 85% of the evidence presented at Drew Peterson’s trial was physical, forensic and circumstantial. Less than 15% was hearsay. Although media reports were quick to cite “Drew’s Law” as being a factor in the introduction of hearsay to Peterson’s trial, those reports were erroneous as the state had earlier asked the appellate court to reconsider Judge White’s hearsay rulings under the common law rules of forfeiture and they agreed.

One year ago: After the appellate court did not reconsider the barred hearsay statements due to a missed deadline, the State appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court which decided that the appellate court should consider the evidence on its merits. In April the appellate court reversed Judge White’s decision and decided that the hearsay statements were reliable and admissible in court. Peterson’s defense announced that they would not appeal and wanted instead to go to trial.

Two years ago: The judge’s decision regarding the hearsay statements was leaked in July 2010, revealing that possibly fewer than five of the 15 statements being considered were to be allowed. This decision was appealed by the prosecution. During February oral arguments before the appellate justices, States Attorney Jim Glasgow was asked what he now wanted to “hang” his argument on. Glasgow said that he chose “804 (b)” or, in other words the common law doctrine that is part of the Illinois Rules of Evidence (rather than the so-called “Hearsay Law”).

Three years ago: In October 2009, Peterson’s defense lost a motion to declare the act unconstitutional. Hearsay evidence and witnesses were heard during hearings in January 2010.

Four years ago: The Hearsay Statue (Drew;s Law) was passed into legislation November, 2008

Peterson Family

Today: In November 2007, a Federal judge threw out Stephen Peterson’s lawsuit against the Village of Oakbrook and Thomas Sheahan. Peterson then went back to Illinois Circuit court to try to get back his job, but lost that complaint in March of 2013.
Kathleen Savio’s two sons, Thomas and Kristopher are in college. Thomas Peterson testified on his father’s behalf towards the end of his trial.

One year ago: Stephen Peterson was appealing his dismissal and filed a Federal lawsuit in July 2011.

Two years ago: In August 2009, Stephen Peterson was suspended for accepting and hiding weapons for his father, shortly after the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. In February 2010, Peterson was fired from Oak Brook Police Force and appealed his dismissal.  Thomas Peterson wrote a letter and made a filing asking to be removed from the Savio family’s civil suit against Drew Peterson. This has not been granted yet. Tom Peterson was chosen as valedictorian of his graduating class.

Four years ago: Drew’s four youngest children were left in the care of their step-brother, Oak Brook Police Officer, Stephen Peterson.

Savio Family

Today: Sue Savio has continued to make appearances to speak out about her sister and against domestic violence. Anna Savio Doman and Henry Savio are still pursuing a wrongful death suit against Drew Peterson.

Cales Family

Today: Cassandra Cales continues to search for her sister.

Drew’s Love Life

Today: Drew Peterson continues to enjoy correspondence with numerous pen pals.

One year ago: Gossip columnist Michael Sneed reported that Peterson had over 20 pen pals (male and female), at least four of whom contributed to his funds at the commissary so that he could enjoy snacks while he awaited trial.

Two years ago: In August 2010 we heard that Christina Raines was engaged to a new man. In February 2011 we obtained a photo of Chrissy with her fiancé. In April 2011, an old acquaintance of Drew’s, Diana Grandel, released some letters from Drew in which he made sexual comments to her and offered Stacy’s clothing to her.

Three years ago: In January Raines posted a status update on her Facebook page stating, “I met someone who i fell in love with and very happy with. I think i just about gave up on drew with all his lies i dont even really visit him anymore.” and then, “But his kids i love dearly and still visit with them they are good kids”

Four years ago: Christina Raines was at the house that Drew and Stacy Peterson shared at the time or his arrest and was also taken into custody. She removed her belongings from his home shortly afterwards. Raines is on the list to visit Drew in jail.

Stunts

Today: All quiet on the part of Drew Peterson. His legal team seems to have picked up the torch as far as media shenanigans. Restaurateur Jeff Ruby attended Drew Peterson’s trial and was charged with contempt when he reportedly mouthed “Fuck you” at Peterson. Ruby went on to offer a $100,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of Stacy Peterson’s remains.

One year ago: Besides frequent mundane snippets in the gossip columns about Peterson’s life in prison, all has been quiet.

Two years ago: While Drew’s bids for attention were mostly curtailed due to his detention, his lawyer and PR people continued to pepper the news with updates and letters from him detailing everything from his life in jail to his opinions about the legal decisions regarding his children. Kathleen’s oldest son, Tom, was the subject of news stories and wrote his own letters to the press in support of his father.

Three years ago: Soon after Drew’s arrest he attempted to have his motorcycle auctioned off on eBay. He was asking for $50,000 and offered to apply a decal with his signature on the bike. eBay removed the auction for violation of its “murderabilia” rules.

Four years ago: At the time Drew was arrested, he was preparing to fly out to the Bunny Ranch Brothel in Reno, Nevada, to see if he would be a good fit as head of security there.

Stacy Peterson

Today: Areas of Hammel Woods in Shorewood were searched for five days in November 2012, utilizing the FBI and cadaver dogs. Some officials stated that it was a training mission, while others told the press that they were indeed looking for the remains of Stacy Peterson. Nothing was found.

One year ago: Airings of the movie, “Drew Peterson: Untouchable” brought about some new tips and offers of assistance in regards to the search for Stacy Peterson.

Two years ago: In August 2010, based on a tip, searches for Stacy’s remains took place near Peoria. No evidence was found.

Three years ago: Still missing with no sightings or communication from her.

Four years ago: Missing. No communication from her since October 28, 2007. Searches were ongoing.

Drew Peterson’s stars & stripes bandana up for auction on eBay

Drew Peterson's bandana is signed to " Ellie" Brodsky

Drew Peterson’s bandana is signed to ” Ellie” Brodsky, wife of his former attorney.

The last time it was his a motorcycle. Now convicted murderer Drew Peterson’s famous American flag bandana is being auctioned on eBay.

In a listing by new seller “relax-2000″, a plethora of Drew Peterson-related items is up for auction with a starting bid of 99 cents and no bids as of 10 o’clock Saturday night. The items are described as:

  • Drew Peterson Exposed book by Derek Armstrong. Inside cover signed by Drew Peterson and Joel Brodsky
  • Original, signed letter by Joel A. Brodsky on his attorney’s office letterhead
  • American flag bandana signed by Drew Peterson. “To Ellie Love Drew”
  • Picture of Drew Peterson wearing the bandana filmed by numerous News Networks. Picture printed from one of the News internet websites.
  • Joel A. Brodsky’s business card

Although the item location is given as Bolingbrook, Illinois, it’s evident that the items were at one time all owned by Peterson’s former attorney, Joel Brodsky and his wife Elizabeth “Ellie” Brodsky.

Mrs. Brodsky tweeted earlier this evening that she believes in Drew Peterson’s guilt and hopes he does not get a new trial saying, he “creeped me out”.

ebay-whole-page

According to the listing, 20% of the sale will go to the nonprofit Mutual Ground Inc. in Aurora, Illinois, which provides services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Is Mutual Ground even aware that they have been named as a recipient for this auction?

brodey-certificate

The letter, dated October 23, 2012, reads:

This letter certifies that the signature on the American Flag scarf is that of Drew Peterson, and he signed it in front of me. The signature is on the American flag scarf that Drew Peterson wore when he was video taped in late October, 2007.

Very truly yours,
Joel. A Brodsky

Could it be that Joel Brodsky is still interested in profiting from his relationship with Drew Peterson? If he really wants to do some good, why not donate 100% of the proceeds or better yet, just burn the bandana and make a donation?

Will this auction be allowed to run its course, or will it be pulled from eBay as the auction for Peterson’s motorcycle was?

UPDATE 1/27/2013: According to Elizabeth Brodsky, Drew Peterson signed his bandana and gave it to her thinking it was “cute”. Years ago she gave the bandana to an employee of the University Club because she didn’t want it in her house. According to her the man said that he lived near Drew Peterson so she replied, “Good, here, you can have souvenir” and bestowed it upon him. She hasn’t seen the man lately and wonders if he is now unemployed.

No explanation though as to how Joel Brodsky came to write a letter of authenticity for the item three months ago (right after he stopped representing Peterson), nor how the man also came to have the book signed by both Drew and Joel, and one of Joel’s business cards.

Budenz's bandana signed to "Uncle Dan"

Budenz’s bandana signed to “Uncle Dan”

Old friend of Drew Peterson’s, Dr. Dan Budenz, has chimed in to claim that he is also an owner of a Peterson-signed bandana, which was signed and given to him when Drew took his kids to spend Christmas of 2007 in Florida as his house guests. Budenz later went on to self-publish a bizarre book about the Peterson case. The bandana bears a personalized autograph to “Uncle Dan”. Budenz claims that his is the bandana Drew wore on camera in October 2007.

Budenz says that his bandana is not for sale.

UPDATE 1/31/13: The auction has ended with only one bid of 99 cents. The reserve was not met so the item went unsold.

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Steven Greenberg may stay on Drew Peterson team after all

During a post-verdict court date this morning, convicted murderer, Drew Peterson, and Attorney Steven Greenberg had a friendly 30-minute tête-à-tête.

At the end of their talk, Greenberg asked the court to continue his motion to withdraw until November 16th at Peterson’s request.

Asked about the postponement attorney Greenberg quipped, “I love Drew, Drew loves me“. But Attorney Joel Brodsky, who had filed the motion to terminate Greenberg claiming that the veteran attorney of over 100 murder trials had not done his job, stated to reporters that Peterson is postponing Greenberg’s firing merely to ensure that his attorney/client privilege is intact while he confronts Greenberg (ostensibly over his poor performance).

Considering the very public feud that took place last month between Brodsky and Greenberg, one can only guess that the truth of the matter lies somewhere in the middle. One might also wonder if Greenberg is considering returning to the fold only on certain terms.

Peterson’s sentencing date is still set for November 26th and a court date for hearings is scheduled for October 18.

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Attorney Steve Greenberg strikes back

Today former Drew Peterson defense attorney, Steven Greenberg, sent a letter to Joel Brodsky taking him to task for speaking out to the press and in social media in an attempt to blame Greenberg for Peterson’s murder conviction.

Steven Greenberg‘s 15-page letter accused Mr. Brodsky of making false allegations against him in an effort to take attention off his own ineffectual representation of their client.

Joel Brodsky called Attorney Harry Smith to the stand to testify to some hearsay statements Stacy Peterson had made. But rather than questioning him effectively to elicit testimony to impeach Stacy Peterson, Brodsky’s examination resulted in Smith testifying that he had warned Stacy that she could end up concealing a homicide. The jury, which on September 6th convicted Drew Peterson of murder, cited this testimony as being among the most convincing arguments for Peterson’s guilt.

Several reports described Greenberg and Brodsky arguing prior to Smith being called to testify, with Greenberg set against the idea.

Joel Brodsky has replied to Greenberg’s demand for an apology by stating, “I am focused on Mr. Peterson’s appeal and getting the verdict reversed, and that is all that’s important.

When Mr. Greenberg was asked if he would like to reply to Brodsky’s statement he emailed this response:

“I too am focused on what’s best for my clients, and my former clients, including Mr. Peterson. I am also focused on preserving the integrity of my profession, which I consider to be a noble profession, and in defending myself against baseless false accusations, designed solely to deflect accountability from Mr. Brodsky. This could have been handled professionally. Instead he chose to try to “throw me under the bus”, rather than accepting responsibility for his own actions. I will not allow him to make me his fall guy! This is not about Harry Smith, or Joel’s other failed strategies. It is about my skill and integrity vs. his.”

Steven Greenberg’s letter to Joel Brodsky

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Was Christina Raines dating her current fiancé while “engaged” to Drew Peterson?

Christina Raines and Randy Dicharia in April of this year

Back in February of 2009, Drew Peterson‘s young fiancée, Christina Raines, moved out of Peterson’s Bolingbrook house and told the news media that their engagement had been a stunt masterminded by attorney Joel Brodsky so that Drew could remain “in the media”.

One week later she had moved back in, and a week after that, MSNBC aired a segment on the couple in which Raines purred about her intended, “He’s nice. He has a good heart. He’s very caring and I don’t think he’ll ever hurt me or anyone else.” Drew and Chrissy said that they were making plans to marry in June or July (if Peterson could divorce his missing wife, Stacy Cales Peterson). When Peterson was arrested three months later, she was still living at his house with her two small children. But was Chrissy really engaged to Drew again or was the stunt still in play?

During Drew Peterson’s long detention in advance of his trial for murder, Raines was reported to have visited Drew from time to time, but last May Peterson announced in letters to both the Sun-Times‘ Michael Sneed and to WGN news producer, Aline Wessel, that Raines had informed him that their relationship was over. Peterson gave a number of reasons for this. In one letter he claimed that he hadn’t seen Chrissy for a year because “she got spooked by the press“. In another letter he wrote rather petulantly that “she moved on two weeks after I came here.”

Some Facebook postings would suggest that Christina Raines had moved on even before Peterson’s arrest. That is, if there was ever really an engagement to move on from.

Christina Raines has been seeing Her current beau, Randy DiCharia for quite a while. As of this Spring DiCharia posted a Facebook status stating, “I love my future wife she’s the best love you baby”. On a photo dated from March of this year Chrissy gushes, “We make a great couple. 3 years together & loven it.”

(click to enlarge)

Three years together? That would put the beginning of their relationship at March 2009, two months before Drew Peterson’s arrest, while Raines was still living with Drew in the house that he had shared with Stacy.

Well, maybe Raines is just not good with facts and numbers. She does seem to be awfully unclear on whether or not she was ever engaged to Drew. Or maybe, as it seemed back in the Winter of 2009, she was a willing pawn in the Peterson/Brodsky/Selig media stunt game.

One thing is clear, she doesn’t seem to have moved on from her penchant for “bad boys”.

(click to enlarge)

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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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Drew Peterson case status: Spring Update

Drew Peterson arrested May 7, 2009

We thought it might be time for an update while we await the decision from the Appellate Court reconsidering Judge White’s choices regarding certain hearsay statements, so here you go.

Also, we’re following an interesting report about some skeletal remains discovered along I-55 yesterday, only 20 minutes from the house shared by Drew Peterson and Stacy Peterson. Please, check the comments page for updates as we learn more.

JANUARY

• The many airings of the Lifetime movie “Drew Peterson: Untouchable” renewed interest in the missing person case of Stacy Peterson. An influx of tips and offers of assistance brought on new searches.

• Rumors surfaced of a biography of Kathleen Savio being written by a distant relative.

The Illinois Supreme Court approved four counties to take part in testing out the use of cameras in trial court rooms. The four counties are Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside (the 14th district). Will County (the 12th district) is also considering applying to take part.

FEBRUARY

• The Raven Theatre in Chicago premiered a play called “Dating Walter Dante“. The play is loosely based on the private life of Drew Peterson, or more specifically the idea of dating a man suspected of killing two wives.

• Stephen Peterson’s next court date in his appeal to get his job back on the Oak Brook police force was continued to June.

• The bathtub drowning death of Whitney Houston reawakened media scrutiny of the manner of death of Kathleen Savio. It was pointed out once again that only an unconscious person could drown in the tub and that the coroner’s opinion in Savio’s second autopsy was that the gash on her head was not severe enough to result in loss of consciousness.

MARCH

Kankakee County (The 21st Circuit Court) approved the use of cameras in trial cases.

• Gossip columnist Michael Sneed reported that Peterson has about a dozen pen-pals and that four of them routinely put money in his commissary account.

APRIL

• Faithful Drew Peterson friend, Steven Carcerano, was arrested and charged with domestic battery after an altercation in which he forced his brother from his car.

A routine “flipping” of Peterson’s jail cell turned up a few too many plastic spoons and an extra cereal bowl.

• Partially clothed skeletal remains were found by a utility worker in a grassy area south of the I-55 expressway just north of La Grange Road. Waiting on identification.

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Forget Rob Lowe’s looks. Why did Lifetime subtract 10 years from age difference?

Stacy and Drew Peterson, Kaley Cuoco and Rob Lowe

By now we’ve all seen the unintentionally hilarious trailer in which Rob Lowe utters, “I’m Untouchable, bitch” through the open garage door of his frightened neighbor. If you’ve been watching Lifetime channel or sought them out on YouTube, you’ve maybe seen a couple of the longer ads which reveal glimpses of domestic violence, a body in a bathtub and Rob Lowe’s unconvincing suburban Chicago accent. If you make your living as a movie reviewer you may have even already seen the movie, “Drew Peterson: Untouchable” which is set to air on January 21.

The movie, which is based on Joe Hosey’s book “Fatal Vows: the Tragic Wives of Sergeant Drew Peterson”, has upset some people. The public wonders if the story is premature–after all, Peterson has yet to be convicted of murdering anyone and Stacy Peterson remains a missing person. Some family members are upset that they were never consulted about the film and that none of its proceeds will go to searches for Stacy or to fight domestic abuse. Peterson and his defense team are possibly the most upset at the making of the movie. A character depicting Peterson seems to be involved in some very bad things that Peterson denies ever having done and not only that, he’s not making a dime off it!

Personally, I’m on the fence. I’m glad to see attention being focused back on the lives of Stacy Peterson and Kathleen Savio after being overshadowed by years of Peterson’s tasteless and cruel public antics. On the other hand, since it’s a Lifetime movie, I fully expect it to be melodramatic and cheesy and maybe it is premature to make a reality-based film about a story that is yet to be resolved.

I am a bit bothered about the casting choices. It isn’t so much Rob Lowe’s good looks that I find so jarring, but rather that he is a good decade younger than Drew Peterson. Meanwhile, Kaley Cuoco, who plays Stacy Peterson, is 26–three years older than Stacy was when she disappeared. It just puzzles me why Lifetime would choose to take the impact away from a very real fact of the story. When Drew Peterson first started dating Stacy Cales, she was 17 and he was 47! If you look at the photo at the top of this story on the left you see a couple who could pass for father and daughter, while the fictionalized version on the right just looks like a couple.

There’s no denying that Peterson has a penchant for very young women and Stacy Peterson was not the only Bolingbrook teenager to catch Drew’s eye. He met Christina Raines, his on-again off-again girlfriend, when she was just 15. Diana Grandel, who carried on a romantic correspondence with Peterson in jail, went public to say that the two of them had met when she was 14 and Sergeant Peterson responded to domestic disturbance calls at her home. To some it appears that Officer Peterson used his uniform and position of authority to impress young girls and perhaps even to groom them for a sexual relationship. With facts like that, it’s surprising that the filmmakers would want to go easy on Peterson when it comes to the age difference…or maybe they just thought that Cuoco could play seventeen (I’m not convinced that she can).

But, ultimately a movie is a movie and reality is reality. The reality is that Peterson sits in jail, awaiting trial for murder of one wife, another wife has been effectively erased from the face of the earth and family, friends and the public all hope for justice.

UPDATE 1/18: Check out the snippets and links to new interviews with Joe Hosey, the author of Fatal Vows, and Mikael Salomon, the Director of Untouchable in the comments thread below.

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Why no one needs to apologize to Drew Peterson

Stacy Peterson

Recently, Drew Peterson’s lawyer sent out a press release demanding that the Illinois State Police apologize for stating that they think his missing wife, Stacy Peterson, is dead. His attorney cited a recent case in which a woman long thought missing resurfaced after seeing a playing card with her missing person’s profile on it. Eighteen years after having voluntarily left her family, she called authorities to clear the air and solve the mystery of her whereabouts. Apparently, Peterson’s defense believes that this astonishing and rare case provides absolute proof that Stacy Peterson is also alive and safe and all we need to do is wait 14 more years for her to phone home.

Peterson’s defense overlooked the fact that the same deck of Missing Persons playing cards has also led to the identification of suspects in three more missing persons cases. One man has been arrested and charged with murder, while another awaits his trial for rape.

Naturally, Peterson’s attorneys wish that the evidence that points to Drew having murdered Stacy Peterson would be ignored in favor of the idea that miracles do happen and that the wandering Stacy Peterson will simply one day come home. But it’s pretty hard to erase the testimony of a man who says that he was paid to help remove a large tub from the Peterson residence on the night that Stacy disappeared. Hard to put out of our minds that he says Drew Peterson told him he needed to deal with the Stacy “problem” and was driven to a storage facility where he attempted to rent a locker in his name for Peterson’s use. It’s also difficult to makes ourselves forget the many people who were told by Stacy Peterson that she was afraid of her husband and that if she were to disappear that he had killed her and to please look for her. Also pretty hard to push aside the fact that Stacy, shortly before she went missing, confided in three people that her husband had killed his third wife, Kathleen, and returned home to tell her he had committed “the perfect crime”.

Say that you can brush all of that aside and you still believe that Stacy Peterson just took a walk one day and has never come back, leaving behind her small children, family and friends. The case of her disappearance has been in the news now for four years. There is constant media attention brought to the case, not only by its own merits but through the direct and incessant actions of Peterson, his attorney and their press agent. Hardly a week goes by that there isn’t some item planted in the news by them about the case. There is a large reward still in place for the information leading to her whereabouts ($30,000 offered by her family as well as $25,000 offered by Peterson himself). Stacy Peterson is a face and story that has continually been part of public consciousness since October 2007. Should we just suffer from the delusion that she is alive and yet no one in all this time has laid eyes on her or should we believe that no one wants the money? Both are ridiculous ideas.

Drew Peterson’s defense likes to trot out the fact that Stacy Peterson’s own mother went missing as evidence that Stacy Peterson left her family willingly. Christie Cales did leave the house one day and was never seen again. But, where are the facts to show that she abandoned her family and was not a victim of foul play, herself? We’ve never seen a shred of evidence that Cales is on prolonged and voluntary vacation.

Peterson’s attorneys would have us believe that random and strange news stories are a good basis for drawing parallels and making conclusions about the case of Stacy Peterson. Well, OK. I found one and if you follow the logic of Joel Brodky’s argument here is proof that Drew Peterson murdered Stacy Peterson.

DNA confirms body in freezer is that of woman missing for 28 years
The Associated Press

LEWISTON – Human remains that were found in a freezer in a storage unit this fall were those of a former girlfriend of the man who rented the unit for nearly 20 years, law enforcement officials said Friday.

Because of decomposition, tissue samples from the body had to be sent to a Pennsylvania laboratory, which used DNA from the remains and a relative’s DNA sample to confirm the identity of Kitty Wardwell, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Wardwell’s death was a homicide, but the cause of her death was being withheld Friday.

“We’re in the initial stages of this investigation. At this point, withholding the cause of death is appropriate as we try to get further answers,” McCausland said.

The storage unit was rented by Wardwell’s former boyfriend Frank Julian, who died Oct. 1 at the age of 80. Wardwell had been missing for 28 years.

Dwight Collins, Wardwell’s older brother, said the family believed from the beginning that Julian had something to do with her disappearance.

“We’re relieved that we finally have closure on it,” Collins said from his home in Bucksport. “We know it’s her. We can put her to rest now.”

I demand an apology!

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