Peterson FAQ

  1. Has Stacy Peterson been found?
  2. Who has custody of Drew Peterson’s kids?
  3. What is “Drew’s Law”?
  4. Who is Drew Peterson’s lawyer?
  5. How many years was Drew Peterson sentenced to?
  6. Was Drew Peterson convicted of murder?
  7. Did Drew Peterson kill all of his wives?
  8. How many wives has Drew Peterson had?
  9. Where is Drew Peterson now?
  10. When was Drew Peterson’s trial for murder?
  11. Why was Drew Peterson being held in jail during appeals?
  12. How long was Drew Peterson in jail before his trial?
  13. Where is Stacy Peterson?
  14. How old was Stacy when Drew started dating her?
  15. Did Drew Peterson divorce Stacy Peterson?
  16. How many children does Drew Peterson have?
  17. Who is taking care of Stacy and Kathleen’s children?
  18. Does Drew Peterson have a girlfriend?
  19. What is the deal with hearsay evidence?
  20. Why don’t we see Drew Peterson on TV anymore?
  21. Did Drew Peterson get money for the Lifetime movie ‘Drew Peterson: Untouchable’?
  22. What was the cause of Kathleen Savio’s death?
  23. How many autopsies were performed on Kathleen Savio?
  24. Why was Stephen Peterson fired from the Oak Brook Police Force?
  25. Did Drew Peterson kill Laci Peterson?
  26. Is Drew Peterson receiving a full pension?
  27. Did Drew Peterson pay someone to kill his wife?
  28. Did Stacy Peterson tell anyone that Drew killed Kathleen?
  29. What was Drew Peterson’s April Fool’s Day stunt?
  30. Did Kathleen Savio have a will?
  31. What was “Win a Date with Drew”?
  32. Who is Drew Peterson’s neighbor, Karen?
  33. How did Stacy’s sister, Tina, die?
  34. Did Drew Peterson perform a strip tease after being arrested for murder?
  35. Was Drew Peterson’s trial televised?
  1. What is “Drew’s Law”?
    Drew’s Law is a nickname for an Illinois statute passed in December 2008. The statute created an exception to the hearsay rule in cases where it could be shown to a degree of certainty that a witness had been murdered in order to keep them from testifying.
    Assistant State’s Attorney, James Glasgow, at first attempted to get some hearsay evidence admitted to Peterson’s trial by using this statute. When it turned out that the higher reliability standards of the statute would exclude most of the hearsay evidence, Glasgow appealed the judge’s ruling and the hearsay was deemed admissible under common law hearsay exceptions. The defense was allowed to argue in court against the evidence as it was introduced.
    Contrary to popular belief (mostly due to some erroneous reporting) what the media calls “Drew’s Law” was not the basis for any of the hearsay that was admitted to his murder trial.
  2. Who is Drew Peterson’s lawyer?
    Drew Peterson’s legal team has changed a lot over the years. In March 2013, his defense team withdrew and left the appellate stage to the Office of the Illinois Appellate Defender’s office. In July 2013, Peterson rehired Greenberg, Peilet andHeiderscheidt to handle the appeal:Fred Morelli
    Gary Johnson
    Joel A. Brodsky
    Reem Odeh
    Andrew Abood
    John Carrol
    Walter Maksym
    George Lenard
    Steven A. Greenberg – Co-author of conviction appeal filed 1/14/2014
    Joseph R. Lopez
    Lisa Lopez
    Ralph Meczyk
    Darryl Goldberg
    David J. Peilet
    John W. Heiderscheidt – Representing Peterson in the wrongful death case against him and co-author of conviction appeal filed 1/14/2014
    Harold J. Krent – Co-author of conviction appeal filed 1/14/2014
    Andrew S. Gable – Co-author of conviction appeal filed 1/14/2014
  3. How many years was Drew Peterson sentenced to?
    On February 21, 2013 Drew Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison.
  4. Was Drew Peterson convicted of murder?
    Drew Peterson was convicted of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio, on September 6, 2012.
  5. Did Drew Peterson kill all of his wives?
    No. Peterson was convicted of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Ann Cales, has not been seen or heard of since the morning of October 28, 2007. The Illinois State Police have stated that they think Peterson has some involvement in her disappearance. Peterson’s first two wives are still living.
  6. How many wives has Drew Peterson had?
    Drew Peterson has been married four times:

    • Carol Hamilton. Married 1974, divorced 1980
    • Vicki Rutkiewicz. Married 1982, divorced 1992
    • Kathleen Savio. Married 1992, bifurcated divorce 2003
    • Stacy Cales, Married 2003

    Drew Peterson is still married to Stacy.

  7. Where is Drew Peterson now?
    After sentencing Drew Peterson spent a week at Pontiac Prison in Pontiac, Illinois. On February 28, 2013 he was transferred to Menard Correctional Center in Chester, Illinois.
  8. When was Drew Peterson’s trial for murder?
    The trial began the last week of July 2012 and concluded the first week of September.
  9. Why was Drew Peterson being held in jail during appeals?
    Peterson could have bonded out of jail if he could pay the bail amount of $2,007,500. His defense filed numerous motions to allow him to be released pending the appellate decisions, but these motions were denied.
  10. How long was Drew Peterson in jail before his trial?
    Drew Peterson was arrested for murder on May 8, 2009. He was held in the medical unit and separated from the general population due to the high profile nature of the case until his trialin July 2012.
  11. Where is Stacy Peterson?
    Stacy Peterson has not been seen or heard of since the morning of October 28, 2007. Her whereabouts are unknown. The Illinois State Police have stated that they consider her a possible victim of homicide. There have been numerous official and volunteer searches for any sign of her but so far with no results.
  12. How old was Stacy when Drew started dating her?
    Drew Peterson began to date Stacy Cales when she was 17 and he was 47. He met her while she was working the night shift as a desk clerk. He was married to Kathleen Savio at the time.
  13. Did Drew Peterson divorce Stacy Peterson?
    No. In November of 2008 Peterson talked to Jeffery Leving, a Chicago attorney who specializes in the rights of divorced fathers, but did not take any legal action to obtain a divorce.
  14. How many children does Drew Peterson have?
    Drew Peterson has six children:

    • Eric and Stephen Peterson, with Carol Hamilton (now Brown)
    • Thomas and Kristopher Peterson, with Kathleen Savio
    • Anthony and Lacy Peterson, with Stacy Cales

    Peterson was also Step-father to Lisa Ward during the ten years of his marriage to her mother, Vicki Rutkiewicz (now Connolly).

  15. Who is taking care of Stacy and Kathleen’s children?
    Drew’s adult son, Stephen Peterson, has custody of the two youngest (Stacy’s) children. Kathleen’s oldest son, Tom, is attending college out of state and her younger son, Kris, is attending Western Illinois University.
  16. Does Drew Peterson have a girlfriend?
    Between Stacy Peterson’s disappearance and his arrest for murder, Drew Peterson dated numerous women. In December of 2008, 23-year old Christina Raines moved into the Peterson house with her two small children. She and Peterson announced their engagement in January of 2009 although Raines later stated that it was a publicity stunt. She was still living in the Peterson home when Drew was arrested on May 8, 2009 and continued to visit him in jail for some time. They did not marry. Drew Peterson is still married to his fourth wife, Stacy.
  17. What is the deal with hearsay evidence?
    Hearsay (or out of court evidence) is usually barred from trials because the defense can not confront the witness, but there are various exceptions to this rule. Judge Burmilla allowed a number of hearsay statements to be admitted in the trial for Kathleen Savio’s murder, deeming that Drew Peterson had made the witnesses unable to testify and in so doing forfeited his right to confront them in court. More than 85% of the evidence presented at Drew Peterson’s trial was physical, forensic and circumstantial. Less than 15% was hearsay.
  18. Why don’t we see Drew Peterson on TV anymore?
    Immediately after Peterson’s arrest he used his phone time to give an interview to Matt Lauer of the Today Show, and to make an appearance on the radio show of Eric Mancow Muller where he wisecracked about his situation. Shortly afterwards, he was ordered to stick to a list of family, friends and attorneys and request permission for any interviews beyond that list in order to protect the jury pool. He continues to reach out to the public by way of letters that are provided to his attorney and publicist and given to the media.
  19. Did Drew Peterson get money for the Lifetime movie, ‘Drew Peterson: Untouchable’?
    No. Peterson filed a suit attempting to halt and/or collect royalties from the film, but was unsuccessful. Lifetime based the movie on the book, “Fatal Vows” to which they purchased the rights from the author.
  20. What was the cause of Kathleen Savio’s death?
    Katheen Savio died of drowning. At the time of her death she also had a blunt force injury to her head and numerous bruises and abrasions. The orignal coroner’s jury determined that her death was the result of an accident. After her body was exhumed and the report re-examined in 2007, two additional pathologists disagreed with the original findings. Because of the bruises and abrasions to her body and the way in which her body was positioned in the tub, they determined that the manner of her death was homicide.
  21. How many autopsies were performed on Kathleen Savio?
    Three. The first autopsy was performed by Dr. Bryan Mitchell in March, 2004 and the report presented at her death inquest. Savio’s remains were exhumed in November of 2007 and a second autopsy was performed by Dr. Larry Blum for the State’s Attorney. Shortly afterward Dr. Michael Baden did a private autopsy at the request of the Savio family.
  22. Why was Stephen Peterson fired from the Oak Brook Police Force?
    Stephen Peterson was fired in February 2011 after being found guilty of obstructing the investigation into Stacy Peterson’s disappearance by accepting guns and money from his father in the first days of the investigation.
  23. Did Drew Peterson kill Laci Peterson?
    No. Scott Peterson was convicted of killing his wife, Laci. Scott is on death row in San Quentin Prison while his conviction is under appeal. There is no connection between Scott Peterson and Drew Peterson.
  24. Is Drew Peterson receiving a pension?
    Yes, for now. Peterson resigned from the Bolingbrook Police Department in November 2007 and is currently receiving his full pension of about $6k a month. The only thing that would keep him from receiving the pension would be if he was convicted of a felony committed while on duty as a police officer.
  25. Did Drew Peterson pay someone to kill his wife?
    During Drew Peterson’s murder trail Jeff Pachter, an ex-co-worker of Drew Peterson’s, testified that in 2003 Peterson offered him $25,000 to find someone to “take care of” Kathleen Savio. After Kathleen’s death in 2004, Peterson again contacted him stating that he no longer needed the favor.
  26. Did Stacy Peterson tell anyone that Drew killed Kathleen?
    In the weeks before her disappearance Stacy Peterson confided to at least three people that Drew had killed Kathleen Savio: her Pastor, Neil Schori; a lawyer, Harry Smith; and a friend, Scott Rossetto.
  27. What was Drew Peterson’s April Fool’s Day stunt?
    On April 1, 2009, Drew Peterson called in to Eric Mancow Muller’s show on WLS saying that he had a confession to make. After a prolonged build up he finally blurted, “…I just got to tell you. It’s been weighing heavy on my chest for some time now and I just gotta say…that the chicken wings at Addiction Bar and Grill are the best I ever had!” The bar mentioned by Peterson was the property of his lawyer, Joel Brodsky. It has since closed.
  28. Did Kathleen Savio have a will?
    Kathleen Savio’s family maintains that she had no will. However, shortly after her death Drew Peterson visited Savio’s home uninvited and rummaged through the house. He later produced a joint will that he claimed he and Savio had drawn up in 1997 which named Drew’s Uncle, James Carroll as executor. The will was filed March 16, 2004 and in April 2005 there was a hearing at which all of Kathleen Savio’s marital assets were turned over to Drew Peterson, despite their divorce and Peterson being remarried with a new family.
  29. What was “Win a Date with Drew”?
    In January 2008 while searches for Stacy Peterson were ongoing, Drew Peterson’s attorney, Joel Brodsky, called in to the Steve Dahl Morning Show at WJMK-FM and suggested that the show hold a “Win a Date with Drew” contest. Steve Dahl agreed to set it up for the next day. After public outcry WJMK officials said the game would not take place.
  30. Who is Drew Peterson’s neighbor, Karen?
    The character of “Karen” from the movie, “Drew Peterson: Untouchable” is a fictionalized version of Sharon Bychowski who lives next door to the Peterson house in Bolingbrook. She was friends with Stacy and testified at the Grand Jury and a preliminary hearing for the Kathleen Savio murder trial. She became frightened of Drew after Stacy’s disappearance and moved to a motel for a while. Later, her front yard hosted a garden tribute to Stacy where offerings of flowers, trinkets and photos were displayed as a memorial.
  31. How did Stacy’s sister, Tina, die?
    Christina (Toutges) Ryan passed away in September 2006 from colon cancer. She was Stacy’s half-sister.
  32. Did Drew Peterson perform a strip tease after being arrested for murder?
    Arresting officers have said that Peterson did not put on any sort of performance at the time he was processed after his arrest. However, in May 2010 gossip columnist Michael Sneed reported that during a routine search Peterson’s cell was ‘flipped’ and that he had been stripped. Peterson is said to have quipped, “Why are you guys staring at my manhood? You interested in knowing why I do so well with women?” In another letter from August 2010 he described another strip search, “I was then strip searched, as in each raid, while all ten watched. I hummed the stripper song as I tossed them my clothes one piece at a time. When I got down to my underpants I told them if they tried to put dollars in my pants we were gonna fight.”
  33. Was Drew Peterson’s trial televised?
    Although the state of Illinois has begun a pilot program to test out cameras in trial court rooms, Chief Judge Gerald Kinney decided that Will County was not up to speed at the time Peterson went to trial in July, 2012.

14 thoughts on “Peterson FAQ

  1. Did the family of either of drew peterson’s two victims receive any compensation for the lifetime movie? If so, do we know how much?

  2. Bob Thompson, no, the families of the victims did not receive any compensation. They had nothing to do with the production, filming or airing of the Lifetime movie.

  3. It seems they have a protectible interest in their deceased family members identity and that couldn’t be capitalized upon without compensation. They should be paid.

  4. There was some discussion about compensation/royalties from the movie a while back, Bob.

    You might want to check out the comments on the link below to read about the Illinois Rights of Publicity and why they don’t apply to artistic works like books or movies. Neither Peterson nor any of the subjects of the film are likely to successfully sue for $ (unless they can prove damages due to libel and defamation). A&E/Lifetime have been making these biopics for a long time and have a team of lawyers watching their legal back.

    http://petersonstory.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/drew-peterson-attempts-to-stop-production-of-lifetime-movie/

    (765 ILCS 1075/35) Sec. 35. Applicability

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2241&ChapterID=62

  5. Folks, let keep the comments on the FAQ for questions and answers (rather than opinion/discussion).

    If you have a question please post it here and we’ll do our best to answer it.

    Thanks!

  6. Hi Beth.

    Carol Brown ended the marriage because Peterson was being unfaithful. She claims he was not abusive to her during the marriage.

    Vicki Connolly ended the marriage because she claims Peterson became “increasingly controlling”, was abusive (she claims he told her he could “kill her and make it look like an accident”) and he was having an affair.

  7. Who is Steven Peterson, which the children are living with? Also why is Stacy’s sister not allowed to see the children?

  8. Hi, Sandy.

    Stephen Peterson is Drew’s adult son from his marriage with Carol Brown.

    Only Drew Peterson knows for sure why he won’t allow Stacy’s sister to spend time with the children. He has claimed publicly that it’s because of her driving habits. It’s more likely that he is reluctant for Cassandra to see the children because she believes that he murdered her sister and has been very vocal about her beliefs.

  9. I just finished watching the movie and read up on a few things off the internet and still very confused as to why this animal is not in jail??!!

  10. Welcome ZMS and good luck with your research. We suggest you read the FAQ above. Peterson has been in jail for almost three years while awaiting trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio. :)

  11. I have ben reading through the site. I have noticed few times and on the timeline that Drew Peterson says that his wife Stacy called him saying that she left him for another man. I was on a jury and the cell phone records played a big part of location. Have the phone records been followed on that phone call? If it was from cell phone the call can be traced thru cell phone towers. I may have missed if that was followed thru.

  12. Deb, Tom Morphey has testified that Drew Peterson dropped him off at Remington Lakes park for about an hour and gave him his cell phone with instructions not to answer it. The phone rang a few times, displaying “Stacy” as the caller. According to the State’s Attorney, one of the times that the phone rang (9:07 p.m.) it was “pocket answered” and the call lasted a few minutes. This is most likely the call that Peterson is trying to cover for, by saying that Stacy called and told him she was leaving etc.

    So, there is no doubt that calls were placed from Stacy’s phone to Drew’s. But Drew insists that Stacy placed the calls, although it has been alleged that Drew placed them himself.

    The ISP and States Attorney do have the phone records from that night and the last calls from Stacy’s phone pinged from a cell phone tower in Shorewood, Illinois.

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