Stacy Peterson’s friends and family were back on the offensive Saturday morning as they met to denounce claims her husband made on CNN’s ‘Larry King Live’ show Friday night.
Less than 12 hours after Drew Peterson told King that his wife Stacy had left him for another man and that his neighbor “has been acting emotionally disturbed,” those close to the missing Bolingbrook mother shot back.
“It’s all the same lies,” Stacy Peterson’s sister Cassandra Cales said. “Drew’s out there trying to make everyone believe that my sister was medicated and [blaming] her menstrual cycle, and that she just up and left her two kids. That’s just not true.”
Stacy Peterson family spokeswoman Pamela Bosco and Sharon Bychowski, Peterson’s neighbor and best friend, joined Cales in the press conference under a tent on a bleak and rainy morning. Each of the women flatly denied Drew Peterson and his attorney Joel Brodsky’s claim that Stacy Peterson is alive and with another man.
“Based on the technology today, and this being an evidence-based investigation, there was no other man,” Bosco said. “Unless there’s an invisible man out there right now, Stacy did not leave on her own accord.”
Bosco’s assertion was supported by a statement from the Illinois State Police released to King Friday night.
“Stacy Peterson did not voluntarily cease all contact with her children, family and friends,” the statement read. “The investigation continues to make progress proving that claim.”
The statement, as read by King, also expressed confidence that an arrest will be made in the case. It marked the first time police have publicly stated such a belief and those close to Stacy Peterson said it brought a sense of relief.
“I was extremely happy to hear them say out loud that there will be a charge in this,” Bychowski said. “And I can say to Drew Peterson personally, it may be time to come out and say what happened for real that day before something else happens.”
Drew Peterson’s hour-long interview with King marked the first time he answered questions from the public. The appearance was the latest in a series of high-profile interviews granted in an attempt to improve his public image following a series of bizarre media antics many perceived as callous in light of his wife’s disappearance.
Peterson admitted the behavior may have been inappropriate in the public eye but said it was merely a trained response to stress.
“I was being barraged by [media]…I was being questioned by police. I was scared to death,” Peterson told King. “And policemen – any policeman will tell you that police deal with stress and despair. They laugh, they make jokes. They’re trained not to show emotions.
Peterson, 54, said he still believes his fourth wife Stacy left with another man and will eventually be found alive. She went missing Oct. 28 and police are calling the disappearance a “potential homicide.” Investigators have also reopened the case of Drew Peterson’s third wife Kathleen Savio’s mysterious 2004 drowning, which had been ruled accidental.
Savio’s body was exhumed in November and two pathologists, one at the request of Savio’s family and one on behalf of Will County, performed separate autopsies. Each recently ruled her death a homicide. Peterson has not been charged with a crime.
King played a series of clips from people involved in the case, each claiming controlling or abusive behavior by Drew Peterson. He denied all claims, challenging anyone to find someone who had ever seen him mad.
“If I get involved in a domestic situation where I’m physical with a wife, I’ll lose my job,” Peterson said. “I would never even care to come close to risking that.”
The trio gathered in the rain Saturday morning eagerly met the challenge.
Cales said she had personally seen Peterson throw her sister, while Bosco reminded people of an order of protection Savio filed against Peterson. Savio’s divorce attorney has said his client dropped the order during the couple’s divorce settlement so that Peterson would not risk losing his insurance while Stacy Cales – soon to be Stacy Peterson – was pregnant.
“[Drew Peterson] did have numerous restraining orders on him from Kathleen [Savio] that he would have lost his job on, were it not for Kathy’s kind heart to drop those charges because of their unborn child,” Bosco said.
All three women also told their version of an incident that ended in Drew Peterson calling the cops on Bychowski. Peterson claims Bychowski, Cales, and a group of people who had just returned from searching for Stacy Peterson, had surrounded his 4-year-old son Anthony, and took unauthorized pictures of the child with Cales, his aunt.
Brodsky threatened a felony charge of unlawful restraint but police have said the child appeared happy in the pictures with his aunt.
When questioned by King about how his neighbor’s are treating him, Peterson said Bychowski “has been acting emotionally disturbed.”
But Cales and Bychowski said the child simply rode his bike by the home and started smiling when he saw his aunt in the driveway and that Peterson became enraged.
“Drew Peterson sounds more and more desperate in his need to exaggerate the facts,” Bychowski said.
Meanwhile, Bosco met with Illinois State Police earlier this week. She said they assured her the investigation is still going at full strength.
“Every day they get new information that they’re following through with,” Bosco said. “We’re keeping the faith. We believe we will have answers in the future.”