‘Gone but not forgotten,’ supporters mark one year anniversary

Kathleen Savio's sisters Sue Doman, left, and Anna Doman, right, participate in a candlelight vigil to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Stacy Peterson's disappearance and to remember their sister who died in March 2004. Nearly 100 people gathered Oct. 28 in Bolingbrook for a silent march from Savio’s home to Peterson’s home. Photo by Erica Benson

Sue and Anna Doman, sisters of Kathleen Savio, attend a vigil to mark one year since Stacy Peterson disappeared. Photo by Erica Benson

With the weight of a year hanging upon them, friends, family and supporters of Stacy Peterson and Kathleen Savio gathered in Bolingbrook Tuesday night to remember the two women.

Led by women carrying a “Gone but not forgotten” banner, nearly 100 people marched the short distance from Savio’s home on Pheasant Chase Drive to Peterson’s home on Pheasant Chase Court. Each held a candle in honor of Peterson who disappeared exactly one year ago at the age of 23, and of Savio, 40, who was found murdered in her home in March 2004.

“These two women have had a tremendous impact on our lives,” Rev. Neil Schori said. “Stacy and Kathleen are not forgotten.”

Both women were the wives of former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson, 54, who is the sole suspect in his wife’s disappearance, which police have labeled a ‘potential homicide.’ Shortly after Stacy Peterson went missing, authorities announced they were taking another look at Savio’s death, which had been ruled an accidental drowning. In February, an independent pathologist ruled the drowning a homicide. Police have not named a suspect.

Schori made headlines in December when he told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren that Stacy Peterson confided in him that her husband had admitted to killing his third wife, Savio.

Early Tuesday morning, Peterson appeared on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and maintained his innocence in both cases. He said he still believes his wife left him for another man and asked her, “Show yourself. Put an end to this nightmare.” In a release Tuesday, Peterson said he would not attend the vigil, choosing instead to spend time with his family.

“There is not a single day that goes by that I don’t think about Stacy, so to me Tuesday is just another day of her being away,” Peterson said.

But Tuesday was not just another day for the friends and family, including Peterson’s neighbor Sharon Bychowski, gathered in Bolingbrook, who said both women lived in fear of their husband.

“That day that Drew dragged me over to his house to tell me that she had left her children behind, there was no doubt in my mind that Stacy would never do that,” Bychowski said. “And 112 percent of me walked out that door knowing what had happened to her and that she was not coming back.”

Savio’s nephew Charlie Doman chastised authorities for failing to respond to his aunt’s pleas for help in the months before her murder. Doman said Savio documented her allegations of abuse and harassment from Peterson, and occasionally from his new teenage bride, Stacy.

“If my aunt hadn’t been murdered and Stacy went missing, even though they didn’t see eye-to-eye, my aunt would be right here with us, helping right now. The Savio family is here and we will always be here to help find Stacy, no matter what,” Doman said. “My aunt was a very strong and stubborn woman. Even from the grave, she’s still helping solve her own murder.”

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29 thoughts on “‘Gone but not forgotten,’ supporters mark one year anniversary

  1. Bucket,

    Good Morning! The turnout was great despite the weather. All local TV and newspapers were out there. CBS Chicago lead off with this story at the 10pm news. All other stations had it as their second or third story. One of the searchers put a video together that was shown once we got to Sharon’s house.


    If you didn’t get a copy of the video, I can make you one. Let me know.

  2. Good morning White Sox Fan. Yes, it was a very beautiful, peaceful, loved filled vigil last night. I was honored to be able to attend. I shared a space with some of the most generous, loving, kind, passionate people I have ever met in my life. Smootch thank you for your tireless effort working on the ribbons, video and banner which was carried with much love. Sharon, as always thank you for your passion in finding your friend. Your love for Stacy and your friendship with her was very showing and telling last night. Roy, thank you for all your efforts in the past and your continued efforts not only to find Stacy but other missing people. Good luck to you and Sean today as you continue to look for John Spira. My love and prayers will be with today as they have been on past searches for Stacy. To everybody who joined the vigil last night thank you. It was filled with love for both women who a great number of us didn’t even know, but thru Kathleen’s family and Sharon have become to know.

    Sharon thank you again for opening your house and heart to everybody who attended the vigil and providing warm drinks and refreshments on a very cold night.

    I have stood beside you for the past 6 months and will continue to stand beside you and Roy and all the searchers dedicated to finding Stacy as we begin our search again to find her.

    I am honored and humbled to stand beside such loving, caring people.

  3. timetotellthetruth,

    Good Morning! Another wonderful post and a big THANKS goes to you for all your help on search days.


    Have a great day!

  4. Good morning, everyone.

    The vigil looked to be the coming together of people determined to show respect for Kathleen and Stacy, and determined to show their dedication to the common cause of finding justice for them!

  5. Some of the children were at home and some were not and what difference would that make anyway? Their very own father was on national TV being asked if he is going to be charged with the murders of thier mothers. The vigil was very peaceful and loving.

  6. timetotellthetruth // October 29, 2008 at 7:45 am
    what difference would that make anyway?

    I asked because I wanted to know. No need to get nasty. It matters to me if they were home because of what I believe in. I’ve tried expressing how I feel here and only get a slap in the face.

    It matters to YOU that it went peaceful…

    It matters to ME if those kids had to see it…

  7. timetotell – yes, that is right. Their father was on national tv telling everyone that it was just another day. It wasn’t just another day, though. It was a sad reminder that the mothers of those four children were needlessly taken from them.

    Good intentions never go unnoticed, timetotell.

  8. Wasn’t getting nasty. Just answered your questions. Nothing nasty intended. The two oldest boys were home and the two youngest were not because he was in New York on just another day in his life.

  9. Good Morning,

    The vigil was very beautiful. One of the things that tugged at my heart at the vigil, was one of the Savio children speaking about how much she missed her cousins, who have not been seen by them since Kathleen died.

    I am very happy that this young girl spoke from her heart and hope that Kris and Tom will at some point hear her clip of the news video. Very sad that these children have been kept from such loving family members.

    I personally will say a prayer that soon, they will all be together again.

  10. Georgia, Kris or Tom did not peek out the window. All the blinds were drawn and a no trespassing sign was on the lawn. In the morning on the Today Show, Drew said the two older boys are aware of what is going on. Due to their father wanting to stay in the spotlight, I’m sure they hear everything that is on TV. In my opinion a group of people gathering to honor both of their mothers is a testament of the love and respect people have for these women is far more wonderful than their father hoping on national TV that he hopes no charges are filed against him in these murders. With no disrespect Georgia let us not forget all 4 children were in the house the morning Stacy was murdered. Who knows what they heard that day. A vigil honoring their mothers, I’m glad I was able to be there.

  11. Pax, caring people.


    One very noble dream that brings ALL (except the worst of the worst sadistic commie ratbas*+^#%) together.

    Remember what inspired your decision to join a forum, message board, blog etc.

    Noble seed bear noble fruit. But watch out for sneaky baboon.

    Uh, what the h….? I have no idea where the above sentence came from. Maybe the blogs’ FBI monitors decided to have a little joke, in order to lighten the load they carry as they investigate such confusing, compounded and heart-wrenchingly heavy matters like these cases.

    Well, WE’RE still here.
    Stacy and Kathleen are NOT.
    Dat’s why we here- cause they can’t be.

    Who’s side you’re “on” doesn’t mean diddlysquat- we all joined together for a reason- truth, justice, closure and healing. And, I say that any troll who joined in to further their own nefarious purposes and twisted reasonings is a bravo foxtrot lima delta’d nose-picking traitor to their country.

    That’s why PEACE is what I wish for everyone who, for whatever reason, wanted to help in whatever ways they could to find out what happened to these 2 young mothers of 4 now-motherless little children, and stepmums to the 2 older sons.

    If NOTHING else is forthcoming to resolve the deaths of 2 young mothers, and heal these families, ONE thing has CERTAINLY been done:



    Well, yess- that *and*…

    We also showed that:
    we’re kinda stubborn and don’t give up easily; are allergic to peanut butter, lactose intolerant or really into soy products;
    revel in wreckless abandon by posting against all English compositional rules and etiquette;
    aren’t afraid of being cold, having wet feet and a runny nose as we help on groundsearches;
    have deliciously wicked senses of humor;
    aren’t afraid to say “I lost it/I was wrong/I was being stupid- and I’m sorry I did/said that”;
    have a talent for coming up with really cheery or confusing avatars;
    know that “spam” has its proper place and purposes;
    know that by the giving of our time, knowledge and resources, despite the odds that we may or may not ever solve a crime or find all the answers to the queries, we’ve NOT been idle;
    know after replacing our keyboards 8 times that it is quite prudent to place one’s beverage of choice AWAY from the computer desk;
    are quite talented at digging for and finding out some serious shitake mushrooms that more than a few of those directly and indirectly involved with the local cases wishes that we hadn’t;
    know how to program our phones so we have the IL Gov. on speed dial;
    have learned to be a bit more humble when a hunch about something/one delivers the goods; the CORRECT spelling of ALL 6 of the Peterson children, including their mothers’ names and those of direct and extended family members and friends;
    that we are LITERALLY a great example of how the US Freedom of Information Act works (even if a few rules might have been a teensie wee bit sorta bent along the way);
    that while we think some of the arm chair lot have gone completely mental, we still respect them for trying to help;
    that the simple act of lighting a candle can be so profound- whether at a vigil or online;
    that disease, poverty, religon, strife, plague, pestilence, stess and one’s preference for landscape decorations may produce different opinions and positions, but when it comes right down to the block, we can think of one or more people whom we met during the last year on the various boards/searchs/vigils/fundraisers/etc. that we would take a bullet for, and vice a versa;
    the laughter and tears at the same time can be healthy *and* healing;
    that cattle prods are NOT illegal to carry into IL County Courtrooms;
    that it doesn’t matter whether we’re sending thoughts, plants, money, equipment, hitmen or secure information- all that matters is that we’re SHARING it;
    that it IS perfectly possible when asking for a copy of one’s A levels, a SWAT trained librarian armed with a headman’s axe and heat seeking missles WILL track you down via your IP and make you pay that overdue fine;
    that there are certain times when posting theories and/or autopsy reports is NOT appropriate;
    that it is a humble honor to be online with such a large melting pot of honest, generous, compassionate, exasperating and quite honestly silly at times people;
    that by working and talking about finding the truth and justice for Stacy and Kathleen, we have also become more aware of other not-so-publicized cases just as heartwrenching and incomprehensible, thus inspiring not only our desire to contribute philanthropically via our cerebellums, but also financially and with donated necessatative goods;
    that sometimes it is not prudent to post ones arbitrary thoughts when one has insomnia or has perhaps been merrily partaking of spirits;
    that when a troll tells us to “Get a life”, we can say “I have one, thanks- doing what I can to seek justice for those whose lives were taken, and answers for the beloved ones left behind.”

    G*d knows we’ve all taken some punches, deserved or not, but guess what?


    Cool, huh?
    (And guess what? Call me a nutter, but I’m not even gonna check to see if I spelled everything correctly or used proper punctuation and sentence structure for this post. A small step for the formerly formidable Grand Dame of Grammar, but hopefully a BIG sigh of relief and a much-needed stress reliever for all- excepting, of course, compulsive nose pickers- so better watch your alphas, buckos! Hey, I’m trying…

  12. timetotellthetruth – thanks for saying that so well.

    Not only were they in the house and possibly the last ones to see Stacy, but we’ve been made aware that Peterson does what he can to make sure he always has a woman in his sites, in his life. The environment that those kids are forced to live in says volumes more than a peaceful group of people trying to come together for the sake of keeping two womens’ memories in the forefront.

    So, I guess we all have our opinions on what is psychologically damaging these kids. Brodsky thinks it’s LE. Some think it’s plants and pictures. Some think it’s the unstable homelife the kids must endure.

  13. I can only imagine how Stacy’s and Kathleen’s family felt last night, knowing that the children were within a few yards distance, and they still could not see them or hug them. For the Savio’s it has been over 4 long and painful years.

    Looking into the eyes of every family member and friend who loved both of these women, has been heart wrenching for the past year.

    These families need all the support they can get to help share in their loved ones memory, and to get the “Justice” that is so deserved.

    I can and will tell you this, It makes me feel so good to know that people can still pull together and help others who are in need. Today, most of the time the attitude is, “It’s Not My Problem.”
    I feel, it is every ones problem, because it could happen to your own family or someone you know. It is our responsibility to make sure that we keep our families and communities as safe as possible.

  14. Feeling the love and somber resolve of all who gathered last night, was absolutely heart breaking. I am honored to have been able to walk with so many people with loving and kind hearts. I am sure Stacy would have been proud to know that she has touched so many people and has brought them together to help in so many different ways.

  15. I wish Tom and Kris had been given the opportunity to take part in the vigil. Their moms are gone – for whatever reason – and it would have been nice if a relative could have taken them by the hand and walked with them in a vigil to honor and note them.

    I know what their dad has told them, that Stacy walked away from them without a goodbye, and since then never a phone call or even a card, leaving them to believe that they were unloved and didn’t matter to her. But what do those two boys truly believe? Will they ever be given a chance to face their loss and the emotions that go with it?

    At least in Kathleen’s case there was a funeral.

  16. Well, Facs, one doesn’t, IMHO, become a straight-A student by soaking in only one thought, without thinking out the other possibilities or solutions to a problem. In other words, what I’m saying is, I am of the belief that Drew Peterson is full of himself if he thinks the rest of us are convinced his older kids are in tune with him. What, because he says so, it’s true?

    Tom Peterson and KRIS Peterson think for themselves and reason for themselves. If I’m to believe that they “think” their biological mother was an accident victim without analyzing the recent events, and if I am to believe that they “think” their adopted mother ran off and didn’t give a rat’s butt about them or their siblings, I’ll have to pass on that. I’ll also have to emphatically state that the privilege of having four children in Drew Peterson’s care is nonsense and crazy.

    See, because when naysayers come out against Peterson, he gets on tv with his attorney and digs up whatever mud he can find to discredit them. Wants to appear to be the victim.

    But when he discredits his wives on tv and in books, he has the audacity to say his kids are good with it and well adjusted. Ah, may he rot in a cell sooner than later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. I am honored to have been able to attend last night’s vigil. I walked with my daughter and with my friends. I too feel somber today. God Bless Kathleen and Stacy’s children. What a beautiful show of unity……
    Sharon,Roy, Carrie,Smootch,Win,LMJ,Mary2,Lenny, Paula, I love you all, God Blees each and every one of you.
    These are people that I admire, and someone you should know….

  18. I just find it troubling that Drew appears to have only one way of addressing his kids’ grief, and that is to line up replacement moms as soon as (or before) one dies or ‘goes missing’.

  19. Thanks for your insight, longhaul.

    Imagine being the child of Drew Peterson.

    What parent would allow their young daughter, school chum or friend to set foot in that house? The father focuses his attention on women as young as (how old was Stacy when he found her) 17, marries them at 19. He is known to make excessive use of porn and dating sites on the computer, so there’d probably be a problem getting any computer time. He makes frequent out-of-state trips for book deals, tv appearances, so there’d be no adult supervision (not that there’d be any with him there). Band practice, school concerts, sports events – what parent would want him to drive their kid around for that when it’s his turn to be the taxi that day?

    Ah, imagine career day at school. Asking little Anthony to tell his dad to come to school and talk about his career. That is, prior to his abrupt resignation before an official investigation of his internal activities could be resolved. Imagine the teachers taking to the corners, whispering how insane it is that a murder suspect is even allowed to be around children that aren’t his.

    Imagine a school field trip. Who gets to sit next to the Peterson father on the bus trip? Hmmm. Imagine a little boy hearing the other kids talk about their mother, while he is told his left for a vacation without saying good bye. Imagine him asking dad when mom’s coming back and hearing “I don’t know.”

    Imagine getting your hands on a published book that your father dictated to a writer, describing your dead mother as violent, when you lived with her and knew the real truth. Imagine. Imagine that you can’t defend your mother’s honor because your controlling father won’t let you.

    Peak out the window and see how much your mothers were loved and thought of. Then, when you’re finally set free from the hell house you live in, you will have fond memories of them, not the ones you are forced to live with.

    Pray for those kids. They have futures.

  20. Rescue, very well said. I cannot imagine. These children to me are literally prisoners in their own mind and in their own home. With hopefully an arrest soon, the children will be free to be the wind beneath Stacy’s and Kathleen’s wings.

  21. rescue,

    Very well said. I can’t imagine what they are going through at home but also at school.

    Once we got to Sharon’s house at the end of the walk, the Peterson house was dark. However, I did notice after awhile, lights being on upstairs and was thinking it was just a timer that turned them on. There wasn’t any different car parked in the driveway, only the Peterson two cars.

  22. wsf – the vigil looked like a warm, respectful gathering. That’s why I hope those kids did peek out the windows and saw that people came together with good intentions and hope that the truth will come out.

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