TruTV/True Crimes ~ Drew Peterson: Wife Killer?

From the Tru-TV Crime Library

Death Foretold

By: Chuck Hustmyre
 

Kathleen Savio

Kathleen Savio

BOLINGBROOK, Ill.—Kathleen Savio predicted her own murder. She told her sister it would be made to look like an accident. She even named her killer, her ex-husband, police sergeant Drew Peterson. Not long afterward, Kathleen Savio, 40, was found dead—drowned in a bathtub, her long dark hair matted with blood from a one-inch gash on the back of her head. The county coroner ruled her death an accident. She was Drew Peterson’s third wife.

With Kathleen’s death, Drew Peterson got control of a million-dollar life insurance benefit for the couple’s two sons, and he inherited all of his ex-wife’s money and property, including her suburban Chicago home and her half of their joint business investments. Kathleen’s dire prediction to her sister was not the first time she foretold her own murder. In November 2002, two years before her death when her divorce from Peterson was at its nastiest, Kathleen wrote to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, begging the prosecutor to charge Peterson with breaking into her home and holding a knife to her throat.

Kathleen wrote that her police sergeant ex-husband was furious over having to pay her child support. “He knows how to manipulate the system, and his next step is to take my children away,” Kathleen wrote. “Or kill me instead.” In the end, prosecutors now say, he did both. Three years later, Drew Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared.

Missing

 

Cassandra and Stacy

Cassandra and Stacy

Stacy Peterson, the bubbly, vivacious 23-year-old fourth wife of 53-year-old Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson, disappeared on Sunday morning, October 28, 2007. The last person known to have seen Stacy alive was her husband.

Drew Peterson, who was 53 when Stacy went missing, claimed his 23-year-old wife, whom he had started dating when she was 17, abandoned their two sons, ages 4 and 2, to run off with another man.
 
Most everyone else, including many police and prosecutors, now suspects he killed her.

Drew Peterson claims he last saw Stacy about 10 a.m., when she got a telephone call from a friend. The call woke him up, said Drew, who had worked the late shift the previous night as a patrol supervisor for the Police Department. After speaking with his wife briefly, Peterson said, he went back to sleep.

“She was gone when I woke up,” Drew Peterson told NBC News.

Stacy was supposed to help her sister, Cassandra Cales, and her sister’s boyfriend paint their house, but when Stacy hadn’t arrived by that afternoon, Cassandra called her cell phone, but Stacy didn’t answer. As the hours ticked by with no word from Stacy, her family started to become nervous.

Drew Peterson claims Stacy called him at 9 p.m. She told him she was leaving him for another man. Although there is no way to establish who made that call, police investigators reportedly found a record of a call from Stacy’s phone to Drew’s phone at 9 p.m. the night she disappeared.

Thomas Morphey, Drew Peterson’s stepbrother, though, has said he was with Peterson at 9 p.m. the night Stacy disappeared. Morphey, who admits to problems with drugs and alcohol, recounts that he and Peterson were having coffee when Peterson left his cell phone with Morphey but told him not to answer it. While Peterson was gone, Morphey said, two calls came in on the phone. The Caller ID listed both calls as coming from “Stacy’s Cell.”

Later that night, Drew Peterson called Stacy’s family and told them about the phone call he says he received from his wife. The family didn’t buy Drew’s story. At midnight, Cassandra Cales went to the Bolingbrook Police Department to file a missing person report. Because the case involved one of their own officers, Bolingbrook police sent Cassandra to the Illinois State Police.

The Bolingbrook cops also notified Drew that his sister-in-law was trying to report his wife missing.


Read Chapters 3 – 15 – TruTV

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67 thoughts on “TruTV/True Crimes ~ Drew Peterson: Wife Killer?

  1. Hmmm…after reading this, even if I hadn’t known one thing about Drew or Kathleen or Stacy, I’d be asking, “WHAT?” and looking for a way to lock him up.

    “The Bolingbrook cops also notified Drew that his sister-in-law was trying to report his wife missing.”
    Now that’s SCARY! Professional courtesy? Of course not- it’s the thin blue line.
    Trying to report…” Wish the current police chief had been on the job then.

  2. Cheryljones, I don’t know the circumstances of why the BB police notified Peterson of his sister-in-law’s concerns, but I’m not sure why it would be considered a part of the “thin blue line.” Wouldn’t it be logical for them to ask the missing woman’s husband if he knew anything about her being missing? I don’t think that is something they could have kept him from knowing, or reporting it to him as being anything unusual.

    Also, Chief McGury was the Chief that was not fond of Peterson personally, and even was looking to bring him before the Police Board for improper, possibly illegal, activities while using the police computers.

    Cassandra was sent, I believe, to another agency due to the reason that the missing woman’s husband was, in fact, a member of their department, and they wanted to avoid any conflict. At least, that’s the way I remember hearing it.

  3. I remember that too Rescue. I can’t remember the order, but I believe she went to BBPD, was sent somewhere else, then was sent to the ISP (or the other way around).

    I think ‘trying’ is just semantics.

    It’s been so quiet lately. Is the actual trial starting in August? If so, I can’t imagine how the defence will possibly be ready.

  4. I think they probably used the term “trying” since most missing persons reports aren’t taken unless a person has been missing 24 hours.

    It does make sense, too, that the PD would contact the spouse of someone whose family member has said is missing.

    Also makes sense that Cass was sent to ISP when BBPD learned that the missing person was married to a local cop and that the family member suspected him of foul play.

  5. Aussie – I, too, cannot imagine at all how the defense would expect to be ready to go to trial in August. Maybe August of next year, but not this August. I have to think that it’s the client that is pushing for this. It’s illogical to think that the defense can go through the amount of papers that were turned over to them, analyze them, interview the opposing witnesses, take depositions and present a rock solid defense in such a short time. While I think they should have gotten their ducks in a row in the year and a half that they’ve been playing games instead, it’s too late for that.

    There are a couple of motions coming up on July 10, I believe. I wonder if the defense filed something for a change of venue also. I think the change of venue is the least of their problems right now. I think the evidence against Peterson appears to be plentiful, and that’s what they are probably concerned about – thus, the reason for asking the judge to force the State to help them prepare. Which, is a joke in and of itself.

  6. Hi!

    IIRC Cassandra went first to Downers Grove specifically to avoid going to Drew’s own BB. They told her at DG that she needed to go to BB, then sent to ISP.

    I see nothing necessarily sinister in BB phoning Drew, either. They knew him and would probably ring to see what’s up and if everything’s OK

  7. Facs, you don’t have to wait 24 hours to report someone missing. And Cass was told this.

    CASSANDRA CALES: “And he’s going on and on saying last week she wanted to leave him, disappear just like my mom did which is bull because she cared about her kids. So then I get off the phone with him because he just telling me a bunch of lies and I didn’t believe it so I said I need to get some advice and I didn’t want to go to Bolingbrook Police Department because that’s where he works so I went to Downer’s Grove Police Department, spoke with an officer there and he said you have to go file a missing report and I said don’t I have to wait 24 hours and he said no, so I went to Bolingbrook, got there about midnight or whatever and I filed a missing report and when I was leaving there they said what car does your sister have and I said I don’t know and they told me to drive by the house and see which car was in the driveway that way they knew what car to look for and I said okay, so 2:30 a.m. I drove by the house and both cars in the driveway. So then my friend Bruce calls Drew and says ‘hey she home?’ And he goes no. ‘Well, her car’s in the driveway?’ ‘Oh she called and told me she left it at the whatamacallit’ and he’s like what do you mean the whatamacallit? He’s like hang on let me get my head straight, she left it at Cushing field, er Clow or whatever the one that is back there.”

  8. I’m reading Chuck Hustmyre’s story and noticed this:

    Drew Peterson had always wanted to be a police officer. Immediately after graduating from Willowbrook High School in suburban Chicago in 1972, he joined the U.S. Army and trained as a military policeman.

    But in Joel’s motion to lower bail, http://www.scribd.com/doc/15657800, it is stated:

    Mr. Peterson is a veteran, having served in the US Army from 1974 to 1976.

    If Chuck Hustmyre is right, how sad that Brodsky can’t get that timeline of his client’s life right. Or did something happen in the Army that he doesn’t want us to know about?

    If Joel Brodsky is correct, what did Drew do from 1972 to 1974?

    IIRC, I read that he was a shoe salesman (Think: Al Bundy) but figured it was rumor since the time frame didn’t work. 😉

    Can anyone clear that up?

  9. Reading the recap of Cassandra’s account above, it makes me really mad that a lot of the media have not bothered to familiarise themselves with the facts of this case when they report on it.

    Boobsky was pretty vocal about saying Cassandra waited till the bars closed at 4am to report Stacy missing. It was really frustrating to see him banging on about it when not one journalist (to my knowledge) called him on it and said, hang on, that’s not right.

  10. Armstrong’s book has Drew selling shoes at seventeen.

    and

    “Peterson went into the Army for two years at the tail end of Viet Nam war.” It’s mentioned that he was twenty when he joined.

    and

    “His enthusiasm and drive–and a bevy of screenings, interviews, tests and polygraphs–had landed him in a very high profile area of the miltary police, in spite of his youth at only nineteen years of age

    If he was born in 1954, then he would have been nineteen in 1973.

  11. Armstrong says about Drew’s time as an MP:

    “During his term, from the age of nineteen to twenty-one, ‘I had my first experience with corruption’ in the police.”

    So, looks like 1973-74 in the Army as an MP.

    Doesn’t Joel have unlimited access to his client? You would think he could have gotten the correct dates…Pffft.

  12. Armstrong makes me dizzy. He says Drew joined the Army at 20 yet found himself in a high profile area of the MP at age 19?

    LOL — They can’t even get Drew’s timeline of Drew’s life right.

  13. Well, to be accurate he quoted Drew saying “it was an exciting time for a twenty year old kid” and I deduced that he was twenty when he joined…then read more and realized he was nineteen.

    So…my bad. I’ve corrected my post.

  14. Don’t you love the glamorous spin they put on his army career? For “high profile” you should read “ceremonial” (standing around, one of many standing around).

  15. Interesting to me, too, how Drew describes himself at 20 as a kid. What does that make a 16yr old Stacy?

  16. Well, bucket, girls mature faster than boys, .

    And actually that is really not a very long career in the Army, considering he would have to do basic training before he ever got to police training. You don’t walk up to the gate and say “hey I wanna be a policeman.” Wonder why he left such glamor?

  17. On the other hand, BBPD could have notified Drewpy that Cassandra was out and about trying to cause him problems. Hence, the thin blue line. I know I’m repeating myself, but look at the other times they defended him…for one, when he and Stacy went to Kathleen’s and Drew took her down. I can definitely see his brothers in blue giving him a ‘heads up.’ After all-he WAS the watch commander. “Trying to report” meant that she had not. But I will consider that perhaps you are all right, and I am wrong. Too much respect for this site to do anything else.

    Not trying to be difficult here. Would love to see the report that BBPD made on Cassandra’s visit to them, if indeed there was one made.

  18. facsmiley Says:
    July 1, 2009 at 11:52 pm
    Armstrong says about Drew’s time as an MP:
    “During his term, from the age of nineteen to twenty-one, ‘I had my first experience with corruption’ in the police.”
    ***
    You think that that corruption could have been what appealed to Drew?

  19. Whoa-let me back up.
    “Trying to report”-I should have said that IMPLIED that she had not. Sorry.
    I would also like to know what the terms of his enlistment were. Was he drafted? Enlisted? Was his term shortened for some reason?

  20. I do not know what the procedure is but I think Cassandra did not only go to the police to tell them that her sister had gone somewhere and did not come back home and she was worried about her, right?. If so, I would not wonder a police officer called Drew. But…
    Cass went there and she told them that Stacy had gone missing and been afraid of her life. I think they should have gone to the house, not only made a phone call. Maybe they did and we just do not know about it.

    I think that Drew was very active all that night and he expected the police would be soon at his home. That might have been a reason why Drew cleaned the kitchen so perfectly till the following morning.

    Can you imagine that you learn that your partner left you for another person and then, instead of going to bed/drink/cry/shout/whatever else, you start making orders?

  21. cheryljones Says:
    July 2, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Whoa-let me back up.
    “Trying to report”-I should have said that IMPLIED that she had not. Sorry.
    I would also like to know what the terms of his enlistment were. Was he drafted? Enlisted? Was his term shortened for some reason?

    From http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/vietnam/index-1969.html:

    January 27, 1973 – Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird announces the draft is ended in favor of voluntary enlistment.

    IF he enlisted in 1974, as Brodsky said, then he was not drafted for sure. IIRC, the mock trial defense attorney made a statement having to do with Drew doing his duty and not being a draft dodger, but I don’t think dodging the draft was an option for him; there was no draft at that point.

    Even if he joined in 1973, unless it was prior to January 27, there was no draft.

    LOL — I can’t even remember why I cared now!

  22. If you want an example of a precendent for Drew’s habit of breaking the rules and then covering it up, Armstrong’s book provides one:

    Drew and a fellow MP used to play a game of “quick draw” while on guard duty. They would remove the magazines from their guns and then practice drawing on each other. At one point his buddy forgot to remove his magazine and ended up shooting a nearby stop sign.

    Did Drew and his pal report it? No. They spent the rest of the night finding another stop sign to swap with the damaged one and then getting ahold of another bullet since they were each issued 10 at the beginning of the night and had to turn in 10 at the end of duty.

  23. Just a youthful jolly jape. With live ammunition. Whose gun had the live ones, really? It does make me wonder. How can you “forget” to remove the bullets when you know you’re going to be pointing them at each other? Sounds unlikely to me. That’s all. 🙂

    I wonder what brush with police corruption Drew is alluding to.

  24. Bucket, the first brush with police corruption was (at least according to Drew) that the MP supervisors were dealing marijuana, and Drew was part of a team put together to bust them. He said:

    “It’s not that I’m proud of exposing them, but I thought it was wrong. Here are these guys supposed to be enforcing the law and instead they’re breaking the law. Me and another guy named Peterson also were involved in bringing them down.”

    I’m only quoting here. Wouldn’t vouch for the veracity of anything Drew says.

  25. Nah, you’re right. I had just sort of vaguely wondered if he thought he’d been a “victim” of the corruption.

  26. Drew is always the victim, every thing he does is because someone else was doing something wrong.

  27. hmmm 2 years as a military officer

    makes me wonder what sort of techniques he could have learned in that time…oh I don’t know…techniques such as water boarding perhaps???

    I read off the description of Kathleen’s injuries and state of her “drowning” to a friend who works in the coroners office, he stated that the way the water was found in her sinuses and that there was air still in her lungs is inconsistent with a submerged drowning…he stated that it sounded like she had been water boarded…re reading the autopsy results it makes the most sense…we all know she was not in a full tub of water overnight as the tub slowly drained, air was in her lungs so she couldn’t have been under the water as she drowned, I still have to shake my head over the coroners inquest and the significant things left out leaving the jury to come to the conclusion this was an accident…why were such significant things left out???

  28. If you want an example of a precendent for Drew’s habit of breaking the rules and then covering it up, Armstrong’s book provides one:

    Drew and a fellow MP used to play a game of “quick draw” while on guard duty. They would remove the magazines from their guns and then practice drawing on each other. At one point his buddy forgot to remove his magazine and ended up shooting a nearby stop sign.

    Did Drew and his pal report it? No. They spent the rest of the night finding another stop sign to swap with the damaged one and then getting ahold of another bullet since they were each issued 10 at the beginning of the night and had to turn in 10 at the end of duty.
    ————————————————
    I read this and thought it was BS and here’s why. I was in the service also and when you were on guard duty you NEVER had a clip with live rounds in it in your weapon HUG NO NO… You would have an empty clip in the weapon and 2 clip on your belt with lvie rounds.
    My question was why only 2 years I am farly sure the draft was over by then and if he enlisted it would have been for 4 years not 2. HMMMM

  29. Hi Tom. That’s interesting, thanks, and not something we harpies/hellcats/hens would know about the empty clip on guard duty. 🙂

  30. Hi everyone. Happy Independence Weekend! Looks to be great weather here.

    Fox News Chicago has been running a self-promoting commercial, so to speak, about how they ask the “tough” questions.

    What’s funny about one in particular are a couple of questions they ask a certain individual. If you haven’t guessed who that is by now, it’s Joel Brodsky. The reporter asks him if he really thought Drew would be allowed to have a computer with him in jail. But, the real clincher, is when Joel is asked if they’ll be ready to proceed to trial in August with all of the evidence against Drew. Joel, in all his infinite wisdom, looks to the side, smirks, and…..well, we don’t get to hear his answer. End of commercial, end of teaser.

    But, I can figure that one out myself.

  31. Tom0329, according to what I posted above, the draft ended January 27, 1973. According to Brodsky, Drew served in the Army from 1974-1976.

    According to Derek Armstrong, Drew was 19 when he enlisted. His enlistment could have taken place anytime before January 6, 1974 and he would have been 19 still (birthday is January 6, 1954).

    I’m not sure what this all means. LOL 😀

  32. Noway, LOL, huh?

    I, too, am puzzled by the two years of service. I thought, when you enlist in the Armed Forces, it’s for four years. Why was he only in two years?

  33. I have an ex-bro-in-law who is in law enforcement and like Drew, he enlisted in the military after high school in order to boost the career he wanted. This would have been 1975 or so. I’m pretty sure he served four years.

  34. LOL, what I meant was that I didn’t know how the years Drew served in the military fit into the whole scheme of things (if it does).

  35. This was from SYM, a question asked of Joel Brodsky and his response. May 19.

    *Was Drew ever in the military? If so, what kind of discharge was he given? (lee)

    Quote:
    10. Yes he was. He was in the Old Guard stationed at Arlington Virginia. He was an MP, and actually was a military guard for President Gerald Ford on military occassions. He got an honorable discharge.

    See you tomorrow.

    Old Guard
    http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/thirdinf.htm

    Maybe the years of service for this branch is different?

  36. Back to Armstrong’s annoying book:

    “In junior college Peterson studied law enforcement, always his dream. He had it all carefully planned. He would join the army and become a military policeman. Two years in service qualified him for an education, and if he could get into the military police, he would have an important direct route into civilian police work.”

  37. No branch of the Armed Forces, that I am aware of, would train an individual, to have them out at the end of two years. If he was out in two years, he must be The Chosen One. It seems, he’s The Chosen One in many instances.

    Boy, if his defense can’t even get this right, his trial ought to be a sight to behold!

    And, then will come the charges against him for Stacy, I believe.

  38. I had a look on the US Army recruitment website to see what I could find out, but they’re pretty cagey. For length of enlistment period related topics they say “Speak to a recruiter!”

  39. “Honorable discharge”?

    Types of discharge

    Honorable
    To receive an honorable discharge, a service member must have received a rating from good to excellent for his or her service. Service members who meet or exceed the required standards of duty performance and personal conduct, and who complete their tours of duty, normally receive honorable discharges. However, one need not complete his or her term of service to receive an honorable discharge, provided the reason for involuntary discharge is not due to misconduct. For instance, a person rendered physically or psychologically incapable of performing his or her assigned duties will normally have his service characterized as honorable, regardless of whether the condition or disability was incurred in the line of duty, provided he or she otherwise exceeded standards.

    An honorable discharge can, on rare occasions, be granted to a former service member (whose service was characterized as less than honorable) as an act of clemency, should that person display exemplary post-service conduct and show evidence of outstanding post-service achievement in areas such as education and employment.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_discharge

  40. Oh, I like that you can earn an honourable discharge by proving you have pulled your socks up after the fact.

    Was he invalided out as they say here? Would they let someone go on compassionate grounds?

  41. well my ex husband was “honorably discharged” after he called his CO a racial slur after serving only 9 months, he didn’t deserve an honorable discharge but he got it!

    typically tour of service is four years, I cannot imagine that during the time that Drew was enlisted with Vietnam and the political climate that after only 2 years of service he was allowed to discharge honorably unless he could have shown some sort of hardship such as illness…they didn’t just allow people to enlist and leave prior to their commitment without extenuating circumstances, for instance my father left during his 23rd year because my sister had been repeatedly hospitalized then my brother was hit by a truck, my father needed to be home to care for the rest of us as well as my chronically ill sister and my injured brother, they gave him an honorable discharge

    It is not that far out there to think that Drew could have been honorably discharged over a conduct or disciplinary issue..if it happened with my ex husband the racist abusive asshat, it most certainly could have happened with Drew

    hmmm? something just occurred to me, when did Carol have the miscarriage??? maybe that is why he only served 2 years?

  42. My ex husband was in the airforce, as I understand
    they are all (Navy Marines Airforce) 4yrs active 2 yrs inactive. But the army is 2 yrs active, 4 yrs inactive if you enlist. It would actually take him 6 yrs to get an honorable discharge from the army.That was 60’s 70’s I am not sure if any of that has changed since then.

  43. My husband was also in the Army, (enlisted) and served in Viet Nam. He says that before the draft ended, it was 3 years active, 3 years inactive.

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  45. Happy 4th of July to all my peeps in my own “old country”. I toast you all with watermelon. 😀

  46. Wish this had a preview button so I could see how this was going to turn out.
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  47. Wake up everyone!

    July 10 will be coming around soon, and it’ll be another court session for da boys. Maybe Brodskers will push for a bond reduction again, you know, since the State’s case is proving to be so weak this past month, as he said would happen. Hmmmm.

    Imagine, this is the way it could have been with Drewpie. Quiet, low key, planning and strategizing his defense all these months. Instead, he and his defense man squandered their valuable time on opportunistic media ploys. Oh, well, no one to blame but themselves. We’ll all just sit back and watch the “show.”

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