Interesting interview from Erika Slife with Yelton Cales, the brother of Stacy Peterson. This is his first interview with the press, as far as I know. It looks as if he won’t be testifying in this round of hearings since he has been attending them regularly.
Stacy Peterson’s brother agonizes through hearing
Yelton Cales angered by defense attorneys’ descriptions of Stacy Peterson
January 30, 2010
It wasn’t easy for Yelton Cales to listen to testimony last week suggesting Drew Peterson may have killed his younger sister. It’s been hard to sit still as Peterson’s attorneys disparage her as an attention-seeking flirt, someone who would leave her two young children and run off with another man.
But what really hurts, said Cales in his first interview since Stacy Peterson vanished Oct. 28, 2007, is testimony that will suddenly stir up good memories of his sister. Like the time she painted and decorated his room, leaving stacks of Diet Pepsi — his favorite drink — in the closet as a surprise gift. Or the descriptions of his sister by witnesses as friendly, outgoing — or “bouncy,” as Cales put it.
“It hurts,” said Cales, 30, describing the pain as a punch in the gut. “There’s no closure.”
As the second week ended in the pretrial hearing of whether hearsay statements will be allowed at the trial of Peterson, who is charged with the 2004 drowning of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, much of the testimony has centered on Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, and her alleged fear of Drew Peterson and desire to divorce him. Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police sergeant, remains a suspect in her disappearance but has not been charged.
With nearly 60 people on the prosecution’s witness list, including Stacy Peterson’s younger sister, an aunt and an uncle, Cales is one of the few family members allowed to sit in court and watch the case unfold. The privilege is not without cost for Cales, whose sex-offense history has been invoked repeatedly by Drew Peterson’s attorneys in an attempt to undermine the state’s witnesses.
Peterson’s attorneys have suggested that Cales molested Stacy Peterson, who is four years younger than him. “They’re trying to irritate me,” said Cales, who was freed from prison in June after serving nearly three years for aggravated criminal sexual assault but vehemently denies being inappropriate with his sister. “Drew won’t even look at me.”
Cales is a registered sex-offender for crimes against a 16-year-old girl in 2005. Other prison stints were for domestic battery and possession of a motor vehicle. Cales said he does not care what others think of him; it’s the thought of Peterson’s attorneys trashing his sister’s reputation that puts him on edge. “Ninety percent of what Drew is saying is lies,” he said.
He and his sister became close growing up in a volatile home. There was a lot of drinking. Their parents fought often, eventually obtaining restraining orders against each other, and divorcing. Their father moved the kids to Florida and Louisiana, before they came back to the Chicago suburbs and became wards of the state.
There was also much tragedy in the family. In 1983, their sister Jessica died at age 2 in a house fire. In 1987, their sister Lacy died as an infant, and her death was attributed to sudden infant death syndrome. In 1998, their mother, Christie Cales, vanished at the age of 40. She was last seen with a Bible, on her way to church. It’s that tragedy that Drew Peterson and his attorneys have been inclined to bring up when talking about Stacy Peterson’s disappearance. “My mom went out of her way to give us the best life she could,” Cales said. And Stacy Peterson, he said, would never leave her children.
Cales learned of his sister’s disappearance while he was in prison. The guards took him to an isolation cell, and he immediately started asking, “Is something wrong with my family?” He met with a counselor, who before saying a word flipped open a manila folder with Stacy Peterson’s picture in it. “I said, ‘He killed her,’ “Cales recalled. “[The counselor] said that she was missing, so I repeated: ‘He killed her.’ ”
Cales said he and Drew Peterson never got along. “I met him before they started dating,” Cales said. “Stacy worked at Springhill Suites in Bolingbrook, and she was always talking about him. I’d go visit her almost every night. I walked in one night, and he was sitting there. He gave her a sense of security.”
But Drew Peterson’s possessiveness of Stacy Peterson scared and angered Cales. During one July 2007 incident, Peterson showed how he could track his wife by GPS on her cell phone. “He said it smug, with his little chuckle,” Cales said. “I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ Drew said, ‘Yeah.’ ”
Stacy Peterson’s absence has deepened the huge hole in the family, which includes younger sister Cassandra and their father, Anthony. Their oldest sister, Tina, died of cancer in 2006.
Cales vividly remembers a conversation with his sister shortly before she vanished. He told her that if he had to choose one person in the world to be a mother to him, other than their mother, it would be she. “She was the greatest person in my life,” he said. “She started crying. She was the best mom.”
Thanks, Bucketoftea, for spotting the story.
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