Hearing: 68 down, 1 to go
February 16, 2010–By JOE HOSEY
JOLIET — Drew Peterson seemed to love the limelight in the year and a half between his fourth wife’s disappearance in late 2007 and his arrest in May for allegedly murdering wife No. 3.
In custody, Peterson languished alone in a jail cell, effectively cut off from the public by a judicial order limiting his calls to an approved list of his friends, family and attorneys.
That abruptly changed Jan. 19, when a parade of witnesses took the stand to talk about Peterson. They recalled, among other sordid stories and accusations, how his last two wives lived in fear that he might kill them and make their deaths appear accidental, how he tried hiring a co-worker to do away with his third wife and of course, how he is considered by nearly everyone who knows him to be an inveterate “jokester.”
While “jokester” was about the best thing any of the 68 men and women called into court had to say about Peterson, the former Bolingbrook cop and serial marrier at least had the chance to grab the spotlight for himself once again.
This most recent star turn by Peterson is expected to end Wednesday with the conclusion of the 17-day hearing to determine what hearsay evidence will be allowed at Peterson’s upcoming murder trial. Peterson’s attorneys will supposedly call a single witness to testify before facing off with prosecutors in closing arguments.
Peterson is charged with murdering Kathleen Savio, his third wife and the mother of two of his six children. Savio turned up drowned in a dry bathtub in March 2004. State police investigators quickly decided her death was an accident and closed the case.
State police reopened their investigation when Peterson’s next wife, Stacy Peterson, vanished in October 2007. She remains missing and the state police believe Peterson may have had a hand in killing her, but have not charged him with harming her.
As part of the hearsay hearing, prosecutors are trying to prove Peterson killed Stacy to keep her from testifying against him at his murder trial.
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